Where Did “Turkey In The Straw” Come From?
Q: I know this isn’t a Rock ‘n Roll song, but with Thanksgiving coming up, I’d like to know where the song “Turkey In The Straw” came from.
A: That old folk song has been around so long, the origins have been lost to history. From what music historians have found, it seems to date as far back as the 1820’s when it was performed in minstrel shows. It’s well-known as a fiddle – or violin – instrumental and the original lyrics are deemed extremely offensive in our present day; there have been versions that are not just racially offensive but also some with very risque’ lyrics that you wouldn’t want your kids to hear. There have been many versions recorded from 1900 thru the 1940’s with some of them under different titles, and by the 1930’s the melody had been taken from a tune titled “Natchez Under The Hill” by Bryceson Treharne (1879-1948). One version you might get a kick out of is a 1942 rendition by The Original Schnickelfritz Band…look for it on youtube!