Jan 18, 2013

Pop Goes The Weasel

Pop Goes the Weasel - There are dozen versions of "Pop Goes the Weasel" around the world. Many are similar, but in North America, the opening line is generally "all around the mulberry bush," possibly due to confusion with a similar tune, "Here we go round the mulberry bush."

In the UK it is usually "All around the cobbler's bench." Most authorities think "Pop Goes the Weasel" describes the acts of weaving, spinning, and sewing. A weasel was a mechanism used by tailors, cobblers, and hatters that "popped" when the spool was full of thread.

A version popular in 19th-century English music halls includes "Up and down the City Road / In and out the Eagle / That's the way the money goes," etc. The Eagle was a London tavern and the song describes the consequences of spending too little time at the cobbler's bench and too much on a bar stool. Some suggest that  “Pop” means to pawn and “weasel” is Cockney rhyming slang, “weasel and stoat” for coat. So pawning a coat to pay for drinks.

 All around the cobblers bench,
 The monkey chased the weasel.
 The monkey stopped to pull up his sock,
 Pop! goes the weasel.