Lines by a sitkum tutchman

This is a weird interjection into the “Lines to a Klootchman” / “Lines by a Klootchman” poetic volleyfest.

The only thing Chinook Jargon about it is the title: Lines by a “half (=fake?) German”, in the mock-German accent also affected in the verse.

Imitations of people’s accents were an extremely popular mode of entertainment in the 1800’s USA. Various individuals became superstars by performing or writing as e.g. Irishmen, African-Americans, or as we see here, Germans.

Enjoy your daily helping of doggerel!  What do you think this one’s theme is?


Ven I lays mineself town in mine lonely pedroom
Und dries for to shleep very soundt,
De treams, Oh! — how into mine het dey will come,
Till I vish I vas onder de groundt,
Und shomeveres else.

Shometimes ven I eats von pig supper I treams
Dat mine shtomach ish fillt full of shtones,
Und out in mine shleep like de tivel I schreams,
Und kicks off de pedclothes, und groans,
Und shometing else.

Den dere ash I lays, midt the pedclothes all off,
I kits mineself all over froze,
In de morning I wakes midt de hetache und koff,
Und I am shick from mine het to mine toes,
Und shometing else.

Oh vat shall be tun for a poor man like me?
Vat for do I leaf such a life?
Shome shays dere’s a cure for drouble of me–
Dinks I’ll dhry it, und kit me a wife,
Or shometing else.

DOWN THE SOUND, Jan. 8th, ’59

[From the Steilacoom, Washington Territory Puget Sound Herald, Jan. 21, 1859, page 1.]