USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘sausage’
Game
Humor

Sausage Song!

My informants are group of hungry members of the USC Track and Field Team. As a very tight knit group they often spend time in the morning eating breakfast together before class. In this particular instance while waiting for their food to be ready, this group broke out into the ‘Sausage Song”.

 

Members of the group had heard of the song through different outlets, some by listening to other groups perform it and others encountered recorded videos of groups performing the song on the internet, however the members of the group knew to begin participating after hearing the distinct beat and opening line of the song which begins like this…

 

One person begins beating on a nearby surface to create a beat. That same individual begins the rap/song by saying “Eggs, bacon, grits…”

 

The rest of the members in the group reply after grits by saying “…Sausage!”

 

Following the group declaration of sausage, the members each go around making their own rhymes to the beat, all ending in the word sausage, until most or all members have said a rhyme. For example, in the case of the track and field members, one of the girls in the group’s line was “I be at the parties twerkin’ on that sausage!”

 

Typically the rhymes that are made are crude or sexual in nature, as the word sausage is utilized as a euphemism for male genitals. The use of the word sausage as a euphemism is part of what contributes to the humor of the song. In this particular instance it served as a means to pass time, and was performed at a moment that had relation to the context of the scenario, the members performed the “Sausage Song” while waiting for breakfast. The performing of the song also serves a purpose in letting participants identify who has the best rhyming skills out of the group, because generally each person tries to outdo and increase the humor of the rhyme of the person who had gone before them. The game easily demonstrates the variability and widespread nature of folklore. Though the introduction to the “Sausage Song” remains the same, people adapt the performance to their particular liking and in relation to their environment and personal experiences. Though it is a relatively crude game and song that should probably not be performed in public, it serves a purpose of bringing together groups of people and providing entertainment value to those who perform it and to the listeners.Sausage Song

Customs
Foodways
Holidays

Christmas Sausage

My mother and aunt, when I was a kid, would make sausage at Christmas time. My mother would hang the sausage in her and my father’s bedroom for days and the smell would permeate the house. I asked my mother one day about the recipe and why she made it every year, as well as why she stopped when I was in middle school. Turns out that this was a dish that her mother, who was Swedish, would make around Christmastime. She did not know if there was any sort of name for it, so she and my aunt just called it “Christmas Sausage.” And when grandma got to old to make it, my mother and aunt began to make it every year. The reason that my mother hung the sausage in her bedroom was that it was one of the coolest rooms in the apartment that time of year, as a window was usually left open and the radiator turned off. Why my parents did that, I don’t know.As for why my mother and aunt stopped the tradition, wel, that’s because when my grandma died when I was in middle school, my mother and aunt stopped making the sausages, probably because it reminded them of their mother, and the grief was too fresh. My mother believes that this is a traditional Swedish dish, as “hanging raw meat out at ‘room temperature’ seems like the kind of thing you would only do in a cold climate.”

Recipe:

Cook 1 pound of barley with 1 chopped onion and beef broth
Add salt and pepper to taste.
When fully cooked, cool completely.
Mix the barley with 1 pound raw ground beef and 2 pounds raw ground pork.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff into hog casings.
Hang at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Customs
Folk speech
Musical

Summer Camp Folksong: Mr. Johnny Verbeck

Informant: Once every week at camp cedars the dining hall would serve sausages for breakfast, little sausage patties, and uh there was a certain song that went along with the sausages about a man named Johnny Verbeck. Uh, it went a little something like:

Oh Mister, Mister Johnny Verbeck, how could you be so mean?

I told you you’d be sorry for inventing that machine.

Now all the neighbors’ cats and dogs will nevermore be seen

For they’ve all been ground to sausages in Johnny Verbeck’s machine!

 

Oh once there was a Dutchman, his name was Johnny Verbeck

He made the finest sausages and sauerkraut and speck.

Till one day he invented a sausage-making machine,

Now all the neighbors’ cats and dogs will nevermore be seen.

 

Oh Mister, Mister Johnny Verbeck, how could you be so mean?

I told you you’d be sorry for inventing that machine.

Now all the neighbors’ cats and dogs will nevermore be seen

For they’ve all been ground to sausages in Johnny Verbeck’s machine!

 

One day a boy came walkin’, a-walkin’ through the door.

He bought a pound of sausages, and laid them on the floor.

The boy began to whistle, a-whistle up a tune

And all the little sausages went dancin’ round the room!

 

Oh Mister, Mister Johnny Verbeck, how could you be so mean?

I told you you’d be sorry for inventing that machine.

Now all the neighbors’ cats and dogs will nevermore be seen

For they’ve all been ground to sausages in Johnny Verbeck’s machine!

 

One day the machine got busted, the darn thing wouldn’t go

So Johnny Verbeck he climbed inside to see what made it so.

His wife she had a nightmare, went walkin’ in her sleep.

She gave the crank a heck of a yank and Johnny Verbeck was meat!

 

Oh Mister, Mister Johnny Verbeck, how could you be so mean?

I told you you’d be sorry for inventing that machine.

Now all the neighbors’ cats and dogs will nevermore be seen

For they’ve all been ground to sausages in Johnny Verbeck’s machine!

 

The informant, a Caucasian male, was born in Spokane, Washington and then moved to Omaha. He is currently a student at USC and studies computer science.

The informant learned the song when he was about eleven years old “the first time we went to camp cedars so the very first summer,” and “sometime within the first week.” Camp Cedars is a Boy Scout summer camp. The informant attended the camp for about five or six years and was a counselor for one year.

When asked about the performance, the informant said “So um, everyone would know that it was time for the sausage song because before everyone even got their food, the staff members would be walking around with a sausage on their fork, like holding it in the air above their heads and during the song, at first the staff members would stand by their tables and just sing the song, but on the line ‘all the little sausages went dancing round the room’ they would do so, and just kind of skip around the room and circle all of the campers at their tables.”

The informant liked this tradition and song because it was “just something fun that would bring everyone together, and it helped build a community among the campers.”

In addition to being an entertaining song that everyone at the camp would sing, I feel it also serves other purposes. First, the song jokes about the contents of sausages. Sausages are not clearly related to whatever meat they originally came from, so they can incite parody about their contents, which in this case are cats, dogs, and even human. There is also a hint at the fear of being killed in a traumatic way such as being ground up into a meat sausage.

Festival
general
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Tradition – German

Oktoberfest

“When my family lived in Germany, every late September/early October our town would celebrate Oktoberfest, the beer festival.  It usually starts the last two weeks of September and lasts up until the first Sunday of October.  At 12:00 on the beginning of the festival, there is a twelve gun salute and the mayor of our town taps the first keg of beer and yells ‘It’s tapped!’  During the festival, we drink lots of beer and eat sausage, hendl, käsespätzle and sauerkraut.  There are fourteen beer tents at Oktoberfest and usually we would have roller coasters and ferris wheels as well.”

My informant started going to Oktoberfest with his family at the age of five.  His parents took him to play at the amusement park while they also sampled some of the festival’s beer.  They then began to take him every year.  As he got older, my informant began to partake in Oktoberfest for the drinking and the partying.  The famous Oktoberfest beer is called “Wiesnbier” and is brewed especially for the festival.  It is stronger than regular beer.

My informant says that mainly teenagers and adults participate in Oktoberfest because it is sometimes too rowdy for children and older citizens.  However, he says that more recently there have been restrictions put on Oktoberfest so that families can feel more comfortable participating in the festival.  My informant says that Oktoberfest has become so popular that over six million people from around the world travel to Munich to see Oktoberfest.

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