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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2002 6:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2002 5:38 am
Posts: 269
Location: Carolina coast
I received a private message asking for help with the source of "Where the woodbine twineth." I am posting my reply here in case others in the forum can help with the quest:

I did a Google search to see what I could find on this quotation. "Where the Woodbine Twineth" is the title of a several stories (one by Davis Alexander Grubb, another by Manly Wade Wellman), an Alfred Hitchcock episode, and a couple of songs (one by Septimus Winner, 1870, another by W.H. Delehanty). I saw several references to this fragment: "Gone where the woodbine twineth. To the pawnbroker, up the spout, where, in Quebec, 'on cottage walls the woodbine may be seen twining.'" I also found thre phrase is a reference to the practice of planting woodbine outside outhouses to mask the smell.

The most promising fruit of my research came from this site, dedicated to American sheet music: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/smhtml/mussmTitles393.html

On this site, you can find the words to the W.H. Delehanty song. It starts out:
"It was where the woodbine twineth
Behind a floral screen
In a graceful pose reclineth
A maid of sweet sixteen."

Maybe Phaedrus and thenostromo can pick up the thread and find a more definitive source; they are much better at Internet searches than I am.

 Post subject: woodbine twineth
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2002 7:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 3:01 pm
Posts: 1681
Actually, Luna, you appear to be doing just fine.

I had searched for this some time ago and here are the results I came up with at that time.

"where the woodbine twineth." (That poetic term refers to the practice in olden times of planting woodbine around outhouses to mask their odor.)

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The honeysuckle or beewort; or perhaps the convolvulus.

“Where the bee
Strays-diligent, and with extracted balm
Of fragrant woodbine loads his little thigh.”

Shakespeare says -
“So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist.”
~Midsummer Night’s Dream, iv. 1.

Come Where the Woodbine Twineth (1870)
~a song by Septimus Winner
Where the woodbine twineth / by W. H. Delehanty
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?co ... ssm:@field[TITLE+@band[Where+the+woodbine+twineth++))&linkText=0
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?co ... linkText=0]
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?co ... linkText=0
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?co ... linkText=0

"Well, we’ve been beaten, beaten all to smash,
and now sir, we begin to feel the lash,
as wielded by a gigantic corporation
which runs the commonwealth and ruins the nation,
Our union lamp, friend John Siney, no longer shineth,
It’s gone up where the gentle woodbine twineth."
http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/mi ... /siney.htm

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:55 am
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Location: Dallas, TX, USA
It's also used in The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington.

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