My nurse gave me a particularly cleansing enema to-day, and now I feel rather giddy and as light as a soap-bubble. What to do? Hunt pheasant? Dance a jig? I know! Let us sing a gay round!
In the days before those newfangled zoetrope-machines, my family and I would sit in our little rough-hewn sod dug-out and entertain one another with rounds. My father and mother would lead, followed by myself, my sister Ida Lucretia and, finally, my baby brother E. Ulysses. The joyful noise we used to make! But then, Ida Lucretia died of the gangrene-fever, and E. Ulysses succumbed to the quinsy. Suddenly, our rounds were not as melodious as they once were. Will you indulge a poor pitiful old man and join with him in the singing of a favorite round he has not heard in well over a century?
But which round should we sing? Wait, I have a perfect one in mind, "Doctor, Doctor, My Horse Is Sick." If you are not familiar with it, worry not: It has the same melody as "Soldier, Soldier, Will You Marry Me?" I will begin the round, and the eastern half of the Republic will take it up as I start the second verse. The States extending west from the Cumberland Gap to the Mississippi will then follow, with the States and Unorganized Territories of the West going last. Is every-one ready? One, two, three:
Doctor, doctor, my horse is sick
No longer will he neigh
"Give him whiskey and iodine
And mix it in his hay"
Dammit, eastern half of the Republic, you missed your cue! How is the Middle West and the Wild West supposed to join in at the proper time? Let us try again. I will now sing the second stanza, and be sharp this time!
Doctor, doctor, my horse, he does swoon
"Go to the shop and buy him a spoon"
Doctor, doctor, I fear he is dead
"Then buy him a very nice coffin instead"
Stop! Stop the song! That was terrible! I am quite sure I was the only one singing just then. Either you are all insolent imbeciles deserving of a sound whipping, or you are foreign immigrants unschooled in rounds. You immigrants are destroying this Republic from within! I knew I should have supported the Know-Nothings in the elections!