The Tale of Eddie Brown

This Post has absolutely nothing to do with Photography. But it is indirectly linked to my last Post – ‘Leader of the Band’. In that entry I talked about the wonderful breadth of music that I was exposed to in my late teens and early twenties, and that led to a series of reminiscences. And in particular, in a reply to a comment from Athyfoto, (do take a look at Frank’s blog) I mentioned a song I recalled from that era whose short title was ‘Eddie’. It’s amazing what you can find if you use Google. I googled a line of the lyric and up popped links to the full lyrics although sadly no answer to the question: ‘Who wrote that song’?

A little background: in my last year at boarding school, I and a few guitar-owning friends got together to form a group. We played the folk music of the time, including the popular protest songs of that era. Those of you from that generation will remember songs like: ‘Where have all the flowers gone?’ and ‘We shall overcome’. In our year was a student who came from Albertville, France where his American Parents worked as Evangelists.

To cut a long story short, I and my friends were invited over to Albertville for a couple of weeks to provide the music to a series of events: playing Gospel, Negro Spirituals and Protest Songs including the famous French anti-war song ‘Le Déserteur’ penned by Boris Vian. The first lines of that being ‘Monsieur le Président / Je vous fait une letter / Que vous lirez peut-être / Si vous avez le temps’. Anyone remember that?

While there I met some American students who taught us the song I call ‘Eddie’. It took some learning, and I never wrote the lyrics down, but they have been hard-wired into my brain ever since such that I can still recall them – including Eddie’s full name (a tongue twister as you will see).

Where does this song come from? From my limited research it seems it was a popular camp fire song in the Scouting movement in the USA. One can imagine a group of kids round a fire singing this nonsense song, each one assigned one of Eddie’s forenames to sing out. Who wrote it? Maybe that is lost in the mists of time. Unless one of my American readers knows different?

There are several marginally different versions of this, which would fit in with its oral tradition, but this is the version I was taught. Eddie’s names in particular are a problem – I’ve written them phonetically. It’s a great song to sing, much better than reading it, but I will spare you that experience!

So without further ado, here is the Tale of Eddie Brown:


Eddie Koochie Katcha Kamma Tosa Nera Tosa Noca Samma Kamma Wacky Brown
Eddie Koochie Katcha Kamma Tosa Nera Tosa Noca Samma Kamma Wacky Brown.
Fell into the well, fell into the well, fell into the deep dark well.

Susie Jones, milkin’ in the barn.
Saw him fall.
Ran inside to tell her Mom that…


Mrs. Jones, bakin’ cracklin’ bread.
Ran outside.
Told Old Jo her Susie said that…


So Old Jo, put his plow aside.
Grabbed his cane.
Hobbled in to town and said that…


To the well, everybody came.
What a shame.
Took so long to say his name that…

Eddie Koochie Katcha Kamma Tosa Nera Tosa Noca Samma Kamma Wacky Brown
Eddie Koochie Katcha Kamma Tosa Nera Tosa Noca Samma Kamma Wacky Brown.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'.
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3 Responses to The Tale of Eddie Brown

  1. oneowner says:

    No clue. Sorry, Andy.


  2. Chillbrook says:

    A blogger I follow I think has a pretty good handle on music, accoustic music, blues mainly but he might know the answer to your question Andy, you could try him maybe..?


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