Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Fish and a certain river

Last weekend, people would have heard the odd but sad story of a 5 year girl killed by a jumping sturgeon on the Suwannee River in Florida.

Overlooking the human sadness element of this, Googling about it has led to a few improvements to my general knowledge:

1.  I never knew sturgeon, a weird looking fish I first became aware of as a child because a giant one features in an Uncle Scrooge story, had such a wide range.   Although, now that I look back on it, the Uncle Scrooge story in question was actually set in North America.   Sorry, it must be my later reading about Russian sturgeon and the caviar business that must have made me imagine that were mainly on another continent.

2.  Is the Suwannee (or Suwanee) River the same as the Swanee River of politically incorrect song fame?   Yes, turns out it is, and according to Wikipedia, Stephen Foster never saw it, and it doesn't even make much sense as the setting for the song.   (It's also the river the subject of the Al Jolson "Swanee" song, with music by Gershwin.)     Other sources say that Foster in fact first wrote the song using the name of a different river (the Pedee - which seems to now be called the Pee Dee - Americans seem to have trouble with consistency in river names)  and that river, being located in the Carolinas, makes a bit more sense for the song's story.

3.  Googling the Swanee song led me to this Youtube of Hugh Laurie doing a version of it.  I knew he sang, but he really is quite the jazz pianist:

1 comment:

Not Trampis said...

Laurie is quite good