[Dixielandjazz] "...playing a jag-time tune..."

Robert Smith robert.smith at tele2.no
Tue Jun 27 11:16:20 PDT 2006

Hello Bill,

I'm sticking to my guns on this one. I agree that "Hit it, boys" means 
"Start playing , boys", but I don't think one can say "Start hitting it, 
boys". In my opinion that would be an insult.

Furthermore, later in the poem Service writes "The rag-time kid was having a 
drink ... ", and (re Dan McGrew) "my God! but that man could play", not "my 
God! but that man could hit". The term "rag-time kid" refers to the pianist, 
drunk or sober, describing the type of music he played. Service didn't call 
him the "jag-time kid", as he may well have done if he were using "jag-time" 
as a synonym for "ragtime". Assuming the term "kid" means a young man, then 
I think alcohol would soon have an adverse effect on his playing, and 
Service uses this to create the noisy, carefree atmosphere before Dan McGrew 
starts to play.


Bob Smith

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