Discussion:
The Creek Don't Rise
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Pavel Svinchnik
2018-01-08 18:15:11 UTC
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I've always interpreted the phrase "Lord willing and the creek don't rise" as referring to a creek not flooding but this morning my piano teacher said he'd heard that it referred to the Creek Indians uprising. I checked it out and found that he was correct, so we should always capitalize "Creek" when writing this phrase.

http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/ang/God_Willing_and_the_creek_don't_rise

Paul
Jerry Friedman
2018-01-08 18:34:33 UTC
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Post by Pavel Svinchnik
I've always interpreted the phrase "Lord willing and the creek don't rise" as referring to a creek not flooding but this morning my piano teacher said he'd heard that it referred to the Creek Indians uprising. I checked it out and found that he was correct, so we should always capitalize "Creek" when writing this phrase.
http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/ang/God_Willing_and_the_creek_don't_rise
I'm not going to believe that without the original source.

I can find only one use of "the creek don't rise" before 1950 at
Google Books. It's from /Graham's American Monthly Magazine of
Literature, Art, and Fashion/ in 1851, apparently, but it's a snippet
view, so I can't be sure.

"Yet here I stand before you a speckled hermit, wrapt in the risen-sun
counterpane of my popilarity, an' intendin', Providence permittin',
and the creek don't rise, to 'go it blind!' Tirant man aint a goin'
to be able to pick himself up arter the 'cumelated talons of this
Convention hes strickin down on his devoted hed like vials o' wrath,
or a thousand o' brick, (taint no odds which of them figgerative
inuendos you take feller-sufferers, both 's expressive.)"

They don't write 'em like that any more.
--
Jerry Friedman
HVS
2018-01-08 18:57:12 UTC
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On Mon, 8 Jan 2018 10:34:33 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
Post by Pavel Svinchnik
Post by Pavel Svinchnik
I've always interpreted the phrase "Lord willing and the creek
don't rise=
Post by Pavel Svinchnik
" as referring to a creek not flooding but this morning my piano
teacher sa=
Post by Pavel Svinchnik
id he'd heard that it referred to the Creek Indians uprising. I
checked it =
Post by Pavel Svinchnik
out and found that he was correct, so we should always capitalize
"Creek" w=
Post by Pavel Svinchnik
hen writing this phrase.
http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/ang/God_Willing_and_the_creek_don't_ri
se
Post by Pavel Svinchnik
I'm not going to believe that without the original source.
It does sound a tad folk-etymological.

I always heard the saying yokelised as "God willin' and the crick
don't rise", which only works if the creek is a watery thing.
Ross
2018-01-08 21:42:34 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Pavel Svinchnik
I've always interpreted the phrase "Lord willing and the creek don't rise" as referring to a creek not flooding but this morning my piano teacher said he'd heard that it referred to the Creek Indians uprising. I checked it out and found that he was correct, so we should always capitalize "Creek" when writing this phrase.
http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/ang/God_Willing_and_the_creek_don't_rise
I'm not going to believe that without the original source.
I can find only one use of "the creek don't rise" before 1950 at
Google Books. It's from /Graham's American Monthly Magazine of
Literature, Art, and Fashion/ in 1851, apparently, but it's a snippet
view, so I can't be sure.
"Yet here I stand before you a speckled hermit, wrapt in the risen-sun
counterpane of my popilarity, an' intendin', Providence permittin',
and the creek don't rise, to 'go it blind!' Tirant man aint a goin'
to be able to pick himself up arter the 'cumelated talons of this
Convention hes strickin down on his devoted hed like vials o' wrath,
or a thousand o' brick, (taint no odds which of them figgerative
inuendos you take feller-sufferers, both 's expressive.)"
They don't write 'em like that any more.
--
Jerry Friedman
Nice.
I'm skeptical about the "Creeks" too.
In modern times the saying may have been popularized by Hank Williams.
This site reports on a CD with "a complete 15-minute Mother’s Best Flour
show, recorded on January 9, 1951" [broadcast from WSM in Nashville]
"Hank then closed the show with his famous line, “If the good Lord’s
willing and the Creeks don’t rise …”, and relays a message to their
housekeeper, “Lola put the coffee pot on and the biscuits in the oven,
I’ll be there soon if not sooner?"
(Note the capital C, which I presume is not audible in Hank's pronunciation.)

https://www.facebook.com/notes/time-life/hank-williams-revealed-the-unreleased-recordings-disc-one-the-hitslike-never-bef/178809462830/
y***@gmail.com
2018-01-08 22:40:03 UTC
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There are over a dozen examples of the phrase in U.S. newspapers over the past 150 years, generally in folksy features and society columns. None of them capitalize "creek" or make any reference to Indians. That story seems to just be made up.
Anders D. Nygaard
2018-01-10 23:18:11 UTC
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Post by y***@gmail.com
There are over a dozen examples of the phrase in U.S. newspapers over the past 150 years,
Interesting phrasing. I'd have said something like

There are not much more than a dozen examples of the phrase
in U.S. newspapers over the past 150 years,

as it seems exceedingly few to me.

/Anders, Denmark.
Jerry Friedman
2018-01-10 23:56:10 UTC
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Post by Anders D. Nygaard
Post by y***@gmail.com
There are over a dozen examples of the phrase in U.S. newspapers over the past 150 years,
Interesting phrasing. I'd have said something like
There are not much more than a dozen examples of the phrase
in U.S. newspapers over the past 150 years,
as it seems exceedingly few to me.
Yep. If you search Google News, you can easily find half a dozen just
from 2018. Unfortunately for those of us interested in older uses,
Google News doesn't have a way to look for hits before a certain date,
as far as I know.
--
Jerry Friedman
Joy Beeson
2018-01-09 04:12:16 UTC
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On Mon, 8 Jan 2018 10:15:11 -0800 (PST), Pavel Svinchnik
Post by Pavel Svinchnik
I've always interpreted the phrase "Lord willing and the creek don't rise" as referring to a creek not flooding but this morning my piano teacher said he'd heard that it referred to the Creek Indians uprising. I checked it out and found that he was correct, so we should always capitalize "Creek" when writing this phrase.
http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/ang/God_Willing_and_the_creek_don't_rise
The one time I heard it, it was "The Lord willing and the cricks don't
rise."

That spring, the creeks did rise and many of my students couldn't make
it to school.
--
Joy Beeson, U.S.A., mostly central Hoosier,
some Northern Indiana, Upstate New York, Florida, and Hawaii
joy beeson at comcast dot net http://wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/
The above message is a Usenet post.
I don't recall having given anyone permission to use it on a Web site.
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