Hot Shot Dawson on a river boat,
With his brawlin', sprawlin' sweetie. . . .
Hot Shot is an Irish pug,
The river boat is the Queen,
His brawlin' lass is Bridget Cass
And Hot Shot is her dream.
That snatch of a song had a college professor, a U.S. poet, numerous song collectors and Mississippi river folk scratching their heads last week. The lines had been sent to Bill Henry, columnist in the Los Angeles Times, by a friend who remembered hearing them many years ago in "Hell's Half Acre" in St. Louis. Henry printed the...