Ya gotta know the territory

Another chapter in the long history of cultural background you need to see why some cartoons might be funny, or even to understand them at all. Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm, cat to Mother Goose about dog:


Utterly baffling unless you know your 60s tv Westerns or are a big fan of Clint Eastwood.

The crucial word is rawhide ‘stiff untanned leather;  (N. Amer.) ‘a whip or rope made of rawhide’ — the rawhide of a chewtoy for dogs, the rawhide whip used to move cattle, as in the American tv show Rawhide. From Wikipedia:

Rawhide was an American Western TV series [1959-66, 217 b&w episodes] starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood. … The series was produced and sometimes directed by Charles Marquis Warren, who also produced early episodes of Gunsmoke.

… Set in the 1860s, Rawhide portrays the challenges faced by the drovers of a cattle drive. Most episodes are introduced with a monologue by Gil Favor (portrayed by Eric Fleming), the trail boss. In a typical Rawhide story, the drovers come upon people on the trail and are drawn into solving whatever problem they present or confront. Sometimes, one or more of the crew venture into a nearby town and encounter some trouble from which they need to be rescued. Rowdy Yates (Clint Eastwood) was young and at times impetuous in the earliest episodes and Favor had to keep a tight rein on him.


Main cast: Eastwood, Pete Nolan (as scout Sheb Wooley), Fleming

The truly key piece is the opening theme song, as sung by Frankie Laine; you can watch the opening sequence here. With a refrain that begins:

Move ’em on, head ’em up
Head ’em up, move ’em on

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