Muskrat, muskrat candlelight

Doin’ the town and doin’ it right

In the evenin’, it’s pretty pleasin’


Muskrat Susie, muskrat Sam

Do the jitterbug out in muskrat land

And they shimmy, and Sammy’s so skinny


And they whirled and they twirled and they tangoed

Singin’ and jinglin’ the jango

Floatin’ like the heavens above

It looks like muskrat love


Niblin’ on bacon, chewin’ on cheese

Sammy says to Susie, “Honey, would you please

Be my missus,” and she says yes with her kisses

And now he’s ticklin’ her fancy, rubbin’ her toes

Muzzle to muzzle now, anything goes

As they wiggle and Sue starts to giggle


And they whirled and they twirled and they tangoed

Singin’ and jinglin’ the jango

Floatin’ like the heavens above

It looks like muskrat love.


Words and music – Willis Allan Ramsey

*           *           *

Back in 1997, Willis Allan Ramsey wrote and recorded the above tune. When Toni Tennille of The Captain and Tennille chanced to hear it on the radio she shrieked “Did you hear that! I swear he’s singing about muskrats. This song is hysterical.” And because they just happened to have one open slot on their new album it became a number one hit. Check it out on UTube.

I thought it was hysterical. And sweet. Yet I never expected that I would one day be living in prime muskrat land and just happen to glance out the kitchen window in time to see a very plump, dark brown furryness scurrying behind the garage. And today again, in the yard across the street. Ondatra Zibethicus is not really a water rat (as some wrongfully declaim) but a common herbivore of the Minnesota wetlands. That’s us.

I was gratified to learn that Mrs. Rombauer deleted a recipe for “Muskrat with Creamed Celery” from the Joy of Cooking in May of 1997. Just to be sure, I checked my falling apart edition (oops – 1964) and there it was on page 454 – “Skin and remove all fat from hams of 6 muskrats. Poach for 45 minutes. Saute until golden: ½ cup minced onions in 2 T. of butter. Add the drained, dried muskrat hams and cook until brown. Serve with creamed celery (page 271).”

I suspect that Susie and Sam are busy being “pixilated” now that it’s spring – shimmyin’, jinglin’ and gigglin’. There’s something sweet about imagining their “toe rubbing” and “fancy tickling” but I’m not sure I need to know about the “anything goes” part. But that’s muskrat love.



This entry was posted in food, minnesota life, Wild Life. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to MUSKRAT LOVE

  1. Kevin J. says:

    America sang Muskrat Love in 1974.

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