I mentioned recently to Arthur, a man from Poughkeepsie that I was an appleknocker from Clove Valley. He sent me the below email. I long to find the music, but here are his email and the words:
“By way of background, I recall as a child, that whenever we drove past the Dutchess County sign on the way home from somewhere, my father would break out in song.
I cannot verify that it’s a Civil War marching ditty, but it could well be. I believe there’s at least one more verse, but not as interesting.
In the last line, the word “drink” may be substituted for the word “make”.
O, we’re from Dutchess County and we’d like to have you know,
That Dutchess County is the place where luscious apples grow;
They call us apple knockers and they needn’t take it baaaack,
For apple knockers are the boys that make the applejack.”
While trying to find the song on the internet I found the following definition… perfect:
plural noun: apple knockers
a person who picks or sells apples.
a baseball player, specifically a batter.
an ignorant or unsophisticated person.