Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

Southern Appalachians songs with lyrics, commentary & some sheet music.

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Ballads and Songs
The following fragment was obtained from Samuel Harmon, Varnell, Georgia, August, 1931, who said he used to know the song but that he could remember no more of it.
1. "Come down, come down," Said the farmer to his son, "A make some money
Or have some fun." Like tuthers, tuthers, Turn a fare, turn a day.
2. "We have an old cow —"
(Cf. Capt. Wedderburn's Courtship, Child, No. 46) This riddle-song is included here because of its connection with the ballad, Captain Wedderburn's Courtship. Barry-Eckstorm-Smyth (p. 99) discuss the relation of the song to the ballad, pointing out that "It is not a ballad at all, but a series of riddles in verse form." It is allied to Child, No. 46, therefore, only in as much as the ballad has taken over some lines of the old riddle-song. The oldest known version of the song has been found in a fifteenth century manuscript. This version is printed in Child, English and Scottish Popular Ballads, I, 415; compare The Cambridge Poets series, edited by Helen Child Sargent and George Lyman Kittredge, page 646. The song is better known in American tradition than the ballad. See Tol-man, Journal, XXIX, 157—158; J. P. MacCaskey, Franklin Square Song Collection, p. 66 (New York, 1881); Bradley Kincaid's My Favorite Mountain Ballads and Old-Time Songs, Chicago, 1928, p. 15, with which the present song is nearly identical, but there are sufficient verbal changes to warrant the printing here of the latter. Cf. also Frank Shay's More Pious Friends and Drunken Companions, p. 126.
For American texts of Captain Wedderburn's Courtship, see Barry -Eckstorm-Smyth, pp. 93—99; Mackenzie, Ballads, p. 14, reprinted from Quest, pp. 108—no and {torn Journal, XXIII, 377; Barry, Joufnal, XXIV,

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III