Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

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

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Old Maid's Song
10)
OLD MAID'S SONG
This song, like the "I'll Not Marry at All," has the stanzas giving reasons for not marrying different types of men. The fourth stanza seems to be a kind of retort from the bachelor. Haywood Parker, Journal, XX, 247, gives stanza 4 with slightly different wording as part of a banjo song. His next stanza is stanza 1 of the present song which "is supposed to be the old maid's retort." Pertow, Journal, XXVIII, 176, gives stanza 4 with "widow" in the first line instead of "old maid." Stanzas like stanza 4, giving the bachelor's reasons for not marrying certain types of women, are to be found in a mixed song of negro origin, Perrow, Journal, XXVIII, 136. Other stanzas will be found on page 176 {Journal, XXVIII). Cf. also Tolman, Journal, XXIX. 188.
Recorded from the singing of Miss Pauline Franklin, Crossnore, Avery County, North Carolina, August, 1931.
1.1 wouldn't marry a bachelor; I'll tell you the reason why: His nose is always dripping; His chin is never dry.
2.1 wouldn't marry a lawyer; I'll tell you the reason why: He is always in the court-house A-making people lie.
3.1 wouldn't marry a preacher; I'll tell you the reason why: He is always in the pulpit A-making people cry.
4.1 wouldn't marry an old maid; I'll tell you the reason why: Her neck is so long and strangly I'm afraid she will never die.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III