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
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.

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