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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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FLOWERS MAY WITHER,
SONGS MAY DIE,
SOME WILL FORGET YOU,
BUT NEVER WILL I...

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; BATON ROUGE

Keyword(s): AUTOGRAPH VERSE? ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCB ; SINCERITY INDIRECTION PLEDGE FRIENDSHIP

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.325

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THE MAIDEN

THERE ONCE WAS A MAIDEN SO FAIR,
HER BRIGHT BLUE EYES AND GOLDEN HAIR;
BUT HER LIFE WAS RUINED BY A TWIST OF FATE,
THE STORY'S AWFUL, I'M SAD TO RELATE.
YES, THE TALE IS TRUE, FOR I WOULD NOT LIE,
I HEARD IT ONE NIGHT WHILE I WAS STILL HIGH;
I HAVE WRITTEN IT JUST AS SHE TOLD IT TO ME,
AND THE PAIN HAS MADE ME SICK AS CAN BE.
"I LEFT HIM FLAT; FOR HE TREATED ME CRUEL;
FOR NOW I SEE THAT I WAS A FOOL,
HE'S UGLY AND DIRTY AND SMELLS LIKE A HORSE,
AND THAT'S WHY I DECIDED TO GET A DIVORCE."
"I WAS JUST TWENTY WHEN THE MESS DID START,
HE SAID HE WOULD LOVE ME TILL DEATH DO US PART;
LITTLE DID I KNOW THAT THE DAY WOULD SOON COME,
WHEN I WOULD GET WISE TO THAT NO-GOOD BUM.
"NOW I AM HAPPY AND FINALLY FREE,
TO THINK, DO, AND SAY WHAT I PLEASE;
SO FOR A LITTLE ADVICE BEFORE YOU MARRY,
BE SURE YOUR HUSBAND IS NOT BIG AND HAIRY."
"SO WHEN THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS TURNS TO A FINK,
GET A DIVORCE OR MAKE A BIG STINK;
BUT IF YOU SEE HE'S NO GOOD FROM THE START,
DROP HIM FAST OR HE'LL BREAK YOUR HEART."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): LAMENT ADVICE ; METER: IAMBIC TRIMETER ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABB ; SIMILE INDIRECTION HUMOR MARRIAGE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.325

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WHAT'LL YOU DO
IF THE KETTLE BOILS OVER?
WHAT'LL YOU DO,
BUT FILL IT AGAIN?
WHAT'LL YOU DO
IF YOU MARRY A SOLDIER?
WHAT'LL YOU DO,
BUT MARRY AGAIN?

Submitter comment: ALTHOUGH COLLECTOR RECEIVED THIS IN A LETTER WITH NO
COMMENT, HE THINKS IT CONTAINS A BIT OF SERIOUS COUNSEL
AGAINST MARRYING A SOLDIER.

Where learned: LETTER

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.325

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WHEN I WAS YOUNG AND HAD NO SENSE,
THEY RAISED ME UP FOR TWENTY PENCE.
NOW THEY SAY I'M OLD AND GRAY,
AND THEY SAY I'M IN THE WAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AGING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.325

Date learned: 04-00-1970

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AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, IN ALEXANDRIA, GEORGIA, MOST
OF THE PEOPLE COULD NEITHER READ NOR WRITE. AT
GATHERINGS, AT CHURCH AFFAIRS, ETC., HE, A BOY AT
THAT TIEM, WOULD RECITE PIECES AND SING SONGS. (HE=
MR. WRIGHT, THE INFORMANT.)
RECITATION:
GOODBYE LITTLE BIRDIE FLYING TO THE SKY,
SINGING AND SINGING A MERRY GOOD BYE.
TELL ALL THE BIRDIES FLYING ABOVE,
NELL IN THE GARDEN, SENDS THEM HER LOVE.
TELL HOW I FOUND YOU HURT IN A TREE
ALTHOUGH YOU'LL WANDER, YOU COME BACK TO ME.
IT'S WRONG TO BE SORRY I OUGHT TO BE GLAD
YOU ARE THE BEST LITTLE BIRDIE I EVER HAD.

(THE GOODBYE IS TO A SWALLOW FROM NELL. THE BIRD
ANSERS):
(NELL) GOODBYE LITTLE BIRDIE,
WHERE DID YOU GO?
(BIRD) I WENT SOUTH FOR THE WINTER
AND ALWAYS DO YOU KNOW
THE SOUTH HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?
I LIKE THE SUNNY SKIES,
AROUND THE ORANGE BLOSSOMS
I CAUGHT THE NICEST FLIES.
(THIS IS ALL MR. WRIGHT COULD REMEMBER).) MR. WRIGHT
ALSO SAID HE ALSO RECITED SOME ORIGINAL THINGS OF HIS
OWN:
DON'T GIVE UP
MEN ARE EVER RUNNING AND NEVER FIRE A GUN
THEY NEVER THINK OF WINNING BUT ALWAYS THINK TO RUN
THERE'S NO NEED OF GIVING UP, THAT'S A WEAKLIN'S WAY
IF YOU'VE LOST THE DAY BEFORE, YOU MAY GAIN TODAY.
ALL DAYS AREN'T JUST ALIKE; THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
SOME ARE JUST AS CLEAR AND BRIGHT,
OTHERS DARK AND CLOUDY.
THERE'S NO NEED OF GRUMBLING, THERE'S NO NEED TO WHINE,
HAVE FAITH, GO FORWARD UNTIL YOU WILL HAVE PLUCKED
THE MELONS FROM THE VINE.
(THERE IS AN ALTERNATE ENDING)
NEVER THINK OF GIVING UP, ALWAYS BE A TRYING
TILL AT LAST YOU WILL HAVE PLUCKED
THE MELONS FROM THE VINE.
LITTLE WILLIE AND I HAD A FIGHT LAST NIGHT.
I'LL TELL YOU THAT BOY IS A SIGHT.
HE WAS COURTING MISS JANIE THEN
WHEN HE WALKED OUT, I WALKED IN.
I KNOW THIS WAS A GREAT BIG SIN.
SO WHEN I CAME HOME THAT NIGHT
HE ASKED ME WOULD I FIGHT.
HE SAID TO ME, "I'LL WHIP YOU SURE."
I SHOOK MY HEAD, "NO, NO."
I'M A GREAT BIG MAN, YOU SEE
AND HE ONLY TOUCHED ME 'BOUT THE KNEE.
BUT HE KNOCKED ME SO BLAZING HARD,
I FELL A WINDING IN THE YARD.
UP AGAINST THOSE RAILROAD CARS,
I THINK I SAW THE SEVEN STARS.
TWAS ONE MORNING JUST A LIGHT,
IT WAS WILLY'S, NOT MY FIGHT.
AND HE DID ME JUST 'BOUT RIGHT.

Submitter comment: ENCOURAGEMENT
WHEN MR. WRIGHT VISITS THE SOUTH, EVEN TODAY, HE RECITES
ESSAYS, SPEECHES, ETC. AT CHURCH GATHERINGS.
ANOTHER ORIGINAL RECITATION:

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.320
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.322
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.325
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.326

Date learned: 11-00-1967

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