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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Jeanene Origins: More Work in a Day / Father Grumble (30) Lyr Add: THE FARMER AND HIS WIFE 07 Dec 01

In 1962 at Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village, I heard a couple named Peter and Isabelle Gardner who did international folk songs, including this one. Somewhere I have an album with this on it. Here's what I remember of it:

The Farmer and His Wife
There was a man who lived with his wife [in a house beside the sea]
Who swore he could do more work in a day than his wife could do in three.

[she agrees to do his work in the fields for a day and he will do her work]
"You must milk [Bossie?] the cow, for fear she would run dry
And you must mind the little goat lest it should go astray,
And you must watch the stew on the stove lest it will boil away.

(He does a poor job of milking the cow -- I think she kicks over the milk pail.)
He forgot the poor little goat, and it had run astray
And he forgot the stew on the stove, it had boiled away.

Presently she came along and found him looking sad.
She clapped her hands upon her waist and said that she was glad.
[she]"Now will you swear by the sun up above and all the stars in heaven?"
[he, glumly] "You can do more work in a day than I can do in seven!"

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