This song certainly related to I Wish I Were a Single Girl Again, but it's very different from the traditional song. Is this version an A.P. Carter original, or does it come from an earlier source?
I found two Carter Family recordings of this song. the first was on the second day of the famous recording session at Bristol, Tennessee (August 1 & 2, 1927), recorded by Ralph Peer for Victor. I think it's Sara's voice on the vocal on this cut. At the time, A.P. Carter was 35 years old, his wife Sara was 29, and Maybelle was 18. The tempo on this recording is rather quick.
The second recording, recorded by Ralph Peer for ARC in New York City May 8, 1935, had a much slower tempo. I guess that's A.P. on the vocal, but I can't say that for sure. If not, then Sara's voice dropped a bit in the 8 years between recordings.
Jim Dixon's post above is an accurate transcription - same lyrics and same three verses were used for both recordings.
The version in the Digital Tradition (click) has two additional verses, written by Mickey Miller - who's he?
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry for this song, which identifies no source earlier than the 1927 Carter recording:
Single Girl, Married GirlDESCRIPTION: "Single girl, single girl, go and dress so fine... Married girl, married girl goes ragged all the time...." The lives of single and married women compared: The single girl can go out (and perhaps even spend); the married girl must care for the baby; etc.
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (recording, Carter Family)
KEYWORDS: marriage wife
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Warner 128, "Single Girl, Married Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
Asch/Dunson/Raim, p. 87 "Single Girl, Married Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 84, "Single Girl, Married Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 185, "Single Girl" (1 text)
Carter Family, "Single Girl, Married Girl" (Victor 20937A, 1927; on AAFM3) (Conqueror 8733, 1936; Melotone 7-04-53, 1937)
Ruby Vass, "Single Girl" (on LomaxCD1702)
cf. "I Wish I Were a Single Girl Again"
cf. "I Wish I Were Single Again (II - Female)"
cf. "Single Girl, Married Girl"
cf. "Sorry the Day I Was Married"
cf. "When I Was Young (II)" (theme)
cf. "For Seven Long Years I've Been Married" (theme)
Notes: Roud lumps "I Wish I Were a Single Girl Again" and "Single Girl, Married Girl" (and perhaps others). Definitely a stretch, though the songs can easily cross-fertilize. - RBW
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