The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34525   Message #1909078
Posted By: Goose Gander
14-Dec-06 - 12:31 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
As Richie pointed out, there does seem to be more than a coincidental relationship between the Burns verse and Pretty Little Pink . . . .

From Burns:
"O dinna think my pretty pink,
But I can live without thee:
I vow and swear, I dinna care
How lang ye look about ye."

From Bradley Kincaid:
"I reckon you think my pretty little miss
That I can't live without you
But I'll let you know before I go
That I care very little about you"

From Mother Goose:
"My little pink I suppose you think,
I cannot do with out you.
I will let you know before I go,
How little I care about you."

From Randolph:
"My purty leetle pink I used to think
I couldn't live without you
But I'll let you know before I go
Thet I don't keer much about you"

There is also an apparent cross-Atlantic connection with the Charlie / Weavily Wheat verses.

From Kincaid:
"Charlie is a nice young man
Charley is a dandy
Every time he goes to town
He buys the ladies candy

I don't want none of your weazely wheat
I don't wnat none of your barley
Want some flour in half an hour
To bake a cake for Charlie"

Verses like these are commonly found in North America. Vance Randolph printed eight fragments of similiar verses under the title Weavily Wheat. 156 examples of the form can found in the Roud index #729. Of these, some are Scottish - here are a few references:

"O'er the Water to Charlie"
Buchan, Ancient Ballads and Songs 2 (1828 / 1875) pp.136-137

"Owre the Water to Torry"
Greig-Duncan 8 p.260 (version a)

"O'er the Water to Charlie"
Greig-Duncan Collection 1 pp.344-345 (version a)

"O'er the Water to Charlie"
Johnson, Scots Musical Museum 2 p.195 (No.187)

"O'er the Water to Charlie"
Hogg, Jacobite Relics of Scotland 2 pp.76-77

So between the Pretty Little Pink verses and the Charlie verses, I think it's clear there is some connection to British, or more specifically Scottish, sources. The exact nature of the relationship would be very difficult (if not impossible) to tease out, but obviously (to me, anyway) the antecedents of the song we are discussing go back to the British Isles.