The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #97222   Message #1910636
Posted By: Goose Gander
15-Dec-06 - 08:05 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Weevily Wheat
Subject: RE: Origins: Weevily Wheat

"Oh, come down hither and trip together
All in the morning early
Your heart and hand I do demand
'Tis true, I love you dearly"

"I want none of your weevily wheat
I want none of your barley
For I must have the best of wheat
To make a cake for Charley"

"If you love me as I love you
We'll have no time to tarry
We'll have the old folks fixing round
For you and I to marry"

"What, marry you, the likes of you?
Do you think I'd marry my cousin
When I can get just plenty of boys
For sixteen cents a dozen?"

"If you can get such boys as me
For sixteen cents a dozen
You better buy a load or two
And ship them down to London"

It's over the river to feed the sheep
It's over the river to Charley
It's over the river to feed the sheep
And measure out some barley.

Carl Van Doren, 'Some Play-Party Song from Eastern Illinois,' Journal of American Folklore, Vol 32, No 126 (Oct. 1919), p488

"This again varies from any form I have encountered. It may be worth mentioning, as an illustration of the decay which had fallen upon the tradition of these songs by the last decade of the nineteenth century, in the township where they had been popular thirty years before, that the children were all familiar with a dislocated stanza from "Weevily Wheat" which they sang to tease one another, without knowing that it belonged to a longer song or that it had any connection with dancing -

Oh, Charley is a nice young man
Oh, Charley is a dandy
Oh, Charley likes to kiss the girls
Whenever they come handy" (p.488)

Interesting that this is a dialogue song that almost contains a narrative: Boy chases girl, girl turns him down, boy says he doesn't care (in not so many words).