The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #97222   Message #1910743
Posted By: Richie
15-Dec-06 - 11:05 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Weevily Wheat
Subject: RE: Origins: Weevily Wheat
I'm reposting this from "Ida Red Thread" here:

'Weevily Wheat', also titled 'Charley He's a Good Ol' Man', was recorded by Kelly Harrell in the 20s. Harrell adopts a female persona which seems appropriate given the associations with the 'single life' stanza. The NLCR songbook gives Harrell as its source but adopts a male persona and omits the 'Over the river' stanza. It is a widely known play party song that originally expressed Jacobite sentiments, but that context is long gone.

Uncle Dave printed his own version in his 1938 songbook. I will post it to the Uncle Dave Macon lyrics thread. I stand to be corrected, but I don't think Uncle Dave actually recorded it. Here's the Harrell version:


Charley he's a good ol' man
Charley he's a dandy
Charley he's a good ol' man
He feeds them girls on candy

Single life is a happy life
Single life is lovely
I am single and no man's wife
And no man can control me.

Over the river to feed your sheep
Over the river, Charley
Over the river to feed your sheep
On buckwheat cake and barley


Don't wan' no more of your weevily wheat
Don't wan' no more of your barley
But I wan' some more of the best ol' flour
To bake a cake for Charley


Charley he's a nice ol' man
Takes me out a-fishing
I put the bait on Charley's hook
It's nice to see him catch them


Some folks marry for good looks
Some of them for money
But I'm gonna marry a country boy
Kiss him and call him honey


Source: transcription of Kelley Harrell 'Charley He's a Good Ol' Man' recorded on 12 August 1927 in Charlotte NC and issued in January 1928 as Victor 21069. Reissued on Kelly Harrell 'Complete Recorded Works Vol 2 1926-1929' Document DOCD-8027.