The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #97222   Message #1912273
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
17-Dec-06 - 09:16 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Weevily Wheat
Subject: RE: Origins: Weevily Wheat
Comments and a version from Vance Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 3, no. 520.

"Several of the "Weevily Wheat" stanzas are found in Wheeler's "Mother Goose Melodies" (1878, pp. 23-24, 99). Hofer ("Children's Singing Games," 1901, p. 38) points out the relation of the figures to those of an old Scottish weaving game. Newell ("Games and Songs, 1903 pp. 80, 171) sees the game as 'an imitation of weaving."

The 'Charlie' has been related to the one in the Jacobite ballads, but it may be that because it rhymes with 'barley' is the sole reason for its use.

WEEVILY WHEAT (A)

Oh I don't want none of your weev'ly wheat,
An' I don't want none of your barley,
But I want some flour in half an hour,
To bake a cake for Charlie.

Oh Charlie he's a fine young man,
Oh Charlie he's a dandy,
Charlie likes to kiss the gals
An' he can do it handy.

The higher up the cherry tree
The riper grows the cherry,
The more you hug an' kiss a gal
The more she wants to marry.

Over the river to feed them sheep
On buckwheat cakes and barley,
We don't care what the old folks say,
Over the river to Charlie!

Grab her by the lily white hand,
An' lead her like a pigeon,
Make her dance the Weev'ly Wheat
An' lose all her religion.

Obviously assembled of disparate pieces.
Collected Missouri, 1922.
"The players form in two parallel rows, with the girls on one side and the boys on the other. The boy and the girl at the opposite ends of their respective lines swagger out to the center and swing, then return to their places, to be followed by the next couple. When all have swung, the whole party parades about the room, swinging at intervals, after which the lines are reformed and the performance repeated. Movements are sometimes introduced which makes the whole thing a sort of burlesque of the Virginia Reel."

Version C
I'd like to marry Charlie boy,
But I wouldn't marry his cousin,
I can git plenty of men like you
For forty cents a dozen.

I must have your best of wheat,
I must have your best of barley,
An' I must have your best of rye
To bake a cake for Charlie.

Version E
Mammy's gone to Shawnee town,
And Daddy's gone to Dover,
Aunt Sally wore her slippers out
Tripping Charlie over.

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

Think I'd marry the likes of you?
Think I'd marry my cousin?
Why, I can get such lads as you
At sixteen cents a dozen!

If you can get such lads as me
At sixteen cents a dozen,
You'd better buy a baker load
And ship them down to Boston.

Charlie he's a nice young man,
Charlie he's a dandy,
Charlie he's the very lad
That stole my strip-ed candy!

A late version, collected Springfield, MO, 1934; text called "Trip Charlie" 'when he was a boy'.

Version G
Weevily wheat ain't fit to eat
And neither is the barley,
I'll take some of the best of flour
To bake a cake for Charlie.

Oh Charlie he's a nice young man,
Charlie he's a dandy,
Charlie loves to kiss the girls
And feed them peppermint candy.
Collected in Arkansas, 1941.