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Origins: (Dear Old) Buffalo Boy

Related threads:
ADD: When You Comin' to Court Me? / Buffalo Boy (12)
Lyr Add: Dear Old Mountain Boy (2)
Lyr Add: Nicol o' Cod (David Herd's manuscripts) (1)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Buffalo Boy
Buffalo Boy (Lomax) (from The Folk Songs of North America, by Alan Lomax)


Joe Offer 29 Jun 99 - 03:25 PM
29 Jun 99 - 05:29 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 99 - 06:26 PM
Dale Rose 29 Jun 99 - 07:21 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 99 - 09:34 PM
Sandy Paton 30 Jun 99 - 12:24 AM
Joe Offer 27 Jul 00 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 27 Jul 00 - 05:11 PM
harpgirl 11 Dec 04 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,jeanne gershom 22 Feb 11 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,David Usher 11 Sep 11 - 02:14 AM
GUEST 11 Sep 11 - 02:18 AM
Don Firth 11 Sep 11 - 01:37 PM
OlgaJ 11 Sep 11 - 01:50 PM
Mrrzy 11 Sep 11 - 03:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Sep 15 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,Arkie 07 Sep 15 - 08:07 PM
BrooklynJay 07 Sep 15 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Sep 15 - 07:52 AM
Mrrzy 08 Sep 15 - 11:15 AM
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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: BUFFALO BOY^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 03:25 PM

The conversation songs thread made me think of this one. It doesn't seem to be in the database, although I suppose somebody will point it out to me as soon as I post it. Can anybody furnish more versions, or tell us the story behind the song?
It works great as a campfire song, and it's almost as obnoxious as "There's a Hole in the Bucket, Dear Liza," which my kid sister used to sing incessantly to annoy me. Wish I had known this one back then, so I could get back at her.
-Joe Offer-

BUFFALO BOY

She:
When are we gonna get married, married, married?
When are we gonna get married, dear old buffalo boy?

He:
I guess we'll marry in a week, week, week,
I guess we'll marry in a week, that is, if the weather be good.

How will you come to the wedding, wedding, wedding?
How will you come to the wedding, dear old buffalo boy?

I guess I'll come in my oxcart, oxcart, oxcart.
I guess I'll come in my oxcart, that is, if the weather be good.

Why don't you come in your buggy, buggy, buggy?
Why don't you come in your buggy, dear old buffalo boy?

My ox won't fit in my buggy, buggy, buggy.
My ox won't fit in my buggy, not even if the weather be good.

Who will you bring to the wedding, wedding, wedding?
Who will you bring to the wedding, dear old buffalo boy?

I guess I'll bring my children, children, children.
I guess I'll bring my children, that is, if the weather be good.

I didn't know you had no children, children, children.
I didn't know you had no children, dear old buffalo boy.

Oh, yes, I have five children, children, children.
Oh, yes, I have five children, six if the weather be good.

She:
There ain't gonna be no wedding, wedding, wedding.
There ain't gonna be no wedding, not even if the weather be good.

JRO

MIDI file: BUFFAL~1.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: Buffalo Boy
Text: By traditional
Key: D
TimeSig: 2/4 24 8
Start
0096 1 62 110 0046 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0046 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0046 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0046 0 62 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0032 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0032 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0032 1 62 110 0046 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0046 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0046 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0046 0 62 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0032 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 66 110 0046 0 66 000 0002 1 66 110 0046 0 66 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Buffalo Boy
M:2/4
Q:1/4=120
K:D
D3DD2DD|E2F4A2|-A2E4A2|-A2B4A2|-A2DDD2DD|
E2F4A2|-A2E2A2FF|E2D7/2||

^^


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Subject: RE: Buffalo Boy
From:
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 05:29 PM

A ballad of the 1620's. See "Nicol o Cod" in the Scarce Songs 1 file at www.erols.com/olsonw for earliest texts and some bibliography of the song.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NICOL O'COD^^ and NICHOLAS WOOD
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 06:26 PM

I've taken the liberty of copying some information from Bruce Olson's Web site. Hope you dn't mind, Bruce, because I think it's fascinating.
-Joe Offer-

After a few years lapse, the printers company of J. Wright, J. Grismond, C. Wright, E. Wright, J. Gosson and F. Coles caught up a bit by entering 23 ballads in the Stationers' Register on June 1, 1629. Six are lost; "Sir Andrew Barton" is a Child ballad; three others (all traditional) follow below; and "Greensickness Grief" and "The distressed Virgin" have verses that appear later in traditional songs. Below is one that survived only as a traditional song

NICOL O'COD

"Whan'll we be marry'd,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"We'll be marry'd o' Monday,
An' is na the reason gude?"
"Will we be marry'd nae sooner,
My own sweet Nicol o' Cod?"
"Wad ye be marry'd o' Sunday?
I think the auld runt be gane mad."

"Whae'll we hae at the wadding,
My own dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"We'll hae father and mother,
An' is na the reason gude?"
"Will we na hae nae mae,
My ain dear Nico o' Cod?"
"Wad ye hae a' the hail warld?
I think the quld runt be gane mad."

"What'll we hae to the wadding,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"We'll hae cheese and bread,
An' is na the reason gude?"
"Will we na hae na mae,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"

"Wad ye hae nae sack and canary?
I think the auld runt be gane mad."

"Whan'll we gang to our bed,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"We'll gang whan other folk gang,
An' is na the reason gude?"
"Will we na gang nae sooner,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"Wad ye gang at the sunsetting?
I think the auld runt be gane mad."

"What will we do i' our bed,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"We will kiss and clap,
An' is na the reason gude?"
"Will we nae do nae mae,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"Wad ye do't a' the night over?
I think the auld runt be gane mad."

The text above is from Hans Hecht's Songs from David Herd's Manuscripts, 1904. The actual manuscripts date about 1776. This version of the song appears to be the earliest extant text of a ballad entered in the Stationers' Register as "Nicoll a Cod" on June 1, 1629. The burden line, "My own sweet Nicol a Cod" was quoted a few times in the 17th century. Martin Parker in The Legend of Leonard Lackwit, 1633, listed "Nichole-a-Cod" among those ballads of which he knew not the author. The tune "Nichol o Cod" was called for an a late 17th century broadside ballad, "Joan's Victory Over Her Fellow Servants".

American versions of this song include "The Mountaineer's Courtship" and "Buffalo Boy". It is said to have been sung by the Hutchinson Family of singers in the 19th century]

J. O. Halliwell-Phillips in The Nursery Rhymes of England, 1846, gives another version, untitled:

When shall we be married,
My dear Nicholas Wood?
We will be married on Monday,
And will not that be very good?
What, shall we be married no sooner?
Why sure the man's gone wood!

What shall we have for our dinner,
My dear Nicholas Wood?
We will have bacon and pudding,
And will not that be very good?
What, shall we have nothing more?
Why sure the man's gone wood!

Who shall we have at our wedding,
My dear Nicholas Wood?
We will have mammy and daddy,
And will that not be very good?
What, whall we have nobody else?
Why sure the man's gone wood!

Nicol o Cod is here confused with Nicholas Wood, the Great Glutton of Kent. For a ballad on Wood by Richard Climsell, 1630, see The Pepys Ballads, I, p.72, 1987, or with notes, H. E. Rollins' A Pepysian Garland, p. 342, 1922.

Additional texts:
My Old Sweet Nicol: Journal of the Folksong Society #35, p. 257, 1931.
When shall We get Married: A. Williams, Folksongs of the Upper Thames, p. 168, 1923.
John and Mary: Roy Palmer, Songs of the Midlands, p. 41, 1972. (see recording below)
The Country Courtship: P. Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, #127, 1975(GB), 1984(US)
When shall we get Married: J. Reeves, The Idiom of the People, #110, 1958. (Nickety Nod or Nickledy Cod) with note of other versions in Cecil Sharp's MSS)

Recordings:
Mountaineer's Courtship: Mr. and Mrs. Ernest V. Stoneman, Folkways FA 2953.
When shall we get married, John: Julie West and Roy Palmer, Topic 12TS210.

^^


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE COURTIN' SONG (Symington, Douglas)^^
From: Dale Rose
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 07:21 PM

It was also recorded as THE COURTIN' SONG by Jim Symington and Patti Douglas on An Evening On Buford Mountain, Fontana 27537. (Stereo 67537) Symington was later a US Congressman from Missouri, and is the son of the late Senator Stuart Symington.

THE COURTIN' SONG

(spoken asides by Symington are in parentheses)

When ya gonna court me, court me, court me,
When ya gonna court me, my dear little mountain boy?

Reckon I'll court ya on Sunday, Sunday, on Sunday,
Reckon I'll court ya on Sunday, iffen the weather be good
(I hope it rains)

How long ya gonna court me, court me, court me,
How long ya gonna court me, my dear little mountain boy?

Reckon I'll court ya most the night, most the night, most the night,
Reckon I'll court ya most the night, iffen the weather be good.
(Cloudy)

When we gonna get married, married, married,
When ya gonna get married, my dear little mountain boy?

Reckon we'll marry on Tuesday, Tuesday, yes, Tuesday,
Reckon we'll marry on Tuesday, iffen the weather be good.
(won't)

How we gonna get to the weddnin, weddnin, the weddnin,
How we gonna get to the weddnin, my dear little mountain boy?

Reckon we'll go in my oxcart, my ox cart, yes, my ox cart,
Reckon we'll go in my ox cart, if the weather be good.

Well, why don't you bring your buggy, your buggy, your buggy,
Why don't you bring your buggy, my dear little mountain boy?

Buggy won't fit in my ox cart, my ox cart, (Symington laughs) my ox cart,
Buggy won't fit in my ox cart, even if the weather be good.

Well, now who ya goin to bring to the weddnin, the weddnin, the weddnin,
Who ya goin to bring to the weddnin, my dear little mountain boy?

Reckon I'll bring my children, my children, my children,
Yep, I'll bring my children, even if the weather's good.

Well, I didn't know you had any children, children, children,
I didn't know you had any children, my dear little mountain boy.

Yes, I got five children, children, children,
Yep, I got five children. (Six if the weather be good)

There ain't gonna be no weddnin.

No weddnin?

Uh, no weddning. Ain't gonna be no weddnin.

Even if the weather be good?

NO!!

^^

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 26-Jun-02.


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Subject: Tune Add: BUFFALO BOY^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 09:34 PM

Here's a version of the tune from The Folk Songs of North America, by Alan Lomax. the lyrics are just about what Dale posted. Lomax didn't give any worthwhile explanatory infomation about the song in this book
-Joe Offer-

MIDI file: BUFFAL~2.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: BUFFALO BOY
Text: By traditional
Copyright: (Lomax - Folk Songs of North America)
Key: E
TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Start
0000 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 68 110 0336 0 68 000 0048 1 68 110 0160 0 68 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 66 110 0336 0 66 000 0048 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0032 1 68 110 0336 0 68 000 0048 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 68 110 0336 0 68 000 0048 1 68 110 0160 0 68 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0032 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 63 110 0160 0 63 000 0032 1 64 110 0528 0 64 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Buffalo Boy
M:4/4
Q:1/4=120
K:E
B,2EEE2EE|E2G4G2|E2F4F2|A2G4E2|B,2EEE2EE|
E2G4G2|E2F2A2GG|D2E11/2||

^^


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Subject: RE: Buffalo Boy
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 30 Jun 99 - 12:24 AM

WOW! This community continues to stun me! Great work, guys, and I'm sure glad Bruce still watches over us with his academic benevolence. He's incredible!

Sandy


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Subject: Buffalo Boy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jul 00 - 04:12 PM

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index

Buffalo Boy

DESCRIPTION: The girl asks the Buffalo Boy when they will wed. He suggests soon. (Assorted stanzas follow.) She asks who he will bring to the wedding. He suggests his children. She didn't know he had children. When assured he does, she calls off the wedding
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (recording, Mr. & Mrs. Ernest V. Stoneman)
KEYWORDS: courting wedding children rejection humorous
FOUND IN: US(MA)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Lomax-FSNA 162, "Buffalo Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 345, "Buffalo Boy" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: MacEdward Leach and Henry Glassie, _A Guide for Collectiors of Oral Traditions and Folk Cultural Material in Pennsylvania_, Pennsylvania historical and Museum Commission, 1973, pp. 35-36, "A Mountaineer's Courtship" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #313
RECORDINGS:
Mr. & Mrs. Ernest V. Stoneman, "The Mountaineer's Courtship" (OKeh 45125, 1927; on AAFM3) (Victor 20880, 1927)
The Hillbillies, "Mountaineer's Courtship" (Vocalion 5115, c. 1927)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Country Courtship" (theme)
NOTES: Kennedy considers this to be a version of "The Country Courtship," and the forms, and even the verses, are similar. Roud lumps them. However, this version has a different punch line. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.1
File: LoF162

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: add: Dear Old Mountain Boy
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 27 Jul 00 - 05:11 PM

I noted in an earlier thread that it derives from "Nicol o Cod", c 1629. It's in Scarce Songs 1 on my website. www.erols.com/olsonw


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Subject: RE: Buffalo Boy
From: harpgirl
Date: 11 Dec 04 - 01:10 AM

Theodore Bikel calls it a variant of the "Soldier, soldier, will you marry me now" theme.

Recorded by Theodore Bikel, Elecctra EKL175


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Buffalo Boy
From: GUEST,jeanne gershom
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 08:43 PM

In both Buffalo Boy and Nicol o the last stanza is sung as a duet.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Mountain Boy
From: GUEST,David Usher
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 02:14 AM

Here is a film made in 1966 of my parents doing "Dear Old Buffalo Boy", which appears to be a latter-day version of this song. My parents knew Dad Stoneman and used to jam with him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S9yncFFnDk


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Buffalo Boy
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 02:18 AM

Here are my parents, who were folksingers back then, in a film shot in 1966 doing Dear Old Buffalo Boy. This song is a scream if acted properly. My parents have this one down pat. The words and tune are right here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S9yncFFnDk


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Subject: RE: Origins: (Dear Old) Buffalo Boy
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 01:37 PM

Judy Flenniken and I did a whole series of concerts together at colleges and universities around the Pacific Northwest in 1963, winding up the tour in the Seattle Center Playhouse. "Buffalo Boy," which I'd picked up from Theodore Bikel's record "Bravo Bikel!" was one of the songs we did. A natural.

When I did the verse about "I guess I'll bring my children," Judy would just give me a long, cold stare. Still vamping on our guitars, she'd hold it while I sort of gazed around nonchalantly, all innocence, carefully examining the ceiling. After many long seconds, the audience would start to laugh. Then she'd come in with "I didn't know you had no children….."

Timing is everything.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins: (Dear Old) Buffalo Boy
From: OlgaJ
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 01:50 PM

A couple of our friends, Bob McLean & Derrick Harris, from Northamptonshire (UK) do this song absolutely brilliantly. Don't know where they picked it up but they have been doing it for years. Two men doing the man's part and the woman's part really works well if you want a good laugh. They also do a brillian version of Allouette.


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Subject: RE: Origins: (Dear Old) Buffalo Boy
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 03:39 PM

Wow. I wouldn't have thought this song HAD an origin... amazing place here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: (Dear Old) Buffalo Boy
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 02:34 PM

Despite their annoying characteristics, sometimes spammers revive gems of threads. This is one of those - it's poignant to read through today and come across Don Firth's remarks. As I started reading Joe's opening posts I heard Bikel's version of the song in my head - my father owned the album and taped it for me years ago. I was thinking I would share information about the "Bravo, Bikel" album, but when I reached Don's remarks I knew he'd have all of that information, and of course he did. Along with a charming story of its performance.


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Subject: RE: Origins: (Dear Old) Buffalo Boy
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 08:07 PM

This song was once frequently sung in living rooms and on porches and all sorts of music gatherings in Stone County Arkansas. It is still sung from time to time at the Ozark Folk Center. And as I may have mentioned in some other thread, this song was presented to me on a list by some visitors to the Folk Center who thought it offensive and that it should be banned from our stage. I was a little shocked and took no further action.


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Subject: RE: Origins: (Dear Old) Buffalo Boy
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 09:13 PM

I remember Jean Ritchie used to sing this as a duet with Oscar Brand. Their version, however, was "reckless boy." Don't know offhand when she first learned it.

I always thought it was a charming, funny song and not in the least ways offensive. But, that's just me.


Jay


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Subject: RE: Origins: (Dear Old) Buffalo Boy
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 07:52 AM

Everything is offensive to somebody.

(Wouldn't like to be them, though.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: (Dear Old) Buffalo Boy
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 11:15 AM

OK, maybe I'm an idiot, but what is offensive about this song?


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