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DTStudy: Jolly Is the Miller

DigiTrad:
JOLLY IS THE MILLER


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Same Old Man (from Rita Connolly) (6)
Origins:same old man, sittin at the mill (17)


Joe Offer 06 Mar 13 - 05:12 PM
Joe Offer 06 Mar 13 - 05:22 PM
Joe Offer 06 Mar 13 - 06:00 PM
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Subject: DTStudy: Jolly Is the Miller
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 05:12 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


Seems to me that this song is the basis for the many-versioned bluegrass song, "Same Old Man, Workin'/Sittin' at the Mill," although I think "Same Old Man" is a 20th century composition. I'd like ot know more about both songs.
Here are the Digital Tradition Lyrics:

JOLLY IS THE MILLER

Jolly* is the miller that lives by the mill
The wheel goes 'round with a right good will
With a hand upon the hopper and another on the sack
The ladies go forward and the gents go back.

* or "Charlie"

A play-party collected in the 1940s and 1950s. RG
@playparty @work
filename[ OVRHILL5
TUNE FILE: OVERHILL
CLICK TO PLAY
RG
I didn't find anything in the Traditional Ballad Index, but their index is broken and maybe I'm not looking in the right place.

Roud has many versions, mostly from the U.S.


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Subject: ADD Version: The Jolly Miller (Hudson)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 05:22 PM

Here's the version from Arthur Palmer Hudson, Folksongs of Mississippi and Their Background (Folklorica, 1981), pp 300-301

153
THE JOLLY MILLER

Happy is the miller boy, stands by his mill;
Every time the mill turns, turns to his will;
One hand in the hopper and the other in the sack,
Every time the mill turns, turns right back.

Happy is the miller boy, stands by the mill;
Every time the mill turns, turns to his will;
One hand in the hopper and the other in the sack,
Ladies step forward and gents step back.


Notes: This is a ring game, the boys and girls forming concentric circles, the girls in the inner circle facing the boys. It, too, is a dance.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jolly Is the Miller
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 06:00 PM

Here are a couple posts from the "Same Old Man" thread that should show the tie with "Jolly Is the Miller:

Thread #5467   Message #828160
Posted By: Jerry Rasmussen
16-Nov-02 - 11:03 PM
Thread Name: Origins:same old man, sittin at the mill
Subject: ADD: The Old Man At The Mill

Joe Offer brought this thread to my attention. Here are the words as I sing them. All but the "Blackbird" verse come from a recording by Clarence Ashley and friends on Old-Time Music at Clarence Ashley's released by Folkways. The two volumes have been reissued on CD by the Smithsonian. If I could only keep two folk music CDs, it would be these two..

The "blackbird" verse comes from the Leather Wing Bat, which was recorded by Burl Ives..

The Old Man At The Mill

Chorus:
         It's the same old man, living at the mill
         And the mill turns around of its own free will
         One hand in the hopper and the other in the sack
         Ladies step forward and the gents fall back

Then said the raven as she flew
If I was a young man, I'd have two
One for to knit and one for to sew
And I'd have a little ribbon to my bow, bow, bow
      
Then said the blackbird sitting in a chair
Once I courted a lady fair
But she turned fickle and she turned her back
And ever since then, my head's been black

Then said the owl with his head all a white
A lonesome day and a lonesome night
I thought I heard a pretty girl say
I court all night and I sleep all day

My old man's from Kalamazoo
And he don't wear no yes I do's
First to the left and then to the right
This old mill grinds day and night

Knowing Peter Stampfel, don't be surprised if his lyrics bear faint resemblance to the original.. that's why he and the Holy Modal Rounder's were so much fun..

I recorded this on the album Handful Of Songs, on the Jackrabbit label.

Jerry


Thread #5467   Message #828376
Posted By: nickp
17-Nov-02 - 10:53 AM
Thread Name: Origins:same old man, sittin at the mill
Subject: ADD Version: Same Old Man

Here's what I sing - they are a complilation from various sources - looks like I can extend it a bit with some of those previously mentioned


SAME OLD MAN

Same old man sitting at the mill
Mill turns around of its own free will
Hand in the hopper and the other in the sack
Ladies step forward and the gents fall back

Down said the owl with his head all white
Lonesome day and lonesome night
Thought I heard a pretty girl say
Court all night and sleep next day

Men said the raven as she flew
If I was a young girl I'd have two
One for to fetch and the other for to sow
I'd add another string to my bow, bow, bow

Now said the tiny little leather winged bat
I'll tell you the reason that
The reason that I fly by night
Is I have lost my heart's delight

My old man's in Kalamazoo
And he don't wear no… – yes I do!
First to the left and then to the right
This old mill grinds day and night

Well I live at the mill and I spend my time
Gazing at a picture of the girl in my mind
You're so pretty, lord, what'm I gonna do
Got any grain and I'll grind it for you


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