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Lyr Req: Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss

DigiTrad:
BLUE-EYED GIRL
PRETTY LITTLE MISS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink (77)
Lyr Add: Fly Around My Blue-Eyed Gal (3)


BFP 14 Aug 99 - 05:41 PM
Fred 17 Dec 99 - 05:44 PM
Stewie 17 Dec 99 - 07:00 PM
Chet W. 17 Dec 99 - 07:15 PM
Stewie 18 Dec 99 - 02:49 AM
raredance 18 Dec 99 - 11:06 AM
Amos 15 Mar 00 - 03:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Mar 00 - 07:31 PM
Amos 15 Mar 00 - 08:18 PM
Jeep man 24 Aug 01 - 09:18 PM
Sorcha 24 Aug 01 - 09:25 PM
toadfrog 24 Aug 01 - 11:28 PM
Coyote Breath 25 Aug 01 - 12:17 AM
Finn McCool 25 Aug 01 - 09:43 AM
Jeep man 25 Aug 01 - 11:06 AM
Joe Offer 25 May 04 - 09:01 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 14 - 10:21 AM
Brian Peters 06 Jul 14 - 05:09 PM
Airymouse 08 Jul 14 - 08:25 AM
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Subject: Lyr. to Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss
From: BFP
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 05:41 PM

Just returned from the Augusta Festival and a woman banjo player performed Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss. She sang several verses to the song which I promptly forgot. They were funny and two rather rabald. I play this song and would like to learn more verses. The only one I know is: Never trust an old man, I'll tell you the reason why. He always spits tobacco juice and never zips his fly. I appreciate you help.


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Subject: Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss
From: Fred
Date: 17 Dec 99 - 05:44 PM

This one has been tried before unsuccessfully, but I gotta believe there's someone out there who knows this old mountain song. I heard Laura Boosinger add plenty of bright, perky lyrics, and the previous thread-spinner (Betty Anne) postulated that a few porno verses also exist. How's that for a tease?


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Subject: Lyr Add: FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS
From: Stewie
Date: 17 Dec 99 - 07:00 PM

Here's one set of lyrics, but they're not bawdy:

FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS

CHORUS: Fly around, my pretty little miss.
Fly around, my daisy.
Fly around, my pretty little miss.
You almost drive me crazy.

The higher up the cherry tree,
The riper grows the cherries.
The more you hug and kiss the girls,
The sooner they will marry. CHORUS

Coffee grows on white oak tree.
The river flows with brandy.
If I had my pretty little miss,
I'd feed her sugar candy. CHORUS

Going to get some weevily wheat.
I'm going to get some barley.
Going to get some weevily wheat
And take a cake to Charlie. CHORUS

Source: New Lost City Ramblers 'Volume 3' Folkways LP FA2398.

Like most fiddle tunes, the verses of the song consist mainly of floaters. There are several reissues that are readily available on CD at the moment, but none of them is bawdy:

The Skillet Lickers 'Old Time Fiddle Tunes and Songs from North Georgia' County CD-3509. Riley Puckett on lead vocals sings verses like:

Eighteen pound of meat a week
Whiskey in the still
How can a young man stay at home
When the girls all look so well

I will try to transcribe it later.

There is also a version by Frank Blevins and His Tar Heel Rattlers on a wonderful CD: Various Artists 'Music From the Lost Provinces' Old Hat CD 1001. The debut CD for the label.

There is a spirited version by the Hillbillies with Elvis Alderman on fiddle. They call it 'Blue Eyed Girl' and it is available on: The Hillbillies/Al Hopkins and His Buckle Busters 'Complete Recorded Works Volume 1 1925-1926 Document DOCD-8039.

Regards, Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS
From: Chet W.
Date: 17 Dec 99 - 07:15 PM

I don't know how I came to know these words or this tune or if they were together when I got them:

CHORUS: Fly around, my pretty little miss. Fly around, my Sadie.
You slighted me and broke my heart. You almost drive me crazy.

Yonder stands my own true love. Reckon how I know?
I can tell her by her underclothes, hangin' down so low.

Yonder stands my own true love. She's all dressed in red.
Next to her, the other girls look like chicken heads.

Yonder sits my own true love a-sittin' in the shade.
It takes a quart of buttermilk to get her biscuits made.

Yonder stands my own true love. She's all dressed in black.
Smokes them Camel cigarettes, fifteen cents a pack.

Yonder goes my own true love, going into town.
The cowboys come to see her dance from fifteen miles around.

Yonder comes my own true love, come to get my money.
She never ever pays me back. She really thinks that's funny.

Yonder lays my own true love. Many times I've told her.
They found her with a grizzly bear a-gnawin' on her shoulder.

Yonder lays my own true love, coffin made of pine.
I was dying for her love. I guess she died for mine.

Yonder lays my own true love, pushin' up the daisies.
I reckon she'll just lay awhile. It ain't because she's lazy.

Chorus after each verse, followed by instrumental break.

Chet


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Subject: Lyr Add: FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 02:49 AM

Here's the Skillet Licker version from the late 1920s, as best as I can transcribe it from Riley Puckett's less than clear vocals. Though the title is 'Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss', that line does not actually appear in the song. There is no specific chorus in this version, simply repetition of several verses.

FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS

Put that meat all under the bed
Yonder comes the owner
Sold my hog and bought me a mule
Ain't gonna pray no more

Eighteen pounds of meat a week
Whisky in a still
How can the young men stay at home
When the girls all look so well

Fare you well my pretty little miss
Fare you well my honey
If I'm not there by the middle of the week
You can look for me on Sunday

Jaybird died with the whooping cough
Sparrow died with the colic
Long came a red bird fiddle on a (peg ?)
Wind along girls to the frolic

Eighteen pounds of meat a week
Whisky in a still
How can the young men stay at home
When the girls all look so well

Put that meat all under the bed
Yonder comes the owner
Sold my hog and bought me a mule
Ain't gonna pray no more

Fare you well my pretty little miss
Fare you well my honey
If I'm not there by the middle of the week
You can look for me on Sunday

Eighteen pounds of meat a week
Whisky in a still
How can the young men stay at home
When the girls all look so well Spoken: Court 'em, boys, court 'em.

Source: The Skillet Lickers 'Old-Time Fiddle Tunes and Songs from North Georgia' County CD-3509


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Subject: Lyr Add: FLY AROUND, MY BLUE-EYED GIRL
From: raredance
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 11:06 AM

The Frank C Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore groups several versions of this under the "Fly Around My Blue-Eyed Girl" heading. As Stewie correctly pointed out the verses hop around especially in the play-party sets. The Brown Collection puts the "Coffe Grows On White Oak Trees" group in the play party section and the "Blue-eyed Girl" group in the folk lyric section, but notes that the "Blue-eyed Girl" group may have been used for play parties. It also notes the connection with "Shady Grove", the tunes and the lyrics are pretty interchangeable.

FLY AROUND, MY BLUE-EYED GIRL

A. This lyric was contributed by Bascom Lamar Lunsford of Turkey Creek, NC. He said he learned it from a banjo picker, Fletch Rymer in 1898.

How old are you, my pretty little miss?
How old are you my honey?
She looked at me with a smiling look;
"I'll be sixteen next Sunday."

CHORUS:
It's fly around, my blue-eyed girl,
It's fly around my daisy;
It's fly around, my blue-eyed girl,
You've done run me crazy.

Will you marry me, my pretty little miss?
Will you marry me, honey?
She looked at me with a smiling look;
I'll marry you some Sunday.

It's every day and Sunday too
It seems so dark and hazy
I'm thinking about my blue-eyed girl-
She's done run me crazy

It's every day and Sunday too
I hang my head and cry;
I'm thinking about my blue-eyed girl -
Oh, surely I will die!

If I had no horse at all
I'd be found a-crawlin'
Up and down the rocky branch
Looking for my darlin'

B. This one was from James York of Olin, NC. It's a real composite since the third verse has apparently crept in from a prison song and the last verse from another song called "Bonnie Blue Eyes"

Fly around, my blue eyed girl,
Fly around, my daisy; Fly around, myblue eyed girl,
You almost run me crazy.

Hard to love when you can't be loved,
It's hard to change your mind.
You've broke my heart, you've killed me dead,
You left me far behind.

They bound my hands with iron bands,
They bound my feet with chains;
And before I leave my sweet daisy
I'd wear the old shackles again.

Don't cry, my bonnie blue eyes,
Don't cry, my bonnie, don't cry
For if you cry you'll spoil you eyes;
Don't cry, my bonnie blue eyes.

C. This one was contributed of Otis Kuykendall of Asheville, NC

The stormy clouds are rising,
It sure looks like rain.
Hitch up Mike and Charlie, boys
And drive little Liza Jane.

CHORUS:
Fly around my pretty little miss,
Fly around my daisy,
Fly around, my pretty little miss,
You almost run me crazy.

Went up to the mountain top,
Gave my horn a blow.
Thought I heard somebody say,
Yonder comes my beau.

You may ride the grey horse
And I will ride the roan;
You may court the other girl,
But leave mine alone.

D. The last one in this group was from the singing of Mrs. N J Herring of Tomahawk, NC. This is also very composite with a chorus from "Shady Grove", a verse from the play party song "Wish I Had A Needle and Thread" and a floating verse about the yellow girl.

Fly around, my blue-eyed miss,
Fly around , my daisy
Fly around my blue-eyed miss,
You're about to run me crazy.

CHORUS:
Shady Grove, my little love,
Shady Gove, I say;
Shady Gove my little love,
Going far away.

Massy had a yellow girl,
Brought her from the south;
Her hair was kinked uon her head
She couldn't shut her mouth.

I wish I had a needle and thread
As fine as I could sew;
I'd sew my sweetheart to my side
And down the river I'd go.

Wish I had a banjo string
Made of golden twine;
Every tune I could pick on it
'I wish that gal was mine.'

Wish I was a mocking-bird
In yonders mountain high;
I'd take wings and fly
To my true love's side.

rich r


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Subject: Lyr Add: FLY AROUND, MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS
From: Amos
Date: 15 Mar 00 - 03:21 PM

This might well do in the DT. There have been several threads on it over the years. I have added a verse related to "Be Sixteen on Sunday" which was in the version I first heard.

FLY AROUND, MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS

CHORUS: Fly around, my pretty little miss.
Fly around, my daisy.
Fly around, my pretty little miss.
You almost drive me crazy.

How old are you, my pretty little miss?
How old are you, my honey?
She answered me with a pretty little smile,
"I'll be sixteen next Sunday." CHORUS

The higher up the cherry tree,
The riper grows the cherries.
The more you hug and kiss the girls,
The sooner they will marry. CHORUS

Coffee grows on white oak trees.
The river flows with brandy.
If I had my pretty little miss,
I'd feed her sugar candy. CHORUS

Going to get some weevily wheat.
I'm going to get some barley.
Going to get some weevily wheat,
And bake a cake for Charlie. CHORUS

Historical note from Music from the Lost Provinces (http://web.ukonline.co.uk/mustrad/articles/lostprov.htm)

In 1927 the trio auditioned for a talent scout from the Columbia Phonograph Company and in November of that year traveled to Atlanta to make records under the supervision of Frank B Walker. A name was created on the spot for the band: Frank Blevins and His Tar Heel Rattlers. Only 16 years old at the time, Frank led the band with spirited fiddling and singing that belied his age. Inspired by a few shots of Georgia corn liquor, they first recorded the traditional mountain dance tune Sally Ann, a rendition with such verve and passion that it rivals any other. Next they performed I've Got No Honey Babe Now, a song that shares some lyrics with the old banjo piece Honey Babe, but with a different melody. Old Aunt Betsy was a Frank Blevins original, combining a simple theme with exuberant delivery. The session ended with a second traditional dance tune, Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss.

Cf: "Weevily Wheat" in the DT database.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Mar 00 - 07:31 PM

Is that the same tune as "Weevily Wheat"?  If not, would you post a midi?

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss
From: Amos
Date: 15 Mar 00 - 08:18 PM

I think it is the same tune, Malcolm, but I don't have a MIDI set up right now. Hold on a sec...nope it's not the same -- Weevily Wheat is a modal sort of tune, minor, and this one is a sparky 1-7-1-5 banjo sorta tune. I'll try and get a midi of it made this weekend and post it up for you, but it will be from memory.


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Subject: FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS
From: Jeep man
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 09:18 PM

Sure would like to have the old words to this. I believe this song is what later became SHADY GROVE. Help is needed. Jeep


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Subject: RE: FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 09:25 PM

Jim, I think you may have it backward---I think Shady Grove pre dates Pretty Little Miss. Put both Shady Grove and Pretty Little Miss in the white search box called Digitrad and Forum Search (different searches of course) and check out all the stuff that comes up.


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Subject: RE: FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS
From: toadfrog
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 11:28 PM

There is a "Fly Around My Blue Eyed Gal" which has the same tune. And a "BETTY ANNE" to the tune of "Shady Grove," with a couple of verses apparently lifted from Fly Around etc. Threads on the song are HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE

The song scans the same as "Shady Grove," so that is an easy matter to lift verses to the one and move them to the other. I think it's going a bit far to conclude that because verses from one song crop up in another the songs are the same. Especially where it's possible the person you just heard sing the song could have been the very first one to throw in those particular verses. Let's see:

Who's going to shoe your pretty little foot,
Who's going to glove your hand
Who's going to kiss your pretty little foot,
Who's going to prove that this pretty little song,
and all the 1327 others which have this verse in it, are all the same as Shady Grove? Not me!


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Subject: RE: FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 12:17 AM

Ken Haferman, a banjoist from Milwaukee added this verse to "Fly Around...etc."

"The higher up the plum tree, The sweeter grow the plums. The more the carpenter plies his trade, The broader grow his thumbs."


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Subject: RE: FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS
From: Finn McCool
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 09:43 AM

My favorite line from the Patty Loveless version of Pretty Little Miss is:

Mama says he's not my type
He really loves another
But he's gonna marry me
When I turn twelve this summer!

--Finn


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Subject: RE: FLY AROUND MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS
From: Jeep man
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 11:06 AM

Thanks, Folks.This gives me plenty to work on. Jeep Man


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 May 04 - 09:01 PM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss

DESCRIPTION: Dance tune: "Fly around my pretty little miss/Fly around my daisy/Fly around my pretty little miss/You almost drive me crazy." Floating verses: "The higher up the cherry tree/The riper grow the cherries..." "Going to get some weevily wheat..."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (collected by Cecil Sharp, but some of the floating verses also show up in SharpAp 88, "Betty Anne," which he collected in 1916)
KEYWORDS: love dancing nonballad floatingverses dancetune
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 66, "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownIII 286, "Fly Around, My Blue-Eyed Girl" (4 texts, but the "D" text is mostly "Shady Grove"); also 78, "Coffee Grows on White Oak Trees" (7 texts plus 1 excerpt and mention of 1 more, but almost all mixed -- all except "H" have the "Coffee grows" stanza, but "A" also has verses from "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss"; "and "C" through "H" are mostly "Little Pink"; "B" is mixed with "Raccoon" or some such)
Hudson 145, p. 293, [no title] (1 fragment, the single stanza "The higher up the cherry tree")
SharpAp 268, "The Higher Up the Cherry Tree" (1 text, 1 tune); also 88, "Betty Anne" (1 text, 1 tune, with lyrics from "Shady Grove," "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss" and "Going Across the Sea")
Darling-NAS, p. 254, "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 39, "Fly Around My Blue-Eyed Gal" (1 text)
DT, BLUEYEGL*

Roud #5720
RECORDINGS:
Frank Blevins & his Tar Heel Rattlers, "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss" (Columbia 15210-D, 1927; on TimesAint01, LostProv1)
Frank Bode, "Susanna Gal" (on FBode1)
Samantha Bumgarner, "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss" (Columbia 146-D, 1924)
The Hillbillies, "Blue Eyed Girl" (Vocalion 5017, c. 1926)
Clint Howard et al, "Pretty Little Pink" (on Ashley02, WatsonAshley01)
Buell Kazee, "Dance Around My Pretty Little Miss" [fragment] (on Kazee01)
Bradley Kincaid, "Pretty Little Pink" (Brunswick 464, 1930) (Supertone 9666, 1930) (one of these is on CrowTold01, but we don't know which)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss" (on NLCR03, NLCR11, NLCRCD1)
Lee Sexton, "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss" (on MMOKCD)
Hobart Smith, "Fly Around, My Blue-Eyed Girl" (on LomaxCD1702)
Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers, "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss" (Columbia 15709-D, c. 1931; rec. 1928)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Weevily Wheat" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Coffee Grows (Four in the Middle)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Up and Down the Railroad Track" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Missus in the Big House" (meter)
cf. "Seventeen Come Sunday" [Laws O17] (floating lyrics, some tunes)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Blue-Eyed Girl
NOTES: My guess is that this is a modified version of "Weevily Wheat." But Paul Stamler thinks it's separate, and certainly it's picked up a lot of floating material. So we classify the two separately.
This should not be confused with Laws P18, "Pretty Little Miss." - RBW
File: CSW066

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 2014 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 14 - 10:21 AM

Compare this version to Bertha Hubbard Beard's "New Orleans", which you can find on YouTube.

Where do you go my pretty little miss
Where do you go my honey?
Answered me with the brightest smile,
"I go to church on Sunday (2)

Where do you live my pretty little miss
Oh, where do you live my honey?
Answered me with the brightest smile,
"I live on the hill with mummy." (2)

How old are you my pretty little miss
How old are you my honey?
Answered me with the brightest smile
"I'll be 16 next Sunday."(2)

Will you marry me my pretty little miss
Will you marry me my honey?
Answered me with the brightest smile
"I would, if it weren't for mummy."(2)

Saddle up the old gray mare
And ride from night till morning
Ride so slow we'll never get there
To see my true love darling.(2)
(Tune changes)
Coffee grows on white oak trees
The River flows with brandy
Rocks are lined with silver and gold
And the girls are sweet as candy. (2)

Put my knapsack on my back
My rifle on my shoulder
Go and fight in the Mexican war
And there I'll be a soldier. (2)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss
From: Brian Peters
Date: 06 Jul 14 - 05:09 PM

The lyric posted by the Guest above contains a lot of overlap with the British Isles song 'Seventeen Come Sunday' (Roud 277).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss
From: Airymouse
Date: 08 Jul 14 - 08:25 AM

I'm the guest above. My theory is that this song is cobbled together from three different songs, and the change in the tune in the last two verses supports this idea. On part is "Seventeen next Sunday;" one part is the play-party song,"Coffee grows on white oak trees" and the last verse of both my song an Bertha Hubbard Beard's song comes from a Mexican War song, which I have not been able to find. Anyway to see that this song stands alone you need to listen to "New Orleans" too.


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