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No Sir


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Linda Sigismondi 28 Aug 97 - 02:42 PM
dick greenhaus 28 Aug 97 - 02:49 PM
Joe Offer 28 Aug 97 - 02:56 PM
Bruce 28 Aug 97 - 03:36 PM
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Subject: No Sir
From: Linda Sigismondi
Date: 28 Aug 97 - 02:42 PM

I am looking for additional lyrics to an old song I found in a book on folk songs from Ohio. The title in this book was No Sir and it is about a maiden whose father told her to always answer the young man no. In the remaining verses, a young man askes her questions like would you mind if a go and walk with you. She answers no of course.

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Subject: RE: No Sir
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Aug 97 - 02:49 PM

It's a variant of Oh No, John. I'll see if I can dig it up on an old Carter Family Record.

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Subject: RE: No Sir
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Aug 97 - 02:56 PM

There are two versions of this song in the database, and two tunes: "All I Want Is a Handsome Man" and the more common "Oh, No John." Use the handy-dandy search box on the upper right corner of this page and search for [no John] (make sure you use the brackets, or else you'll get every song with the word "John" or "No.") There's a wonderful recording of "Oh No John" on an Omega Classics CD called "The Odyssey of Paul Robeson." The gentle humor of this song comes across very nicely with Robeson's dignified style of singing.
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: No Sir
From: Bruce
Date: 28 Aug 97 - 03:36 PM

As a folksong this is also known as "The Spanish Merchant's Daughter". It is a revamping of a 17th century song in Bodleian MS Ashmole 38, c 1630-40. The page is badly waterstained, and I couldn't get much beyond the 1st verse, which goes:

Lady why does love torment you May not I your grief remove? Have I nothing will content you With the sweet delights of love. Oh no no alas no.

A somewhat expurgated verrsion is "Consent at last" in Pills to Purge Melancholy, III, p. 82, 1719, (with music) and there are two related broadside ballads of the 17th century. The latter are ZN254 and ZN2693 in the broadside index at

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