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Lyr Add: Death of Willie

Related threads:
Lyr Req: My Darling Blue Haired Boy (29)
Lyr Req: Little Tommy (3)


JG 08 Jan 00 - 09:27 PM
Barbara 09 Jan 00 - 02:02 AM
DonMeixner 09 Jan 00 - 09:35 AM
dick greenhaus 09 Jan 00 - 11:26 AM
jg 10 Jan 00 - 02:49 AM
Bob Bolton 28 Apr 01 - 08:59 AM
Charley Noble 28 Apr 01 - 01:34 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 01 - 01:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Apr 01 - 02:35 PM
Bob Bolton 28 Apr 01 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,John Gray / Australia 29 Apr 01 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,another version 06 Sep 09 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Kirislin 02 Dec 09 - 10:37 PM
GUEST 02 Dec 09 - 10:44 PM
baumgrenze 29 Dec 09 - 12:38 AM
Charley Noble 29 Dec 09 - 08:22 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Jan 10 - 02:05 AM
Willie-O 02 Jan 10 - 08:02 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Jan 10 - 10:30 PM
GUEST,Bob Connor 18 Feb 11 - 03:50 AM
GUEST 14 May 11 - 05:11 PM
GUEST 14 May 11 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Dan 10 Jun 11 - 08:16 PM
GUEST,Doug Pitman 07 Aug 12 - 02:20 AM
JohnInKansas 08 Aug 12 - 01:52 AM
GUEST,Jerry S. 19 Nov 12 - 10:47 PM
GUEST,libby 07 Jun 13 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Ken Lombardo 10 Jun 13 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,Kathrine Fussell 16 Jul 13 - 06:05 PM
Bob Bolton 16 Jul 13 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,Bruce 14 Aug 13 - 02:11 AM
GUEST,Caroline 15 Nov 13 - 08:41 AM
GUEST 15 Nov 13 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Wynne 29 Nov 13 - 10:01 PM
GUEST 24 Jul 14 - 03:05 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Jul 14 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Bob Bolton 24 Jul 14 - 09:20 PM
Bob Bolton 24 Jul 14 - 09:26 PM
GUEST 10 Apr 15 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,# 10 Apr 15 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,Bassfiddler 25 Oct 15 - 01:04 PM
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Subject: Willy ( willie )
From: JG
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 09:27 PM

I'm after the lyrics for a song called ( I think ) "The Death of Willie "


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Subject: RE: Willy ( willie )
From: Barbara
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 02:02 AM

Not "Deep Blue Sea"? (It was Willie, what got drownded, in the deep blue sea.)
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Willy ( willie )
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 09:35 AM

Hi JG,

The Irish Rovers did a song called "Willie" on an early album. I believe that Jimmie Ferguson sang it. The melody was "The Butcher's Boy" and the song was certainly a varient of "The Butchers Boy" with lines like"

"I wish I was a Maid again" and " And every breath cried Willie Dear"

If you can't find them elsewhere in print I'll see what I can do for you.

Don


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Subject: RE: Willy ( willie )
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 11:26 AM

A major strength of DigiTrad is its ability to find stuff like this. If you search for "@death Willie" (without the quotes, you'll find a bunch; if you search for "@death Will*" you'll find both Willie and Willy, but you'll also get songs with @death and will, or Williston or whatever. But you'll get a lot in any case.


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Subject: RE: Willy ( willie )
From: jg
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 02:49 AM

Thanks to all for help on "death of Willie" but so far no go.
Certain lyrics I remember are:


They knew that he was dyin' by the freckles on his breath.
His eyeballs were draggin' in the mud.
-----------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------
No more upon the mat will he tease poor pussy cat.
Our darlin' blue-eyed boy has kicked the bucket.
Bang, bang.


It is more a hillbilly song than country and was sung by Bob Dyer, an American, who migrated to Australia after WWII.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DEATH OF WILLIE (Bob Dyer, Australia) ^^
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 08:59 AM

G'day,

This came up as a request in a separate thread ("Stewie id the Man!") and I thought it best to post to a sparate "Lyr Add" thread so the song is noticed for DigiTrad.

Thios was sung in the late '40s by Bob Dyer, who ca,e to Australia as The Last of the Hillbillies. His act probably seemed run-of-the-mill back home in USA (and was incomprehensible to the English) but it struck a chord in Aussie and he went on to become rich running radio, then TV shows. This is where he came from!

The Death of Willie
As sung by Bob Dyer, February 1939
Tune; (roughly) Little Old Log Cabin on the Plain

(Howdy folks, howdy. I guess you people have heard hillbilly singers and hillbilly musicians of every rank - but you've never heard on as rank as me! I've got a song I want to sing for you folks ? now is an awful sad song. It's called "The Death of Willie". Oh it's a sad song ... the way I sing the darned thing, it's pitiful. Anyway, it's called "The Death of Willie" .. and if Willie don't die, damn him, George and the boys'll kill him. What do you say? You all set - now here we go; get together and bear down . A one and a two and a toutely ensemble cantabile ... let her flicker!

He's gone from us forever, our darlin' blue-haired boy
Our cock-eyed darlin, we will see no more
He gently passed away on the 93rd of May
He never died so suddenly before.

We knowed that he was a'dyin' by the freckles on his breath
His eyeballs was draggin' in the mud
The doctor said the only way to save Willie's life
Was stop the circulation of the blood.
(Play it boys ... [instrumental] ...)

No more upon the mat, will he tease poor pussy cat
No more between his teeth will he chew her tail (g-nash, g-nash)
No more will he press her nose up against the red-hot stove
Our little brother Willie has kicked the pail ... kicked the bucket.

We soaked Willie's head, in the pot of boilin'lead
But, alas, all our efforts was in vain
The burglars came that night and they burgled without a light
And they burgled the mustard plasters off his chest.

We filled his mouth with glue, thinkin' that would fetch him to
But again all our efforts were in vain
For after all we tried, he just heaved a sigh and died
He sneezed, blowed his nose and died again.

(Here we go again! ... {instrumental break] ... )

I have included Bob Dyer's introduction and asides (in italics to give more of the general flavour of his performance, here in Australia, as the "Last of the Hillbillys" ... bashed-in hat, hayseed clothing, yellow socks and strumming a ukulele. (I am reliably informed that he was rated then as the third-best ukulele player in the world!)

This performance is re-released on Warren Fahey Presents Yesterday's Australia: Stars of Australian Stage & Radio, Volume 2,, Larrikin Records / National Film & Sound Archive CD LRH 430.
Regards,

Bob Bolton ^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie (Bob Dyer, Australia
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 01:34 PM

Clearly old-timey, before the age of duct tape.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie (Bob Dyer, Australia
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 01:58 PM

Is this a Bob Dyer original, or a more traditional song with Bob Dyer's personality added? It's a kick!
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie (Bob Dyer, Australia
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 02:35 PM

Not an original; it was also, apparantly, in the repertoires of Horton Barker (Virginia) and George "Pop" Maynard (Sussex), and I'm told there are broadside copies.  I feel sure that there was a discussion of the song (as Blue-Haired Boy ?) on one of the newsgroups around a year ago, but I can't find it in the archives.  Maynard's version (I think it's his; I only have the first verse) began:

Oh he's gone for evermore
Has our charming blue-haired boy
We shall never see our cross-eyed pet again
Like a dream he passed away
On the ninety-third of May
He never died so suddenly before.

I'd guess at a Music Hall origin.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie (Bob Dyer, Australia
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 10:22 PM

G'day again,

Joe Offer: Thanks for the advice (in the original 'Stewie is the Man' thread) on just adding "ADD" to get a song 'harvested' ... but this thread illustrates the other advantage to opening a separate "Lyr Add" thread - all the erudite discussion it engenders from fellow Mudcatters!

I was sure that this song was not original to Bob Dyer, but the credits from the National Library CD don't give an author. Malcolm Douglas's information is the sort of thing I expected. Bob Dyer came from a pretty good hillbilly pedigree ... poor white sharefarmer family with a team of mules, a wagon ... and just enough crop of maize to keep a corn likker still in business.

As I said above, he would have been a fairly commonplace performer back home ... and he completely puzzled the English when he went there, after his success with the Marcus show in Australia during 1937 ... but he fitted into Australia very well - and went on to prove himself an astute businessman and showbusiness practioner. (Beating performance out of mules ... and dealing in illicit alcohol ... were probably excellent traing for a career in show business!)

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie (Bob Dyer, Australia
From: GUEST,John Gray / Australia
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 09:09 AM

Thanks Bob, I really do appreciate your efforts on this. I guess I've been searching for these lyrics, off and on, for nearly 12 years now.

J.G. F.M.E.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie (Bob Dyer, Australia)
From: GUEST,another version
Date: 06 Sep 09 - 06:20 PM

twas a dark and stormy night and the sun was shining bright
and the roses dipped their petals in the mud
and the doctors they decided that to save poor Willie's life
they must stop the circulation of the blood

So they dipped his little head
in a pot of molten lead
and they laid my little Willie down to rest
and some robbers came than night
and they came without a light
and they stole the mustard plaster off his chest

No more to tease the pussy cat
or to pull her little fur
or to pull her little ears and tail
or to rub her little nose on the red hot kitchen stove
since they laid my little Willie down to rest
HE KICKED THE BUCKKK-EEETTTT!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Kirislin
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 10:37 PM

I'll write as much as I can remember.

He's gone from us forever,
Our darlin blue haired boy,
our cock eyed darlin we will see no more,
He gently passed away on the 93rd of May,
he's never died so suddenly before.

We knowed he was a dying by the freckles on his breath,
his eyeballs were draggin in the mud,
the doctor said the only way to save poor Willies life
was to stop the circulation of the blood.

We filled his mouth with glue hoping that would fetch him through
but alas all our efforts were in vain,
???????????????????????????????????????
sneezed blowed his nose and died again.

Another line I recall was

No more will he push poor pussies nose against the red hot stove. sssssssss

I loved that song too, wish I could recall it all


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Death of Willie
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 10:44 PM

That was posted by Art way back.

Subject: Lyr Add: BLUE HAIRED JIMMY (from Horton Barker)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 12:58 AM

^^
BLUE HAIRED JIMMY
As sung by Horton Barker--the grand blind ballad singer from Virginia---as recorded by Sandy Paton and included in Horton's Folkways album FA2362. I heard Horton sing this at the amazing 1961 University of Chicago Folk Festival. To this day, that was THE BEST folk festival I've ever witnessed!

He's gone forevermore is our darling blue-haired boy.
We'll never see our cross-eyed darling any more.
Like a dream he passed away on the 39th of May.
He never died so suddenly before.

No more upon the mat will he play with pussycat.
No more between his teeth he'll squeeze her tail.
No more he'll rub her nose against the red-hot iron stove,
For little brother Jimmy's kicked the pail.

We knew he was departing by the color of his breath.
We saw his eyebrows dropping in the mud.
The doctor said the only thing to save the boy from death
Was to stop the circulation of his blood.

We gently bathed his head in a pot of boiling lead,
And then we gently laid him down to rest;
But through the night a burglar came and broke into the room,
And swiped the mustard plaster off his chest.

We filled his mouth with glue to try to bring him to.
Alas, though, all our efforts were in vain;
And last of all we tried---but he sneezed and smiled and died.
He blew his nose and smiled and died again.

He's gone forevermore at the age of 94.
There's nothing in this world his life could save.
I'm going to the barbershop to fill his last request,
To plant a bunch of whiskers on his grave.

(There y'are---Enjoy!----Art Thieme)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: baumgrenze
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 12:38 AM

Here are fragments of the song sung by Mr. Jacob C. Frehner of Highland Park, IL, father of a scouting buddy, James Frehner, in the very early 1950's.

How well do I remember
The time that Willy died,
It was early in the morning late at night.
Oh, the cows were singing sweetly
And the birds were eating hay
And the stars and moon were
Shining dark and light.

T'was the 43rd of May
that our Willy passed away,
He died harder than he ever died before.
He was sitting in a chair,
But he did not like it there,
So he got up and he died upon the floor.

?.(missing fragment?)

Oh, the doctor said they only way
to save our boy from death was to
stop the circulation of the blood.
So we filled him up with glue
in the hope to bring him to
but we only brought him eight or nine or ten

??(a fragment here must rhyme with ten?)

Oh no more upon the mat will he play with pussy cat,
No more between his teeth he'll hold her tail (fsttt, miao).
Oh no more upon the burning red-hot coals he'll hold her nose,
For our darling little boy has kicked the pail.

baumgrenze

Is there a place and protocol to annotate tunes?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:22 PM

It was a chilly day for Willie when the mercury went down!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: OUR DARLING SQUAREHEAD BOY
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 02:05 AM

From The Rudder, Volume 13 edited by Thomas Fleming Day (New York: The Rudder Publishing Company, 1902), page 535:


OUR DARLING SQUAREHEAD BOY.

Now he's gone from us forever,
Our darling Norwegian boy,
And we'll never see his square head any more,
For he simply passed away
On the ninety-third of May,
And he never died so suddenly before.

No more upon the mat
Will he tickle pussy cat.
No more between his teeth he'll squeeze her tail.
No more he'll rub her nose
Up against a red-hot grate,
For little brother Willie's kicked the pail.

CHORUS: Now he's gone from us forever
At the age of ninety-four.
There is nothing in the world his life could save.
I'm going to the bone-yard
To fulfill his last request,
That's to plant a load of brickdust on his grave.

Now we knew that he was dying
By the color of his breath.
We knew the flower was nipping in the bud;
And the doctor said the only means
Of saving him from death
Was to stop the circulation of his blood.

Then we filled his mouth with glue
Just to try and pull him through,
But alas! all our efforts were in vain,
For after all we tried,
He simply smiled and died,
Then he blew his nose and smiled and died again.

Now I never will forget the evening
That our darling square-head died.
It was early ? about twelve o'clock at night.
The cows were laying eggs,
And the hens were making hay,
And the sun and moon and stars were shining bright.

It was then we bathed his head
In a pot of boiling lead,
And 'twas then we gently laid him down to rest,
But in the night a burglar came,
And sneaked into his bunk,
And swiped the mustard plaster off his chest.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: Willie-O
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 08:02 PM

Greatly exaggerated.

And that cat's a flat-out liar.

W-O


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE WILLY
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 10:30 PM

From The Beloit Poetry Journal, Volumes 5-8 (Beloit, Wis.: Beloit College, [1955-58?]), page 34:

LITTLE WILLY
Tune: Darling Nellie Gray

He has gone away and left us, our darling blue-haired boy,
And we'll never see our Willy any more.
For he died and went away on the ninety-third of May,
And he never died so suddenly before.

CHORUS: No more upon the mat will Willy tease the cat,
No more between his teeth he'll bite her tail.
No more against the red-hot stove her dainty nose he'll press,
For our darling little Willy's kicked the pail.

Oh we filled him up with glue and we tried to bring him to,
But we only brought him eight or nine or more.
We stood him on the chair but he didn't like it there,
So he stood right up and died upon the floor.

We could tell that he was dying by the color of his breath,
We could see the blossom nipping in the bud.
And the doctor said the only way to save our darling child
Was to stop the circulation of his blood.

We soaked his little hand in a bucket of hot sand
But all our little efforts were in vain.
We laid him on his side where he blew his nose and died,
Then he stood up, blew his nose, and died again.

Collected by EM Collins, Houston, Texas, 1952.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Bob Connor
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 03:50 AM

Don't know where it fits in, but I remember a line or two that we used to sing as kids, (about 60 years ago so it must be right).

Well you could tell that he was dead,
by the bullet holes in his head,
and his eyeballs were dragging in the dust
Chorus.
Poor Willie,... Poor Willie.
And he'd never died so suddenly before.

Hope this fills a gap.
Cheers Bob.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 11 - 05:11 PM

How well do I remember the night that willie died
So early in the morning late at night
The cows were warbling sweetly and the birds were eating hay
So early in the morning late at night

I wast the forty third of may when our willy past away
He died harder than he'd ever died before
He was sitting in his chair but he didn't like it there
So he got up and he died upon the floor.

You could tell that he was dying by the color of his breath
You could hear the blossoms nipping in the bud
The doctor said the only way to save our willy boy
Was to stop the circulation if his blood

So we filled him up with glue in the hopes to bring him to
but it only brought him 6 or 8 or 10
we laid him on his side, he blew his nose and died
Then he blew his nose and sneeze and died again.

Now no more up on the mat shall he play with pussy cat
No more betwixed his teeth shall hold her tail
No more upon the burning deck shall stand our willy boy
For our darling willie boy has kick the pale


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 11 - 05:13 PM

Called the night that willy died


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 08:16 PM

This is how much I can remember from my dad:

How well I do remember, the night that Willie died,
It was early in the morning, late at night.
Oh, the cows were singing merrily and the birds were eating hay,
And the sun and moon and stars were shining bright.

Twas the fortieth day of May when our Willie passed away,
He died harder than he ever died before.
He was sitting in a chair but he didn't like it there,
So he stood up and he died upon the floor.

We could tell that he was dead by the color of his breath,
We could hear the flowers nipping in the bud-ah.
And the doctor said the only way to save our darling boy,
Was to stop the circulation of the blood-ah.

So we filled him up with glue as we tried to bring him two,
But we only brought him eight or nine or ten.
[...can't remember how this part ends]

So we put our darling's head in a melting pot of lead,
As we lay our darling Willie down to rest.
But it was a dirty shame, for that night a burglar came,
And he stole the mustard plaster off his chest.

[It ends with the line]
That our Willie, darling Willie kicked the pail.

[So glad I stumbled across this thread. I've been wondering about the rest of the song for years. Keep it up.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Doug Pitman
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 02:20 AM

My father taught me this song in the mid 1950's when I was less than 10 years old.

'Twas a dark and stormy night and the sun was shining bright
And the flowers were a-droopin' in the mud,
All the doctors had decided that to save our darlin's life
They must stop the circulation of his blood.

So, they dipped our darlin's head in a pot of boiling lead,
And they laid our little Willy down to rest.
But some robbers came that night, and they came without a light,
And they stole the mustard plaster off his chest.

No more on the floor will he tease poor pussy-cat,
No more with his teeth will he pull her tail
No more rub her nose on the red-hot kitchen stove,
For our Darling Little Willy's kicked the pail.


If anyone knows where there is a recording of this, please let me know. I've been trying to find the history of this for a long time.
My email is doug.pitmanf@gmail.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 01:52 AM

Thread drift warning:

Little Willie in the best of sashes
Fell in the fire and was burned to ashes
By and by the room grew chilly
But no one wants to poke up Willie

Alas for little Willie
We'll see him now no more
For what he thought was H2O
Was H2SO4

and many more ....

Very popular among pre-adolescent kids in the early 1950s, many of whom had a favorite "little Willie" that came up unpredictably in childish chatter.

John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Jerry S.
Date: 19 Nov 12 - 10:47 PM

My dad learned this song from his mother. My brother, my dad, and I sing it at every holiday gathering. :-)

Oh well do I remember the night that Willie died.
Was early in the morning. About twelve o'clock at night.
The cows were warmly sleeping and the birds were making hay
and the sun and moon were shining dark and light.

Twas the forty-third of May when our Willie passed away.
He died harder than he ever died before.
He was sitting in a chair and he didn't like it there
so he got up and he died upon the floor.

We could tell that he was dying by the color of his breath.
We could see the blossom nipping in the bud.
And the doctor said the only way to save our boy from death
was to stop the circulation of his blood.

So we gently filled his head with a boiling can of lead
and we laid our darling Willie down to rest.
And it really was a shame. For that night a burglar came
and he stole the mustard plaster off his chest.

So we filled him up with glue with the hopes to bring him to.
But we only brought him eight or nine or ten.
Then we lay him on his side and he blew his nose and died.
Then he sneezed and blew his nose and died again.

No more upon the mat will he play with kitty cat.
No more between his teeth he'll hold her tail.
No more upon the red hot grates he'll rub her little nose.
For our darling little Willie's kicked the pail.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,libby
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 03:27 PM

My mom use to sing it this way

How well do I remember The night that Willie died
It was early in the morning Late at night
The cows were singing sweetly The birds were eating hay
Sun and moon and stars Were shining dark and light

It was the 43rd of May when our Willie passed away
He died harder than he ever died before
He was sitting in a chair but he didn't like it there
So he got up and he died upon the floor

You could tell that he was dying by the color of his breath
You could see the wreaths circling in his blood
And the doctor said the only way to save the boy from death
was to stop the circulation of the blood

So we filled him up with glue and we hoped to bring him to
But we only brought him eight, or nine or ten
So we laid him on his side and he blew his nose and died
Then he sneezed, and blew his nose and died again.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Ken Lombardo
Date: 10 Jun 13 - 11:43 PM

Here's how I remember it from the 60s in boy scouts in Detroit. I taught it to my cousins and now that we live in different states, he asked if remembered it. see this thread helped jog some of the missing lines in my memory, but it's so interesting how different people learned/remember it differently; different dates in May; different cows singing sweetly vs warbling sweetly vs warmly sleeping, etc., but everyone has some version of the mustard plaster! enjoy!

The Night that Willy Died
I will always remember the night that Willy died,
He died early in the morning late at night
Oh the cows were singing sweetly and the birds were eating hay
and the sun and moon and stars were shining bright.

Twas the fortieth day of May when our Willy passed away
he died harder than he ever died before
he was sitting in a chair, but he didn't like it there,
So he got up and he died up on the floor

you could tell that he was dead by the color of his breath
you could hear the blossoms nipping in the bud
oh the doctors said the only way to save our darling boy
was to stop the circulation of his blood

so we gently laid his head in a melting pot of lead
and we laid our darling willy down to rest (2 lines here
oh it was a dirty shame for that night some burglars came
and they stole the mustard plaster off his chest.

so we filled him up with glue and we tried to bring him to
but we only got him eight or nine or ten
so we laid him on his side and he upped and coughed and died.
and he upped and sneezed and coughed and died again (died again)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Kathrine Fussell
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 06:05 PM

I think there are several versions of this song. My great grandfather came from Ireland and taught it to my mother when she was a child and in turn she taught it to me and my siblings. I too sing it to my children. The version I learned is slightly different than some shown here and much like one that has been listed. Either way, it is a folk song that will most likely keep evolving.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 08:48 PM

G'day Kathrine,

There certainly are many variations extant ... and anything that you remember of your Great Grandfather's (~ Irish ... ?) version would add to the grand saga!

Post away ...

Regard(les)s!

BobB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Bruce
Date: 14 Aug 13 - 02:11 AM

Hello there I too am trying to find this song's correct lyrics as I have fond memories of my grandmother singing it to us... The lyrics I can remember is: His gone from us forever our darling blue haired boy, I remember the lines he gently passed away on the 93rd of may and he never died so suddenly before, we could tell that it was death by the freckles on his breath and his eyeballs were dragging in the mud, the doctor took his knife and I'll save poor Willy's life I'll stop the circulation of his blood, And I remember the line no more against the stove will he push poor kitties nose our little darling Willy's Kicked the pail kicked the bucket


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Caroline
Date: 15 Nov 13 - 08:41 AM

This is what my grandfather use to sing to me.....from what I have read above, this must be a version more suitable for children...funny too, I was trying to find a version of this song lately online and stumbled upon this....Hope this helps...

Twas the 31st of May when my darling passed away
and the roses were drooping in the mud, in the mud
And the doctors all agreed that to save our darling's life
We must stop the circulation of the blood.

So we gently dipped his head in a pot of boiling lead
And we laid our dear darling down to rest, down to rest
And the burgler's in the night came and entered without fright
And the stole the poris plaster off his chest.

(he would sing this part faster)

Well, no more upon the mat would you squeeze a pussy cat
No more between his teeth to squeeze his tail
No more to push his nose against a red hot iron stove
Because my darling little Willy kicked the pail.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 13 - 09:58 AM

http://www.folklore.bc.ca/Onefineday.htm

That site is interesting and part of the essay addresses the song being discussed here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Wynne
Date: 29 Nov 13 - 10:01 PM

Here I offer a simplified variant of "Willie" (as I knew the title), which I learned from my father sometime in the 40's. The version I learned is short and much less embellished, but, in my view, the lyrics make a better fit with the melody as it was taught to me.

Oh you could tell that he was dieing by the freckles on his breath,
And the flowers they lay drooping in the mud (bass chorus, In the mud)
And the doctors all declared that to save poor Willie's life,
They would have to stop the circulating blood (chorus: stop the blood)
Now no more upon the mat will he tease poor pussy cat,
No more between his teeth he'll bite her tail (Chorus: bite her tail)
And no more he'll stick his nose 'gainst that red-hot iron stove,
For our poor old Willie's gone and kicked the pail (Chorus: Kicked the pail)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 14 - 03:05 PM

Here's how we learned "The Willie Song", or "Darling Willie"- back in the 60s or so:

How well do I remember
the night our Willie died:
it was early - about twelve o'clock at night

The sun was shining brightly,
and the birds were making hay,
and the moon and stars were shining dark and light

'twas the 43rd of May
that our Willie passed away.
He died harder than he ever died before

He was sitting in a chair
but he didn't like it there,
so he left it and he died upon the floor

You could tell the boy was dying
by the color of his breath.
You could see the blossom nipping in the bud

And the doctor said the only way
to save the boy from death
was to stop the circulation of his blood.

So we gently dipped his head
in a boiling pot of lead,
and we lay our darling Willie out to die

But it surely was a shame
for that night a burglar came
and he stole the mustard plaster from his eye.

So we filled him up with glue
in hopes to bring him to
but we only brought him eight or nine or ten

Then we lay him on his side
and he blew his nose and died.
Then he sneezed and blew his nose and died again.

No more will Willie play
with our darling pussy cat
No more between his teeth will hold her tail

No more upon the red-hot hearth
will he rub her little nose,
for our darling Willie's gone and kicked the pail.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jul 14 - 03:52 PM

Can't remember the tune, but the verse goes:
Little Willie, bows and sashes,
Fell in the fir and was burned to ashes
Bye and bye the room grew chilly
But nobody liked to poke poor Willie

Hope that helps
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Jul 14 - 09:20 PM

G'day "GUEST - Date: 24 Jul 14 - 03:05 PM",

Given that this thread has, over the past 14 years and 7+ months hreard some 15 reasonably complete ... and fairly different ... versions of this 'hillbilly' classic, it's probably a good idea for you to pass on the source (place / time / informant / any family history of your version.

Little Willie was obvious a very energetic ... and wide-spread ... "little darling"!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Jul 14 - 09:26 PM

G'day again "GUEST of 24 Jul 14 - 03:05 PM,

... Well I'm back on the rolls ... and bemused by the durability of Little Willie and / or his long-lived ditty!

Regard(les)s ...

BobB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 15 - 07:26 PM

This is very similar to fragments passed down from my Grandad:
Poor old Ginger's Gone and kicked the pail. So pleased to read the full lyric!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,#
Date: 10 Apr 15 - 08:52 PM

The Death of Willie,
Sung by Bob Dyer, February 1939

Also known as Our Blue-haired Boy
It was not an original of Dyer's; it was also, apparently, in the repertoires of Horton Barker (Virginia) and George "Pop" Maynard (Sussex). I think a music-hall song from Sussex, with various versions.

The Death of Willie

He's gone from us forever has our darlin blue haired boy
Our cross-eyed child we will never see no more
He gently passed away on the 93rd of May
He never died so suddenly before.

We knew that it was death by the freckles on his breath
His eyeballs were draggin in the mud
The doctor took his knife and said I'll save poor Willie's life
I'll just stop the circulation of the blood.

No more upon the mat will he tease poor pussycat
No more between his teeth he'll chew her tail
No more he'll press her nose up against the red hot stove
For our little brother Billy's kicked the pail

Oh we laid my little Willie down to rest
And burglars came that night
But when he coughed they took to flight
Though they'd stole the mustard plaster off his chest

The robbers in the night, they came without a light
A mustard plaster was all that they did gain.
So we soaked poor Willie's head in a pot of molten lead
But alas all our efforts were in vain.

We filled his mouth with glue
Thinking that might bring him through
But our efforts all again were made in vain
For after all we tried he just heaved a sigh and died
Then he coughed and blowed his nose and died again

Died again, died again, he just coughed and blowed his nose and died again
For after we had tried he just heaved a sigh and died
Then he coughed and blowed his nose and died again.

from

http://www.silverpeers.com/viewtopic.php?t=8142


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Death of Willie
From: GUEST,Bassfiddler
Date: 25 Oct 15 - 01:04 PM

Just found this thread....this song predates the artists discussed here...my English grandfather taught it to me and he had learned it as a child in England in the 1880s...and it wasn't new then. Some words have been changed in these Americanized versions.


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