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Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help

GutBucketeer 07 Dec 01 - 12:08 AM
Margaret V 07 Dec 01 - 12:24 AM
GutBucketeer 07 Dec 01 - 12:49 AM
GUEST 07 Dec 01 - 01:24 AM
Liz the Squeak 07 Dec 01 - 03:57 AM
John P 07 Dec 01 - 09:38 AM
weepiper 07 Dec 01 - 01:28 PM
weepiper 07 Dec 01 - 01:44 PM
Susanne (skw) 07 Dec 01 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Jeanene 07 Dec 01 - 08:50 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Dec 01 - 08:58 PM
Joe Offer 07 Dec 01 - 09:00 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Dec 01 - 09:23 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Dec 01 - 09:41 PM
John P 07 Dec 01 - 09:57 PM
jacko@nz 07 Dec 01 - 11:29 PM
GutBucketeer 08 Dec 01 - 12:39 AM
weepiper 08 Dec 01 - 03:52 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 08 Dec 01 - 05:57 PM
Susanne (skw) 08 Dec 01 - 06:38 PM
Genie 09 Dec 01 - 12:44 PM
Stewie 09 Dec 01 - 05:36 PM
IanC 27 Jun 03 - 07:42 AM
GUEST 11 May 12 - 12:36 PM
Steve Gardham 11 May 12 - 03:46 PM
GUEST 18 Feb 13 - 08:34 AM
JohnInKansas 18 Feb 13 - 07:07 PM
GUEST 14 Dec 17 - 08:59 PM
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Subject: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 12:08 AM

Can someone give me a hand with finding the title and lyrics of this song. It's about a farmer and his wife. They make a bet that each can't do the others work for a day. The wife has no problem working in the fields but the farmer has all sorts of disasters. I remember it from looking through one of my songbooks, but can't seem to locate it. Nor does anything come up when I try to search the Digitrad. I must be putting the wrong key words in.

Thanks a bunch!

JAB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: Margaret V
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 12:24 AM

"Old Crumley" or "More Work in a Day," here in the DT. I had forgotten about that song and in my foggy memory all I could come up with in my mind was "who said he could do more work in a day than his wife could do in three..." so I put "more work in a day" in the search box and behold, that's actually one of the titles... Cheers, Margaret


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 12:49 AM

Thanks very very much Margaret!

I always say you gotta know what you're looking for in order to find it and know it's been found.

JAB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 01:24 AM

We've always known it as "Equinoxial and Phoebe".

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 03:57 AM

Well I've got Phoebe, but work in a day? We're lucky if she gets her clothes on in less than an hour!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: John P
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 09:38 AM

We learned it as "Father Grumble"
Also see Old Grumbler


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: weepiper
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 01:28 PM

There's a Scots version of this called "The Wife of Auchtermuchty" from c1568! It begins:

In Awchtirmwchty thair dwelt ane man,
Ane husband, as I hard it tawld,
Quha weill cowld tippill owt a can,
And nathir luvit hungir nor cawld,
Quhill anis it fell upoun a day,
He yokkit his plwch upoun the plane,
Gif it be trew as I hard say,
The day was fowll for wind and rane.

There're 15 verses and it's a hoot if you can understand the spelling. I'll go and see if it's on the Bodleian Library site, if not I could type it in here (ulp!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: weepiper
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 01:44 PM

Here are the two versions in the Bodleian:
version 1
version2
I think these are both a bit more recent but admit to being ignorant of the workings of the Bodleian search - anyone know how to find the date of the broadsheet? It's probably dead easy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 08:09 PM

Cilly Fisher and Artie Trezise did a nice jaunty version of 'John Grumlie' on their 1979 album. It also has a chapter in Ford's Song Histories (1900), fairly long but I could post it or PM it if anybody is interested.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FARMER AND HIS WIFE
From: GUEST,Jeanene
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 08:50 PM

In 1962 at Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village, I heard a couple named Peter and Isabelle Gardner who did international folk songs, including this one. Somewhere I have an album with this on it. Here's what I remember of it:

The Farmer and His Wife
There was a man who lived with his wife [in a house beside the sea]
Who swore he could do more work in a day than his wife could do in three.

[she agrees to do his work in the fields for a day and he will do her work]
"You must milk [Bossie?] the cow, for fear she would run dry
And you must mind the little goat lest it should go astray,
And you must watch the stew on the stove lest it will boil away.

(He does a poor job of milking the cow -- I think she kicks over the milk pail.)
He forgot the poor little goat, and it had run astray
And he forgot the stew on the stove, it had boiled away.

Presently she came along and found him looking sad.
She clapped her hands upon her waist and said that she was glad.
[she]"Now will you swear by the sun up above and all the stars in heaven?"
[he, glumly] "You can do more work in a day than I can do in seven!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 08:58 PM

Jean Ritchie does a fine version of this. I believe it may be the "Father Grumble" version mentioned above. But Jean can tell us, as soon as she sees this thread. Over to you, Kytrad!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 09:00 PM

Yeah, Susanne, I think it would be interesting to see it posted here. I found only three versions of the song in the Digital Tradition, and none in the Forum. I think it would be interesting to see what background information we can dig up. Might you be able to post the lyrics for "John Grumlie"?
-Joe Offer-
Here's the entry from The Traditional Ballad Index:

Father Grumble [Laws Q1]

DESCRIPTION: Grumble says he can do more work in a day than his wife can do in three. She offers to exchange tasks for a day; he agrees. She gives him a long list of household chores and sets out to plow. He fails in most of his tasks and admits his wife's superiority
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1825
KEYWORDS: contest husband wife work humorous feminist
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland) Ireland US(Ap,MW,NE,SE,So)
REFERENCES (15 citations):
Laws Q1, "Father Grumble"
Randolph 74, "Father Grumble" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
Eddy 43, "Father Grumble" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Olney, pp. 191-193, "The Wife of Auchtermuchty" (1 text)
Leach, pp747-748, "Father Grumble" (1 text)
Friedman, p. 443, "Father Grumble" (1 text)
Scott-BoA, pp. 41-43, "The Old Man Who Lived in the Woods" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 10, "Father Grumble" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-NEFolklr, pp. 579-580, "The Old Man Who Lived in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H702, p. 504, "The Wealthy Farmer" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 36, pp. 82-84, "Father Grumble" (1 text)
JHCox 156, "Father Grumble" (7 texts)
Silber-FSWB, p. 188, "Little Phoebe"; p. 189, "Old Man In The Wood" (2 texts)
BBI, ZN1410, "In Auchtermuchty lived a man" (?)
DT 343, WIFEWORK WIFEWRK2* WIFEWRK3*

ALTERNATE TITLES:
John Grumlie
Equinoxial
Old Daddy Grumble
File: LQ01

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2000 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: ADD: The Old Man Who Lived in the Woods
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 09:23 PM

There was an old man who lived in the woods
As you can plainly see.
He said he could do more work in a day
Than his wife could do in three.
"If this be so," the old woman said,
"Then this you must allow:
That you will do my work for a day
While I go drive the plow.
But you must milk the Tiny cow
For fear that she go dry,
And you must feed the little pigs
That are within the sty.
Line Breaks <br> added. At your service, sir.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD MAN WHO LIVED IN THE WOODS^^
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 09:41 PM

There was an old man who lived in the woods,
As you can plainly see,
Who said he could do more work in a day
Than his wife could do in three.
"If this be so," the old woman said,
"Then this you must allow,
That you will do my work for a day
While I go drive the plow.

"But you must milk the Tiny cow
For fear that she go dry,
And you must feed the little pigs
That are within the sty.
And you must watch the bracket hen
Lest she should lay astray,
And you must wind the reel of yarn
That I spun yesterday."

The old woman took the staff in her hand
And went to drive the plow.
The old man took the pail in his hand
And went to milk the cow.
But Tiny hinched and Tiny flinched
And Tiny cocked her nose,
And Tiny gave the old man such a kick
That the blood ran down to his toes.

"It's here, my good cow, and ho, my good cow,
And now, my good cow, stand still!
If ever I milk this cow again,
'Twill be against my will!
And then he fed the little pigs
That were within the sty,
But he bumped his head against a post,
And how the blood did fly.

And then he watched the bracket hen
Lest she should lay astray,
But he forgot the reel of yarn
His wife spun yesterday.
He swore by all the stars in heaven
And all the leaves on the tree,
That his wife could do more work in a day
Than he could do in three!

He swore by all the leaves on the tree
And all the stars in heaven
That his wife could do more work in a day
Than he could do in seven!

That's pretty much how I remember it. The version may be drawn from the one in the Flanders collection.

Sandy^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: John P
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 09:57 PM

Sandy, that's the version my wife does. I think she got from an Alan Lomax book. She recently wrote a new tune for it.

John Peekstok


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHN GRUMLIE
From: jacko@nz
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 11:29 PM

Here's the Cilla and Artie version

JOHN GRUMLIE

John Grumlie swore by the licht o' the moon and the green leaves on the trees
That he could dae mair work in a day than his wife could dae in three
His wife rose up in the mornin' wi' cares and troubles anew
John Grumlie bide at hame John and I'll gang haud the ploo

Sing fal de la la de lal de, fal al de lal de lay
John Grumlie bide at hame John and I'll gang haud the ploo

First ye maun dress your children fair and put them in their gear
And ye maun turn the malt John or else you'll spoil the beer
And ye maun reel the tweel John that I spun yesterday
And ye maun ca' the hens John else they'll all lay away

Now John forgot tae milk the coo and churn the butter tae
And all gaed wrang and nocht gaed right and he danced wi' rage that day
Then up he ran tae the top o' the knowe wi' monys a wave and shoot
She heard him and she heeded not and she steered the horse about

John Grumlie's wife come hame at e'en and laughed as she'd been mad
Tae see the hoose in sic a plight and John sae glum and sad
Says he this work is nay for me I'll dae nae mair guid wife
Indeed says she I'm weel content Ye may keep it the rest o' yer life

Tae the deil wi' that said surly John I'll dae as I've done before
Wi' that his wife's ta'en up a stick and John made aff tae the door
Stop stop guid wife I'll haud ma tongue I ken I'm sair tae blame
But as from noo I'll mind the ploo and ye maun bide at hame

Jack


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 12:39 AM

Wow Guys you are great! Now that I know the name, I found it in a Jean Ritchie song book I have, and in Alan Lomax's The Folk Songs of North America". Sandy's version is the same as that given in Lomax's. I also found two recordings of it in the Hunter Collection. What's interesting is that they all have slightly different tunes.

JAB


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WIFE OF AUCHTERMUCHTY (1568)
From: weepiper
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 03:52 PM

Here's a translation of the 1568 version I have (sorry, I don't have a proper source for it - I only have it on a photocopied handout from a university linguistic course and all it gives is the title (The Wyf of Awchtirmwchty) and date)

In Auchtermuchty there lived a man,
A husband, as I heard it told,
Who well could tipple from a can,
And loved neither hunger nor the cold.
Now once it fell upon a day,
He yoked his plough upon the plain,
If it is true as I heard say,
The day was foul for wind and rain.

He loosed the plough at the field's end
And drove his oxen home at evening;
When he came in, he looked inside,
And saw the wife both dry and clean,
And sitting at the fire, warming herself all bold,
With a big drink, as I heard say:
The man being very wet and cold,
Between those two it was no play.

Said he, 'Where is my horse's corn?
My ox has neither straw nor hay.
Dame, you can go to the plough the morn,
And I'll play housie, if I may.'
'Husband', said she, 'Content am I
To take the plough my turn about,
So you may rule both hens and cows
And all the house, both in and out.

But since you know housework inside out,
First you shall sift, and then shall knead,
And whilst you're going in and out,
Look that the babies shit not the bed;
And lay soft kindling to the kiln;
We have a pricey farm in our charge.
And whilst you're going out and in,
Keep well the goslings from the hawk.'

The wife was up right late that evening,
(I pray God should damn her eyes!)
She churned the churn and skimmed it clean,
And left the goodman but the buttermilk bare.
Then in the morning up she got,
And in her stomach laid her breakfast;
She put as much in her lap
As might have served them both at noon.

She says, 'Jock, will you be master of work?,
If you should win and I should lose,
I promise you a good new shirt,
And the kind of cloth, you'll get to choose.'
She loosed oxen eight or nine
And hefted a good staff in her hand.
The goodman rose soon after then,
And saw the wife had done command;

He called the goslings forth to feed,
There were but seven of them all -
And by there comes the hungry hawk,
And licked up five, left him but two.
Then out he ran making moan
As soon as he heard the goslings cry:
But before he could come in again
The calves broke loose and suckled the cows.

The calves and cows having met in the lane,
The goodman ran with a rake to redd:
Then by there came an ill-willed cow
And prodded his buttock until it bled.
Then home he ran to a lump of tow
And he sat down to try the spinning;
I fear he left it too near the fire:
Said he, 'This work has ill beginning'.

Then to the churn he did run,
And mixed it fiercely while he sweated:
A full hour's mixing he had done
But decent butter, he couldn't get it.
Albeit no butter he could get,
Yet he was bothered by the churn,
And soon he heated the milk so hot
That never a spark of it would turn.

Then in there came a greedy sow -
I think he gave her little thanks -
And in she shot her mighty mouth,
And long she winked and she drank.
He snatched up a crooked club,
And thought to hit the sow to rout:
The two goslings that the hawk had left
That stroke dang both their brains out.

Then he bore kindling to the kiln
But it went up all in a fire;
Whatever he heard, whatever he saw
That day it made him want to swear.
Then he went to take up the kids,
Thought to have found them clean and nice;
The first that he got in his arms
Was all bedirten to the eyes.

The first that he got in his arms
It was all dirty up to the eyes:
'The devil cut off their hands' said he
'That filled you all so full as this!'
He trailed the foul sheets out the gate
Thought to wash them on a stone;
The stream was risen great of spate:
Away from him the sheets have gone.

Then up he got on a hill top
On her to cry, on her to shout;
She heard him and she heard him not,
But stoutly steered the plough about;
She drove the day into the night,
She loosed the plough and then came home,
She found all wrong that should be right:
I think the man felt right great shame.

Said he, 'My office I forsake,
For all the days of my life -
For I'd have put a house to wreck
Had I been twenty days goodwife.'
Said she, 'You'll put up with the place,
For truly I will never accept it.'
Said he, 'Devil take the liar's face!
But yet you may be blythe to get it.'

Then up she took a mighty rung,
And the goodman made to the door:
Said he, 'Dame, I'll hold my tongue,
For if we fight you'll win the war.'
Said he, 'When I forsook my plough
I swear I but forsook mysel';
And I'm off to my plough again -
For I and this house will never do well.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 05:57 PM

The family version, "Old Daddy Grumble," is on the, "High Hills & Mountains CD (now combined with, "None But One). This one ends with a moral:
Come all good men, both old and young
Who lead a married life, life,
And all take a warning by this tale
And never find fault with your wife, wife-
All take a warning by this tale
And never find fault with your wife!

So there you have it, men...words of wisdom. Jean


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 06:38 PM

Thanks Jack for posting the words, as I haven't got them down in my db. Cilla says her father used to sing this song in an amusing music-hall style, and it was passed on to her via her sister Ray.

This is the extract from Robert Ford's 'Song Histories':

[1900:] John Grumlie may have been singular in the fact that he was the only man who "swore by the licht o' the moon and the green leaves on the tree", but assuredly he was not alone in believing that he "could work mair work in a'e day than his wife could do in three". Such is the common belief of a prolific species of husband, some of whom may be justified, or otherwise, in so concluding, but whose individual cases do not concern us now. The question meantime is, whence the song, who made it, and what about it? Well, to get at the virgin-spring of its inspiration, one has to step far back in history, as it is clearly evident that the popular and humorous lyrical account of John Grumlie is neither more nor less than a clever modern adaptation, in singable measure, of an old Scottish poem entitled The Wife of Auchtermuchty, which is not less than three hundred years old. This poem, which is preserved in the Bannatyne MS., is supposed to have been written by a Sir John Moffat, one of the "Pope's Knights" who flourished in the early years of the sixteenth century, and was author, besides, of a fine serious poem beginning "Brother, be wise, I rede you now", printed in Lord Hailes's Collection.

In its journey down the centuries the poem has suffered almost no alteration or corruption. A copy printed by David Laing and the version given by Herd contain additional matter, but this fits so well into the Bannatyne copy that it is supposed to be genuine. David Laing, moreover, believes the poem to be founded on yet an older story, which occurs in "Silva Sermonum Iucundissimorum", published at Basle in 1568, and into which it is supposed to have been copied from some still earlier collection of kindred native matter. The story - originate where it may - has a theme common to many literatures, and may even have perplexed our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the squaring of the domestic circle, a problem frequently as difficult of solution as the same task in mathematics. The song is consistently less exhaustive than the poem, and, though cleverly cast, omits the mention of an important factor towards the subsequent result. The husband, we are told in the poem,
Weel could tipple out a can
And neither luvit hunger nor cauld.

Returning home from the plough, wearied, wet, cold, and tired, one night, the sight of his sonsy better-half comfortably seated by the fire, regaling herself with a fat soup, gives occasion for the "old man" to inwardly rebel, and
Quo' he, Where is my horse's corn?
My ox has neither hay nor straw
Dame, ye maun to the plough the morn
I shall be hussey gif I may.
The wife is equal to the occasion:
Husband, quoth she, Content am I
To tak' the plough my day about
Save ye will rule baith calves and kye
And all the house, baith in and out.

She readily gives him instructions suggested by her experience relative to many matters connected with her "housewife's-kep". He must sift, and knead, and attend to the bairns, both in and out of bed, and keep the goslings safe from the hawk, etc., etc. The foolish man accepts the challenge, not disputing the terms. Now the wife has got the opportunity she has been long waiting for. John's selfishness of late has been growing less and less tolerable, and by one grand coup she must give him a lesson that will serve for the natural term of his existence. See, then, the strategy adopted.

Surreptitiously, before going to bed,
She kirned the kirn, and skimmed it clean
Left the gudeman but bleddoch bare,
that is, left nothing but buttermilk, so that next day
He jumilt at it till he swat
When he had fumilt a full lang hour
The sorrow a scrape o' butter he gat.
Also, she did not neglect, before leaving with the oxen in the morning, to take a hearty breakfast, and to provide herself further with a double luncheon in her lap. This would enable her to stay a-field long enough for John to work out his own discomfiture; and everything happened surely as disastrously as the man's worst enemy could have desired. Of the five goslings which he called forth to feed, the greedy gled licked up three in a twinkling; the calves broke loose and sucked the kye; and when he attempted to redd them with a rung, "an illy-willy cow brodid his buttock till it bled". In his attempt at spinning he fared no better; and his butter-making, of course - the kirn being skimmed the night before - proved a complete failure. The sow drank his buttermilk; and aiming a blow at her, his weapon sped wide of the mark and clashed out the brains of the two remaining goslings. He next set the kiln on fire in an attempt to kindle it; and proceeding to take up the bairns - his experience of the first he lifted daunted his courage or desire to intermeddle with the others. The poem presents the whole scene very graphically. But here we can only say that "a' gaed wrang and naething gaed richt"; and when the poor man's patience was completely worn out - when the last straw had broken the camel's back:
Then up he gat on a knowe-head
On her did cry, on her did shout.
How loud and how long we are not told, only -
She heard him as she heard him not,
But stoutly steered the stots about;
She drove all day until the night
She lowsed the plough an' syne cam' hame
She fand a' wrang that should been right
I trow the man thought right great shame.

Poor John? What else could he do? He resigned his office unconditionally, confessing that had he been gudewife for twenty days he would have wrecked the house. But the wife, as yet too proud of her triumph, refuses to release him:
Quoth she, Weel mot ye brook your place
For truly I will ne'er accept it.
John retaliates to this with an oath:
Then up she caught a meikle rung
And the gudeman made to the door
Quoth he, Dame, I sall haud my tongue
For an' we fight I'll get the waur
Quoth he, When I forsook my pleugh
I trow I but forsook mysel'
And I will to my pleugh again
Or land this house will ne'er do well
It deserves for the song to be said that it is more refined than the poem, and therefore more presentable in these more scrupulous times. Indeed, it is a model in this way - exceedingly humorous without being in the slightest degree coarse. In the collections it has generally been printed as anonymous, though some have ascribed it to Allan Cunningham. "Honest Allan" himself, however, in a note in his "Songs of Scotland, Ancient and Modern", describes it as "an old song, and a favourite amang the peasantry of Nithsdale, where it was formerly sung at weddings, house-heatings, 'prentice-bindings, or other times of fixed or casual conviviality." And he adds - "I took it from the recitation of Mr. George Duff, of Dumfries, with whose father it was a great favourite." [...]

The story, on which both the poem and the song are founded, is common, as I have said already, to other literatures than ours. It forms the ground of one of Dasent's "Popular Tales from the Norse", and also of one of Campbell's "Popular tales of the West Highlands". In Harland's "Ballads and Songs of Lancashire, chiefly older than the Nineteenth Century" - a very interesting volume - there is a fragment of a ballad called The Tyrannical Husband, many of the incidents in which are identical with those made familiar to the Scottish people by the singing of John Grumlie. This Lancashire ballad has also been whipped into song-shape, and becomes by the process so like our own, though less graphic and facile [...].

Now, nowhere else, surely, than there exhibited could be found a better example of the superior skill of the Scottish song-maker as compared with the English, or of the superiority of the Scottish tongue over the English for the depiction of a stirring humorous scene. Yea, moreover, John Grumlie ranks among the first six humorous songs of any language. Let singers note this, and keep the good old ditty persistently to the front. It will never fail them. Of the air - its age and source - I have learned no particulars. (Ford, Histories 39ff)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: Genie
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 12:44 PM

Here is another song, "Woman's Work Is Never Done," which is a variant of the same theme.

Genie


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD GRUMBLE (West Virginia)
From: Stewie
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 05:36 PM

Cox gives 7 versions from West Virginia under the titles 'Father Grumble' and 'The Old Man Who Lived in the Woods'. Here is his G text:

OLD GRUMBLE

Old Grumble he came in from work
As tired as he could be
He swore he could do more work in a day
Than his wife could do in three (x3)
He swore he could do more work in a day
Than his wife could do in three

Mrs Grumble had both brewed and baked
She was tired too I vow
She said, You do the work in the house
And I'll go follow the plough

But be sure to watch the speckled hen
Or she will go astray
And don't forget to wind the yarn
That I spun yesterday

Now don't forget to milk the cow
For she is kind and tame
And don't forget to watch the fat
Or it will turn to flame

Don't forget to churn the cream
Or it will turn to whey
Don't forget to feed the pig
That in the sty does lay

Old Mrs Grumble put on her hat
And went to follow the plough
Old man Grumble took the pail
And went to milk the cow

The cow she hooked, the cow she kicked
The cow she wrung her nose
And kicked old Grumble on the shin
Till the blood run to his toes

He went to feed the little pig
That lay within the sty
He bumped his head upon the door
Till the brains began to fly

He forgot to feed the speckled hen
And she did go astray
And he forgot to wind the yarn
That she spun yesterday

He forgot to churn the cream
And it turned to whey, you know
He forgot to watch the fat
And it to flame did go

Old Grumble then went off to bed
And sure, sure, then was he
That his wife could do more work in a day
Than he could do in three

John Harrington Cox 'Folk-Songs of the South' #156, G text. Communicated by Hattie M. Wickwire, Albright, Preston County, June 1923 – obtained from Maurice Wilhelm, a travelling stave-maker.


--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BALLAD OF A TYRANNICAL HUSBAND
From: IanC
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 07:42 AM

Just to reiterate that this theme is very old, the TEAMS project has the first part of an English version of this which, by its structure, may have been intended for singing. Chetham Library MS 8009, fols. 370-372 dated circa 1500.

here it is ...
BALLAD OF A TYRANNICAL HUSBAND

Jhesu that arte jentylle, for joye of Thy dame,
As Thu wrought thys wyde worlde, in hevyn is Thi home,
Save alle thys compeny and sheld them from schame,
That wylle lystyn to me and tende to thys game.

God kepe alle women that to thys towne longe,
Maydens, wedows, and wyvys amonge;
For moche they ar blamyd and sometyme with wronge,
I take wyttenes of alle folke that herythe thys songe.

Lystyn good serrys, bothe yong and olde,
By a good howsbande thys tale shal be tolde;
He weddyd a womane that was fayre and bolde,
And hade good inow to wende as they wolde.

She was a good huswyfe, curteys and heynd,
And he was an angry man, and sone wold be tenyd,
Chydyn and brawlynge, and farde leyke a feynd,
As they that oftyn wyl be wrothe with ther best frend.

Tylle itt befelle uppon a day, shortt talle to make,
The goodman wold to the plow, his horse gan he take;
He calyd forthe hys oxsyn, the whyt and the blake,
And he seyd, "Dame, dyght our denner betyme, for Godes sake."

The goodman an hys lade to the plow be gone,
The goodwyfe had meche to doo, and servant had she none,
Many smale chyldern to kepe besyd hyrselfe alone,
She dyde mor then sho myght withyn her owne wone.

Home com the goodman betyme of the day,
To loke that al thing wer acordyng to hes pay,
"Dame," he sed, "is owr dyner dyght?" "Syr," sche sayd, "naye;
How wold yow have me doo mor then I cane?"

Than he began to chide and seyd, "Evelle mott thou the!
I wolde thou shuldes alle day go to plowe with me,
To walke in the clottes that be wette and mere,
Than sholdes thou wytt what it were a plowman to bee."

Than sware the goodwyff, and thus gane she say,
"I have mor to doo then I doo may;
And ye shuld folowe me foly on day,
Ye wold be wery of your part, my hede dar I lay."

"Wery! yn the devylles nam!" seyd the goodman,
"What hast thou to doo, but syttes her at hame?
Thou goyst to thi neybores howse, be on and be one,
And syttes ther janglynge with Jake an with John."

Than sayd the goodwyffe, "Feyr mot yow faylle!
I have mor to do, who so wyst alle;
Whyn I lye in my bede, my slepe is butt smalle,
Yett eyrly in the morneng ye wylle me up calle.

"Whan I lye al nyght wakyng with our cheylde,
I ryse up at morow and fynde owr howse wylde;
Then I melk owre kene and torne them on the felde.
Whyll yow slepe fulle stylle, also Cryst me schelde!

"Than make I buter ferther on the day;
After make I chese, - thes holde yow a play;
Then wyll owre cheldren wepe and upemost they,
Yett wyll yow blame me for owr good, and any be awey.

"Whan I have so done, yet ther comys more eene,
I geve our chekyns met, or elles they wyl be leyne:
Our hennes, our capons, and owr dokkes be-dene.
Yet tend I to owr goslyngs that gothe on the grene.

"I bake, I brew, yt wyll not elles be welle:
I bete and swyngylle flex, as ever have I heylle:
I hekylle the towe, I kave, and I keylle,
I toose owlle and card het and spyn het on the wheylle."

"Dame," sed the goodman, "the develle have thy bones!
Thou nedyst not bake nor brew in fortynght past onys;
I sey no good that thou dost within thes wyd wonys,
But ever thow excusyst thee with grontes and gronys."

"Yefe a pece of lenyn and wolen I make onys a yere,
For to clothe owreself and owr cheldren in fere;
Elles we shold go to the market, and by het ful deer,
I ame as bessy as I may in every yere.

"Whan I have so donne, I loke on the sonne,
I ordene met for owr bestes agen that yow come home,
And met for owrselfe agen het be none,
Yet I have not a feyr word whan that I have done.

"Soo I loke to owr good withowt and withyn,
That ther be none awey noder mor nor myn,
Glade to ples yow to pay, lest any bate begyn,
And fort to chid thus with me, I feyght yow be in synne."

Then sed the goodman in a sory tyme,
"Alle thys wold a good howsewyfe do long ar het were prime;
And sene the good that we have is halfe dele thyn,
Thow shalt laber for thy part as I doo for myne.

"Therffor, dame, make thee redy, I warne thee, anone,
Tomorow with my lade to the plowe thou shalt gone;
And I wyl be howsewyfe and kype owr howse at home,
And take my ese as thou hast done, by God and Seint John!"

"I graunt," quod the goodwyfe, "as I understonde,
Tomorowe in the mornyng I wyl be walkande:
Yet wyll I ryse whyll ye be slepande,
And see that alle theng be redy led to your hand."

Soo it past alle fo the morow that het was dayleyght;
The goodwyffe thoght on her ded and upe she rose ryght:
"Dame," seid the goodmane, "I swere be Godes myght!
I wyll fette hom owr bestes, and helpe that the wer deght."

The goodman to the feeld hyed hym fulle yarne;
The godwyfe made butter, her dedes war fulle derne,
She toke agen the butter-melke and put het in the cheryne,
And seid yet of on pynt owr syer shal be to lerne.

Home come the goodman and toke good kype,
How the wyfe had layd her flesche for to stepe:
She sayd, "Sir, al thes day ye ned not to slepe,
Kype wylle owr chelderne and let them not wepe.

"Yff yow goo to the kelme malt for to make,
Put smal feyre ondernethe, sir, for Godes sake;
The kelme is lowe and dry, good tend that ye take,
For and het fastyn on a feyr it wyl be eville to blake.

"Her sitt two gese abrode, kype them wylle from woo,
And thei may com to good, that wylle weks sorow inow."
"Dame," seid the goodmane, "hy thee to the plowe,
Teche me no more howsewyfre, for I can inowe."

Forthe went the goodwyff, curtes and hende,
Sche callyd to her lade, and to the plow they wend;
They wer bese al day, a fytte here I fynde,
And I had dronke ones, ye shalle heyre the best behund.

A fytte

Here begenethe a noder fytte, the sothe for to sey. . . .


:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: GUEST
Date: 11 May 12 - 12:36 PM

Said the farmer to his wife,
Yo Hi De, Yo Hi Da
Oh, you lead a lazy (easy?) life,
Yo Hi De Hi Dah
Wife, said he, the live-long day
Close beside the hearth you stay....

I can recall bits and snatches of this song that we sang in music class when I was in grade school. I'm the one who needs the help getting all the lyrics though!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 May 12 - 03:46 PM

Ian or anyone else,
Does Chetham have the rest of this mss version and can anyone post it, please?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 08:34 AM

Said the farmer to his wife
Yo hi de Yo hi da
Boy you lead an easy life
Yo hi de Yo hi da

Here beside the hearth you stay
Close at home the live long day

Yo hi de hi de hi da
Yo hi de Yo hi da
Yo hi de hi de hi da
Yo hi de Yo hi da

Stay you here the good wife said
Yo hi de Yo hi da
In the fields I'll work instead
Yo hi de Yo hi da

I will go and run the plow
You can stay and milk the cow

Yo hi de hi de hi da
Yo hi de Yo hi da
Yo hi de hi de hi da
Yo hi de Yo hi da

So he tried to milk the cow
Yo hi de Yo hi da
He didn't know exactly how
Yo hi de Yo hi da

Boss he thought you clumsy lout
She spilled the pail and kicked him out

Yo hi de hi de hi da
Yo hi de Yo hi da
Yo hi de hi de hi da
Yo hi de Yo hi da

Then he tried to make a cake
Yo hi de Yo hi da
He put it in the stove to bake
Yo hi de Yo hi da

Ne're the less for all his care
Burned himself both here and there

Yo hi de hi de hi da
Yo hi de Yo hi da
Yo hi de hi de hi da
Yo hi de Yo hi da

When his wife came home that night
Yo hi de Yo hi da
Farmer was a sorry sight
Yo hi de Yo hi da

Wife said he tomorrow day
Here at home I beg you stay

Yo hi de hi de hi da
Yo hi de Yo hi da
Yo hi de hi de hi da
Yo hi de Yo hi da


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 07:07 PM

In last Guest post above, I'd bet that

"Boss he thought you clumsy lout
She spilled the pail and kicked him out"

In the original probably was

"Bossie thought, you clumsy lout ...

"Bossie" being a common, almost universal generic name for any cow.

As the thread is mature, and original questions answered, a side note might suggest some thoughts on more "modern warfare between the sexes:

Dude who wore pregnancy belly: 'I'm not man enough to be a woman'.

Maybe even a new song?

I think it's supposed to be humorous, but some of the female responses are pretty stern, and should be included if someone feels inspired.

John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farmer can't do wife's work. Help
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Dec 17 - 08:59 PM

THANK YOU to the last guest. I've been trying to find the lyrics to this song for years. We used to sing this version when we were kids a long time ago. THANK YOU.


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