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Lyr Add: Frail Wildwood Flower (from Miller Wikel)


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Sterl 01 Dec 02 - 11:54 PM
masato sakurai 02 Dec 02 - 01:30 AM
12-stringer 02 Dec 02 - 01:59 AM
Amos 02 Dec 02 - 09:45 AM
Stewie 02 Dec 02 - 08:03 PM
catspaw49 02 Dec 02 - 08:54 PM
GUEST, Dale 02 Dec 02 - 09:34 PM
Sterl 04 Dec 02 - 11:02 PM
Sterl 04 Dec 02 - 11:54 PM
GUEST,Colonel Garry A. Sanders 26 Sep 09 - 07:58 PM
kendall 26 Sep 09 - 08:11 PM
Bill D 26 Sep 09 - 09:38 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: FRAIL WILDWOOD FLOWER (Miller Wikel)
From: Sterl
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 11:54 PM

About 1950 we used to listen to radio station

FLOWER' as performed by some artist over that station (artist name

(It is VERY DIFFERENT from Carter Family version their version
would have been sung by a woman.....the version I have would
have been sung by a man??)

my email address is:
as I'm not sure how to get back to look for replies to this
any email help would be very much appreciated.

She is waiting for me in a rose colored bower,
And her eyes are like violets after a shower,
For she's dreaming of dreams through the long summer hours,
my sweetheart, my own, my frail wildwood flower.

All the wild forest creatures are under her spell,
On her shoulder the dove it's love secrets will tell,
And the wild dappled fawn comes to lie at the feet,
of my frail, wildwood flower, So gentle and so sweet.

I will pick tender blossoms to twine in her hair,
lovely roses so red and the lilies so fair,
Lovely myrtle so bright with the emerald hue,
Buttercups yellow, forget-me-nots blue

There's no artist can paint her, no poet can write,
How she warms this old heart like the sunbeams so bright,
I will love and protect her and never more part,
From that frail wildwood flower that twines around my heart

Member: Sterl
See related info in this thread.

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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: masato sakurai
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 01:30 AM

Frail Wildwood Flower -- Miller Wikel (With John McGhee), 1928 [Real Audio]

This is one of the songs from WWVA (Click here), but not the version whose info you are looking for.


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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: 12-stringer
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 01:59 AM

Is this perhaps Buddy Starcher's version? I haven't heard it in close to 30 years but the lyrics sound awfully familiar, and "Wildwood Flower" was one of his standards. If I concentrate, I think I can still hear that big rosewood Martin and his crispy picking. But I never liked it well enough to sing it, and nobody's lyrics have stuck with me over the years.

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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: Amos
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:45 AM

EMailed originator with information on how to get back t o the thread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 08:03 PM

It is not the Buddy Starcher version, at least not the version he recorded on 'Buddy Starcher and his Mountain Guitar' Starday LP SLP 211, title 'The Original Wildwood Flower'.

Meade et alia 'Country Music Sources' reference only 3 recordings before 1943 - 2 by the Carter Family and the one by Miller Wikel linked above by Masato. Among their print references they note: 'J.P. Webster wds, Maude Irving m, 1860'. In his notes to the Carter Family Victor set on Rounder, Charles Wolfe also refers to the Webster/Irving song which he describes as 'a popular parlour song of 1859'. It was titled 'I'll Twine Midst the Ringlets', a mishearing of which Wolfe suggests accounts for the Carters odd opening: 'I'll twine with my mingles'. I searched Levy and Duke sites, under 'Wildwood Flower' and 'I'll Twine Midst the Ringlets, but came up with zilch.

If Tribe's suggestion (in Masato's WWVA link above) that Wikel's version is likely to be close to the Webster/Irving version, Sterl's version must be from some other rootstock. It too has a late 19thC parlour song feel to it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 08:54 PM

Masato, nice work ans AS ALWAYS....STEWIE!!! YOU ARE DA' MAN!!!!
You always just blow me away with your research/sources/thoughts.

I obviously have nothing to add research wise although we did listen to the station a lot as I grew up only about 50 miles from Wheeling. What I will add or more to the point ask is this.....Do you like the version above? I read it once, worked out the scan, got out the guitar and sang the thing and I am more taken with it than any other version. It's kind of exciting because I feel like I just discovered an old friend......WWF is so damn worn out, but a lovely tune and with this set of words you feel like you could actually attract a bit of attention to it if you did it.......know what I mean?

I really wonder if someone simply took the song and said, "I like it, but the words are a bit nuts so let me rewrite them." It shares some with other versions but is very distinct in standing on it's own. It does have that parlour feel so I too would guess it was around before any recorded versions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: GUEST, Dale
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:34 PM

Nice to see my site getting some use, though it hasn't been updated in ages. Every now and then I am researching something and "Good Old Songs" comes up in the search.

I agree with Spaw about the Miller Wilkel version. It is just enough different from the old tried and true to be something "new", even if it does date from 1928. Some young people I know do WWF as primarily a frailing banjo number, and an even younger duo ~~ not even teenagers yet, treat it alternately as either an a capella duet, or a solo while the other dances out the rhythm. These are all quite nice, and add to the theory that you don't have to "Do it like Earl" or in this case, TCF, for it to be "right" and a pleasure to listen to.

Oh, and in related stuff from that page, I DO have a photo of Ellis Hall (Little Home In West Virginia) now, along with an article about him from Bluegrass Unlimited and recordings of his other three fiddle tunes, sent by another collector ~~ Stoney Fork, Sleepy-Eyed Joe, and Foggy Valley, all rare gems. For those interested in more info, the BU article was mostly researched from The Devil's Box, Volume 13, No. 2, June 1979 ~~ Foggy Valley, The Story Of Ellis Hall by Charles K. Wolfe and Carl Fleischhauer.

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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: Sterl
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 11:02 PM

Thanks to Amos for information on how to get back to the thread
and MANY THANKS to all who have replied...very interesting!

From a different source I have had three email replies from
people who know this version of 'Wildwood Flower'...all learned
it from WWVA, Wheeling, but none knew name of man who was
singing it; two of the replies were from Atlantic Canada....
a man who says he's been singing this version since the 50's
and suggesting that it might have been Doc Williams, Lee
Moore, etc; another reply was from Ontario, Canada....same
lyrics but for one word...also learned from WWVA Wheeling
between 1949 and 1950 she says.

I think I have written just about everywhere to see if I can
find the origin of this version....I MIGHT GO NUTS IF I DON'T

Once again....MANY THANKS for your replies.

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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: Sterl
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 11:54 PM

I have found an LP by LEE MOORE out of Wheeling about 1950 which has 'Wildwood Flower' shown on the - I shall have to find out how to get a hold of this LP to see if it is the version that I am after!!
("LP 44 Lee Moore - Wheeling's Coffee Drinking Night Hawk                               A



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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: GUEST,Colonel Garry A. Sanders
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 07:58 PM

Here are the words to Wildwood Flower as rearranged by Col. Garry A. Sanders. Carter Family's version don't make any sense.

Verse 1.
Oh he told me he loved me, and promised to care.
And would be there to cheer me through life's dreary hour.
When I woke from my dreaming my idol was clay
My vision of love had faded away.

Verse 2
And he taught me to love him and called me his flower,
That had blossomed to cheer him through life's weary hour
Oh how I long to see him, but I never will tell
That he left me no warning no words of farewell.

Verse 3
So I'll twine mid the ringlets of my raven black hair,
Wild roses so red and white lilies so fair.
And myrtle so green with an emerald hue,
And pale manzanita and violets so blue.

Verse 4
Then I'll dance and I'll sing, and my laugh shall be gay.
I will cease this wild weeping and pining away.
Though my heart is now breaking he never shall know,
That his name made me tremble, and my pale cheeks to glow.

Verse 5
Now I'll think of him never and forget that sad day
That he caused me to love him, and led me astray.
I will live yet to see him regret the dark hour,
When he won and neglected his frail wildwood flower

From the age of seven years, when I learned to pick this song on the guitar, and learned the words from my dad, who in turn learned the words and music from the Carter Family's version, I have been aggravated at some of the lines in such a pretty song. Such as the pale and the leader, and eyes look like blue. I am glad the Carter Family made such a great classic hit of this song and I am a great fan of theirs. (By the way I'm from Wise County Virginia only a few miles from where they grew up and lived. but the song had to be recorded wrong, cause the words make no sense. I also noticed that the verses were all backwards, for instance; I'll twine with my mingles and waving black hair, which is wrong--should be about the 3rd verse, cause the girl is getting back at him for guilding her. This is the way she is getting revenge. There is no story to the song the way it's recorded, just a bunch of words. In my opinion it should have started when he told her he loved her and then he taught her how to love, which I think he talked her into making out with him and made all these promises, and just left her (not pregnant I assume). He got what he wanted, so she decided would quit weeping and pining for him, and start acting as if she was happy by singing and dancing and dressing her hair with all these wild flowers and greenery (myrtle) I did rewrite a line or two and put the verses in the right order by simply changing it to make sense. I actually don't believe Maude Irving wrote this song maybe J. P Webster could have wrote the music to a poem that had been around before 1860 which was when the words and music where supposed to have been written because it's titled (I'll twine mid the ringlets), which is not an appropriate title for it (The wildwood flower) is a better title I think. I've looked at all the other versions of it including Iris Dement's version which the verses are out of order too. I did use some of her lines when I rearranged the song (and I am a big fan of Iris Dement), the way I feel it was originally written. Take a look at the way I rearranged it and give me your opinion.

Thanks Colonel Garry A. Sanders

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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: kendall
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 08:11 PM

Good old Lee Moore. I used to listen to him every chance I got. I was impressed with the sound of his guitar coming out of that old superhetrodyne radio in the kitchen, and the one in my 1947 DeSoto.
Many years later I got to know Lee from being on the same bill.
He never did learn a song, always had a music stand at the festivals. He sang the same songs for years without memorizing them.

He was headed for the stage at Smokey Greens festival and I offered to carry some of his gear. I carried his base for the music stand and he told me, "Now you can say you played base for Lee Moore".

After one of my own sets I came off the stage and he said "That deserves a 5th", and he handed me a broken "A" string." Didn't take much to tickle him. Nice guy I always thought.

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Subject: RE: Origins: WWVA Wheeling, W. VA 'Wildwood Flower'
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 09:38 PM

There's always a new variant of this, isn't there? When folks don't words right, they sing 'something' that sounds similar?

In this one, I can assure you that " manzanita " is probably mis-heard, since that is a plant/bush from the west coast...Southern California, mostly.

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