Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: Naomi/Omie Wise- Oxford Girl

DigiTrad:
OMIE WISE
OMIE WISE (2)


Related threads:
Chords Req: Omie Wise (5)
Greg Graffin, Omie Wise tune? (5)
'Ommie Wise / Omie Wise (7)


GUEST,ballpienhammer 07 Feb 03 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Q 07 Feb 03 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Q 07 Feb 03 - 05:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Feb 03 - 06:44 PM
RangerSteve 07 Feb 03 - 06:50 PM
masato sakurai 07 Feb 03 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,Q 07 Feb 03 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,ballpien 07 Feb 03 - 08:09 PM
Coyote Breath 08 Feb 03 - 04:12 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Feb 03 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,L. Brown 02 Dec 08 - 03:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Dec 08 - 01:48 PM
banjocircus 09 Feb 11 - 01:49 PM
banjocircus 09 Feb 11 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Folkie 09 Feb 11 - 09:28 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 11 - 06:20 AM
RWilhelm 10 Feb 11 - 12:40 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: GUEST,ballpienhammer
Date: 07 Feb 03 - 04:43 PM

picked up a copy of Classic Mt. Songs( Smithsonian/Folkways #40094)
on which the first song is Naomi Wise. I find similar content as Knoxville(Oxford) Girl. Comments? Great CD, BTW!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 07 Feb 03 - 05:30 PM

Old, old song but known under several titles. Oxford Tragedy (in DT) and Wexford (in DT), Knoxville, Lexington, Mountain, Noel, Girl; Cruel and other kinds of millers, etc. Try these threads for lyrics and info:
Bloody
Bloody
Bloody
Bloody
Bloody
Grismond Bloody

Started out in England but spread all over North America.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 07 Feb 03 - 05:34 PM

Scratch the last thread (Grismond) and go to the song in the DT (ID 7903).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Feb 03 - 06:44 PM

Discussed many times here in the past, under many different names. The Forum Search isn't working at present, but those links Q has provided should keep you going for some time. A couple of those threads have long lists of further links to other material here and elsewhere; and in at least one you can find the date and location of the original murder.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: RangerSteve
Date: 07 Feb 03 - 06:50 PM

"Naomi Wise" is based on a true story. I don't remember the details, but Naomi was gotten pregnant by John Lewis, who was either engaged or married to someone else, so he convinced her that he was going to marry her, then when he got her away from her home, he killed her. The details are in a book of famous North Carolina murder cases, and if I can locate it in my book collection, I'll PM you with the name and author.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: masato sakurai
Date: 07 Feb 03 - 07:13 PM

There're two ballads of Naomi [Omie] Wise. From The Traditional Ballad Index (the former is better known):

Poor Omie (John Lewis) (Little Omie Wise) [Laws F4]

Naomi Wise [Laws F31]

For historical background and local versions, see The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, vol. II (Folk Ballads) (Duke UP, 1952, pp. 690-698). See also Olive Woolley Burt, American Murder Ballads and Their Stories (Oxford UP, 1958, pp. 25-29).

~Masato

Poor Omie (John Lewis) (Little Omie Wise) [Laws F4]

DESCRIPTION: John Lewis, to free himself of his pregnant sweetheart, offers to marry her but instead plans to drown her. She begs for her life, promising to go begging, but he throws her in the river. The body is found and Lewis imprisoned. (He escapes into the army.)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1874
KEYWORDS: pregnancy murder rejection prison drowning
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1808 - Drowning of Naomi Wise in North Carolina
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,SE,So)
REFERENCES (20 citations):
Laws F4, "Poor Omie (John Lewis) (Little Omie Wise)"
Belden, pp. 322-324, "Oma Wise" (2 texts)
Randolph 149, "Poor Oma Wise" (5 texts plus 2 excerpts and 1 fragment, 2 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 163-166, "Poor Oma Wise" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 149A)
BrownII 300, "Poor Naomi (Omie Wise)" (5 texts plus 1 excerpt and mention of 2 more; it appears that Laws places texts "A" and "D" here, but "H" is also this song, with "F" and "G" being "Naomi Wise" [Laws F31])
Hudson 63, pp. 187-188, "Poor Omie" (1 text)
Cambiaire, pp. 30-31, "Oma Wise" (1 text)
MHenry-Appalachians, pp. 73-75, "John Lewis" (1 text)
Leach, pp. 793-795, "Naomi (Omie) Wise" (2 texts)
Friedman, p. 202, "Naomi Wise" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner 116, "The Ballad of Naomi Wise" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 138, "Omie Wise" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 51, pp. 119-120, "Poor Omie" (1 text)
SharpAp 123, "Poor Omie" (7 texts, 7 tunes)
Burt, pp. 25-28, "Omie Wise" (1 text plus some fragments, 1 tune; also an excerpt from another Naomi Wise song, seemingly neither this nor Laws F31)
Darling-NAS, pp. 200-201, "Omie Wise" (1 text)
Asch/Dunson/Raim, p. 42 "Ommie Wise" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 149, "Deep Water" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 225, "Omie Wise" ; p. 227, "Deep Water" (2 texts)
DT 627, OMIEWISE* OMIWISE2*

Roud #447
RECORDINGS:
Finley Adams, "Omie Wise" (AAFS 2796 B1)
Clarence Ashley, "Naomi Wise" (Columbia 15522-D, 1930; rec. 1929)
Clarence Ashley & Doc Watson, "Poor Omie" (on Ashley03)
Dock Boggs, "Little Omie Wise" (on Boggs3, BoggsCD1)
Mrs. W. R. Buchanan, "Little Omie Wise" (AAFS 2857 B3)
Ruth Clark Cullipher, "Little Onie" (AAFS 1031 A1)
Morgan Denmon, "Naomi Wise" (OKeh 45075, 1927; rec. 1926)
Minnie Floyd, "Naomi Wise" (AAFS 1301 A1)
Cleophas Franklin, "Omie Wise" (AAFS 2891 B2)
[G. B.] Grayson & [Henry] Whitter, "Ommie Wise" (Victor 21625, 1927; on AAFM1, GraysonWhitter01, ConstSor1)
Goldie Hamilton, "Little Omie Wise" (AAFS 2829 A1)
Aunt Idy Harper & the Coon Creek Girls, "Poor Naomi Wise" (Vocalion 04354 [or 04345], 1938)
Roscoe Holcomb, "Omie Wise" (on Holcomb1, HolcombCD1)
A. J. Huff, "Omie Wise" (AAFS 2877 B3)
Sarah Ison, "Little Omie Wise" (AAFS 2810 B1)
Aunt Molly Jackson, "Oma Wise" (AAFS 824 B2, 1935) (AAFS 3340/3341 A)
Polly Johnson, "Poor Omie" (AAFS 2760 A4)
Mrs. Esco Kilgore, "Oma Wise" (AAFS 2772 A2)
Alexander Kirkheart, "Naomi Wise" (AAFS 1700 A1)
Alec Moore, "Poor Omie Wise" (AAFS 57 B1)
Johanna Shepherd, "Omie Wise" (AAFS 1405 B2)
Lillian Short, "Naomi Wise" (AFS; on LC12)
Della Sibert, "Omie Wise" (AAFS 1486 A2)
Doug Wallin, "Omie Wise" (on Wallins1)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Naomi Wise" [Laws F31] (plot)
cf. "Tragic Romance" (tune)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Naomi Wise
File: LF04

Naomi Wise [Laws F31]

DESCRIPTION: (John Lewis) takes Naomi for a ride and throws her in the river. When her body is found, he is arrested but not convicted. He confesses to the murder only on his deathbed
AUTHOR: Carson J. Robison
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (recording, Vernon Dalhart)
KEYWORDS: murder river gallows-confession
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1808 - Drowning of Naomi Wise in North Carolina
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Laws F31, "Naomi Wise"
Eddy 94, "Poor Omie (Leoma Wise)" (1 text, 1 tune) (apparently; Laws does not list Eddy's text with either Naomi Wise ballad, but the pattern fits this one)
BrownII 300, "Poor Naomi (Omie Wise)" (5 texts plus 1 excerpt and mention of 2 more; it appears that Laws places text "F" here, but "G" is also this song, with "A," "D," and "H" being "Poor Omie (John Lewis) (Little Omie Wise)" [Laws F4])
DT 730, NAOMIWIS

Roud #981
RECORDINGS:
Vernon Dalhart & Co., "Naomi Wise" (Edison 51669, 1925) (Columbia 15053-D [as Al Craver], 1926; rec. 1925) (Silvertone 27351926)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Poor Omie (John Lewis) (Little Omie Wise)" [Laws F4] (plot)
File: LF31

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

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 07 Feb 03 - 07:34 PM

Two versions of Omie Wise and one of Maria Martin in the DT.
Two threads on Omie (Ommie) Wise, one with chords.
Omie Wise
Omie Wise chords.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: GUEST,ballpien
Date: 07 Feb 03 - 08:09 PM

thanks all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 04:12 PM

I always wondered why the song was also known as the Oxford Tragedy since I, too, know of it as an account of an actual murder in the US of A. Naomi Wise (also called 'Omi Wise) is the second USA murder ballad I learned, the first being Pearl Bryan. Pearl became pregnent. Pearl's lover engaged the services of a close friend who was a dental student. They performed an abortion on Pearl who died in the process. In order to hide the deed, they cut her head off and disposed of it so it was never found. Story goes that her sister was overcome with emotion at the trial and screamed at the two young men to return her sister's head. They were convicted and, I believe, executed for Pearl's murder.

Does anyone know what crime the Oxford Tragedy describes?

CB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 04:59 PM

See my earlier post and Q's links. Assuming that there was indeed a real Naomi Wise as is often stated, it seems that the manner of her death was sufficiently like that in the popular "Oxford/Wexford/Waxweed (etc) Girl" song-group for a ballad on the subject to have been modelled on some form of the older song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: GUEST,L. Brown
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 03:03 PM

Naomi Wise - real girl - true story - northern Randolph County, North Carolina - county line with southern Guilford County. My great-great Uncle Amos Gregson was part owner in a textile mill in the late 1800's in Randolph County, NC - he and his partners named the mill "Naomi" after Naomi Wise. You can view Naomi's gravestone at Find A Grave - search "Naomi Wise" in "North Carolina". She is buried at Providence Friends Meeting cemetery - Providence Meeting [Society of Friends church] is located at 2054 Providence Church Rd. in Randolph County, NC. The cemetery is across the road from the meeting house.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi Wise- Oxford Girl
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 01:48 PM

The thing is, sadly, it's not a particularly unusual story.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Folklore: Dates re: Naomi Wise (Omie Wise)?
From: banjocircus
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 01:49 PM

I am trying to find the date of Omie Wise's murder by John Lewis. Her grave stone and other sources list the year as 1808 and I've heard the month of April. Does anybody know the day?

Thanks,

Jonathan Leiss

PS: Sorry if this is posted twice. I am having a little difficulty with the computer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Folklore: Omie Wise dates?
From: banjocircus
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 06:20 PM

Sorry if this is a third time, but maybe that's the charm: I posted this earlier in the day but can't find the thread on the discussion groups.

I know Naomi Wise was murdered in 1808 - it says as much on her gravestone. I've heard the month was April, though don't know the veracity of this. Does anybody know the date?

Thanks,

Jonathan Leiss


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Omie Wise dates?
From: GUEST,Folkie
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 09:28 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omie_Wise

"The day itself can not be determined, but it is said that in April, 1808 Naomi went missing"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi/Omie Wise- Oxford Girl
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 06:20 AM

All you ever wanted to know about Omie Wise, but were afraid to ask - too much information perhaps.
A hurried scan - apologiese for errors
Jim Carroll

POOR NAOMI (OMIE WISE)
Judged by the breadth of its diffusion, 'Poor Naomi' ('OM Wise') is North Carolina's principal single contribution to American folk song. Belden BSM 322-4 cites it in collections from Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, the Ozark country (Arkansas and Missouri), and Tennessee; Davis FSV 272-3 lists seven Virginia texts. Morris FSF 85-9 prints two from Florida. Its theme is similar to that of 'The Bloody Miller' (or 'The Oxford Girl") I though its handling of the story lacks some features found in the other ballad.    It appears to be a North Carolina product, based upon an actual occurrence.    For North Carolina oral versions, see Mrs. Steely 107 (1935).
In the Greensboro Patriot of April 8, 15, 22, and 29, 1874. appeared a romantic and moralistic but highly circumstantial serial story, 'Naomi Wise. By Charlie Vernon,' ending with the text of a ballad entitled 'Poor Naomi.' 'Charlie Vernon' was the pen-name of Braxton Craven, president of Trinity College (then located in Randolph county). The same story was included as an appendix to Jerome Dowd's Life of Braxton Craven, D.D., LL.D. (Raleigh. 1896). It has been reprinted several times as a pamphlet, and in one form or another this is the source of many North Carolina newspaper articles.
Craven's story dates events "about forty years ago"—i.e., about 1834. This dating may, however, belong to an earlier writing of the story. The author, who was born in 1822 and had spent most of his life near the scene, would have been twelve years old in 1834—old enough to receive clear and vivid impressions of events if they had occurred in that year. Yet in the story he nowhere represents himself as a witness, but indicates his reliance upon local traditions and the testimony of old residents. Evidence for a considerably earlier date is afforded in a supplement to The Story of Naomi Wise (Randleman, N. C, 1944), a reprint of Craven's story made under the auspices of the Rotary Club of Randleman. This (pp. 30-31) is in the form of extracts from "The Minute Book—Pleas and Quarter Sessions" of the Randolph county court:
In the August term of court, 1808, Benjamin Elliott came before the subscribing justices and made oath that he was the officer called by the I Lt. Col. Commander of said county to guard the gaol of said county for the safe keeping of Jonathan Lewis, a state prisoner, confined therein on the charge of murder and that he attended on that business thirty days and that the under named persons attended as soldiers as follows:
[Names of eleven men with terms of service.] Sworn and subscribed to before me November 11, 1808.
B. Elliott, Captain
1808—The Grand Jury reported that one prisoner was confined in the jail charged with murder. Jonathan Lewis made his escape supposedly with the aid of sympathetic friends and a shackley frame jail from which his escape could easily be made. . . .
(Copied.) "Ordered by the Court that the County Trustees pay the cost and charges of attorneys. The prosecution of Jonathan Lewis for felony when trial is removed to the County of Guilford to the said Jonathan Lewis there requested and said discharged from jail under the ensolvent Debtors Act. . . ." This court procedure was after Lewis had been brought from the West for trial charged with drowning Naomi Wise in 1808. . . .
The following is a summary of Craven's story:
About forty years ago there lived where New Salem now is, in the County of Randolph, North Carolina, a very open and warm-hearted man by the name of William Adams.
At Adams' lived Naomi Wise, an orphan, cook and occasional field hand.
Jonathan Lewis, member of a family of physically powerful and pug¬nacious men, living near Centre Meeting House on Polecat Creek in Guilford County, was a clerk for Benjamin Elliott at Asheboro.
Jonathan Lewis saw Naomi Wise and loved her. . . . Henceforth he was a frequent visitor at Adams'.
"But an evil genius crossed the path of Lewis in the shape of his mother. . . . She deemed it in the range of possibility that Jonathan might obtain the hand of Hattie Elliott, the sister of Benjamin Elliott, his employer. . . . Jonathan Lewis was no more the proud manly gentleman; he was henceforth a hard-hearted, merciless wretch. He was a hyena. . . . He not only resolved to forsake a lovely damsel, but first to ruin her fair name.    His resolve was accomplished. . . .
"Miss Elliott baffled him on every tack, and though she encouraged him, gave him but little hope of succeeding immediately. In the mean¬time, Naomi urged the fulfillment of his promise . . . threatened him with the law. Jonathan promised marriage but commanded Naomi to be silent about it. But before he could bring matters to an issue with Miss Elliott, rumor whispered abroad the engagement and disgrace of Naomi Wise.    Lewis denied the rumor to Miss Elliott.
"Lewis at length came to see Miss Wise and told her that he wished not to deny the marriage any longer . . . that he had made all necessary arrangements and that he would come and take her to the house of a magistrate on a certain day. She urged the propriety of the marriage taking place at the house of Mr. Adams, but he refused.
"She told nothing of what was about to take place to Mr. Adams; but at the appointed time, taking the water pail in her hand, she went to the spring, the place at which she had agreed to meet Lewis. He soon appeared and took her behind him. It is said that the stump off which Naomi mounted remains to this day."
Naomi soon perceived that they were not approaching the magistrate's place but were going toward Deep River. Lewis engaged her in a con¬versation on her preference between slow and sudden death. Riding to an island in mid-channel, Lewis said, "I intend to drown you in this river." Refusing her pleas for life, "he tied her dress above her head, and then held her under beneath his foot until he was alarmed by a glare of torches." Lewis mounted his horse and dashed out of the river. The bearers of the torches, a Mrs. Davis and her sons, were too late. They only heard the horseman ride away, did not discover Naomi. Next morning, when search was instituted, Mrs. Davis's story led to the dis¬covery of the body. An inquest was held. Someone suggested that Lewis be brought to view the corpse. Lewis in the meantime had ridden home to his mother's. She asked him why he was home in the middle of the week, why wet, and why so pale. He replied that he had started home on business and that while fording the river his horse had fallen. Having procured a change of clothes, he rode to Col. Craven's in Asheboro and aroused suspicion there. From Craven's he went to a sale at a Mr. Hancock's and again excited suspicion by his conduct.    But he brazened out the occasion and engaged in a flirtation with a girl named Martha Huzza.    It was at Huzza's house with Martha on his lap Lewis was arrested.   Confronted by the corpse, he smoothed Omie.-apparently unmoved.   But circumstantial evidence was so strong tr authority of the officer was scarcely sufficient to save him from lync on the spot.   He was committed to jail.
"A vast company on the next day accompanied the remains of Na to the grave."
Lewis "broke jail and fled to parts unknown.    Time rolled on. Naomi was beginning to fade from the memory, and Lewis was scan thought of.   The whole tragedy would, perhaps, have been nearly I sea of oblivion, but for the song of Omi Wise, which was sung in the neighborhood.
"At   length,   rumor, the   persecutor and avenger, gave tidings   : Jonathan Lewis was living at the Falls of the Ohio. . . .    Col. Cm* Col. Lane, and George Swearengain, properly commissioned, starts; quest of the criminal."   Arrived at the Falls of Ohio, whither marr Lewis's family had moved, the party, knowing they would be reccen= hired two hunters to capture Lewis and deliver him to them.   These accomplished their purpose on a deer hunt to which the Lewises invited them.    Lewis was brought to Randolph county.    He was finally t in Guilford county and acquitted.    "Most of the material witness;: died or moved away and much of the minutiae was forgotten."    Are his release, Lewis moved to Kentucky and died a few years afterws: He is said to have confessed the murder on his death bed. But he
brazened out the occasion and engaged in a flirtation with a girl aa Martha Huzza.    It was at Huzza's house with Martha on his la: Lewis was arrested.   Confronted by the corpse, he smoothed Omie's apparently unmoved.    But circumstantial evidence was so strong that the8 authority of the officer was scarcely sufficient to save him from lynching on the spot.   He was committed to jail.
"A vast company on the next day accompanied the remains of Naomi to the grave."
Lewis "broke jail and fled to parts unknown.    Time rolled on...| Naomi was beginning to fade from the memory, and Lewis was thought of.   The whole tragedy would, perhaps, have been nearly in the sea of oblivion, but for the song of Omi Wise, which was sung in neighborhood.
"At   length,   rumor, the   persecutor and avenger, gave   tidings Jonathan Lewis was living at the Falls of the Ohio. . . .    Col. Craven Col. Lane, and George Swearengain, properly commissioned, started in quest of the criminal."   Arrived at the Falls of Ohio, whither many of Lewis's family had moved, the party, knowing they would be recognized hired two hunters to capture Lewis and deliver him to them.   These a accomplished their purpose on a deer hunt to which the Lewises invited them them.    Lewis was brought to Randolph county.    He was finally tried in Guilford county and acquitted.    "Most of the material witnesses i died or moved away and much of the minutiae was forgotten."    A: his release, Lewis moved to Kentucky and died a few years afterwards He is said to have confessed the murder on his death bed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Naomi/Omie Wise- Oxford Girl
From: RWilhelm
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 12:40 PM

A lot of what has been published about Naomi Wise has been romaticized to say the least. Even the date on her tombstone is wrong; she actually died in 1807 (Spring, I don't know the day or even the month for sure.)

Here is a link to the story on Murder by Gaslight: Poor 'Omie - The Murder of Naomi Wise


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 June 5:54 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.