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Lyr Add:Married Woman's Lament (wish I was single)

DigiTrad:
I WISH I WAS SINGLE AGAIN
SINGLE GIRL
SINGLE GIRL (4)
THE SINGLE GIRL
THE SINGLE GIRL (3)


Related threads:
(origins) Lyr Add: I Wish I Were Single Again / Single Girl (22)
Lyr Add: I Wish I Was Single Again (male) (15)
Lyr Add: I Wish I Was a Single Girl (Proffitt) (10)
Lyr Req/Add: Single Girl, Married Girl (Carter) (16)
Tune Req: Single Girl (from Sandy Posey) (1)


Goose Gander 13 May 05 - 09:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 May 05 - 10:22 PM
Joe Offer 15 May 05 - 12:48 AM
Peace 15 May 05 - 01:00 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 May 05 - 02:09 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 16 May 11 - 03:49 PM
kendall 16 May 11 - 03:53 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: WISH I WERE SINGLE AGAIN
From: Goose Gander
Date: 13 May 05 - 09:37 PM

Here's another one, I'm not sure exactly where it fits in among the others. McNeil notes only that it is a nineteenth century song with textual parallels to "Little Birdie".

"A Married Woman's Lament"

Oh Cupid, Oh Cupid you use me severe
You kept me a-loving for several long years
You kept me a-loving in anquish and pain
Oh, how I wish I was single again

Before I was married 'twas nothing but love
'Twas Oh my ducky darling, my sweet honey dove
But now I'm married, it's a quite different thing
Get up and get breakfast you darn lazy thing

Before I was married I lived at my ease
But now I am married I have a husband to please
Four small children and them to maintain
Oh, how I wish I was single again

Washing and mending we daily have to do
Ironing and baking must be remembered, too
House to clean up when the Spring comes, too
The young ones are squalling, Oh what will I do

One cries, 'Mother, I want a piece of bread'
The other cries, 'Mama, I want to go to bed'
Take those children and put them to bed
Before their father curses them and wishes they were dead

Printed in W.K. McNeil, Southern American Folksongs (Little Rock Publishers, 1993)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: WISH I WERE SINGLE AGAIN
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 May 05 - 10:22 PM

Another version of "A Married Woman's Lament" in Randolph:

Lyr. Add: A Married Woman's Lament

When I was single, to marry I did crave,
But now I am married an' I'm troubled to my grave,
Lord, I wisht I was single again!

When I was single, nothin' troubled my mind,
But now I am married an' I'm troubled all the time,
Lord, I wisht I was single again!

When I was single I had good things to eat,
But now I am married an' I cain't git even meat,
Lord, I wisht I was single again!

When I was single, I dressed in silk so fine,
But now I am married an' I wear rags all the time,
Lord, I wisht I was single again!

Dishes to wash an' the spring to go to,
Nobody to help me an' I got it all to do,
Lord, I wisht I was single again!

Two little children a-layin' in the bed,
Both of 'em so hungry they cain't raise up their head,
Lord, I wisht I was single again!

Took in some washin', made a dollar or two,
He slipped around and stoled it an' I don't know what to do,
Lord, I wisht I was single again!

Mrs. Emma Chambliss, Missouri, 1928. Randolph, Ozark Folksongs. vol. 3, no. 366, pp. 69-70 with music.


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Subject: RE: A Married Woman's Lament (wish I was single)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 May 05 - 12:48 AM

Here's the traditional Ballad Index entry on this song. I think I count vive different "Wish I was Single" songs, and countless versions of each.
-Joe Offer, happily married-

I Wish I Were Single Again (II - Female)

DESCRIPTION: The wife complains of the troubles of matrimony. When first her husband courted her, all was kindness, but now it's nothing but work and care for the children and try to stay out of trouble. She says, "I hope I shall be hanged if I ever love again."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (Randolph)
KEYWORDS: fight husband marriage
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE,So)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Eddy 70, "How I Wish I Was Single Again" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 366, "A Married Woman's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 26-27, "A Married Woman's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune, with the unrelated "The Sorrow of Marriage" in an appendix"
DT, SNGLGRL2*

Roud #436
RECORDINGS:
Margaret MacArthur, "Single Again" (on MMacArthur01)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "I Wish I Were a Single Girl Again"
cf. "Single Girl, Married Girl"
cf. "When I Was Young (II)" (theme)
cf. "For Seven Long Years I've Been Married" (theme)
Notes: Characterized by a stanza format something like this:
Once I was single and lived at my ease,
But now I am married with a husband to please,
Four young children to maintain;
Oh how I wish I were single again! - RBW
File: E070

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2005 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: A Married Woman's Lament (wish I was single)
From: Peace
Date: 15 May 05 - 01:00 AM

This type of song/poem predates both Middle and Modern English. See "The Wife's Lament" (available on many sites with a Google search). It is readily available in Old English, but that wouldn't help many people. However, even a translation gives the sense that 'the lament' is not new to us--not suggesting anyone thinks it is.

BM


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Subject: RE: A Married Woman's Lament (wish I was single)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 May 05 - 02:09 AM

Belden collected this song in 1907. The version is not as complete as the one in Randolph, or that Michael Morris gives, so no point in posting it.
"When I Was Single," p. 437, from a Mrs. E. A. McKay, Knox Co., MO in 1907. H. M. Belden, "Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society," 1940.
Belden commented that it likely came from a printed piece or the music hall. Very widespread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add:Married Woman's Lament (wish I was single)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 16 May 11 - 03:49 PM

The earliest version I have found comes from an unexpected source, a pop songster. This text is from Wehman's Songster #24, indexed at

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/songster/wehman-universal-songster.html

The book dates to approximately 1890 according to the research done on the website, so the song must have been popular then or earlier. We're not used to thinking of this song as the descendant of a pop ditty sung on the vaudeville stage, but it looks like that is what it is.

By the way, I recommend the Wehman songsters as a great source of much early country music. For example, did you know that "Hold/Haul the Woodpile Down" stems from a Harrigan and Hart song? See this same Wehman Songster 24, which prints it.

I WISH I WERE SINGLE AGAIN

Once I was single and lived at my ease,   
Now I am married with a husband to please,   
Three little children, too, to maintain,   
Oh, how I wish I were single again.

One crying, mama, I want some bread,
Another, papa, I want to go to bed,
Washing and dressing them, the daily dread,
While papa sits scolding and wishing he were dead,

Washing and ironing I also have to do,
And carding and spinning I well remember, too,
Sweeping the floor and going to the spring,
Oh, how I wish I was single again.

These young men they flirt about the town
As if they were worth a thousand pounds,
Searching their pockets, not a penny will you find,
And quite as empty is their mind,

When they first begin to love,
It's my darling, little turtle dove;
When they're married 'tis another song they sing-
Get to work, you good for nothing thing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add:Married Woman's Lament (wish I was single)
From: kendall
Date: 16 May 11 - 03:53 PM

There is another from a mans point of view. Same title.


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