Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Old Woman of our Town / Old Woman of Yorkshire

http://www.folkinfo.org/songs/displaysong.php?songid=455 folkinfo.org website - has Cecil Sharp's version ... suggests his tune is Irish

cf. Mike Anderson's "Slab City"

The Annotated Huckleberry Finn, ed. Michael Patrick Hearn : 454-55.

There was a woman in our towdn,
In our towdn did dwed'l (dwell,)
She loved her husband dear-i-lee,
But another man twyste as wed'l.

Singing too, riloo, riloo, riloo,
Ri-too, riloo, rilay ... e
She loved her husband dear-i-lee,
But another man twyste as wed'l.


3. There was a woman in our towdn. Twain quoted only the first verse of a popular folk song. In Scotland, it is known as "The Wily Auld Carle" and "The Wife of Kelso"; in Maine as "The Old Woman of Dover"; in Kentucky as "Old Woman of London"; in Ohio as "Old Woman of Slapsadarn"; in North Carolina as "The Old Woman's Blind Husband": and in Missouri as "There was an old Woman."


This slightly improper ballad was one of Twain's favorite songs. Blair and Fischer noted in the 1988 University of California edition that Twain introduced the verse in a fragment of a play written in 1865, included in Mary Twain's Satires and Burlesques (1968, p. 211). According to Samuel Charles Webster's Mark Twain, Business Man (1946, p. 109), his sister-in-law recalled him singing it in the family's private railroad car on his wedding trip in 1870. Miles Hendon sings a few lines on Chapter 13 of The Prince and the Pauper, while sewing clothes for Edward Tudor.


Then she bawled out, she squalled out
As loud as she could bawl
He says, "Old woman, I am so blind
I can't see you at all."

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