Folksongs

Home

Lewis

Folksongs Blog

"The Old Man In The Old Country"

As recorded by Mr. Charles Ingenthron

4 Sept 1941

Walnut Shade, MO
In the following text, the burden is indicated in italics in the first stanza.
The form of each individual chorus is a-1-a-b-2, where a is the first line of the couplet, b is the second, and 1 and 2 are the first and second lines of the burden.

There was an old man in the old country
Most gently
There was an old man in the old country
And he had daughters one two three
Oh dear me

There was a young scholar went a-courting there
And he courted the younger of the pair

He bought for the younger a fine gold ring
And for the older not one thing

He bought for the younger a beaverís hat
And the older she got mad at that

Oh sister will you take a walk with me
And we will see the Greenwood tree

As they went crossing the saucy brim
The older shoved the younger in

Oh sister will you reach me down your hand
And you may have my house and land

I will not reach you down my hand
And I will not have your house and land

Oh sister will you reach me down your glove
And you may have my own true love

I will not reach you down my glove
And I will not have your own true love

As she went floating down the mill pond
The miller he took her to be a swan

The miller throwed out his hook and line
And caught her in the dress so fine

The miller was hung in his own mill gate
For the drowning of my sister Kate

Other versions Year
Francis Grove 1656 compare compare all
Brown 1783 compare
Kinloch 1820's compare
Quiller-Couch A 1910 compare
B 1910 compare
Clannad 1976 compare