Wednesday, March 7, 2007

"Oh hard is the fortune of all womankind..."

Our discussion of "Barbara Allen" also, for me, harks back to a favorite song (more sympathetic perhaps to a "hard-hearted Barbara Allen"-like character) from the collection of that Berkeley bohemian of the late 1940s and 50s, Harry Smith, in his "Anthology of American Folk Music (Folkways 1952)," performed by Buell Kazee:

The Wagoner's Lad

Oh hard is the fortune of all womankind,
They're always controlled, they're always confined.
Controlled by their parents until they're a bride,
Then slaves to their husbands the rest of their lives.

Oh I am a poor girl, my fortune is sad,
I have always been courted by the wagoner's lad.
He courted me daily by night and by day,
And now he is loaded and going away.

Your parents don't like me because I am poor,
They say I'm not worthy of entering your door.
I work for my living, my money's my own,
And if they don't like me they can leave me alone.

Your horses are hungry, go feed them some hay,
Come sit down beside me as long as you may.
My horses ain't hungry, they won't eat your hay,
So fare thee well, darling, I'll be on my way.

Your wagon needs greasing, your whip's for to mend,
Come sit down here by me as long as you can.
My wagon is greasy, my whip's in my hand,
So fare thee well, darling, no longer to stand.

Digital Tradition link:;ttWAGONLAD.html

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