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Folk-Songs of America: The Robert Winslow Gordon Collection, 1922-1932

Band A7

Gordon recorded "Single Girl" by Julius Sutton (d. 1947) of Dillsboro, near Cullowhee in Jackson County, on the same day that he recorded the previous song. The song has been collected in a number of parts of the South; both Brown (III, pp. 54-56) and Belden (p. 437-39) report versions and give references to other published collections of the song. Gordon's Adventure correspondents sent him four versions of the song in manuscript (2744, 2779[2], 3237), and he recorded another version from a North Carolina singer on cylinder (A93, NC137). Kentucky singer Cousin Emmy made a commercial recording of it in the mid-forties. Sutton's version is textually and melodically similar to most of the other versions of the song, and is distinguished by his fine performance in classic mountain style.

SINGLE GIRL [MP3 file]
Gordon cyl. A79, Item NC117
Julius Sutton
Dillsboro, North Carolina
October 28, 1925

Come all you young ladies, let me tell you right,
Oh, I'd never marry, I'd live a single life.

Chorus:
O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl,
O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl again.

When I was single my shoes they did squeak,
But now I am married my shoes they go leak.

O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl,
O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl again.

When I was single I dressed very fine,
But now I am married I go ragged all the time.

O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl,
O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl again

There's dishes to wash and spring to go to;
There's no one to help me, I have it all to do.

O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl,
O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl again

When I was single I dressed like a lady,
But now I am married I go ragged all the time

O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl,
O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl again

When I was single I dressed very fine,
But now I am married I go ragged all the time.

O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl,
O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl again

Yonder he comes with a bottle in his hand,
Wishing I was dead and he had another dram.

O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl,
O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl again

One thing I do hate and one I do dread,
To hear my little children crying for bread.

One says to Papa, "I want a piece of bread,"
The other'n says to Mama, "I want to go to bed."

O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl,
O-o-oh, I wish I was a single girl again

Spoken:
Sung by Julius Sutton, Dillsboro [?], North Carolina, October the twenty- eighth, Nineteen hundred and twenty-five.

 

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