LITTLE WILLOW GREEN
(I MARRIED ME A WIFE; THE HOLLY TWIG; BACHELOR'S SONG)
Sung by: Ollie Gilbert
Recorded by Gary Warmbrod (?), Southwestern Folklore class
Click here to listen to the original recording
Mrs. Gilbert: "All my life, since I was a little kid. All my life, nearly."
GW: "Just about ever since you can remember. Could you tell us who you think you learned most of your songs from?"
Mrs. Gilbert: "My mother."
GW: "So you learned most from your mother."
When I was a bachelor, bold and young,
I courted a widow with a clattering tongue.
Kisses that I give her was a hundred and ten.
I told her I’d marry her, but I didn’t tell her when.
Monday morn I married me a wife,
Hoping to live a happy life.
Fiddled and danced just all we pleased,
To think how happy we would be.
Tuesday morning, all alone,
Set an old wife . . . scold
She ripped, she tore, she cursed, she swore.
The like I never heard before.
Wednesday morning, I went to the woods,
Hoping that she’d prove good.
Cut me down a little willow green;
I believe it was as keen a one as ever I seen.
Thursday morning, I whipped her well;
I whipped her more than tongue can tell.
Told her that she’d better not be,
The devil would take her, and take her for me.
Friday morn at the break of day,
There she lay as cold as clay.
Roof and a proof and a little patch of cane.
The devil took her off in a little shower of rain.
GW: "We thank Aunt Ollie Gilbert for singing for us there, with 'Little Willow Green.'"
Also found in Randolph, Vol. III, #367, “I Married Me a Wife”; Brown, Vol. II, #184, “The Holly Twig.”