Sung by: Mrs. Alfred Overholzer
Recorded in Lewisburg, TN

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(Mrs. Overholzer: "This is May 6, 1962. I am Mrs. Alfred Overholzer from Lewisburg, TN. My grandmother, Martha Octavia Speer Garrett, sang these songs to me when, as a child, she lived in our home. That was in about the 1920's. She lived all her life in Wayne County, Tennessee, having been born there in 1861. Her mother was Martha Amelia Beard Speer of Newberry District, South Carolina. I'm not sure just how many of these songs and how much of them came from my great-grandmother. I feel sure that 'The Old Man Who Lived in the Woods' came from my great-grandmother. The others may have been ones my grandmother learned at her home.

Dr. Wolf: "Do you know about when your mother and your grandmother and your great-grandmother were born?"

Mrs. Overholzer: "Yes. My great-grandmother, Martha Amelia Beard, was born in 1800 in Newberry District and came to Wayne County, Tennessee, in 1836. She married William Speer of . . . I can't think of the name of the county. It's right next to Newberry, in South Carolina. And he said at that time, 'My dear, I'm taking you to a wooden world,' when he brought her to Tennessee.")

Once there was an old man who lived in the woods,
As you may plainly see.
He said he could do more work in one day
Than his wife could do in three.

The old lady said with all her heart,
"If you will me allow,
You may do the work today,
While I go follow the plow."

The old lady took her staff in her hand,
And off to follow the plow.
The old man took his pail on his head,
And off to milk the cow.

Old Tiny, she flinched; Old Tiny, she kicked;
Old Tiny, she turned up her nose.
Old Tiny, she kicked him on the chin,
And made the blood run to his toes.

Saw, Tiny, saw,
My pretty little cow, stand still,
And if I ever milk you again,
It'll be against my will.

He went to feed the three little pigs,
There within the sty,
And bumped his nose against the barn,
And made the blood to fly.

He went to feed the old speckled hen,
For fear she'd go astray,
And quite forgot the spool of yarn
His wife spun every day.

And when the old lady came home that night,
He said he could plainly see
That she could do more work in one day
Than he could do in three.

And when he saw how well she'd plowed,
Her rows so even and straight,
He said she could do more work in one day
Than he could do in eight.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. I, #74, "Father Grumble"; Belden, p. 228, "Father Grumble."

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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