and Ralph E. Roberts for
Mary Celestia Parler
Transcribed by Frances Majors
Collected by James Ward Lee Conversation with Leander Witt,
his son, Mary C. Parler, and
Joan O'Bryant; Songs by
July 19, 1958
Reel 240, Item 11
Son: He plays a song every day for everybody.
JO: Does he play in a band?
Son: No, he's just learning.
JO: Does he know any old songs?
Son: I never did hear him sing any— he's trying to learn to play a
violin. But now he knows about every musician— I'll say in
the northeast part of Wichita.
JO: There's quite a few up there.
Son: I've been to his place quite a few times. He lives at 2362
LW: That's an old tune I haven't played in a long, long time. I's
all I remember. "Sourwood Mountain."
MCP: I knew that was "Sourwood Mountain." Do you know any words to
LW: I used to, but I don't anymore:
MCP: "I got a girl at the head of the holler"?
MCP: "She won't come and I won't foller;" isn't that the way it goes?
LW: "She won't come and I won't call her" is the way I always sang
"My true love and a hoot-owl holler
My true love and a black-eyed baby,
What's that about the geese on the river?
How about "Old Joe Clark"?
. . . Old Joe Clark,
Never there before,
They fed me in an old horse trough,
And'I ain't a-going back no more.
Faro you well, you Joe Clark,
Fare you well, I'm gone.
Fare you well, you Joe Clark,
Fare well Betty Brown.
Conversation and songs— Leander Witt (Cont'd)
Reel 210, Item 11
JL: There's something about a yellow gal in there— standing behind
him or something?
LW: That's another tune. I've heard that.
JL: There's another one about Old Joe Clark— 'tucking comb?
MCP: Lost my tucking comb?
JL: Do you sing that?
LW: I went down to Joe Clark's,
And Old Joe was gone from home.
I got in a fight with Old Joe's wife,
And I broke her tucking comb.
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