Old Bee Makes the Honey Comb
DESCRIPTION: "Old bee (makes the honey comb/sucks the blossom), Young bee makes the honey. (Poor man/Colored folks) plant the cotton and corn, (Rich man/White folks) make the money."
EARLIEST DATE: 1919 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: floatingverses work bug
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
BrownIII 479, "Old Bee Makes the Honey Comb" (1 fragment); also 480, "Hard Times" (1 text, massively composite: Chorus from "Lynchburg Town" and verses from "Old Bee Makes the Honey Comb" and the "White Folks Go to College" version of "Hard to Be a Nigger")
Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 165, "Old Bee Make de Honeycomb" (1 text, with this stanza but many more associated primarily with "Raccoon")
Morris, #107, "The Old Bee Makes the Honey Comb" (1 fragment)
cf. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #194, p. 136, ("God made the bees")
cf. "Haul Away, Boys, Haul Away" (lyrics)
cf. "Bees of Paradise" (theme of the work of bees and money)
NOTES: Reportedly found also in Uncle Remus, this is one of those floating verses that seems to exist in many songs. Since Brown has it as a standalone, it files here, with many cross-references.
The nursery rhyme version, which I suspect is close to the original, runs:
God made the bees
And the bees make honey.
The miller's man does all the work
But the miller makes the money.- RBW
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