Dollar Down and a Dollar a Week
DESCRIPTION: Singer describes all the things his friend has bought on credit, including clothes, car, marriage, and a child; finally the man's wife, saying "these weekly payments are killing me," divorces him, and the alimony is a dollar down, a dollar a week.
EARLIEST DATE: 1931 (recording, Arkansas Woodchopper)
KEYWORDS: marriage money humorous commerce
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Cohen/Seeger/Wood-NewLostCityRamblersSongbook, p. 79, "Dollar Down and a Dollar a Week" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arkansas Woodchopper [pseud. for Luther Ossenbrink], "A Dollar Down and a Dollar a Week" (Conqueror 7887, 1931)
Woody Guthrie & Cisco Houston, "A Dollar Down and a Dollar a Week" (on Struggle2)
cf. "Cotton Mill Colic" (theme)
NOTES [90 words]: And this was before Visa cards even existed....
Apparently the Singer Sewing Machine company, although they certainly did not invent installment plans, was most responsible for the "Dollar down and a dollar a week" refrain; they were pushing this sales scheme by the 1890s.
It appears that all versions of this go back to the 1931 Arkansas Woodchopper recording; although he did not claim credit for it, one suspects Luther Ossenbrink wrote the text. Lyle Lofgren suggests that the tune comes from the verse part of "Golden Slippers." - RBW
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