Hold the Woodpile Down

DESCRIPTION: Original and floating verses: "Saw my love the other night/Hold the woodpile down/Everything wrong and nothing was right...." Chorus: "But I was a-travelling, travelling/As long as the world goes round/For the backyard shine on the Georgia line/Hold...."
AUTHOR: unknown (verses possibly Uncle Dave Macon)
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (recording, Sam Patterson Trio)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Original and floating verses: "Saw my love the other night/Hold the woodpile down/Everything wrong and nothing was right/Hold the woodpile down"; "Gave her a little kiss to make her happy/Gave me a little love lick and in came her pappy"; "Come to town the other night/Heard a lot of noise and seen a big fight/Police running and jumping all round/Load of moonshine done come to town"; "Down in the packinghouse, stole a ham/Folks don't know how bad I am/Carried it home and I laid it on the shelf/I'm so bad, I'm scared of myself." Chorus: "But I was a-travelling, travelling/As long as the world goes round/For the backyard shine on the Georgia line/Hold the woodpile down."
KEYWORDS: courting drink humorous nonsense floatingverses
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 210-212, "Hold That Woodpile Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
RECORDINGS:
Uncle Dave Macon & his Fruit Jar Drinkers, "Hold That Wood-Pile Down" (Vocalion 5151, 1927)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Hold That Woodpile Down" (on NLCR03)
Sam Patterson Trio, "Haul De Woodpile Down" (Edison 51644, 1925)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Roll the Woodpile Down" (chorus)
NOTES: This song is a conundrum. The verses are pure minstrel (Uncle Dave played minstrel shows in his youth), but the chorus is almost identical to that of "Roll the Woodpile Down," a chanty from African-American riverboat workers: "Rolling, rolling/Yes, rolling the whole world around/That brown gal of mine's down the Georgia line/And we'll roll the woodpile down." Other versions of "Hold the Woodpile Down" say, "Black gals shine on the Georgia line", which is closer to the chanty form. -PJS
I'll admit that I would have classified this as a "Dave Macon-ised" version of "Roll the Woodpile Down" -- but Paul has probably examined the matter more than I have. - RBW
File: CSW210

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.