There Was an Old Woman and She Had a Little Pig

DESCRIPTION: "There was an old woman and she had a little pig, It didn't cost much 'cause it wasn't very big." Despite good care, the pig never grows up. One day it dies. The owner(s) soon follow. The song ends; "if you want any more, you can sing it yourself"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1784 (Gammar Gurton's Garland, according to Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes)
KEYWORDS: animal death
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,NE,SE,So) Britain(England)
REFERENCES (21 citations):
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 130, "The Old Woman and Her Pig" (2 texts plus mention of 1 more)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 130, "The Old Woman and Her Pig" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #225, "Old Joe Finley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 126, "The Old Woman Who Bought a Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Eddy-BalladsAndSongsFromOhio 68, "Old Sam Fanny" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 195, "Uncle Sam Simmie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 235, "The Old Woman and the Little Pigee" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Boette-SingaHipsyDoodle, pp. 104-105, "Ole San Fannie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roberts-SangBranchSettlers, #99, "The Little Piggee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 11, "Bessy Bingle" (1 text)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 77, "The Old Woman and the Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune -- a composite version)
Lomax/Lomax-AmericanBalladsAndFolkSongs, pp. 308-310, "Tale of a Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-SingingFamilyOfTheCumberlands, pp. 207-210, "There Was an Old Woman and She Had a Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, p. 21, "The Old Woman and the Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 42, "Little Betty Pringle she had a pig" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #37, p. 53, "(Little Betty Winkle she had a pig)"
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 175, "Old Sam Fanny" (2 texts)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 160-161, "The Old Couple and the Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sturgis/Hughes-SongsFromTheHillsOfVermont, pp. 54-57, "The Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-TreasuryOfNewEnglandFolklore, pp. 574-575, "The Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
OneTuneMore, p. 43, "The Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)

ST E068 (Partial)
Roud #746
NOTES [74 words]: Although the first instance of this seems to be from 1784, the idea appears to be older. Oliver Goldsmith (died 1774) produced a poem to mock the sententiousness of Thomas Percy. It began
A Dirge
Little Betty Winckle she had a pig,
It was a little pig not very big;
When he was alive he liv'd in clover,
But now he's dead and that's all over.
(Quoted in Nick Groom, The Making of Percy's Reliques, Oxford English Monographs, 1999, p. 239). - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: E068

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