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-Oxford2)
KEYWORDS: animal death
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,NE,SE,So) Britain(England)
REFERENCES (19 citations):
BrownIII 130, "The Old Woman and Her Pig" (2 texts plus mention of 1 more)
BrownSchinhanV 130, "The Old Woman and Her Pig" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Morris, #225, "Old Joe Finley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore-Southwest 126, "The Old Woman Who Bought a Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Eddy 68, "Old Sam Fanny" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Gardner/Chickering 195, "Uncle Sam Simmie" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 235, "The Old Woman and the Little Pigee" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Roberts, #99, "The Little Piggee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-Sharp 11, "Bessy Bingle" (1 text)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 77, "The Old Woman and the Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune -- a composite version)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 308-310, "Tale of a Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 207-210, "There Was an Old Woman and She Had a Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-Southern, p. 21, "The Old Woman and the Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie-Oxford2 42, "Little Betty Pringle she had a pig" (1 text)
BaringGould-MotherGoose #37, p. 53, "(Little Betty Winkle she had a pig)"
JHCox 175, "Old Sam Fanny" (2 texts)
Gainer, pp. 160-161, "The Old Couple and the Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sturgis/Hughes, pp. 54-57, "The Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-NEFolklr, pp. 574-575, "The Little Pig" (1 text, 1 tune)

ST E068 (Partial)
Roud #746
NOTES: 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 4.2
File: E068

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 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.