Housewife's Lament, The

DESCRIPTION: The housewife complains of her never-ending war against dirt: "Oh life is a toil and love is a trouble, Beauties will fade and riches will flee, Pleasures they dwindle and prices they double...." At last she dies "and was buried in dirt."
AUTHOR: probably Eliza Sproat Turner (see NOTES)
EARLIEST DATE: 1871 (Arthur's Lady's Home Magazine," Volume 37)
KEYWORDS: work wife lament death burial dream
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 312, "A Housekeeper's Tragedy" (1 text plus an excerpt)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 312, "A Housekeeper's Tragedy" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #110, "Poor Old Woman" (1 text)
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 97, "Life Is a Toil" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 67, "The Housewife's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 184, "The Housewife's Lament" (1 text)

Roud #5472
Loman D. Cansler, "The Housekeeper's Complaint" (on Cansler1)
NOTES [165 words]: Earlier editions of the Index listed this as by H. A. Fletcher, which a question mark; I am no longer sure where I found this information. Jim Dixon gives what seems much more likely to be accurate information:
"THE HOUSEWIFE'S LAMENT [your title] was written as a poem titled A HOUSEKEEPER'S TRAGEDY by Eliza Sproat Turner. It appeared in her book Out-of-Door Rhymes (Boston, J. R. Osgood & Comp., 1872; reprinted Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1903). The latter edition can be seen at Google Books...
"The earliest printing I can find was in Arthur's Lady's Home Magazine, Volume 37 (Philadelphia: T. S. Arthur & Sons, April, 1871 [also on Google Books]), page 241, where it appears without attribution:
"A year later, it appeared in Locomotive Engineers' Journal, Volume 6, No. 7 (Cleveland, Ohio: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, July, 1872 [once again on Google Books]), page 310, with the correct attribution:
"I don't know who set it to music, or when." - JD, (RBW)
Last updated in version 4.1
File: FSC097

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