Hey, Ho, Nobody Home

DESCRIPTION: "Hey, ho, nobody home, Meat nor drink nor money have I none, Yet will I be merry...." Often sung as a round.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1609 (Ravenscroft, Pammelia)
KEYWORDS: nonballad food drink
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Pankake/Pankake-PrairieHomeCompanionFolkSongBook, p. 231, "Ho-Hum, Nobody's Home" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 412, "Hey, Ho, Nobody Home" (1 text)
Averill-CampSongsFolkSongs, pp. 433, 442, 447, 448, 451, 452, "Hey Ho, Nobody Home" (notes only)
GirlScouts-SingTogether, p. 105, "Hey, Ho!" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Zander/Klusmann-CampSongsPopularEdition, p. 29, "Hey, Ho!" (1 text)
ChansonsDeNotreChalet, p. 21, "Hey, Ho! Nobody Home" (1 text plus a French translation, 1 tune)
BoyScoutSongbook1997, p. 29, "Ho ho! Nobody Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
SongsOfManyNations, "Hey, Ho! Nobody Home" (1 text, 1 tune) (CC edition, p. 43)

Roud #37118
cf. "Rose, Rose" (lyrics, partial tune)
NOTES [154 words]: This is in Ravenscroft's Pammelia as a unison canon. It is also in Francis Beaumont's play "The Knight of the Burning Pestle":
Ho, ho, nobody at home,
Meat nor drink nor money ha' we none,
Fill the pot, Eedy,
Never more need I.
(Wine, Act IV, scene IV, lines 42-45 on p. 367; in KnightOfBurningPestle/Hattaway, it's Act IV, lines 362-365 on p. 98; KnightOfBurningPestle/Zitner makes it Act IV, lines 365-368on p. 142, with tune on p. 181. For background on "The Knight of the Burning Pestle," see the notes to "Three Merry Men.")
Did this really survive in tradition? There are a few modern pseudo-collections, but all might hearken back to print. I've seen it treated as a sort of wassail song, begging for gifts, but I doubt this is authentic. It does seem to have re-inserted itself into camp tradition, however, since Averill-CampSongsFolkSongs says she has 63 mentions of it and found versions in several languages. - RBW
Bibliography Last updated in version 6.3
File: FSWB412G

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 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.