Dumb Wife, The (Dumb, Dumb, Dumb) [Laws Q5]

DESCRIPTION: A husband's new wife is a perfect housekeeper but is mute. The man takes her to a doctor, who is able to cure her impediment -- only to have her talk all the time. The husband again appeals for help; the doctor says that nothing can silence her
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1698 (Pills to Purge Melancholy)
KEYWORDS: doctor husband wife disability humorous
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW,Ro,SE,So) Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (21 citations):
Laws Q5, "The Dumb Wife (Dumb, Dumb, Dumb)"
Ford-Vagabond, pp. 32-34, "Dumb, Dumb, Dumb" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greig #13, pp. 1-2, "Dumb, Dumb, Dumb" (1 text plus 1 fragment)
GreigDuncan7 1289, "The Dumb, Dumb Maid" (6 texts, 4 tunes)
Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 194, "Country Blade and His Scolding Wife" (1 text)
Randolph 394, "The Dumb Wife Cured" (1 text, 1 tune)
Eddy 92, "The Scolding Wife" (1 text, 1 tune)
FSCatskills 135, "The Wife Who Was Dumb" (1 text, 1 tune)
Korson-PennLegends, p. 56, "Dumb, Dumb, Dumb" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 199, "The Dumb Wife" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-ECS, #96, "The Dumb Maid" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 183, "The Dumb Wife" (2 texts)
BrownSchinhanIV 183, "The Dumb Wife" (2 excerpts, 2 tunes)
Morris, #204, "The Dumb Wife" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Moore-Southwest 106, "The Dumb Maid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard, #128, "The Dumb Wife" (2 texts, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #538, p. 36, "The Dumb Scold" (1 reference)
BBI, ZN143, "All you that pass along"
ADDITIONAL: John Ashton, _A Century of Ballads_, Elliot Stock, London, 1887; reprinted 1968 by Singing Tree Press, pp. 319-321, 'The Dumb Maid: or The Young Galland Trapann'd" (1 text)
Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 262-263, "Dumb, Dumb, Dumb" (1 text)

Roud #434
Bodleian, Harding B 39(145), "The Dumb Maid" or "The Young Gallant Trappan'd" ("All you that press along"), W. Onley (London), 1689-1709; also Harding B 28(80), "The Dumb Wife's Tongue Let Loose"; Harding B 11(2258), Harding B 16(325a), "[The] Dumb Wife"; Harding B 18(146), "The Dumb Scold"
LOCSinging, as103240, "The Dumb Scold", J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859; also sb10090b, "The Dumb Scold"

cf. "The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie" (tune, per GreigDuncan7)
Cruiskeen Lawn (tune [cited as "Cowskeen Lawn"] per broadsides Bodleian Harding B 18(146), LOCSinging as103240 and LOCSinging sb10090b and WolfAmericanSongSheets, #538, p. 36)
The Bonnie Blade
NOTES [154 words]: There is a folktale version of this, "The Dumb Wife," printed on pp. 65-66 of volume A.2 of Katherine Briggs, A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language, Part A: Folk Narratives, 1970 (I use the 1971 Routledge paperback that combines volumes A.1 and A.2). The plot is effectively identical, except that it is a demon, not a doctor, who loses the woman's tongue. This allows another punchline, if it can be called that: A minor demon can allow a woman to speak, but not all the devils of hell can make her shut up.
According to Palmer, another folktale version appeared in A Hundred Merry Tales in 1526. - RBW
Broadsides LOCSinging as103240, LOCSinging sb10090b and Bodleian Harding B 18(146) are triplicates.
Broadside LOCSinging as103240: J. Andrews dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
Last updated in version 3.8
File: LQ05

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