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"
DT 519, DUMBDUMB*
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
BROADSIDES:
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"

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie" (tune, per GreigDuncan7)
SAME TUNE:
Cruiskeen Lawn (tune [cited as "Cowskeen Lawn"] per broadsides Bodleian Harding B 18(146), LOCSinging as103240 and LOCSinging sb10090b and WolfAmericanSongSheets, #538, p. 36)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Bonnie Blade
NOTES: 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

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.