Whoa Back, Buck

DESCRIPTION: The experiences of a poor farmer. He describes his fieldwork methods ("Sometimes I plow my old grey horse..."), the crops, his gal's big feet, the dances they went to together, etc. Possible chorus: "Whoa back, buck! And gee! by the lamb!"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (Scarborough)
KEYWORDS: work horse farming poverty floatingverses
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Randolph 281, "Couldn't Raise No Sugar Corn" (1 text, 1 tune, which might be separate since it lacks the chorus)
Scarborough-OnTheTrailOfNegroFolkSongs, p. 187, "Last Year Was a Fine Crap Year" (1 text)
Lomax/Lomax-FolkSongUSA 67, "Whoa Buck" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax- FSNA 282, "Whoa Back, Buck" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cray-AshGrove, p. 18, "Whoa Back, Buck" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnett-IHearAmericaSinging, pp. 168-169, "Whoa, Back, Buck!" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenway-AmericanFolksongsOfProtest, p 72-73, "Oh, My God, Them 'Taters" (1 short text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Moses Asch and Alan Lomax, Editors, _The Leadbelly Songbook_, Oak, 1962, p. 46, "Whoa Buck" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #10060
Anne, Judy, & Zeke Canova, "Whoa Back Buck" (Banner 32126/Oriole 8043/Perfect 12684/Romeo 5043. 1931; rec. 1930) (Columbia 15630-D [as Three Georgia Cracker, "Whoa Buck Whoa"], 1931; rec. 1930)
Lulu Belle & Scotty, "Whoa Back Buck" (Conqueror 9587, 1940)

cf. "Song of the Pinewoods" (floating lyrics)
cf. "I'm a Rowdy Soul" (floating lyrics)
Tighten on the Backband
NOTES [77 words]: The Lomaxes credit this to Lead Belly, with some new material of their own. (What else is new?) However, the fragment in Randolph strongly implies that Lead Belly did no more than reshape traditional materials -- and then the Lomaxes reshaped THAT.
It is on this basis that I include Greenway's song "Oh, My God, Them 'Taters" here. Greenway's song is just a fragment; it is possible that it is part of a longer song -- or that the Lomaxes borrowed its lyrics. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: LxU067

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.