Jawbone Song, The

DESCRIPTION: ""Dance all night with a bottle in my hand/Just 'fore day give the fiddler a dram." "Jawbone walk and jawbone talk/Jawbone eat with a knife and fork" "My old Miss is mad at me, Cause I wouldn't live in Tennessee" 'I laid that jawbone on the fence...."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (Cecil Sharp collection)
KEYWORDS: music marriage nonballad nonsense floatingverses dancetune
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Randolph 259, "The Jawbone Song" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 222-223, "The Jawbone Song" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 259)
Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 103, (no title) (1 fragment, without the chorus); also p. 103, "Dweley" (1 text, a collection of floating verses including one from this song, one from "Crawdad," and others); also p. 104, "Lula Gal" (1 text, 1 tune, at least partly this song though the chorus appears to be something else)
SharpAp 246, "Give the Fiddler a Dram" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #7728 and 3657
RECORDINGS:
Carter Bros. & Son, "Old Joe Bone," "Give the Fiddler a Dram" (both on OKeh 45289, 1929)
Willie Chapman, "Jaw Bone" [instrumental] (on MMOK, MMOKCD)
Crazy Hillbillies Band, "Danced All Night with a Bottle in My Hand" (OKeh 45575, 1934)
Clayton McMichen & his Georgia Wildcats, "Give the Fiddler a Dram" (Joe Davis 3510, n.d.)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Old Joe Bone" (on NLCR13, NLCRCD2)
Pope's Arkansas Mountaineers, "Jaw Bone" (Victor 21577, 1928)
Stripling Brothers, "Dance All Night with a Bottle In My Hand" (Vocalion 5395, 1930)
Gid Tanner & Riley Puckett, "Alabama Gal Give the Fiddler a Dram" (Columbia 119-D, 1924)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "Dance All Night with a Bottle in your Hand" (Columbia 15108-D, 1926)
Tennessee Ramblers, "Give the Fiddlers a Dram" (Vocalion 5363, 1929)
Tweedy Brothers, "Dance All Night with a Bottle in your Hand" (Supertone 9174, 1928)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Old Yellow's Dead" (chorus format)
NOTES: I'm including versions of "Give the Fiddler a Dram/Dance All Night With a Bottle In Your Hand" here, because many of them share the same tune and several verses. A case could be made for splitting as well, but in practice the two branches of the family are hard to distinguish. - PJS
This is an instance where, unusually, Roud does not lump; "Jawbone" is Roud #7728 and "Give the Fiddler a Dram" is #3657. But Paul has heard far more of the 78 recordings than I have. My initial description of "Jawbone" was as follows:
"My old Miss is mad at me, Cause I wouldn't live in Tennessee, Wah-jaw-bone to my jangle lang, An' a wah-jaw-bone to my jangle lang." "I laid that jawbone on the fence, An' I ain't seen that jawbone since. Wah-jaw-bone to my jangle lang...." - RBW
File: R259

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.