I Had But Fifty Cents

DESCRIPTION: The singer takes a girl to the ball. He thinks, since she is so delicate, that it is safe to take her to a restaurant, even though he has but fifty cents. But she orders a huge meal. The singer, unable to pay, is beaten up by the restaurant staff
AUTHOR: Words: Billy Mortimer; Music: Dan Lewis
EARLIEST DATE: 1881 (sheet music, with the title "Fifty Cents")
KEYWORDS: food money poverty courting
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Randolph 485, "I Had But Fifty Cents" (1 text)
Browne 141, "I Had But Fifty Cents" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burton-TNSingers, pp. 55-56, "Fifty Cents" (1 text)
Boette, p. 142, "Took My Girl to a Fancy Ball" (1 text, 1 tune)
Shay-Barroom, pp. 38-39, "I Had But Fifty Cents" (1 text, 1 tune)
Emerson, pp. 152-153, "FIfty Cents" (1 text)
Gilbert, p. 121, "I Had But Fifty Cents" (1 text)

Roud #2798
Binkley Brothers' Dixie Clodhoppers, "When I Had But Fifty Cents" (Victor V-40129, 1929; rec. 1928)
Bill Chitwood & his Georgia Mountaineers, "I Had But Fifteen Cents" (OKeh 45131, 1927)
Otto Gray & his Cowboy Band, "I Had But Fifty Cents" (Vocalion 5256, c. 1928)
Jack Golding, "I Had But Fifty Cents" (Champion 16072 [as Jerry Ellis]/Supertone 9711 [as Jack Edwards], 1930)
Peg Moreland, "When I Had But Fifty Cents" (Victor V-40209, 1930)
Riley Puckett, "When I Had But Fifty Cents" (Columbia 15015-D, 1925; rec. 1924)

cf. "Bill Morgan and His Gal" (theme)
Fifty Cents
NOTES [50 words]: A piece entitled "Fifty Cents," by Billy Mortimer and Dan Lewis, was published in 1881. Paul Stamler has verified that this is the same song. This is the text published, e.g., by Emerson. There are songster versions which appear to be from the late 1870s, but they cannot be precisely dated. - PJS, RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: R485

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