Miller Boy, The (Jolly is the Miller I)

DESCRIPTION: Playparty: "Happy is the miller boy who lives by the mill, The mill turns around with its own free will, Hand on the hopper and the other on the sack, Lady keeps a-going, gents turn back." Other verses about courting, milling, weather
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1719? (Pills to Purge Melancholy) (American version 1903/Newell-GamesAndSongsOfAmericanChildren)
KEYWORDS: playparty nonballad miller
FOUND IN: Britain(England(West),Scotland(Aber)) US(Ap,MA,MW,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Ont) New Zealand
REFERENCES (25 citations):
Wolford-ThePlayPartyInIndiana, pp. 67-70=Wolford/Richmond/Tillson-PlayPartyInIndiana, pp. 179-180, "Miller Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
List-SingingAboutIt-FolkSongsInSouthernIndiana, pp. 124-131, "THe Miller Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sackett/Koch-KansasFolklore, p. 214, "The Miller Boy" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan8 1604, "There Was a Jolly Miller" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 518, "The Miller Boy" (5 texts, 2 tunes)
Spurgeon-WaltzTheHall-AmericanPlayParty, p. 97, "Dusty Miller" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #132, "The Jolly Miller" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 75, "The Miller Boy" (3 one-stanza fragments)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 75, "The Miller Boy" (1 tune plus a text excerpt);also p. 522, "The Jolly Miller" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 153, pp. 300-301, "The Jolly Miller" (1 text)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, p. 137, "The Miller's Boy" (1 text)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol4, pp. 4-6, "The Dusty Miller" (3 short texts, 2 tunes)
Skean-CircleLeft-FolkPlayOfKentuckyMountains, p. 40, "Jolly Is the Miller Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Neely/Spargo-TalesAndSongsOfSouthernIllinois, p. 197, "Happy is the Miler" (1 short text)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, p. 73, "(Happy was the miller who lived by the mill)" (1 short text, in the notes to "Turkey in the Straw")
Opie/Opie-TheSingingGame 75, "Jolly Miller" (4 texts, 1 tune)
Newell-GamesAndSongsOfAmericanChildren, #40, "Happy is the Miller" (3 short texts)
Sutton-Smith-NZ-GamesOfNewZealandChilden/FolkgamesOfChildren, p. 40, "(There was a jolly miller") (1 text, which open with verses from "The Miller Boy (Jolly is the Miller I)" and continues with "A-Hunting We Will Go")
JournalOfAmericanFolklore, Mrs. L.D. Ames, "The Missouri Play-Party," Vol. XXIV, No. 93 (Jul 1911), p. 306 "The Jolly Old Miller" (1 text, 1 tune)
JournalOfAmericanFolklore, F.W. Waugh, "Canadian Folk-Lore from Ontario," Vol. XXXI, No. 119 (Jan 1918), #638 p. 54 ("Happy is the miller who lives by himself") (1 text)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, John Q. Anderson, "'Miller Boy,' One of the First and Last of the Play-Party Games," Vol. XXI, No. 4 (Nov 1973), pp. 171-172, "(Happy Is the miller boy who lives by the mill)" (1 text, 1 tune, from Texas, not North Carolina)
ADDITIONAL: Robert Ford, Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories (Paisley, 1904 (2nd edition, "Digitized by Google")), p. 70, "The Jolly Miller"
Charlotte Sophia Burne, editor, Shropshire Folk-Lore: A Sheaf of Gleanings (London, 1883 ("Digitized by Google")), #I.11 p. 512, "The Jolly Miller" (1 text)
Marjorie Kimmerle, "'The Jolly Miller' in Colorado and Elsewhere" in Western Folklore, Vol. XVIII, No. 2 (Apr 1959 (available online by JSTOR)), p. 106 "The Jolly Miller" (4 texts)

Roud #733 and 4348
Pete Seeger, "Jolly is the Miller" (on PeteSeeger22) (on PeteSeeger33, PeteSeegerCD03)
cf. "The Old Man at the Mill" (one verse)
cf. "How Happy's the Mortal" (first verse, more or less)
The Miller (square dance call) (Welsch-NebraskaPioneerLore, p. 109)
NOTES [108 words]: Wolford-ThePlayPartyInIndiana traces this piece back to Pills to Purge Melancholy, and Randolph reports that Gomme has English versions. But they don't look like the same item to me. - RBW
Greig/Duncan8 is almost identical to Ford, and very close to the verse Gomme 1.290-293 version IV; all seven of Gomme's one verse versions are the same song as Greig/Duncan8 and seem to agree with the description.
Opie/Opie-TheSingingGame points out the similarity between "The Jolly Miller" and "How Happy's the Mortal," printed in Wit and Mirth, or, Pills to Purge Melancholy (q.v.); Farmer says his copy from Pills to Purge . . . was dated 1707. - BS
Last updated in version 6.1
File: R518

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