Careless Love

DESCRIPTION: A young girl's lament for having loved unwisely, worrying what her mother will say when the girl returns home, wearing her apron high (i. e. pregnant).
AUTHOR: Unknown, sometimes attributed to W. C. Handy
EARLIEST DATE: 1911 (JournalOfAmericanFolklore)
KEYWORDS: sex seduction pregnancy lament
REFERENCES (23 citations):
Randolph 793, "Careless Love" (3 texts, 1 tune. The "B" text is, however, derived mostly from other materials -- it does not even have the "Careless Love" refrain -- of which "Little Pink" seems to be the most important)
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 498-500, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 793A)
Randolph/Legman-RollMeInYourArms II, pp. 648-650, "Careless Love" (2 texts)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 173, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, pp. 42-43, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 167, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 13, pp. 91-93, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (1 fragments, of which "A" is the "Pretty Little Foot" with a chorus from "Careless Love" and "B" is two "Pretty Little Foot" stanzas artificially and wrongly extracted from "Wild Bill Jones")
Hudson-FolkTunesFromMississippi 2, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune, the "Pretty Little Foot"/"Careless Love" combination from Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 13)
Sandburg-TheAmericanSongbag, p. 21, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lunsford/Stringfield-30And1FolkSongsFromSouthernMountains, pp. 40-41, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Richardson/Spaeth-AmericanMountainSongs, p. 50, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol2, pp. 103-104, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax/Lomax-FolkSongUSA 20, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 309, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-TreasuryOfAmericanFolklore, pp. 901-902, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wheeler-SteamboatinDays, pp. 89-90, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Courlander-NegroFolkMusic, pp. 138-139, "(Careless Love)" (fragments of two texts); pp. 272-273, "Careless Love" (1 tune, partial text)
Seeger-AmericanFavoriteBallads, p. 11, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Handy/Silverman-BluesAnAnthology, p. 55-57, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune, with a verse from "Free Little Bird" and others added by blues composers)
Fireside-Book-of-Folk-Songs, p. 46, "Careless Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 163, "Careless Love" (1 text)
Fuld-BookOfWorldFamousMusic, pp. 162-163, "Careless Love"

Roud #422
[Clarence] Ashley & [Gwen] Foster, "Times Ain't Like They Used to Be" (Vocalion 02554, 1933; on Ashley04)
Emry Arthur, "Careless Love" (Paramount 3298, 1931)
Slim Barton & Eddie Mapp, "Careless Love" (QRS R-7088, 1929)
Dock Boggs, "Careless Love" (on Boggs3, BoggsCD1)
Anne, Judy & Zeke Canova, "Reckless Love" (Oriole 8044/Perfect 12685/Regal 10299, 1931)
[Tom] Darby & [Jimmie] Tarlton, "Careless Love" (Columbia 15651-D, 1931; rec. 1930)
Delmore Brothers, "Careless Love" (Bluebird B-7436, 1938)
Johnny Dodds w. Tiny Parham, "Careless Love" (Paramount 12483, 1927)
Fats Domino, "Careless Love" (Imperial 5145, 1951)
Four Southern Singers, "Careless Love" (Bluebird B-8392, 1940; rec. 1933)
Blind Boy Fuller, "Careless Love" (Vocalion 03457, 1937/Conqueror 9012, 1937/Melotone 8-02-66, 1938; rec. 1937)
W. C. Handy, "Careless Love" (AFS 1620 B3, 1938)
Ed Hudson, "Careless Love" (Champion 16464, 1932/Champion 40086, 1936; rec. 1931)
Johnson Brothers, "Careless Love" (Victor 20940, 1927)
Lonnie Johnson, "Careless Love" (OKeh 8635, 1928)
Lulu Johnson, "Careless Love Blues" (Vocalion 1193, 1928; Supertone S-2227, 1931; [as Lulu Williams] Banner 32387/Oriole 8119/Perfect 195/Romeo 5119, all 1932; all of these rec. 1928)
Ruth Johnson, "Careless Love" (Paramount 13060, 1931)
Asa Martin, "Careless Love" (Melotone 5-11-63/Oriole 5-11-63 [as by "Martin & Roberts"], 1935)
Lester McFarland & Robert Gardner, "Careless Love" (Vocalion 5125, 1927)
Brownie McGhee, "Careless Love" (on McGhee01, DownHome)
Byrd Moore & his Hot Shots, "Careless Love" (Columbia 15496-D, rec. Oct 23, 1929)
Eva Parker, "Careless Love" (Victor V-38020, 1929; rec. 1928)
Riley Puckett, "Careless Love" (Columbia 15747-D, 1932; rec. 1931) (Bluebird B-5532/Montgomery Ward M-4507, 1934)
Pete Seeger, "Careless Love" (on PeteSeeger18)
Bessie Smith, "Careless Love Blues" (Columbia 14083-D, 1925) (Columbia 3172-D/Parlophone [UK] R-2479, 1938 -- I'm going to guess this is a different (electrical) recording from 14083-D)
Ernest V. Stoneman, "Careless Love" (Edison 52388, 1928) (CYL: Edison [BA] 5530, 1928)
Georgia White, "Careless Love" (Decca 7419, 1938)
Lee Wiley, "Careless Love" (Decca 132, 1934)
Richard Williams, "Tain't But the One Thing That Grieves My Mind" (on USFlorida01)
Ella Mae Wilson and Richard Williams, "Careless Love" (on USFlorida01)

cf. "The Butcher Boy" [Laws P24] (floating lyrics)
cf. "Waly Waly (The Water is Wide)"
cf. "Dink's Song" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Every Night When the Sun Goes In" (floating lyrics)
cf. "I Have No Loving Mother Now" (tune)
I Have No Loving Mother Now (Kelly Harrell & Henry Norton, Victor 20935, 1927; on KHarrell02)
Loveless Love (Noble Sissle & his Sizzling Syncopators, Pathe 20493, 1921; Katherine Handy, Paramount 12011, 1922; Alberta Hunter w. Henderson's Dance Orch., Paramount 12018, 1922; Billie Holiday, OKeh 6064, 1941; Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys, Vocalion 04387, 1938; Milton Brown & his Brownies, Bluebird B-5715/Montgomery Ward M-4758, 1935)
NOTES [88 words]: The "Loveless Love" lyrics seem to have been written by W. C. Handy in 1921, using the tune and structure of "Careless Love". He also seems to have claimed "Careless Love" at times, but in other contexts he called it a folk song. So do I. One online biography of Handy called it an 18th-century English folk song ("Dear Companion"?) which by the early 1800s had become a Black rivermen's song. No references, unfortunately. But Wheeler associates the song with the Ohio packet Dick Fowler, running between Cairo and Paducah. - PJS
Last updated in version 5.3
File: R793

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