Can I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight?

DESCRIPTION: The tramp asks to be allowed to spend the night in the barn, adding that he had no tobacco or matches. He explains how he used to live a settled life, but then a stranger came to town and made off with his wife and son.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (recordings, Charlie Poole, George Reneau)
KEYWORDS: abandonment rambling poverty hobo request
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE,So) Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Randolph 841, "Can I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight?" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 502-504, "Can I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight?" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 841A)
High, p. 40, "A Tramp in the Rain" (1 text)
BrownIII 356, "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister?" (2 texts)
Rorrer, p. 70, "Can I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight Mister" (1 text)
Cambiaire, pp. 117-118, "May I Sleep In Your Barn To-Night, Mister" (1 text)
Leach-Labrador 93, "The Tramp" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-1ed, pp. 116-118, "Let Me Sleep In Your Barn" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #768
RECORDINGS:
Clarence Ashley & Tex Isley, "Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister?" (on Ashley01)
Gene Autry, "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister?" (Conqueror 7765, 1931)
Boone County Entertainers, "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister" (Supertone 9182, 1928)
Jeff Calhoun [pseud. for Vernon Dalhart], "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister?" (Grey Gull 4118, 1927)
Kentucky Mountain Boys, "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister?" (Supertone S-2027, 1930)
[Walter "Kid" Smith & the] Carolina Buddies, "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister" (Perfect 160, 1930)
Harry "Mac" McClintock, "Can I Sleep In Your Barn?" (Victor V-40264, 1930)
Frank McFarland & Robert Gardner, "May I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight" (Brunswick 203, 1928; Supertone S-2027, 1930; rec. 1927)
Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, "Can I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight Mister" (Columbia 15038-D, 1925; on CPoole02)
Red Fox Chasers, "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister?" (Gennett 6547/Supertone 9182, 1928)
George Reneau, "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister?" (Vocalion 15149, 1925)
James Roberts, "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister?" (Conqueror 7254 [as Joe Reeves], 1929; rec. 1928) (Banner 32205/Perfect 12726/Romeo 5074/Conqueror 7765 [as Joe Reeves], 1931)
Ernest V. Stoneman and Fiddler Joe [Samuels], "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister?" (Okeh 45059, 1926); Ernest V. Stoneman, "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister?" (Challenge 153/Challenge 312/Gennett 3368/Herwin 75530, 1926)
Tennessee Mountaineers [Charlie Poole?] "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister" (Broadway 8146, rec. 1929)
Jim Whalen, "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister?" (Champion 15545, 1928)
Kid Williams & Bill Morgan [pseuds. for Walter Smith & Lewis McDaniel], "May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister?" (Perfect 160, 1931)
Marc Williams, "Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister" (OKeh 45467, 1930)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Tramp's Story" (plot)
cf. "The Lehigh Valley" (plot)
cf. "The Deserted Husband" (theme)
cf. "Red River Valley" (tune)
SAME TUNE:
Let Me Sleep in Your Tent Tonight, Beal (Greenway-AFP, pp.137-138; fragment, perhaps from Greenway, in Burt, p. 187; the song is said to have been written by Odel Corley when he was 11 years old. For Manville Jenckes, the villain of the song, see the notes on "Chief Aderholt")
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Honest Tramp
Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister?
NOTES: Carson J. Robison credits this to E. V. Body, but "Body" gets credit for too many things for the attribution to amount to much. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
File: R841

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