Wish I'd Stayed in the Wagon Yard
DESCRIPTION: Singer comes to town with his cotton. Carousers take him drinking but leave him the bill. He sees them by the missionary hall singing "Jesus Paid it All." He warns against such men -- "don't monkey with them city ducks, you'll find them slick as lard"
AUTHOR: Probably Arthur Hugh Tanner
EARLIEST DATE: 1929 (recording, Peg Moreland)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Singer, a country man, comes to town with a wagon-load of cotton, falls in with some carousers who take him drinking but leave him with the bill. As he walks down the street, he sees them by the missionary hall singing "Jesus Paid it All." He wishes he'd bought half a pint and stayed in the wagon yard, and warns others to do the same -- "don't monkey with them city ducks, you'll find them slick as lard"
KEYWORDS: warning betrayal drink humorous
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Rosembaum, pp. 108-109, "I WIsh I'd Bought a Half a Pint and Stayed in the Wagon Yard" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 21, #1 (1971), p, 19, "WIsh I Had Stayed in the Wagonyard" (1 text, 1 tune, the Lowe Stokes version, which the editors suspect is the original)
Lew Childre, "Wagon Yard" (Champion 16011, 1930) (Melotone 6-10-52, 1936)
Earl Johnson & his Dixie Entertainers, "Buy a Half Pint and Stay in the Wagon Yard" (OKeh 45528, 1931; rec. 1930)
Grandpa Jones, "Stay in the Wagon Yard" (King 912, 1950)
Peg Moreland, "Stay in the Wagon Yard" (Victor V-40008, 1929)
Lowe Stokes & his North Georgians, "Wish I Had Stayed in the Wagon Yard" (Columbia 15557-D, 1930; rec. 1929)
Gordon Tanner, Smokey Joe Miller & Uncle John Patterson, "I Wish I'd Bought a Half a Pint and Stayed in the Wagon Yard" (on DownYonder)
NOTES: This seems to have been quite popular among early string bands, judging by recordings, but it doesn't seem to have made its way into folklore collections.
The tune for this song was also used by Byrd Moore & his Hot Shots for their version of "Three Jolly Huntsmen". - PJS
The Sing Out! notes compare the Stokes tune to "The Preacher and the Bear," Rosenbaum, p. 109, notes that his informant Gordon Tanner thought his uncle Arthur Hugh Tanner wrote the song and was on the Stokes recording. This apparently cannot be verified, but since both Tanners were related to Gid Tanner, it seems likely.- RBW
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