Little Mohee, The [Laws H8]

DESCRIPTION: A (foreign soldier) is greeted by a pretty Mohee. She offers to take him into her tribe if he will stay with her. He will not stay; he has a sweetheart at home. Returning home, he find his girl has left him, and wishes himself back with the Mohee
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1847 (Journal of William Histed of the Cortes)
KEYWORDS: Indians(Am.) love abandonment infidelity
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So,SW) Ireland Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (58 citations):
Laws H8, "The Little Mohea"
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 143-145, "Little Mohea" (1 text plus references to 6 more)
Randolph 63, "The Pretty Mohee" (2 texts plus an excerpt, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 484-486, "The Pretty Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 63A)
Arnold-FolkSongsofAlabama, pp. 72-73, "Pretty Mohea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 110, "Little Mohea" (1 texts plus mention of 11 more)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 110, "Little Mohea (7 excerpts, 7 tunes)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #190, "The Little Mohea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 47, pp. 162-164, "Little Mohea" (2 texts plus mention of 3 more)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #44, "The Lass of Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 86, "The Indian Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-1ed, pp. 102-104, "Little Mohea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 71-72, "Little Mohea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-ASongCatcherInSouthernMountains, pp. 336-345, "The Indian Lass" (6 texts plus a fragment/excerpt, with local titles "Pretty Mauhee," "The Pretty Mohea," "Pretty Mohea," "The Lass of Mohee," "Mawhee," "The Pretty Mahee," (no title); 1 tune on pp. 448-449)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 29, "The Pretty Mohee" (3 texts plus an excerpt and mention of 3 more, 1 tune)
List-SingingAboutIt-FolkSongsInSouthernIndiana, pp. 190-194, "The Isle of Mohea," "The Little Mohea" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Dean-FlyingCloud, pp. 17-18. "The Lass of Mohe" (1 text)
Peters-FolkSongsOutOfWisconsin, p. 114, "The Pretty Mahmee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Stout-FolkloreFromIowa 25, pp. 33-37, "The Little Mohea" (3 texts plus a fragment, 1 tune)
Neely/Spargo-TalesAndSongsOfSouthernIllinois, pp. 172-175, "The Pretty Mohea" (2 texts)
McIntosh-FolkSongsAndSingingGamesofIllinoisOzarks, pp. 37-38, "Little Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Logsdon-WhorehouseBellsWereRinging 40, pp. 211-214, "The Little Mohea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 725-726, "The Little Mohee" (1 text)
Leach-HeritageBookOfBallads, pp. 173-174, "The Little Mohee" (1 text)
Thompson-BodyBootsAndBritches-NewYorkStateFolktales, pp. 402-403, "Lass of Mohee" (1 text)
Eckstorm/Smyth-MinstrelsyOfMaine, pp. 230-232, "The Pretty Mohea" (2 texts)
Flanders/Ballard/Brown/Barry-NewGreenMountainSongster, pp. 144-146, "The Little Mohea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lane/Gosbee-SongsOfShipsAndSailors, pp. 42-43, "The Lass of Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wyman/Brockway-LonesomeSongs-KentuckyMountains-Vol1, p. 52, "The Little Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuson-BalladsOfTheKentuckyHighlands, p. 84, "The Little Mohea" (1 text)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, pp. 62-63, "The Pretty Mauhee" (1 text)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol2, pp. 39-40, "Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune); p. 55, "LIttle Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fife/Fife-CowboyAndWesternSongs 47, "Little Mohea" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Carey-MarylandFolkLegendsAndFolkSongs, p. 115, "The Little Mohee" (1 text)
Lomax/Lomax-AmericanBalladsAndFolkSongs, pp. 163-165, "The Little Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-TreasuryOfAmericanFolklore, pp. 824-825, "The Little Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chase-AmericanFolkTalesAndSongs, pp. 128-129, "The Little Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H836, pp. 372-373, "The Lass of Mohee" (1 text with many variant readings, 1 tune)
Pound-AmericanBalladsAndSongs, 91, pp. 197-198, "The Pretty Mohea" (1 text)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 116, "The Pretty Mohea" (3 texts)
Cox/Hercog/Halpert/Boswell-WVirginia-B, #12A-C, pp. 147-150, "The Pretty Mohea," "The Little Maumee" (1 text plus 2 fragments, 2 tunes)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol3, pp. 47-49, "The Little Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thomas-DevilsDitties, pp. 98-99, "Fair Indian Lass or Little Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 124-125, "The Pretty Mohea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Boette-SingaHipsyDoodle, pp. 135-137, "The Pretty Mohea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gentry/Smith-ASingerAmongSingers, #41, "The Little Maumie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Huntington-SongsTheWhalemenSang, pp. 148-150, "The Lass of Mowee" ( text)
Huntington-TheGam-MoreSongsWhalemenSang, pp. 48-50, "The Lass of Maui"; pp. 51-53, "The Pretty Maid of Mohe" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Colcord-SongsOfAmericanSailormen, pp. 199-200, "The Lass of Mohea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/MacMillan-PenguinBookOfCanadianFolkSongs 53, "The Young Spanish Lass" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast 103, "Little Mohee" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Mackenzie-BalladsAndSeaSongsFromNovaScotia 58, "The Lass of Mohee" (1 text)
Dibblee/Dibblee-FolksongsFromPrinceEdwardIsland, pp. 82-83, "The Lass of Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Shay-AmericanSeaSongsAndChanteys, pp. 195-197, "The Little Mohee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, pp. 227-229, "The Little Mohee" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 148, "Little Mohee" (1 text)
cf. Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan, p. 482, "The Pretty Mohea" (source notes only)

Roud #275
Hall Brothers, "Little Mo-Hee" (Bluebird B-6843/Montgomery Ward 7237, 1937)
Buell Kazee, "The Little Mohee" (Brunswick 156, 1927; Brunswick 436, 1930) (on Kazee01 [fragment])
Bradley Kincaid, "The Little Mohee" (Gennett 6856/Supertone 9402, 1929)
Flora Noles, "Little Mohee" (OKeh 45037, 1926)
Pie Plant Pete [pseud. for Claude Moye], "Little Mo-Hee", Perfect 5-10-14/Melotone 5-10-14, 1935; rec. 1934)
Riley Puckett, "Little Maumee" (Columbia 15277-D, 1928)
Roe Bros. & Morrell, "My Little Mohi" (Columbia 15199-D, 1927)
Ernest Stoneman and His Dixie Mountaineers, "The Pretty Mohea" (Edison, unissued, 1928)
Marie Sullivan, "Little Mohee" (on MUNFLA/Leach)

cf. "On Top of Old Smokey" (tune)
cf. "The Indian Lass" (theme, some verses)
cf. "I'm a Stranger in this Country (The Darger Lad)" (theme, verses)
Cocoanut Grove
NOTES [277 words]: Kittredge describes this as a "chastened" (i.e. de-bawdy-ized) American reworking of a British broadside, "The Indian Lass." It is agreed, though, that the American version is much superior to the British. [It may be agreed that this is superior to "The Indian Lass," but not by me. - PJS]
Barry, however, considers the American version original; it then became a sea song, with the girl transformed from a "Mohee" to a resident of Maui, and the British version descends from that. Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety concurs at least to the extent of calling it a sea song and saying "that the 'Indian lass' is a denizen not of America but of the South Seas."
Huntington splits the difference; he thinks the sea version is the original, and the source of the Native American version (he doesn't mention "The Indian Lass"). He offers no evidence for this view, except for the early dates of the whaling versions.
Just looking at the sundry texts, my (slight) inclination is to think "The Little Mohee" the original; "The Indian Lass" looks like this song with a little bit of "The Lake of Ponchartrain" mixed in and the Indian girl released from tribal affiliation.
Scarborough has a discussion of the matter, in which she supports Kittredge in calling it a British import. But she seems to consider the two still one song -- although her versions consistently mention the Mohee/Mauhee/Mawhee, she titles the song "The Indian Lass."
Whatever its origin, the song has become extremely popular in America (Laws lists in excess of two dozen versions, from more than a dozen states). Sundry tunes are used; many are close to "On Top of Old Smokey." - RBW
Last updated in version 6.4
File: LH08

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