Skin and Bones (The Skin and Bones Lady)

DESCRIPTION: "There was an old woman, all skin and bones." The old woman decides to go to church. At the church she encounters a (rotting?) corpse. She asks the (parson/clock), "Will I be thus when I am dead." When told "Yes," she screams and/or dies
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1810 (Gammer Gurton's Garland, revised edition)
KEYWORDS: death questions
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,NE,SE,So) Britain(England)
REFERENCES (22 citations):
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 502-503, "Old Woman All Skin and Bone" (3 texts)
Randolph 69, "The Skin-and-Bone Woman" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 142, "Old Woman All Skin and Bones" (4 texts plus 2 excerpts and mention of 3 more; the "B" text seems to have picked up a "Worms Crawl In" chorus)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 142, "Old Woman All Skin and Bones" (3 tunes plus text excerpts)
Hudson-FolkTunesFromMississippi 43, "There Was an Old Woman" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 123, "There Was an Old Woman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolfe/Boswell-FolkSongsOfMiddleTennessee 84, pp. 135-136, "Skin and Bones" (1 text plus an excerpt from another, 1 tune)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 53, "The Skin-and-Bone Lady" (1 short text, clearly this though it lacks the "skin-and-bone" reference)
Eddy-BalladsAndSongsFromOhio 86, "The Skin-and-Bone Lady" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Peters-FolkSongsOutOfWisconsin, p. 203, "Ghost Song" (1 text)
Ritchie-SingingFamilyOfTheCumberlands, pp. 11-12, "[Skin and Bones]" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, p. 20, "Skin and Bones" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 167, "The Skin-And-Bone Lady" (2 texts)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol3, pp. 12-13, "Skin and Bones" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, pp. 180-181, "The Old Woman All Skin and Bones" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 44-46, "Old Woman All Skin and Bone" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 293, "There was a lady all skin and bone" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #92, pp. 86-88, "(There was a lady all skin and bone)"
Chase-AmericanFolkTalesAndSongs, p. 186, "The Old Woman All Skin and Bones" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-TreasuryOfNewEnglandFolklore, p. 586, "Old Woman All Skin and Bone" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Katherine Briggs, _A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language_, Part A: Folk Narratives, 1970 (I use the 1971 Routledge paperback that combines volumes A.1 and A.2), volume A.2, p. 529, "The Lady That Went to Church" (1 text)

Roud #501
Anonymous singer, "There Was an Old Woman All Skin and Bones" (on USWarnerColl01)
File: R069

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