Beware, Oh Take Care
DESCRIPTION: The young girls are warned about sporting men, who look handsome and speak well -- but have a deck of cards and a bottle hidden. "Beware, young ladies, they're fooling you; Trust them not, they're fooling you; Beware, young ladies... Beware, oh take care"
EARLIEST DATE: 1892 (Trifet's Budget of Music)
KEYWORDS: courting cards drink abandonment rake
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Randolph 381, "Beware, Oh Beware" (2 texts plus a quotation from Trifet, 2 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 311-313, "Beware, Oh Beware" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 381B)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 248, "The Inconstant Lover" (4 tunes plus text excerpts; the "B," "C," and "C(1)" tunes presumably belong with "On Top of Old Smokey"; "H" appears to be "Beware, Oh Take Care")
McNeil-SouthernMountainFolksong, pp. 90-92, "Beware, Oh, Beware" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood-NewLostCityRamblersSongbook, pp. 70-71, "Beware, Oh Take Care" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 167, "Beware, Oh, Take Care" (1 text)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Beware, Oh Take Care" (on NLCR10); "Beware" (on NLCR12)
Blind Alfred Reed, "Beware" (Victor 23550, 1931; on TimesAint02)
cf. "The Boys Won't Do to Trust" (theme)
Bold and Free
NOTES [153 words]: Credited in the Digital Tradition to Blind Alfred Blake (which Paul Stamler points out should be "Blind Alfred Reed"), but -- since the piece has been in circulation since at least the 1880s -- it would appear that Reed, at most, retouched it into the "popular" form.
Laura Ingalls Wilder quotes a scrap of the song in By the Shores of Silver Lake (chapter 6). If legitimate, that would push the date back even farther -- to 1879.
Dichter/Shapiro: Harry Dichter and Elliott Shapiro, Early American Sheet Music: Its Lure and Its Lore, 1768-1889, R. R. Bowker, 1941, p. 159, list a piece "Beware! Take Care" with words by "H Longfellow" and music credited to Charles Moulton. This was published in 1865 by G. Schirmer of New York. Longfellow's poem (said to be based on a German original) is clearly related to "Beware, Oh Take Care," but I do not know if this Moulton arrangement is the source for the folk tune. - RBW
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