Weevily Wheat

DESCRIPTION: "Charlie, he's a nice young man, Charlie he's a dandy." Stories about Charlie's attempts at courting and his visits to town. The mention of "Weevily wheat" and lines such as "Over the river to feed my sheep" are common
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: courting nonballad playparty floatingverses
REFERENCES (38 citations):
Randolph 520, "Weevily Wheat" (7 texts, some fragmentary or excerpted, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 397-399, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 520A)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 67, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text plus a possibly-rewritten fragment)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 67, "Weevily Wheat" (2 tunes plus text excerpts); also p. 521, "Weevily Wheat" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Fuson-BalladsOfTheKentuckyHighlands, p. 164, "Over the River to Charlie" (1 text)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, p. 140, "Weevily Wheat" (1 short text)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol1, p. 28, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Skean-CircleLeft-FolkPlayOfKentuckyMountains, p. 41, "Charlie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 151-152, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, pp. 103-106, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune, plus some loose verses)
Spurgeon-WaltzTheHall-AmericanPlayParty, pp. 200-201, 202-203, "Weeily Wheat" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 262-263, "Over the Water to Charlie" (1 short text, 1 tune, primarily a version of this although it incorporates a single verse of "Over the Water to Charlie")
Neely/Spargo-TalesAndSongsOfSouthernIllinois, pp. 200-200, "Weevily Wheat" (2 texts)
Wolford-ThePlayPartyInIndiana, pp. 102-106=Wolford/Richmond/Tillson-PlayPartyInIndiana, pp. 288-290, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text plus many additional stanzas, 1 tune)
List-SingingAboutIt-FolkSongsInSouthernIndiana, pp. 152-157, "Weevily Wheat"; pp. 158-164, "Over the River to Charlie's" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Beck-LoreOfTheLumberCamps 58, "(Shanty-Boy Dance Jingles: We won't have any weev'ly wheat)" (1 short text)
McIntosh-FolkSongsAndSingingGamesofIllinoisOzarks, pp. 58-60, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sackett/Koch-KansasFolklore, pp. 217-218, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 167, "Charlie's Sweet" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
Richardson/Spaeth-AmericanMountainSongs, p. 86, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg-TheAmericanSongbag, p. 161, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-OnTheTrailOfNegroFolkSongs, p. 286, (no title) (3 fragments)
Lomax/Lomax-AmericanBalladsAndFolkSongs, pp. 290-293, "Weevily Wheat" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 163, "Twistification" (1 text, 1 tune, with a counting chorus and modified verses)
Fowke/MacMillan-PenguinBookOfCanadianFolkSongs 44, "Who'll be King but Charlie?" (1 text, 1 tune, with "Weevily Wheat" verses but obviously also some kinship to "Wha'll Be King but Charlie")
Creighton-MaritimeFolkSongs, p. 125, "Charlie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-SingingFamilyOfTheCumberlands, pp. 60-61, "[Charlie]" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, p. 72, "Over the River Charlie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thomas-DevilsDitties, p. 69, "Prince Charley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 96, "Over the water and over the lea" (3 texts)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #144, p. 115, "(Over the Water and over the lea)"
Cohen/Seeger/Wood-NewLostCityRamblersSongbook, p. 161, "Charley, He's a Good Ol' Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-TreasuryOfAmericanFolklore, pp. 813-814, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 36, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text)
SongsOfAllTime, p. 71, "Charlie" (1 text, 1 tune)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, Charles Bond, "Unpublished Folklore in the Brown Collection," Vol. XX, No. 1 (Feb 1972), pp. 15-16, "Miss Lucy, or Twistification" (1 text, with chorus "Roll on the floor (x3), Till life's roll is o'er" and verses "I went down to see Miss Lucy, Oh, I'd never been there before" and "As I was a-goin' down the road, I met a rabbit and I met a toad"; although the game "Twistification" is sometimes linked with "Weevily Wheat," the verses look more like "The Catfish (Banjo Sam)" and perhaps "Roll on the Ground (Big Ball's in Town)" or "Karo Song")
Averill-CampSongsFolkSongs, p. 520, "Weevily Wheat" (notes only)

Roud #729
Granville Bowlin, "Charlie's Neat" (on MMOK, MMOKCD)
Kelly Harrell, "Charley, He's a Good Old Man" (Victor 21069, 1927; on KHarrell02, CrowTold02)
Eunice Yeatts MacAlexander, "Over the River to Charlie" (on FarMtns1)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Charley, He's a Good Old Man" (on NLCR10)
Jean Ritchie, "Over the River Charlie" (on RitchieWatsonCD1)
Ritchie Family, "Charlie" (on Ritchie03)

cf. "Roll the Tater (Rolly Rolly)" (floating lyrics, meter)
cf. "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Rosey Apple Lemon and Pear" (floating lyrics)
NOTES [349 words]: Certain authorities (e.g. Andrew Lang, according to the Opies) have conjectured that the "Charlie" of this song is Bonnie Prince Charlie. (Alan Lomax goes so far as to derive it from the Scots "Charlie Over the Water.") It would be hard to prove either way.
The unique Katherine Elwes Thomas, The Real Personages of Mother Goose, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1930, p. 304, is so certain that it's about Bonnie Prince Charlie that she combines words from the two songs. But it is quite evident that they scan differently.
Those seeking to find every version of this song should also check "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss," which I think might be another version of this song. But others disagree.... - RBW
Well, I'd say they're at least siblings; at least one version of "Weevily Wheat" has the same tune as "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss." - PJS
Creighton-MaritimeFolkSongs matches the Weevily Wheat pattern but includes the lines "cross the water to Charlie" and -- in the chorus -- "There's none like royal Charlie." In this sense at least it's close to Fowke/MacMillan-PenguinBookOfCanadianFolkSongs 44. - BS
Consider the song attributed to Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne (1766-1845) at Charles W. Eliot, editor, English Poetry Vol II From Collins to Fitzgerald (New York, 1910), #335, pp. 564-565, "Wha'll Be King But Charlie?" (Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne). The Fowke/MacMillan-PenguinBookOfCanadianFolkSongs 44 chorus shares lines in its chorus ("Come round the heather, ... You're welcome late and early, Around him fling [Nairne: "cling"] your royal king, For who'll be king but Charlie?" - BS
The latter is usually called "Wha'll Be King But Charlie" (the title used in the Index) or "The News frae Moidart," and it is certainly about Bonnie Prince Charlie. And it does mix with some "Weevily Wheat" versions. (Almost everything does!) But it is definitely an independent song, and the tune I've heard (admittedly from Silly Wizard, hardly an authoritative source) is distinct. Roud lumps a whole raft of "Charlie" songs, but that's more desperation than anything else. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: R520

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