Dumb Wife, Lyric Variant 01


“Dumb Wife, Lyric Variant 01,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 23, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/31484.

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Dumb Wife, Lyric Variant 01


This item is part of the I. G. Greer Folksong Collection which consists of more than 300 individual song titles and their variants as collected by Isaac Garfield Greer (1881-1967) from informants, primarily in Ashe, Wilkes and Watauga counties. The collection includes manuscripts, typescript transcriptions produced by Dr. Greer’s clerical staff, and handwritten musical notations. Songs range from traditional Child Ballads, traditional English and Scottish ballads as well as their American variants, to 19th century popular music to musical compositions of local origin.


Ballads, English
People with disabilities--Songs and music
Marital conflict--Songs and music

Alternative Title

The Dumb Girl, The Bonnie Blade, The Dumb Wife Cured


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


Greer, I. G. (Isaac Garfield), 1881-1967








The Dumb Wife

There was a jovial blade, and he married a country maid,
So safely he conducted her home, home, home.
She was neat in every art, and she pleased him to the heart,
But alas! and alas! she was dumb, dumb, dumb.
She could brew, and she could bake, she could cut, and she could make,
She could sweep in a house, with a broom, broom, broom,
She could card, and she could spin, she could do most anything,
But alas, and alas, she was dumb, dumb, dumb.

2nd A doctor he lived nigh, and to him he did apply,
To cure his loving wife of the numb, numb, numb.
He cut the chatting string, and her tongue began to ring,
And it pounded in his ear, like a drum, drum, drum.
Her tongue began to walk, and she began to talk
The same as if she never had been dumb, dumb, dumb.
She filled the house with strife, made him weary of his life,
He’d give anything again if she was dumb, dumb, dumb.

3d To the doctor he did go, with his heart full of woe,
Saying, doctor, oh doctor, I’m undone, done.
For my wife, she’s turned to scold, and her tongue she will not hold,
I’d give anything again, if she was dumb, dumb, dumb.
It is the easier part, that belongs to my art,
To make a woman talk, that is dumb, dumb, dumb.
But its past the art of man, let him do the best he can,
To make a scolding wife hold her tongue, tongue, tongue.

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Older Ballads - Mostly British - 183 Randolph, 394

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