Dumb Wife, Lyric Variant 01


“Dumb Wife, Lyric Variant 01,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed August 11, 2022, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/31484.

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Dumb Wife, Lyric Variant 01


One leaf of lined paper handwritten in black ink on the front side. The document is in fair physical condition. The document was laminated. The lower left corner was folded into the laminate. There are numerous tears, ranging from minor to major in severity, along the left edge and along the bottom edge. The document was folded horizontally and vertically into twelfths.


Ballads, English Ballads, Irish Mute persons -- 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

Date Created



I. G. Greer


The images and audio files contained in the "So Mote It Ever Be: The Folksong Heritage of North Carolina's Northern Blue Ridge Mountains" collection are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. I. G. Greer/W. Amos Abrams Manuscript Files Series, Folksong Files Subseries. W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection. Special Collections. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials without the written permission of Appalachian State University is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Appalachian State University W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection with specific questions or with requests for further information.








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.

Classification Title

Dumb Wife, Lyric Variant 01

Document Title

The Dumb Wife

Scholarly Classification

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

Dimensions - Original

199 mm x 314 mm

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Transcription Date


Transcribed By

Paul L. Robertson

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