Jerry Go-Nimble


“Jerry Go-Nimble,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 28, 2024,

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Jerry Go-Nimble


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.


Folk songs
Ugliness--Songs and music
Marital conflict--Songs and music
Ghosts--Songs and music
Marriage--Songs and music

Alternative Title

Honey and Mustard


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


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








Jerry Go-Nimble

Sir Jerry Go-Nimble was lame of a leg,
Hey diddle, ho diddle dee,
And my Lady Go-Nimble had barely on peg.
For a very old lady was she.
Sir Jerry, when married, was just twenty-two.
My lady fourscore, when Sir Jerry, came to woo:
As ugly a Poles, but as rich as Jew.
How we used to laugh at the old creature when she used to sing,
Hey diddle, ho diddle, hey diddle dee,
Sing hey diddle, ho diddle dee.

At the wedding, my lady was asked for a song,
Hey diddle, ho diddle dee,
Oh! says she, to comply I will not hesitate long,
But I own I am not quite in the key,
Then she gave a queer look, twixt a quint and a grin,
And screwed up her snuff-colored lips to begin,
Like two bellows-handles she moved nose and chin,
When she sung, what’s life without passion, sweet passion of love!
Sing hey diddle, ho diddle, key diddle dee,
Sing hey diddly, ho diddle dee.

This pair of true lovers they loved upon love,
Hey diddle, ho diddle dee,
And then honeymoon lasted a week and above,
And then it was all mustard for she.
Sir Jerry was fond of his cards, dice and hits,
And my lady fell into historical fits,
And for cruelty drank herself out of her wits,
She wandered about, singing, her was false and I am undone!
Hey diddle, ho diddle, hey diddle dee,
Hey diddle, ho diddle dee.

At last by this sad hydrafogy she died,
Hey diddle, ho diddle dee.
And her grim ghost it came by Jerrys bedside,
Saying, list! for I am come for thee!
Sir Jerry he hid himself under the clothes,
But the ghost very soon pulled him out by the toes,
Threw him out of the window, and cried, there he goes!
And there he went sure enough, singing,
Hey diddle, ho diddle, hey diddle dee,
Hey diddle, ho diddle dee.

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