Old Armchair


“Old Armchair,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 14, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/31751.

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Old Armchair


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--United States
Inheritance and succession--Songs and music
Armchairs--Songs and music
Envy--Songs and music

Alternative Title

Granny's Old Arm Chair, My Grandmother's Chair


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


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








The Old Arm Chair

My grandmother, she, at the age of eighty-three
One day in May was taken ill and died,
And after she was dead,
The will, of course, was read
By a lawyer as we all stood side by side.
To my brother it was found, she’d left a hundred pounds,
The same unto my sister, I’ll declare.
But when it came to me, the lawyer said, I see
Granny’s only left to you the old arm chair.

How they tittered and how they laughed
How my brother and my sister chaffed
When they heard the lawyer declare
Granny’s only left to you the old arm chair.

I thought it hardly fair,
Still I said I did not care
And in the evening took the chair away.
My brother at me laughed,
My sister at me chaffed
And said it will be useful, John, some day,
When you’ve settled down in life,
Take some girl to be your wife,
You’ll find it very handy, I declare
On a cold and frosty night
When the fire is shining bright
You’ll be seated in your old arm chair.

What my brother said was true,
For in a year or two
Strange to say I’d settled down in a married life.
I first the girl did court
And then the ring I bought
Took her to the church and then she was my wife
That little girl and me were as happy as could be
And when the work was over I declare,
I never sought to roam, but I always stayed at home
And be seated in my old arm chair.

One night the chair fell down,
When I picked it up I found
The seat had fallen out upon the floor
And there to my surprise,
I saw before my eyes
A lot of notes - a thousand pounds or more.
When my brother heard of this, the fellow I confess
Went nearly mad with rage and tore his hair
But I just laughed at him and said unto him, Jim
Don’t you wish you had the old arm chair?

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Additional Songs - 668 Randolph, 467 Warner, 100

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