Digital Tradition Mirror

Old Joe Clark

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Old Joe Clark

Once I lived on the mountain top
Now I live in town; I'm staying at the big hotel
Courtin' Betsy Brown.

Old Joe Clark, the preacher's son,
Preached all over the plain,
The only text he ever knew
Was "high low jack and the game. "

Old Joe Clark he had a mule,
His name was Morgan Brown,
And every tooth in that mule's head
Was sixteen inches around.

Old Joe Clark had a yellow cat,
She would neither sing or pray,
She stuck her head in the buttermilk jar
And washed her sins away.

Old Joe Clark had a house
Fifteen stories high,
And every story in that house
Was filled with chicken pie.

I went down to old Joe's house,
He invited me to supper,
I stumped my toe on the table leg
And stuck my nose in the butter.

Now I wouldn't marry a widder,
Tell you the  reason why,
She'd have so many children,
They'd make those biscuits fly

I wish I had a sweetheart
I'd put her on a shelf,
And everytime she'd smile at me,
I'd get up there myself.

Well,  I wouldn't marry that old maid,
I'll tell you the reason why,
Her neck's so long and stringy, boys,
I fear she'd never die.

And I wouldn't marry an old school-teacher,
Tell you the reason why,
She blows her nose in old corn bread,
And calls it pumpkin pie.

Old Joe Clark's no friend of mine
Treats me like a pup;
Kicks my houn' dog under the porch
An' drinks my booze all up.

NOTE: Every banjoist's introduction to modal music:
     the flatted seventh puts it in the Mixolydian mode.
     Words are variable ( with who's singing it). Popular
     alternate choruses are:

     "Fare thee well, Old Joe Clark
     Fare thee well (I sing) (I say) (I'm gone)
     He'd foller me ten thousand miles
     (To hear my banjo ring) (To hear my fiddle play) (Goodby Lucy Long) "

     Get out the way for Old Joe Clark
     Hide away your wine;
     Get out the way (Clear the tracks for) Old Joe Clark
     He ain't no friend of mine.


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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