“Weevily Wheat”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1911
Keywords: courting nonballad playparty floatingverses
Found in: US(Ap,MW,SE,So)

Description

"Charlie, he's a nice young man, Charlie he's a dandy." Stories about Charlie's attempts at courting and his visits to town. The mention of "Weevily wheat" and lines such as "Over the river to feed my sheep" are common

Notes

Certain authorities have conjectured that the "Charlie" of this song is Bonnie Prince Charlie. (Alan Lomax goes so far as to derive it from the Scots "Charlie Over the Water.") It would be hard to prove either way.

Those seeking to find every version of this song should also check "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss," which I think might be another version of this song. But others disagree.... - RBW

Well, I'd say they're at least siblings; at least one version of "Weevily Wheat" has the same tune as "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss." - PJS

Creighton-Maritime matches the Weevily Wheat pattern but includes the lines "cross the water to Charlie" and -- in the chorus -- "There's none like royal Charlie." In this sense at least it's close to Fowke/MacMillan 44. - BS

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Randolph 520, "Weevily Wheat" (7 texts, some fragmentary or excerpted, 1 tune)
  2. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 397-399, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 520A)
  3. BrownIII 67, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text plus a possibly-rewritten fragment)
  4. Fuson, p. 164, "Over the River to Charlie" (1 text)
  5. Cambiaire, p. 140, "Weevily Wheat" (1 short text)
  6. Linscott, pp. 262-263, "Over the Water to Charlie" (1 short text, 1 tune, primarily a version of this although it incorporates a single verse of "Over the Water to Charlie")
  7. SharpAp 167, "Charlie's Sweet" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
  8. Sandburg, p. 161, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 286, (no title) (3 fragments)
  10. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 290-293, "Weevily Wheat" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  11. Lomax-FSNA 163, "Twistification" (1 text, 1 tune, with a counting chorus and modified verses)
  12. Fowke/MacMillan 44, "Who'll be King but Charlie?" (1 text, 1 tune)
  13. Creighton-Maritime, p. 125, "Charlie" (1 text, 1 tune)
  14. Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 60-61, "[Charlie]" (1 text, 1 tune)
  15. Ritchie-Southern, p. 72, "Over the River Charlie" (1 text, 1 tune)
  16. Opie-Oxford2 96, "Over the water and over the lea" (3 texts)
  17. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #144, p. 115, "(Over the Water and over the lea)"
  18. Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 161, "Charley, He's a Good Ol' Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
  19. Botkin-AmFolklr, pp. 813-814, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text, 1 tune)
  20. Silber-FSWB, p. 36, "Weevily Wheat" (1 text)
  21. DT, WEEVWHT*
  22. Roud #729
  23. BI, R520