“Hold the Woodpile Down”
Original and floating verses: "Saw my love the other night/Hold the woodpile down/Everything wrong and nothing was right...." Chorus: "But I was a-travelling, travelling/As long as the world goes round/For the backyard shine on the Georgia line/Hold...."
Original and floating verses: "Saw my love the other night/Hold the woodpile down/Everything wrong and nothing was right/Hold the woodpile down"; "Gave her a little kiss to make her happy/Gave me a little love lick and in came her pappy"; "Come to town the other night/Heard a lot of noise and seen a big fight/Police running and jumping all round/Load of moonshine done come to town"; "Down in the packinghouse, stole a ham/Folks don't know how bad I am/Carried it home and I laid it on the shelf/I'm so bad, I'm scared of myself." Chorus: "But I was a-travelling, travelling/As long as the world goes round/For the backyard shine on the Georgia line/Hold the woodpile down."
This song is a conundrum. The verses are pure minstrel (Uncle Dave played minstrel shows in his youth), but the chorus is almost identical to that of "Roll the Woodpile Down," a chanty from African-American riverboat workers: "Rolling, rolling/Yes, rolling the whole world around/That brown gal of mine's down the Georgia line/And we'll roll the woodpile down." Other versions of "Hold the Woodpile Down" say, "Black gals shine on the Georgia line", which is closer to the chanty form. -PJS
I'll admit that I would have classified this as a "Dave Macon-ised" version of "Roll the Woodpile Down" -- but Paul has probably examined the matter more than I have. - RBW
- cf. "Roll the Woodpile Down" (chorus)
- Uncle Dave Macon & his Fruit Jar Drinkers, "Hold That Wood-Pile Down" (Vocalion 5151, 1927)
- New Lost City Ramblers, "Hold That Woodpile Down" (on NLCR03)
- Sam Patterson Trio, "Haul De Woodpile Down" (Edison 51644, 1925)
- Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 210-212, "Hold That Woodpile Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
- BI, CSW210