“More Pretty Girls Than One”


Singer is a rambler who likes women; his mother told him to settle down, but he won't. He cries, thinking of pretty girls, and hopes he'll never die; he leaves us this lonesome song: "Every town I ramble around/There's more pretty girls than one."


This song and "Danville Girl" [one of the various forms of Laws H2 - RBW] are siblings. - PJS

And the whole family is rather a mess. "More Pretty Girls Than One" is reasonably well-known. The Silber text "Goodby, Little Bonnie, Goodbye" has been found with this tune. Since both are largely floating verses, we decided to lump them.

Randolph's text also has a similar tune, and it shares the basic form of the Silber text, as well as some lyrics:

""Goodbye, little bonnie blue eyes (x2), I'll see you again, But God knows when, Goodbye, little...." "I'm going on the railroad train... 'Cause I love you, God knows I do." "I'm goin' on the ocean blue...." "Lay your hand in mine...."

Brown's two substantial texts ("A" and "B") are similar: Most of the same verses, but no chorus. Note the absence of the "more pretty girls" verse, which originally caused us to classify separately.

After some discussion, Paul Stamler and I decided to lump the lot, even though it's against our general policy, simply because none of the variations are really well-attested enough to be regarded as independent songs. But it should be noted that almost anything can be grafted onto this stalk.

The "Goodbye, Little Bonnie Blue Eyes" family, which includes Shellans's "Hush, Little Bonnie," is Roud #762. These texts often end with the singer coming back. - RBW

Same tune

  • Dixon Brothers, "Bonnie Blue Eyes - Part 2" (Bluebird B-6691, 1936)
  • Arthur Smith Trio, "There's More Pretty Girls Than One - Part 2" (Bluebird B-6889/Montgomery Ward M-7155, 1937)
  • Arthur Smith Trio, "Answer to More Pretty Girls Than One" (Bluebird B-7437/Montgomery Ward M7476, 1938)
  • Howard Dixon & Frank Gerald (The Rambling Duet), "More Pretty Girls Than One - Part 3" (Bluebird B-7484/Montgomery Ward M-7464, 1938)

Cross references


  • [Richard] Burnett & [Leonard] Rutherford, "There's More Pretty Girls Than One" (Challenge 423 [as Crockett & Cannon], 1929)
  • Carolina Tar Heels, "Goodbye My Bonnie, Goodbye" (Victor 21193, 1928, rec. 1927)
  • The Carter Family, "Bonnie Blue Eyes" (Decca 5304, 1936)
  • Cranford & Thompson, "Goodbye Little Bonnie" (Supertone 2594, c. 1932)
  • Woody Guthrie, "More Pretty Gals" (Folk Tunes 150, n.d., prob. mid-1940s)
  • Ken Marvin, "More Pretty Girls" (Mercury 6366, 1951)
  • Ozarkers, "There's More Pretty Girls Than One" (OKeh 45573, 1932)
  • Prairie Ramblers, "There's More Pretty Girls Than One" ((Perfect 6-10-58/Melotone 6-10-58/Conqueror 8713, 1936)
  • Riley Puckett, "There's More Pretty Girls Than One - Parts 1 & 2" (Decca 5439, 1937)
  • Ridgel's Fountain Citians, "Little Bonnie" (Vocalion 5389, 1930)
  • Rutherford & Foster, "There's More Pretty Girls Than One" (prob. Brunswick, 1930; on KMM)
  • Arthur Smith Trio, "There's More Pretty Girls Than One" Montgomery Ward M-4822/Bluebird B-6322, 1936)
  • Gordon Tanner, Smokey Joe Miller & Uncle John Patterson, "Goodbye, Little Bonnie, Blue Eyes" (on DownYonder)
  • Fields Ward and the Grayson County Railsplitters, "Good Bye Little Bonnie" (Gennett, unissued, 1929)


  1. Randolph 734, "Goodbye, Little Bonnie Blue Eyes" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Shellans, p. 10, "Hush, LIttle Bonnie" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. BrownIII 284, "Bonnie Blue Eyes" (2 text plus 1 fragment and 1 excerpt); also 301, "High-Topped Shoes" (2 texts, both mixed; "A" is mostly "Pretty Little Foot" with verses from "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down" while "B" is a hash of "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down," ""More Pretty Girls Than One," "In the Pines," and others)
  4. Cambiaire, pp. 23, "More Pretty Girls Than One" (1 text)
  5. MHenry-Appalachians, p. 170, "More Pretty Girls Than One" (1 text)
  6. Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 192, "More Pretty Girls Than One" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Silber-FSWB, p. 142, "Goodbye, Little Bonnie, Goodbye" (1 text)
  8. Roud #11505
  9. BI, CSW192


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1909 (JAFL)
Found in: US(Ap,SE,So,SW)