"Napper come to my house, I thought he come to see me, When I come to find him out He 'suade my wife to leave me." And similar verses about (Napper's) eccentricities: "Napper went a-huntin', He thought he'd catch a coon... He treed a mushy-room."


The notes in Brown say that these three fragments are "clearly derived from the familiar Mother Goose rhyme about the thieving Welshman [i.e. 'Taffy Was a Welshman']."

This is a very long stretch; the two have a few similar lines, but *not* the key phrases about Taffy. As they stand, I'd certainly call them separate songs, and possibly not even related.

Brown's "A" text may not be the same as "B" and "C," but it's too short to really deal with separately. The same can be said of Scarborough's miscellaneous one-sentence fragments.- RBW

Cross references


  1. BrownIII 123, "Taffy Was a Welshman" (3 short texts)
  2. Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 102-103, "Rise, Ole Napper" (2 fragments, the first of which might be "Old Tyler" or something else; the second appards to be this but is too short for certainty and is mixed with the chorus of "Oh! Susanna"; 1 tune)
  3. Roud #7849
  4. BI, Br3123


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1914 (Brown)
Found in: US(SE)