“Shinbone Alley (Stay a Little Longer, Long Time Ago)”


"You ought to see my blue-eyed Sally, She lives way down in shinbone alley, No number on the gate, no number on the door, Folks around here are gettin' mighty poor." Unrelated verses about southern life, disasters, prison, rising creeks, etc.


The notes in Brown describe this as common, but cite only one possibly-traditional version (in Odum and Johnson).

The problem in fact is very complex: What is the relationship of this traditional song to Bob Wills's "Stay a Little Longer"? The one verifiable traditional collection is Brown's, which came a few years after the Wills recording, but is significantly different -- some lyrics Wills didn't use, added chorus, etc.

Paul Stamler thinks they're the same. I waver, since there are are few printed fragments which seem to predate Wills by many decades. For the moment, I'm still listing this under Brown's title, but listing the Wills version as a likely by-blow or perhaps even a source. - RBW


  • cf. Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys, "Stay a Little Longer" (Columbia 37097, 1946)


  1. BrownIII 422, "Shinbone Alley" (1 fragment)
  2. Roud #11769
  3. BI, Br3422


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1952 (Brown)
Found in: US(SE)