“The Babcock Bedtime Story”


A cante-fable: Old El, crippled and without resource, is sentenced to the poorhouse. His wife must go to another poorhouse. They are preparing to part for the last time. The song (to the tune of Loch Lomond) recalls their happy times together, now gone

Supplemental text

Babcock Bedtime Story, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, Norman Studer, Folk Songs
of the Catskills, #176, pp. 635-636. As told and sung by Charles

Joe, he said:  Melvin dear, did you hear
               What they did to dear old El?
               They gave him a hearing 'fore old Judge Nearing
               And sent the old man to the Poorhouse.

(4 additional stanzas of recitation)

Oh, it's now that we've parted on one shady lane,
On the steep, shady banks of the Eddy,
Where in the purple hue the highland hills we viewed,
And the moon was shining bright on Long Eddy.

(1 additional stanza)

Cross references

  • cf. "Loch Lomond" (tune & meter, some words) and references there


  1. FSCatskills 176, "The Babcock Bedtime Story" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST FSC176 (Partial)
  3. BI, FSC176


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1982
Found in: US(MA)