“The Dumb Wife (Dumb, Dumb, Dumb)”


A husband's new wife is a perfect housekeeper but is mute. The man takes her to a doctor, who is able to cure her impediment -- only to have her talk all the time. The husband again appeals for help; the doctor says that nothing can silence her


Broadsides LOCSinging as103240, LOCSinging sb10090b and Bodleian Harding B 18(146) are triplicates.

Broadside LOCSinging as103240: J. Andrews dating per _Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song_ by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS

Same tune

  • Cruiskeen Lawn (tune [cited as "Cowskeen Lawn"] per broadsides Bodleian Harding B 18(146), LOCSinging as103240 and LOCSinging sb10090b)


  • Bodleian, Harding B 39(145), "The Dumb Maid" or "The Young Gallant Trappan'd" ("All you that press along"), W. Onley (London), 1689-1709; also Harding B 28(80), "The Dumb Wife's Tongue Let Loose"; Harding B 11(2258), Harding B 16(325a), "[The] Dumb Wife"; Harding B 18(146), "The Dumb Scold"
  • LOCSinging, as103240, "The Dumb Scold", J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859; also sb10090b, "The Dumb Scold"


  1. Laws Q5, "The Dumb Wife (Dumb, Dumb, Dumb)"
  2. Ford-Vagabond, pp. 32-34, "Dumb, Dumb, Dumb" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Randolph 394, "The Dumb Wife Cured" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Eddy 92, "The Scolding Wife" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. FSCatskills 135, "The Wife Who Was Dumb" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Kennedy 199, "The Dumb Wife" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. BrownII 183, "The Dumb Wife" (2 texts)
  8. BBI, ZN143, "All you that pass along"
  9. DT 519, DUMBDUMB*
  10. ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 262-263, "Dumb, Dumb, Dumb" (1 text)
  11. Roud #434
  12. BI, LQ05


Alternate titles: “The Bonnie Blade”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1698 (Pills to Purge Melancholy)
Found in: US(MA,MW,SE,So) Britain(Scotland)