“The Good Old Days of Adam and Eve”


"I sing, I sing of days grown older... Sing high, sing ho, I grieve, I grieve For the good old days of Adam and Eve." In the good old days, the town was smaller, the people bolder, etc.


Since this song is mostly whining about the new ways of doing things, it's not too surprising that the handful of known versions (Belden's, plus several known to and assembled by Sandy and Caroline Paton) have few lyrics in common. There is no question, though, that they're the same song. - RBW

Leyden, analyzing the before and after, dates his version to Belfast in the 1820s. Most of the discussion would do as well for the Bodleian broadsides, which share some verses with Leyden and with each other, though referring to other cities. - BS

Same tune

  • A New Song on the Times (broadside Murray, Mu23-y3:021, "A New Song on the Times" ("You people now both high and low, pray listen to these rhymes"), unknown, 19C)

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 25(763), "The Good Old Days of Adam and Eve" ("I sing, I sing, of good times older"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also 2806 c.17(150), 2806 c.17(152), Firth b.26(81), "[The] Good Old Days of Adam and Eve"


  1. Belden, p. 431, "The Good Old Days of Adam and Eve" (1 text)
  2. Leyden 7, "A New Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Roud #7836
  4. BI, Beld431


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1845 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(763))
Keywords: nonballad
Found in: US(NE,So)