Old Joe Clark


h1 February 1st, 2008

This is another song that I learned at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. The song originated in Irish Creek, on the Blue Ridge Parkway near South River Virginia in the early 1800s. Joe Clark had a daughter who jilted her lover. The young man is said to have written the song out of spite and jealousy.
Lyrics:
Old Joe Clark

[G] Old Joe Clark’s a fine old man
Tell you the reason why
He keeps good likker ’round his house
Good old [F] Rock and [G] Rye

[G] Fare ye well, Old Joe Clark
Fare ye well, I [F] say
[G] Fare ye well, Old Joe Clark
I’m a [F] going [G] away

Old Joe Clark, the preacher’s son
Preached all over the pain
The only text he ever knew
Was High, low, Jack and the game

Old Joe Clark had a mule
His name was Morgan Brown
And every tooth in that mule’s head
Was sixteen inches around

Old Joe Clark had ayellow cat
She would neither sing or pray
She stuck her head in the butermilk jar
And washed her sins away

Old Joe Clark had a house
Fifteen stories high
And every story in that house
Was filled with chicken pie

I went down to Old Joe’s house
He invited me to supper
I stumped my toe on the table leg
And stuck my nose in the butter

Now I wouldn’t marry a widder
Tell you the reason why
She’d have so many children
They’d make those biscuits fly

Sixteen horses in my team
The leaders they are blind
And every time the sun goes down
There’s a pretty girl on my mind

Eighteen miles of mountain road
And fifteen miles of sand
If ever travel this road again
I’ll be a married man

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