I Wonder When I Shall Be Married (Jean Ritchie)

February 16, 2016

The following tune, lyrics and tab are courtesy of Steve Smith of the Western North Carolina Dulcimer Collective. It is the tune for their February meeting. The Jean Ritchie recording from the album, "Courtin's a Pleasure and other Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians" can be heard on YouTube. As with all of Steve's tunes, it is tabbed to be played in either DAD or DAA. The links below will take you to a file that you can download to a tablet, as well as recordings in both strummed and melody-line only versions.

 

http://wncdc.org/tab/I_Wonder_When_I_Shall_Be_Married.pdf

 

http://wncdc.org/mp3/I%20Wonder%20When%20I%20Shall%20Be%20Married%202.%20Strummed.mp3

 

http://wncdc.org/mp3/I%20Wonder%20When%20I%20Shall%20Be%20Married%201.%20Melody.mp3

 

The following are the lyrics and are reprinted by permission from the Western North Carolina Dulcimer Collective Newsletter 1st Qtr 2016.

 

"I Wonder When I Shall Be Married"

1. I wonder when I shall be married

Oh be married, oh be married

I wonder when I shall be married

For my beauty's beginning to fade

 

2. My mother she is so willing

Oh so willing, oh so willing

My mother she is so willing

For she has four daughters besides

 

3. My father has forty good shillings

Oh good shillings, oh good shillings

My father has forty good shillings

And they will be mine when he dies

 

4. My shoes have gone to be mended

Oh to be mended, oh to be mended

My shoes have gone to be mended

And my petticoat's gone to dye green

 

5. And they will be ready by Sunday

Oh by Sunday, oh by Sunday

And they will be ready by Sunday

Oh say, won't I look a queen

 

6. A cup, a spoon, and a trencher

Oh a trencher, oh a trencher

A cup, a spoon, and a trencher

And a candlestick made out of clay

 

7. Oh say, won't I be a bargain

Oh a bargain, oh a bargain

Oh say won't I be a bargain

For someone to carry away

 

8. I wonder when I shall be married

Oh be married, oh be married

I wonder when I shall be married

For my beauty's beginning to fade

As sung by Jean Ritchie

 

This song is an American version of the 17th century British song, "The Maidens sad complaint for want of a Husband." From Jean Ritchie's notes from Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians: "Our family has its worries. There were eleven girls born in our house, and only three boys, and that seemed to be pretty much the pattern all through the community. This little song the girls used to sing over the dishwashing, and by the time the older ones got up into their teens, it had come to have real meaning. By the time I came along, it was well established in our locality as "the Ritchie old-maid song."

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