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The Miller's Will
Composer: Traditional

The Miller's Will was performed by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman in the 1990's. It was also played by Jerry Garcia and David Nelson at the College of San Mateo in San Mateo on November 10th 1962. On tapes of the Garcia/Nelson performance the song is usually listed as Miller's Song.

Words and music for the song were included in The New Lost City Ramblers Songbook in 1964/1976.

The song probably dates back to at least the 17th century. It was collected in Dixon's Ancient Poems, Ballads And Songs Of The Peasantry in 1846. It occurs in publications and on recordings with various titles including The Miller's Will, The Miller's Song, There Was An Old Miller and The Miller's Three Sons.



Jerry Garcia recordings

info Not For Kids Only, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, 1993

Lyrics

The lyrics of the version performed by Garcia and Nelson in 1962 are as follows;

There was a old miller and he lived all alone,
He had three sons all fully grown,
When the time came to make out his will,
All he had left was a little grist mill.

Singing fol-dig-a-dol fol-dig-a doe

He called to him his youngest son,
Said, Son, oh, son my race is run,
If I a miller of you make,
Tell to me what toll you'd take.

Singing fol-dig-a-dol fol-dig-a doe

Father, oh, father my name is Bill,
Out of each bushel I'd take a gill,
Not enough, not enough, the old man said,
On such a little you'd never get ahead.

Singing fol-dig-a-dol fol-dig-a doe

He called to him his second son,
Said, Son, oh, son my race is run,
If I a miller of you make,
Tell to me what toll you'd take.

Singing fol-dig-a-dol fol-dig-a doe

Father, oh, father my name is Ralph,
Out of each bushel I'd take a half,
Not enough, not enough, the old man said,
On such a little you'd never get ahead.

Singing fol-dig-a-dol fol-dig-a doe

He called to him his eldest son,
Said, Son, oh, son my race is run,
If I a miller of you make,
Tell to me what toll you'd take.

Singing fol-dig-a-dol fol-dig-a doe

Father, oh, father my name is Paul,
Out of each bushel I'd take it all,
Hallelujah, the old man cried,
And then he turned up his toes and died.

Singing fol-dig-a-dol fol-dig-a doe

They buried him away in a little box grave,
Some do not think his soul was saved,
Where he went I could not say,
But I rather believe he went the other way.

Singing fol-dig-a-dol fol-dig-a doe

 
Other recordings

info Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Tom Paley, 1953
info Courtin's A Pleasure and Other Folk Songs From The Southern Appalachians, Jean Ritchie, Oscar Brand and Tom Paley, 1955
info Appalachian Minstrel, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, 1956
info Sam Hinton Sings the Song of Men, Sam Hinton, 1961
no info Almanac Of New England Farm Songs, Margaret McArthur, 1961
info The New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 4, The New Lost City Ramblers, 1962
info Horton Barker: Traditional Singer, Horton Barker , 1962
no info Dogwood Soup, Shep Ginandes, 196?
info Silver Dagger, Sarah Gunning, 1976
no info Brass Monkey, Brass Monkey, 1971
no info Gypsy Gyppo String Band, Gypsy Gyppo String Band, 1977
info O Love Is Teasin' (Anglo-American Mountain Balladry), Various Artists (Tom Paley), 1985
no info Complete Brass Monkey, Brass Monkey, 1995
info Land Of Yahoe, Various Artists (Ola Belle Reed), 1996
no info Times Ain't Like They Used to Be, Vol. 1, Various Artists (Carson Brothers), 1997
no info Going Up the Missouri: Songs & Dance Tunes from Old Fort Osage, Jim Krause, 1999
info Friends of Old Time Music: The Folk Arrival, Various Artists (Horton Barker), 2006
no info Handful of Songs, Jerry Rasmussen, 2006
no info Art of Field Recording Sampler, Various Artists (C.B. Skelton), 2006
info If You Ain't Got The Do-Re-Mi, Various Artists, 2007

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