Will The Weaver

Composer: Traditional


Will The Weaver
no info Unholy Matrimony, Paul Clayton, 1958
info Old Time Country Music, Mike Seeger, 1962
no info Folksongs of the Midwest, Loman Cansler, 1973
no info Songcatcher II: The Tradition That Inspired the Movie, Various Artists (Almeda Riddle), 2002
info My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean: British Songs in the USA, Various Artists (Charlie Parker & Mack Woolbright), 2015

Everyday Dirt
no info New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 2, New Lost City Ramblers, 1960
no info The Watson Family, Doc Watson, 1963
no info All The Good Times, Alice Stuart, 1964
no info Flat-Picker's Guitar Guide, The: An Advanced Instruction Record, Jerry Silverman, 1966
no info Songs and Ballads of the Ozarks, Almeda Riddle, 19??
no info Singers Of The Piedmont, Dave McCarn and Gwen Foster, 19??
info In the Pines: Tar Heel Folks Songs & Fiddle Tunes 1926-1936, Various Artists (Charlie Parker & Mack Woolbright), 2008


Played by Jerry and Sarah Garcia at the Tangent in Palo Alto in May 1963.

The lyrics used by Jerry and Sarah Garcia are (roughly) as follows;

Said, Oh son, what's the matter
Does she [now] or does she [tatter]
Does she do the [tattering Joe]
On with Will the weaver-0

She don't lie nor she don't [tatter]
She don't scold or she don't flatter
But she does the [tattering Joe]
On with Will the weaver-0

Said, Oh son, go home in a [?]
Do not find no fault above her
And if she does not do well
Pick up a stick and beat her well

He went home and a friend he met him
Thus he said but just to fret him
Saw your wife awhile ago
On with Will the weaver-o

He went home in the devil of a wonder
Rapped at the door just like thunder
Who is that the weaver cried
It's my husband you'd better hide

Up the chimney Willie ventured
Through the door her husband entered
Searching all the walls around
Not a soul could be found

He sat down by the fireside a-weeping
'Til up the chimney he does [a-peep] him
There he spied the wretched soul
Sitting on the [log rack hole]

He built on a [risin'] fire
Just to suit his own desire
[Well] she cried with a free good will
Don't do that for the man you'll kill

He put on a little more fuel
[?] [?] love why do you
Take him down and spare his life
If you want me to be your loving wife

He reached up and down he fetched him
Like a racoon dog he catched him
Where his wife beat him red
Made the poor weaver wish he was dead

He went home and his wife she met him
Up with a stick and down she set him
When his [red] beat him blue
Every word of this is true

Possibly based on traditional ballads, William the Weaver or Will the Weaver and Charity the Chambermain, that date back to at least the 17th century. The version sung by Jerry and Sarah Garcia is similar to the more recent song Everyday Dirt (attributed to Dave McCarn) which is also supposedly derived from early ballads.