Mudcat Café message #3836194 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161381   Message #3836194
Posted By: Richie
02-Feb-17 - 12:12 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Died for Love: Sources: PART II
Subject: RE: Origins: Died for Love: Sources: PART II

Rena, Nathan's Wife was a Hicks too, they were third cousins. And Uncle Sam Harmon's wife Pollyanna, she was a Hicks too. Uncle Sam, who move from Beech Mountain in the 1800s to TN, once said his grandfather Council was the one that came over from England but he didn't know. Old Counce's father Andrew was kilt when a tree fell over on him and Counce and his brother were sent to live with their grandfather Big Sammy Hicks. You might think that Big Sammy and his son Little Sammy might have come over from England- but no-- Big Sammy came over to the NC Mountains about the time of the skirmish with the Redcoat. Sammy's father David was a loyalist and he left James River long before his father Samuel left the James River and Tuckahoe Creek, Virginia. So you see Uncle Sam was way off about Old Counce his Grandfather coming from England.

Rena Hicks did keep a ballit box and she wrote down many of the Hicks family ballads. She was still around when my friend Thomas Burton ventured up to Beech Mountain in the early 70s. Henry collected a dozen songs from her in the early 1930s including "Rambling Rowdy Boy."

My father told me one of my grandfather's secrets. My grandfather always took a flask of whiskey with him in his back pocket on his "ballad bagging" trips. And after socializing a bit he'd invite some of the men-folk to partake. I don't know if it worked but I'm sure he enjoyed it. I never gto a chance to hear my grandfather sing-- there are only a few recordings of him made by the library of Congress in the 1930s. Here's a link with a photo of Nathan Hick's holding my grandfather's dulcimer that Nathan made: You can hear me playing it if you click the link below the pic. Here's my grandfather's collected version of Butcher Boy:

THE BUTCHER BOY- sung by Mrs. Schell, Banner Elk, NC 1933

In yonder city where I did dwell
A butcher boy I loved so well;
He courted me my life away,
And then with me he would not stay.

There was a house in this same town--
My love would go and he would sit down,
He would take another girl upon his knee,
And tell her what he wouldn't tell me.

"Oh, mama, mama, can't you see,
How this boy has treated me?
His gold may scatter; his silver may fly;
I hope some day he be poor as I.

"Give me a cheer, and I will sit down-
A pen and ink to write it down.
I will write it down as you plainly see:
'I once loved a boy that didn't love me."'

After a while her father came home
Inquiring where his daughter had gone.
Upstairs he went; the door he broke;
He found her hanging by a rope.

He took his knife, he cut her down,
And on her breast these words he found:
"I will write it down so you can plainly see,
I once loved a boy that didn't love me.

"Go dig a grave both wide and deep
And a marble stone at my head and feet;
And on my breast put a little dove
To tell the world that I died for love."