Thursday, December 10, 2009

*In Folklorist Harry Smith’s House-"A Lazy Farmer Boy" — Buster Carter and Preston Young (1930)

Click on the title to link to a presentation of the song listed in the headline.

The year 2009 has turned into something a year of review of the folk revival of the 1960s. In November I featured a posting of many of the episodes (via “YouTube”) of Pete Seeger’s classic folk television show from the 1960s, “Rainbow Quest”. I propose to do the same here to end out the year with as many of the selections from Harry Smith’s seminal “Anthology Of American Folk Music,” in one place, as I was able to find material for, either lyrics or "YouTube" performances (not necessarily by the original performer). This is down at the roots, for sure.


My exploration of Harry Smith’s Anthology

“The Lazy Farmer Boy” by Carter & Young

Carter & Young’s World

Buster Carter and Preston Young were part of an ensemble of old-time musicians that came from the North Carolina region, the most famous being Charley Poole, who recorded at the end of the 1920’s and beginning of the 1930’s. All this musicians had a distinctive “string band” sound that revival groups like the New Lost City Ramblers tried to emulate. Today, Carter & Young are mostly remembered for being the first group to record the bluegrass classic “I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s arms” and their version of “The young man who wouldn’t hoe corn” who was included in the Anthology.

-On this page, you’ll read a biography of Preston Young

-In addition to the sides by Carter and Young, i’ve included sides by another group “The Carolina Buddies” in which they played on some tracks. Posey Rorer, the great fiddler who played with Charley Poole is playing also on most of the tracks.


Buster Carter & Preston Young (with Posey Rorer)

1.It’s Hard To Love And Can’t Be Loved

2.Swinging Down The Lane (I’d Rather Be Rosy Nell)

3.It Won’t Hurt No More

4.A Lazy Farmer Boy

5.What Sugar Head Licker Will Do

6.Bill Morgan And His Gal

7.I’ll Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms

8.She’s A Darn Good Gal

The Carolina Buddies

9.In A Cottage By The Sea

10.Murder Of The Lawson Family

11.Story that the crow told me

12.My sweetheart is a sly miss

13.Work Don’t Bother Me

14.Otto Wood The Bandit

15.He Went In Like A Lion(But Came Out Like A Lamb)

16.My Evolution Gril

17.Mistreated Blues

18.Broken Hearted Lover

The Lazy Farmer Boy Variations
The song, mostly known as “The young man who wouldn’t hoe corn”,makes fun of the misfortunes of a young farmer too lazy to take care of his fields and who stay single because no girl wants to marry him.

The tune of the song is a particulary beautiful one and like many other mountain songs is in a modal mode, neither major or minor, like “Shady Grove” for example.

-The music and the lyrics of the song are on this two pages: Page one and page two

-I’ve included on my “choiced” variations two songs that took the melody and changed the words (“The strange death of John Doe” by The Almanac Singers and “Man on the street” by Bob Dylan) and a “jazz” version by Nat Adderley. And, no, i didn’t include the “famous” version by Alison Kraus and Union Station, simply because i don’t like it!


1.Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn, Pete Seeger, from ”American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 2″

2.A Young Man That Wouldn’t Hoe Corn / I Wonder When I Shall Be married, Ritchie Family, from ”The Ritchie Family of Kentucky”

3.The Young Man Who Couldn´t Hoe Corn, Burl Ives, from ”The Golden Vanity”

4.Lazy Farmer Boy,Greg Hooven String Band, from ”The Harry Smith Connection: A Live Tribute to the Anthology”

5.The Lazy Young Man, J.A. Latham, from Ozark Folksongs

6.Counting Rhyme / The Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn, Jim Douglas, from ”Peddler’s Pack: A Collection of Early Colonial Songs”

7.Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn, Nat Adderley, from ”The Music Of Quincy Jones”

8.The Lazy Farmer, Tom Paley, from ”Old Tom Moore”

9.The Young Man That Wouldn’t Hoe Corn, John Renbourn, from ”So Early In the Spring”

10.The Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn, Spider John Koerner, from ”Raised By Humans”

11.The Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn,Richard Greene, from “Duets”

12.The Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn, Vern Smelser, from ”Fine Times At Our House”

13.The Strange Death Of John Doe, Almanac Singers feat Woody Guthrie & Pete Seeger, from ”Which Side Are You On? The Best Of The Almanac Singers”

14.Man On The Street, Bob Dylan, from ”The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 : Rare And Unreleased, 1961-1991″

15.A Lazy Farmer Boy, Robin Holcomb, from “The Big Time”

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