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Old Dorrington

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Performer: Mackie, Mrs.
Place Collected: Lechlade
Date collected: Between 1913 and 1916
Collector: Williams, Alfred
Roud Number: 281

It is rare for a folk song to have so many differently titled versions: in its various guises, this song is known as Father Grumble, John Grumlie, The Capable Wife, The Wife of Auchtermuchty, The Old Man who lived in the Wood, Old Crumbly Crust, and several others.  They all tell the same tell of how a man cannot cope with the wife’s daily domestic and farming chores.  The theme appears in other songs such as Men, don’t Grumble at your Wives and The Rest of the Day’s Your Own.  Versions have been found in England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the USA, but this is the only Gloucestershire version.


Notes by Gwilym Davies 8 April 2016