“Hard Times and Old Bill”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1931 (collected by Henry from C. L. Franklin)
Keywords: abuse escape husband wife commerce
Found in: US(SE)


"Old Ailey Bill came home from court" and stops at a bar (?) "to have some sport. And it's hard times and poor old Bill." Will McNealey hides under a bed, sees what happens, steals a frying pan, sells it, and beats his wife


For the life of me, I can't tell what this is about. I suspect that it is based on a real incident, but that several verses have been lost from Henry's seemingly unique text. - RBW


  1. MHenry-Appalachians, p. 11, "Hard TImes and Old Bill" (1 text)
  2. BI, MHAp011.