“Reuben Wright and Phoebe Brown”

Alternate titles: “Love, Murder, and Almost Matrimony”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1896 (Phineas Garrett's "One Hundred Choice Selections")
Keywords: hardheartedness courting elopement love violence homicide revenge death dream humorous recitation father children
Found in: US(MW)

Description

Phoebe loves Reuben; her parents disapprove, and Reuben doesn't think much of them either. They determine to marry; her father grabs a shotgun. He accidentally kills his daughter. Reuben kills the father -- and awakes from his terrible dream

Long description

Phoebe loves Reuben; her parents disapprove, and Reuben doesn't think much of them either. The young people determine to marry, and start for the parsonage in the rain, while her father grabs a shotgun. Instead of hitting Reuben, he kills his daughter. Reuben kills the father, tears his hair -- and awakes from his terrible dream

Notes

Each verse has the third line recited as prose, rather than sung. - PJS

This reportedly originated in one of the Hamlin's Wizard Oil songsters. I can't find any references in Spaeth, but this really sounds like something Charlie Case might have written. - RBW

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Roud #5414
  2. BI, RcRWaPB