Appalachia Rhymes

Weevily Wheat

Weevily wheat rhyme about fancy charlie

I don’t want none o’ your weevily wheat;
I don’t want none o’ your barley;
I want some of the good ole rye
To bake a cake for Charlie.

Charlie he’s the fancy man;
Charlie he’s your dandy;
Charlie he’s the very lad
Who drank up Grover’s brandy.

I don’t want none o’ your sugar and cheese;
I don’t want none o’ your candy;
Just want to wheel and turn
And kiss the first one handy.

*Rhyme collected from Louise Rand Bascom – Highlands, NC 1914


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  • Reply
    sandra henderson
    April 8, 2022 at 9:25 am

    okay… the other post lead me to this one. i was speaking of old photos and i have one of my husbands mother as a flapper, just beautiful. well…. my husbands name was grover. that name is mentioned in this poem. its like a sign that he’s still with me. thank you.

    i see these two lovely young people in this photo and wonder about their life.

  • Reply
    Doug Bishop
    February 11, 2017 at 3:31 pm
    Laurie Lewis sings Weevly Wheat.

    • Reply
      sandra henderson
      April 8, 2022 at 9:32 am

      wow! thanks for this link to the beautiful song! i think the pressley girls should do this one!

  • Reply
    Mariam Swift
    February 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    That face puts me in mind of Miss Cindy’s, the words Bascom Lunsford and the music, Doc Watson. You can’t beat that! Not in this world!
    I can’t just dismiss the fist though. My quandary is, does she don his cloak for it’s warmth and his reassurance of her faithfulness?
    Her face puts the lie to that. Her fist declares, he is mine, he has been conquered and I defy anyone to prove otherwise. I would wager that he only wears that fancy outfit when she puts all her trophies on display!

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 3, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Tipper, How do you find such good rhymes and old songs? This post is a very creative person( you). Thank you Tipper.

  • Reply
    Deb Wright
    February 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Hi All!
    I’ve heard a version of this song by the New Lost City Ramblers, The Early Years 1958-1962. They call it Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Jim-thanks for the comment! I dont know anything about the lady other than her name-but I too thought of Bascom Lamar Lunsford.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Oh, here we are in the “weeviled wheat”. I don’t want “no bugs” in my flour, wheat, cornmeal, barley, cream-of-wheat or “grits”!
    When eatin’ grits, I sometimes see a dark brown or black little bitty “grit”! I look and take my fork and move it quickley to the side to inspect it and make sure it is not one of the weevils “cooked to death” in my grits! LOL I never could eat a bowl of anythin’ with specks, since I poured myself a bowl of cereal, when I was a kid, and the buggies, weavils, whatever floated up with the milk…ewwwwww!! Plus, one time I bought a poke of grits while campin’, opened them to webs and weevils…ewwwww! So I don’t chance it, and always check a dark “grit” or cornmeal speck that was ground with the grain!!!…LOL
    My granny would say “weevily wheat” was a play party game! Wonder how they played it? Must have also been a square dance. Sounds like it to me! My granny used to say, that sure is a nice “play purty” you have! I don’t know why she didn’t name the toy, doll or color book?
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS..Nice day here after the rain!
    Partly cloudy with a chance of “sun”!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Mariam Swift-I dont know who the couple is! The photo came from Miss Cindys familys collection of photos. I agree it is a dandy picture-no matter who the lovely couple is!

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    February 3, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I like this poem very much. It has a great rhymn and moves along well. I can just see the images in this wonderful poem.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    The girl seems to have that “See what I’ve caught, Mama, may I keep it?” look on her face.
    As I read the rhyme, I seemed to just naturally set it to the tune of Shady Grove; it fit mighty well..

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    February 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I have a recording of Jean Ritchie’s version of this called, “Over The River To Feed My Sheep.” I listened to it and wrote down the lyrics, but am missing a word here and there.
    Charlie’s neat, Charlie’s sweet,
    Charlie, he’s a dandy.
    Charlie, he’s the very lad that stole my ____ candy.
    Over the river to feed my sheep,
    Over the river, Charlie.
    Over the river to feed my sheep
    And a measure of my barley.
    I don’t want your wheat,
    Don’t want your _____., (sounds like cheat)
    Neither do I want your barley,
    I’ll take a little of the best you got
    To bake a cake for Charley.
    There’s another verse before the last, but I couldn’t make it out. If anyone can fill in the blanks, I’d appreciate it.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    February 3, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Tipper–I’d like to think I’m fairly conversant with mountain quatrains, sayings, folk songs, and the like, but this one is new to me. Obviously there has been a hole in my Appalachian education, especially inasmuch as some readers readily recognized this.
    What can you tell us about the woman who “collected” it? The name Bascom immediately made me think of the greatest of all mountain collectors of musical lore, Bascom Lamar Lunsford.
    As for Tamela’s misery with millers, there are some traps you can buy on-line which work better than anything I’ve ever seen. We had a major infestation a few years back and the traps worked wonders.
    Finally, the photo of the dandy reminded me of a number of surviving pictures of Daddy. He was in his early 30s before he married Mom, and the surviving photos from his pre-Anna Lou days leave no doubt that he had to be reckoned a dandy–always duded up to the nth degree and with a fetching lass at his side.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 9:18 am

    A new rhyme for me! It rhymed interestingly in that there was a definite message for one so loved.
    Now who’s in the pic and who is that fancy man? Were they lovers or best friends?

  • Reply
    steve in Tn
    February 3, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Never heard that one. It is impossible to read it without adding your own musical cadence. I guess we are conditioned to set poems and rhymes to music.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 8:19 am

    I don’t want no weevily wheat; I don’t want no barley. It takes fine flour & half an hour to bake a cake for Charlie.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    February 3, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I hadn’t thought of the folk song, “Weevly Wheat” in a long time. Immediately on seeing your title for today’s Blind Pig Post, I began to hum that tune we sang often in Choestoe. It was also used as a square dance song. Doing a little research on it, I found there are various versions, but most of them went back to our English, Scottish and Irish ancestors who brought their love for making music, song and dance to our Southern Appalachians. Who is Charley? Well, the various versions explain who Charley is. You will find him sort of like the will-o’-the wisp, a here-today, gone-tomorrow sort of person–one who caught and turned the young lady’s eyes toward him, but then might be “gone over the ocean,” sort of “uncatchable”!
    “Charley he’s a handsome man
    Oh, Charley he’s a dandy
    Charley he’s the very man
    That sold his hat for brandy”
    “Weevily wheat ain’t fit to eat
    And neither is your brandy
    Have some flour in half an hour
    To bake a cake for Charley.”
    And some of the versions have a “pretty little miss”
    “How old are you my pretty little miss?
    How old are you my honey?
    She answered with a “Yes siree!
    I’ll be sixteen next Sunday!”

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 8:12 am

    – – and wasn’t he a gentleman to loan her his coat!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Weevily Wheat! We’ve been battling millers for a couple of years. I pull everything out of the pantry – examine it carefully; throw it out if it is un-salvageable; wash down cans, jars, walls, ceiling, and the floors; every grain items is put in a sealed container or a plastic zip-lock as soon as it comes in from the store; and those things are still making their cocoons, ooching their way across everything, and flying around my pantry!
    My daughter bought us a bay leaf wreath last year which did seem to help some. I just can’t figure out where those things a hiding!
    I remember finding weavils in the rice as a kid and then soaking the rice in cold water so the bugs would float to the surface so we could remove them before we cooked the rice; but I don’t know what to do about these millers in all their stages. Sticky traps barely slow them down.
    Usually they’re worse for a brief time when the acorns from the live oak trees cover the ground but the squirrels have stored all the acorns and those millers are still filling the air. Yuck!
    I know this isn’t the sort of response you expected from today’s entry, but I would appreciate some help if anyone has any suggestions.
    – – and the rhyme was cool. The picture choice was a good one. That girl looks like she had the kind of spunk that would stand there with her hands on her hips and sticking her face in yours and get that rhyme going – maybe even originated it.
    I’m looking forward to this series.

  • Reply
    Bob Dalsemer
    February 3, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I learned the song at Berea from Edna Ritchie Baker. It was a play party game.

  • Reply
    Mariam Swift
    February 3, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Tipper – Would you care to identify the couple pictured above? I will admit he is a good looking young man, maybe even a dandy. She is as least his equal. Many would rate her a cut above. What a shapely figure! What fine pair of knees! Just look at her eyes, how she has them cut up and away from him. And that half smile on her face. Look at her arm around his neck. It appears stiff and her hand is made into a fist. There is something quite intriguing about her.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 3, 2014 at 7:48 am

    What a catchy poem. As Miss Cindy said it does bring all sorts of questions to mind. Do you know who is in the photo?

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    February 3, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Sounds like a play party tune to me! I’ll bet there was a set of dance like moves as well. Were they written down, I wonder?
    Dr. Wile,would that be my cousin, Johnny Carter, of NRC in Rome? He is a wizard at that sort of restoration. Would love to hear that cd.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 3, 2014 at 7:27 am

    A rhyme indeed. Don’t you wonder who Charlie was and what prompted this rhyme. Was Grover mad when Charlie drank all his brandy?
    Interesting picture, 1914, that’s a hundred years ago.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    February 3, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Well Tipper, this is a new one on me! But it ‘sounds’ like it came from straight off Tusquittee! My daddy’s folks were mighty good at making up catchy sayings and setting them to music. Then it wouldn’t be long til some of them would be dancing to the rhythm being played out on their home-made banjo and fiddle.
    Well let me tell you that last week Jim and I went down to Georgia, to a fine recording studio. There another Johnny refined an old (1950) 45rpm record of Uncle Johnny’s and recorded it on a CD for us. We listened to it all the way back to Oak Ridge! We’ll have Johnny’s CD for sale in the SPRINGTIME! Maybe you could GIVE ONE AS A PRIZE TO SOME LUCKY PERSON HERE ON BLIND PIG & ACORN!
    Hope your day is sunny!
    Eva Nell

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