You get a line and I’ll get pole, honey


Today I published the following new page:

See also the two related Songbook pages (previously published):

Crawdad Song (traditional) aka “The Crawdad Song,” “Crawdad Hole,” “Crawdad,” “You Get a Line and I’ll Get a Pole,” etc.

The obvious, though frequently unacknowledged, connection of “Crawdad Song” and other related American folk songs to the much earlier British folk song “Frog Went a-Courtin’” is explored in the page “You’ve Been a Good Old Wagon But You’ve Done Broke Down.”


The new page “Crawdad Song — selected recordings, 1933-1967,” which may be expanded by additional recordings, presently includes the following recordings, under various titles:

1933 Crawdad Song-Lone Star Cowboys-Bluebird B-6052

  • Lone Star Cowboys — “Crawdad Song” (arrangement by Lone Star Cowboys members Leon Chappelear, Bob Attlesey, and Joe Attlesey) — recorded on 5 August 1933; issued on Bluebird B-6052, b/w “Just Because”
  • Jim Lewis Lonestar Cowboys — probably from Vocalion 03754, c/w “Who Broke the Lock on the Henhouse Door,” both sides recorded on 24 September 1937
  • Leroy Martin and unidentified performers (vocals) — recorded, as “Crawdad,” at Cummins State Farm, Camp #1, near Varner, Arkansas, on 21 May 1939 — field recording collected by John A. Lomax and Ruby T. Lomax
  • Mrs. Vernon Allen — field recording; recorded at a Farm Security Administration camp for migratory workers in Shafter, California on 15 or 16 August 1940 (two videos: parts 1 and 2)
  • Woodie Guthrie — from Muleskinner Blues: The Asch Recordings Vol. 2 (1), (2), recorded in New York, NY, between 1944 and 1947
  • Al Clauser and his Oklahoma Outlaws — 1947(?) — I’ve been unable to verify the date, 1947, given by the video provider, but the recording was evidently included in a 2004 compilation of recordings by the band titled Hot Western Swing 1937-48 featuring Patti Page, Krazy Kat 32
  • Lulu Belle & Scotty — recorded as “The Crawdad Song,” c.1950
  • Evelyn Knight and Red Foley — recorded on 28 November 1950; issued in 1951 on the 78 rpm single Decca 27599, and on the 45 rpm single Decca 9-27599, c/w “Idle Rumors” in each case
  • Smokey Hogg — recorded, as “Crawdad,” on 9 January 1952 in Los Angeles, CA; issued on the 78 rpm single Fidelity F 3006**, and on the 45 rpm single Fidelity 3006, c/w “Born on the 13th” in each case / personnel, adapted from Smokey Hogg – vocal, guitar; Lou “Freddie” Simon – tenor saxophone; Willard McDaniel – piano; Bill Davis – bass; Al “Cake” Wichard – drums
  • Big Bill Broonzy — Despite the titles given by the video providers, each of the dated recordings below by Big Bill Broonzy was titled “Crawdad Hole” upon original release.

  • Big Bill Broonzy (continued)
    • 4. Undated recording
  • Sam Hinton — recorded as “The Crawdad Song” — originally issued on the 1957 album Whoever Shall Have Some Good Peanuts (And Other Folk Songs For Children), Scholastic Records ‎SC 7530, Folkways Records ‎SC 7530
  • The Goldenaires Choir — from the 1959 album Songs of the Southern Mountains, VOX VX 26.120
  • Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry — recorded at Van Gelder Recording Studio, Englewood, N.J. in 1961; originally released,  as “Crawdad Hole,” on the 1978 album You Hear Me Talkin’, Muse Records MR 5131
  • Flatt & Scruggs with the Foggy Mountain Boys perform “The Crawdad Song” for a 1962 episode of the Grand Ole Opry TV series



  • Clint Howard – lead vocal, guitar
  • Doc Watson — tenor vocal, guitar
  • Fred Price — fiddle
  • Doc Watson, Clint Howard, and Fred Price — recorded in 1967 for the Seattle Folklore Society; released, as “Crawdad,” on the album Old Timey Concert, Vanguard ‎VSD • 107/08


Also published today:

  • The new index page traditional songs — This is not a list of all traditional songs included in Songbook (this site). Rather, it is a brief index of each feature page on the site devoted entirely to a single traditional song. Any such pages unintentionally omitted from the index will be added ASAP. The index page presently includes the following list:


* Recording date, location, and musician information adapted from (cache)

** S. Hogg is incorrectly credited as the writer of “Crawdad” on the label of the A-side of Fidelity F 3006.


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