PRETTY POLLY (folk ballad)
Collected by James M. Hylton
NOTE: This text was recopied directly from a typewritten copy in the archives of the Blue Ridge Institute. James Taylor Adams (1892-1954) kept typewritten copies of the folklore he and others collected during the last thirty years of his life, while he lived in Wise County, VA. Typographical errors in the original have not been corrected, except for some obvious errors in spacing. In Hylton's introduction, the word "mothet" was surely meant to be "mother." For other tales and songs about girls named Pretty Polly, see "Pretty Polly" in AppLit's Annotated Index of Appalachian Folktales.
Told to this Writer November 14, 1941, at Wise, Virginia, by Lovell J. Johnson, aged 38 yrs., and a son of Aunt Polly Johnson of whom much interesting material has been obtained for this Project. He is a brother to Jesse J. Johnson who also furnished this Writer with a version of Pretty Polly. He recalls hearing his mother and father and other brothers sing the song many a time when young and growing up in the home. At the home of this mothet during a late-night visit he sang this song to the Writer upon request and it will b be seen at once that it differs somewhat from the words and lines as submitted by Jesse and his mother at an earlier date. He has roamed around a good lot of his time throughout the Country on the highways and the railroads getting a ride or left here and there as he can. He says he has heard another good version of this song if he can only rig it into his memory.
Replacement photocopy made by BRI, 9/1992
copyright 2007 U
of Virginia's College at Wise/Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College
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