Judy Cook, Folksinger

Housewife's Lament

Author: trad

Source: FSGW

Notes: found in the diary that Sara Price of Ottawa, IL kept during the mid-1800?s. She had 7 children - all died before she did. Lost several sons in Civil War. (per rise up singing).Vic Gammon says: I promised to write about the ?Housewife?s Lament?. I got interested in this song because of its inclusion in a radio broadcast on English social history. Your source is correct, Judy, sometimes she?s called Sara Parker, the version current seems to come from a Sing Out in 1956, reproduced in Lomax?s The Folk Songs of North America where Big L chunters on about the hard life in the Mid-West. I have not been able to trace Mrs Parker?s diaries.?? But there is a source beyond the source. The words seem to be by Eliza Sproat Turner (1826-1903) published in Out-of-Door Rhymes 1872 and republished quite a lot. It is there called A HOUSEKEEPER'S TRAGEDY. She seems to have been a fascinating woman, women?s rights activist and I think a Quaker living in Pennsylvania (with an English mother). She looks worth looking into.