Will The Weaver

Song composer(s)


Grateful Dead Recordings

Not recorded by the Dead

Dead Related Recordings

No Dead related recordings entered

Other Recordings

Will The Weaver
Old Time Country Music : Mike Seeger (1962)
Folksongs of the Midwest : Loman Cansler (1973)

Everyday Dirt
New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 2 : New Lost City Ramblers (1960)
The Watson Family : Doc Watson (1963)
All The Good Times : Alice Stuart (1964)
Flat-Picker's Guitar Guide, The: An Advanced Instruction Record : Jerry Silverman (1966)
Songs and Ballads of the Ozarks : Almeda Riddle (19??)
Singers Of The Piedmont : Dave McCarn & Gwen Foster (19??)

Performance History

Played by Jerry and Sarah Garcia at the Tangent in Palo Alto in May 1963.

Not performed by the Grateful Dead. Occurs only on pre-Dead tapes featuring future members of the dead.


Possibly based on traditional ballads, William the Weaver or Will the Weaver and Charity the Chambermain, that date back to at least the 17th century. The version sung by Jerry and Sarah Garcia is similar to the more recent song Everyday Dirt (attributed to Dave McCarn) which is also supposedly derived from early ballads. The lyrics used by Jerry and Sarah Garcia are (roughly) as follows;

Said, Oh son, what's the matter
Does she [now] or does she [tatter]
Does she do the [tattering Joe]
On with Will the weaver-0

She don't lie nor she don't [tatter]
She don't scold or she don't flatter
But she does the [tattering Joe]
On with Will the weaver-0

Said, Oh son, go home in a [?]
Do not find no fault above her
And if she does not do well
Pick up a stick and beat her well

He went home and a friend he met him
Thus he said but just to fret him
Saw your wife awhile ago
On with Will the weaver-o

He went home in the devil of a wonder
Rapped at the door just like thunder
Who is that the weaver cried
It's my husband you'd better hide

Up the chimney Willie ventured
Through the door her husband entered
Searching all the walls around
Not a soul could be found

He sat down by the fireside a-weeping
'Til up the chimney he does [a-peep] him
There he spied the wretched soul
Sitting on the [log rack hole]

He built on a [risin'] fire
Just to suit his own desire
[Well] she cried with a free good will
Don't do that for the man you'll kill

He put on a little more fuel
[?] [?] love why do you
Take him down and spare his life
If you want me to be your loving wife

He reached up and down he fetched him
Like a racoon dog he catched him
Where his wife beat him red
Made the poor weaver wish he was dead

He went home and his wife she met him
Up with a stick and down she set him
When his [red] beat him blue
Every word of this is true