Roy Clark performs "Old Joe Clark", live on Hee Haw.

Roy Clark performs "Old Joe Clark", live on Hee Haw.

Old Joe Clark is a US folk song, a mountain ballad that was popular among soldiers from eastern Kentucky during World War I and afterwards. Its lyrics refer to a real person named Joseph Clark, a Kentucky mountaineer who was born in 1839 and murdered in 1885.The "playful and sometimes outlandish verses" have led to the conjecture that it first spread as a children's song and via play parties.There are about 90 stanzas in various versions of the song.The tune is in the Mixolydian mode

Old Joe Clark has been described as "one of the most widely known of all Southern fiddle tunes [as of the late 20th century. ... It] has, to a degree, become part of the [United States] national repertory. One may hear it in bluegrass jam sessions, old-time fiddle sessions, and country dances throughout the United States.

Old Joe Clark

Old Joe Clark's a fine old man

Tell you the reason why

He keeps good likker 'round his house

Good old Rock and Rye


Fare ye well, Old Joe Clark

Fare ye well, I say

Fare ye well, Old Joe Clark

I'm a going away


Old Joe Clark, the preacher's son

Preached all over the pain

The only text he ever knew

Was High, low, Jack and the game


Old Joe Clark had a mule

His name was Morgan Brown

And every tooth in that mule's head

Was sixteen inches around


Old Joe Clark had ayellow cat

She would neither sing or pray

She stuck her head in the butermilk jar

And washed her sins away


Old Joe Clark had a house

Fifteen stories high

And every story in that house

Was filled with chicken pie


I went down to Old Joe's house

He invited me to supper

I stumped my toe on the table leg

And stuck my nose in the butter


Now I wouldn't marry a widder

Tell you the reason why

She'd have so many children

They'd make those biscuits fly


Sixteen horses in my team

The leaders they are blind

And every time the sun goes down

There's a pretty girl on my mind


Eighteen miles of mountain road

And fifteen miles of sand

If ever travel this road again

I'll be a married man

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