Traditional, arranged by Ruth Hazleton & Luke Plumb


The strange and beautiful Karen Dalton version of this traditional song (arranged by Steve Weber) has haunted me for many years, and while it’s easy to trace the early bluegrass versions of the song, I haven’t been able to source the origin of many of these lyrics. Common to all versions is the ‘ oating verse’ describing the old man sitting at the mill; also found in the folk song The Jolly Miller (Roud 733).


Same Old Man 
Traditional, arranged Ruth Hazleton & Luke Plumb
It's the same old lady, hanging out the wash
Standing in the rain, in her mackintosh
Same old lady standing in the rain
The thought of the city was going insane.
My mind is failing and my body grows weak
My lips won't form the words I speak
I'm floating away on a river of pain
This old city won't see me again.
Hey little leaf, lying on the ground
Now you're turning slightly brown
Why don't you get up on the tree?
Turn the color green the way you ought to be.
It’s the same old man, sitting by the mill
The mill wheel turns of its own free will
My broken heart is glad to be home
The big old city continues all alone.


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