Mudcat Café message #2586166 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4280   Message #2586166
Posted By: GUEST,withaderbyon
11-Mar-09 - 02:15 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Add: Poor Howard / Green Corn (Leadbelly)
Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Poor Howard (from Leadbelly)
The origin of Poor Howard may have been the real-life Billy Waters, a well-known fiddlin' busker from London in the 1780s who was black and may have fought in the American War of Independence. Here is a verse from his will:

Thus poor Black Billy's made his Will,
His Property was small good lack,
For till the day death did him kill
His house he carried on his back.
The Adelphi now may say alas!
And to his memory raise a stone:
Their gold will be exchanged for brass,
Since poor Black Billy's dead and gone.