How old are you my pretty little miss?
X:1 T:How old are you, my pretty little miss? S:Ernest Claunch (Mississippi) M:C| L:1/8 R:Air Q:Quick N:AEae tuning F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/pretty-little-miss Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:A E2|F2A2A2cA|BAF2 EF A2|A2A2 c2e2-|e4e3e| f2e2 cBAc|B2A2F2EF|A2A2E2F2|A4A2EF| A2A2A2 B2|cBA2 F2EF|A2A2A2Bc|e4 e2(e2| f2)e2c2AB|cBA2F2EF|A2AF E2 EF|A2A2A2||
HOW OLD ARE YOU, MY PRETTY LITTLE MISS? American, Song Air (cut time). A Major. AEae tuning (fiddle). One part. The song and fiddled melody was recorded by Herbert Halpert for the Library of Congress in a field trip to Mississippi in 1939. His informants were fiddler Ernest Claunch, accompanied by Mrs. Christeen Haygood on guitar. Claunch sang these words to the melody:
How old are you, my pretty little miss,
How old are you, my honey?
I'm old enough for to kiss all day,
I'll be sixteen next Sunday.
Oh, Fad-de-li-dank-tum, dod-de-la-da.
Claunch told collector Halpert that it was "an old war song," perhaps dating its popularity in his area of Mississippi to American Civil War era (c. 1860's), although he himself had learned it "from an old grey-haired darkey." It is considerably older than that, however, as Bolick (2015) points out it is a derivative of the old ballad "Black Jack Davy (1)."