Poor Omie (John Lewis) (Little Omie Wise) [Laws F4]

DESCRIPTION: John Lewis, to free himself of his pregnant sweetheart, offers to marry her but instead plans to drown her. She begs for her life, promising to go begging, but he throws her in the river. The body is found and Lewis imprisoned. (He escapes into the army.)
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: pregnancy homicide rejection prison drowning
1808 - Drowning of Naomi Wise in North Carolina
REFERENCES (31 citations):
Laws F4, "Poor Omie (John Lewis) (Little Omie Wise)"
Belden, pp. 322-324, "Oma Wise" (2 texts)
Randolph 149, "Poor Oma Wise" (5 texts plus 2 excerpts and 1 fragment, 2 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 163-166, "Poor Oma Wise" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 149A)
High, pp. 37-38, "Poor... Oma" (1 text)
AbrahamsRiddle, pp. 56-57, "Little Lonie" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 300, "Poor Naomi (Omie Wise)" (5 texts plus 1 excerpt and mention of 2 more; it appears that Laws places texts "A" and "D" here, but "H" is also this song, with "F" and "G" being "Naomi Wise" [Laws F31])
BrownSchinhanIV 300, "Poor Naomi (Omie Wise)" (2 excerpts, 2 tunes, both probably this)
BrownSchinhanV 786, "(no title)" (1 tune with no text, which Schinhan says is closely related to the tune in BrownSchinhanIV)
Lunsford31, pp. 28-29, "Poor Omia Wise" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris, #38, "Naomi Wise" (2 texts, 1 tune, with the "A" text and tune, locally titled "Sweet William," being "Poor Omie (John Lewis) (Little Omie Wise)" [Laws F4], while the "B" text is "Naomi Wise" [Laws F31])
Hudson 63, pp. 187-188, "Poor Omie" (1 text)
Moore-Southwest 169, "Pretty Molly" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cambiaire, pp. 30-31, "Oma Wise" (1 text)
MHenry-Appalachians, pp. 73-75, "John Lewis" (1 text)
Burton-TNSingers, pp. 52-53, "Omie Wise" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach, pp. 793-795, "Naomi (Omie) Wise" (2 texts)
Friedman, p. 202, "Naomi Wise" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner 116, "The Ballad of Naomi Wise" (1 text, 1 tune)
Carey-MarylandFolkLegends, p.111, "Little Onie" (1 text)
Lomax-FSNA 138, "Omie Wise" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 51, pp. 119-120, "Poor Omie" (1 text)
SharpAp 123, "Poor Omie" (7 texts, 7 tunes)
Burt, pp. 25-28, "Omie Wise" (1 text plus some fragments, 1 tune; also an excerpt from another Naomi Wise song, seemingly neither this nor Laws F31)
Cohen-AFS1, p. 232, "Poor Naomi" (1 text plus an excerpt of a second)
Leach-Heritage, pp. 143-144, "Omie Wise" (1 text)
Darling-NAS, pp. 200-201, "Omie Wise" (1 text)
Asch/Dunson/Raim, p. 42 "Ommie Wise" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 149, "Deep Water" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 225, "Omie Wise" ; p. 227, "Deep Water" (2 texts)

Roud #447
Finley Adams, "Omie Wise" (AAFS 2796 B1)
Clarence Ashley, "Naomi Wise" (Columbia 15522-D, 1930; rec. 1929)
Clarence Ashley & Doc Watson, "Poor Omie" (on Ashley03)
Dock Boggs, "Little Omie Wise" (on Boggs3, BoggsCD1)
Mrs. W. R. Buchanan, "Little Omie Wise" (AAFS 2857 B3)
Ruth Clark Cullipher, "Little Onie" (AAFS 1031 A1)
Morgan Denmon, "Naomi Wise" (OKeh 45075, 1927; rec. 1926)
Minnie Floyd, "Naomi Wise" (AAFS 1301 A1)
Cleophas Franklin, "Omie Wise" (AAFS 2891 B2)
[G. B.] Grayson & [Henry] Whitter, "Ommie Wise" (Victor 21625, 1927; on AAFM1, GraysonWhitter01, ConstSor1)
Goldie Hamilton, "Little Omie Wise" (AAFS 2829 A1)
Aunt Idy Harper & the Coon Creek Girls, "Poor Naomi Wise" (Vocalion 04354 [or 04345], 1938)
Roscoe Holcomb, "Omie Wise" (on Holcomb1, HolcombCD1)
A. J. Huff, "Omie Wise" (AAFS 2877 B3)
Sarah Ison, "Little Omie Wise" (AAFS 2810 B1)
Aunt Molly Jackson, "Oma Wise" (AAFS 824 B2, 1935) (AAFS 3340/3341 A)
Polly Johnson, "Poor Omie" (AAFS 2760 A4)
Mrs. Esco Kilgore, "Oma Wise" (AAFS 2772 A2)
Alexander Kirkheart, "Naomi Wise" (AAFS 1700 A1)
Alec Moore, "Poor Omie Wise" (AAFS 57 B1)
Johanna Shepherd, "Omie Wise" (AAFS 1405 B2)
Lillian Short, "Naomi Wise" (AFS; on LC12)
Della Sibert, "Omie Wise" (AAFS 1486 A2)
Doug Wallin, "Omie Wise" (on Wallins1)

cf. "Naomi Wise" [Laws F31] (plot)
cf. "Tragic Romance" (tune)
Naomi Wise
NOTES [35 words]: Cohen, pp. 233-234, has notes on the history of this ballad I have not found elsewhere, including information on another "Nayomy Wise" poem and indications that her reputation may not have been very good. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.4
File: LF04

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.