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I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground

This song is by Bascom Lamar Lunsford and appears on the compilation Anthology of American Folk Music (1952) and on the field recordings Ballads, Banjo Tunes, and Sacred Songs of Western North Carolina (1996).

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I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground
I wish I was a mole in the ground
Yes, I wish I was a mole in the ground
'F I'se a mole in the ground, I'd root that mountain down
And I wish I was a mole in the ground

Oh, Kimpy wants a nine-dollar shawl
Yes, Kimpy wants a nine-dollar shawl
When I come o'er the hill with a forty-dollar bill
'Tis, "Baby, where you been so long?"

I been in the Bend so long
Yes, I been in the Bend so long
I been in the Bend with the rough and rowdy men
'Tis, "Baby, where you been so long?"

I don't like a railroad man
No, I don't like a railroad man
'Cause a railroad man, they'll kill you when he can
And drink up your blood like wine

Oh, I wish I was a lizard in the spring
Yes, I wish I was a lizard in the spring
'F I'se a lizard in the spring, I'd hear my darlin' sing
An' I wish I was a lizard in the spring

Come, Kimpy, let your hair roll down
Kimpy let your hair roll down
Let your hair roll down and your bangs curl around
Oh, Kimpy, let your hair roll down

I wish I was a mole in the ground
Yes, I wish I was a mole in the ground
'F I'se a mole in the ground, I'd root that mountain down
An'I wish I was a mole in the ground

Written by:

Traditional

Recorded:

Discogs1 OKeh ‎– 40155, 15 March 1924; Atlanta, GA

Musicians:

Bascom Lamar Lunsford: vocals, banjo

Review:

by John Bush of AllMusic:
Recorded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford, the Minstrel of the Appalachians, "I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground" is one of the most surreal folk song's ever released. Perhaps a fusion of several songs with radically different subject matter, "I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground" includes Lunsford wishing he was a mole in the ground as well as a lizard in the spring. Interspersed with these unexplainable images are two traditional laments: wondering where his baby's gone and despair about the lawlessness of railroad men. Lunsford's surprisingly emotional reading and close banjo pickings make this one of the best folk recordings ever released.