Old Joe Clark


Old Joe Clark, he had a house,

Fifteen stories high,

Every story in that house

Was full of chicken pie.


Refrain:  Fare thee well, old Joe Clark,

                Fare thee well, I say

                Fare thee well, old Joe Clark,

                Ain’t got long to stay.


Old Joe Clark he had a wife

Her name was Betty Sue;

She had two great big brown eyes

The other two were blue.


Old Joe Clark, he had a dog,

Like none you’ve ever seen;

With floppy ears and a curly tail,

And six feet in between.


Joe Clark had a violin

He fiddled all the day,

Anybody start to dance,

And Joe would start to play.


I went down to old Joe’s house,

Never been there before,

He slept on the feather bed

And I slept on the floor.


I went down to Old Joe Clark’s

Joe was not at home.

I ate all of his chicken pie,

And left Old Joe the bones. 



The lyrics to this old Southern fiddle tune were made up during the mid to late 1800’s about a man named Joseph Clark.  Born in 1839, Joe Clark lived in Kentucky where he was a soldier and then a farmer who ran a country store and a “moonshine” still.  At first, people created verses that reflected things that happened in his life, then the verses became more and more outlandish, creating a “larger than life” figure.