How many folksingers does it take to change a light bulb?

From a net news thread in June, 1999, and revisited in March, 2003 on The Mudcat Cafe and Digital Tradition.

Broken-hearted I'll wander
Broken-hearted I'll remain
Since my bonny lightbulb man
In the wars he was slain...
Mike Tems
First when I cam tae the toon
They ca'd me young and bonnie
But noo they've changed the bulb
Ca' me the lightbulb's honey.
Nigel Gatherer
Then out stepped the cabin boy, and up spoke he
O captain, my captain, what will you give to me
If I change for you the lightbulb, lonesome lightbulb
Change for you the light bulberee?
Gerry Myerson
Then up spake his lady at his back where she lay
She had seen the bulbs glowing o'er hill and o'er bray
O rise up oh Brackley, and be not afraid
They're but hired young brigands with lightbulbs to change
Janet put her backpack on
And all her goods arranged
And she's gone to Carterhaugh
The light bulbs for to change.

She'd not changed a double bulb,
a bulb but only two
When up then spoke young Tam Lin
says "Lady change no more"

"And why change you the light bulbs
without my acquiescence"
"Those reg'lar bulbs use too much power
I prefer fluoresescents".
Jeri Corlew
What shall we do with the broken lightbulb,
What shall we do with the broken lightbulb,
What shall we do with the broken lightbulb,
Earlie in the morning?

Get two folkies to hold the ladder! (x3)
Earlie in the morning!

And two more to complain that it's electric! (x3)
Earlie in the morning!
Eric Berge
Proud Maisrie stood at her fathers door
As straight as a willow wand
'Til by there came the Gardener child
With bulbs all in his hand, his hand
With bulbs all in his hand, his hand
Kevin Sheils
Her lips were sweet as the sugar candy,
her touch was as soft as a bed of goose down.
Her eyes shownas as bright as the city lights,
That were changed every night down in Eddington town.
perry lee
Come gather round people, wherever you roam,
And admit that the darkness around you has grown,
And accept it that soon, you'll be blind as a stone,
If your eyesight to you is worth savin',
Then find someone to help you, or go do it alone,
For the lightbulbs, they need a-changin'.
"unknown folky" Robert Glimmerman, cited by Ed Britt
Don't mind the wash or making tea
To mop the floor never worries me
But the task that really yanks my chain
Is to change that damned light bulb again.
Jeri Corlew
There were seven yellow Gypsies all in a row
They were brave and bonny-O
One to change the bulb and one to tell the tale
And there's five to run away with the lady-O
Kevin Sheils
Hucka chucka soda cracker
Does your mamma change the lightbulbs?
If you mamma changes the lightbulbs,
Hucka chucka soda cracker
How many times must a lightbulb be changed
Before it can be called a light?
How many men must go turn off that bulb,
Before they can sleep through the night?
He put his foot upon a stone,
His back against an oak,
And all alone he changed that bulb
(that's how it's done in folk)
Sue Quick
John Henry said to the captain
Don't you bring that light bulb round
Before I let that light bulb illuminate 'dis town
I'll die with a candle in my hand, Lawd, Lawd
You know I'll die with a candle in my hand!
Tom King
They carried John Henry to the graveyard,
And buried him underneath the sand.
And every locomotive goes roaring by
Says, "There lies a bulb changing man, oh lord.
There lies a bulb changing man."
John Peekstok
Momma said the child I hear a strange sound.
Kickin' and a hollerin' from down in the ground.
Child said Mama don't you have no fright.
Old folksingers arguin' bout changing them lights.
Stev Lenon
Casey said before I die,
Fix the blinds so that the bo's can ride.
If they ride let 'em hang on tight,
and sing their songs about changin' the light.
Stev Lenon
I was hanging 'round town, just spendin' my time,
Out of a job and not makin' a dime,
When up steps a fellow an' he says, "I suppose
You're a bulb changer by the looks of your clothes."
You figgers me right, an' a good 'un I claims,
Do you happen to have any light bulbs to change?
Tom Stovall
Well, he looked through the wires and he looked through the switches,
He looked through the sockets where the wires wouldn't go,
He screwed that bulb in tight as he could get it,
And wrote a song that's heard way down to Mexico.
In Rotterdam there lived a maid, mark well what I do say
In Rotterdam there lived a maid she was a mistress of her trade
I'll not go lightbulb changing with you fair maid

A-changing, a-changing those lightbulbs was my ruin
I'll not go lightbulb changing with you fair maid
Simon van Dongen
On the night that I was married
And in my marriage bed
There came a bold sea captain
And he changed the bulb instead.
Kevin Sheils
So come all you changers, you light bulb changers,
Wherever ye may be. . . .
Beware of Nancy, Lightbulb Nancy.
She'll ruin you like she blinded me!
perry lee
Oh mother, dear mother, now what shall I do?
I've married a man who's unable to screw
The bulb in the socket out there in the hall,
For I've married a man who's got no bulbs at all!

chorus: No bulbs at all, no bulbs at all,
She married a man who's got no bulbs at all.
Eric Berge
I'm Darby the tinker and my brother is Tam
We go where the work is, me boys, and we work where we can
With the mending and fixing it's together we stay
Intending our fortunes to try on the bulb changing way
David West
I changed the light, I changed the light,
No more darkness now when it's night,
Now I'm so happy, I done it right,
Praise the Lord, I changed the light
(country version I), Jeri Corlew
I ran the light, I ran the light.
I didn't see your car on the right.
Sorry I hit you. Let's have a quick fight.
I've been drinkin' and I ran the light.
(country version II), Steallight
There is a house in New Orleans
It's lightbulbs all are red
And if my wife finds me there
I know I'll wind up dead
On top of a ladder a folksinger stands
A frown on his face and, a light bulb in his hands
He's stuck the bulb in the socket, now he waits looking down
For the rest of his quartet to turn the ladder around
Nancy Ross
I went down to Sammy's Bar,
Oh the lightbulb needs changing
But I had to reach too far
And I broke the wires-o
Dave Bryant
Hand me the lightbulb, hand me the lightbulb
I don't want to reach down all the way-a-a-ay
Hand me the lightbulb, hand me the lightbulb
Don't take the whole ****ing day.
Dave Bryant
Cosher Bailey had a lightbulb,
It was always wanting changing,
Forty Watts was it's power,
It would last about an hour.

Have you ever saw, (X3)
Such a funny thing before.

Cosher Bailey sister Tant,
She has an old Miners Lamp,
For to light its wicker,
You must fiddle with the pricker

Have you ever saw etc.
Gareth Williams
As I was going over to change a bulb this morning
I met with my mate Barry and he gave me this stern warning
First you take your lightbulb, then you take your socket
Push the bulb right in to it and give a twist to lock it

But be sure, oh be sure that you don't
Fall of the ladder-o, fall off the ladder-o
When changing that lightbulb
Bullfrog Jones
I'm trying to read but it's getting rather dark.
Will someone switch the light on, over me?
Rover's rather frightened, he's starting to bark.
Will someone switch the light on, over me?

Switch the light on, switch the light on.
The bulb needs changing so no can do!
Change the light bulb, change the light bulb.
You'll have to go out and buy one, and take the damn dog too!
Dave Robinson
Sair failed, bulby,
Sair failed, noo
Sair failed, bulby,
Sin I kenned thou.

I was young and lusty,
I was in my prime,
You were bright and bonny
Many a long time.
Dave McGlade
Steh ich beim Fenster,
Fehlt ja das Licht,
Suche Glühbirnen,
Finde die nicht,
Plotz aus der Oste
Strahlen freundlich,
Sonne der Sonnen,
ich grüße dich!
Dean Knuth
Early one morning a bulb was shinin'
I was layin' in bed
Wonderin' if she'd changed them all
If her hair was still red.
Dean Knuth

Any more? Mail to Will Fitzgerald.