Anyway, I digress...
One of the songs I have had bouncing through my head for the past, oh, 30+ years or so was a story about a man walking past a dilapidated cabin wherein an old man was playing a fiddle. When the traveler advised the old man to fix the roof the old man replies, "I couldn't fix it now, on a rainy day." Maybe you already know this song. I didn't know the name until this weekend when I heard someone playing it on "Prairie Home Companion" and the song was referred to by name. It's called "The Arkansas Traveler." I've heard the tune so many times over the years, but never the name. This weekend I actually sought the lyrics and found them.
Oh once upon a time in Arkansas
An old man sat in his little cabin door,
And fiddled at a tune that he liked to hear,
A jolly old tune that he played by ear.
It was raining hard but the fiddler didn't care
He sawed away at the popular air,
Though his roof tree leaked like a water fall
That didn't seem to bother that man at all
A traveler was riding by that day,
And stopped to hear him a-practicing away
The cabin was afloat and his feet were wet,
But still the old man didn't seem to fret.
So the stranger said: "Now the way it seems to me,
You'd better mend your roof," said he.
But the old man said, as he played away:
"I couldn't mend it now, it's a rainy day."
The traveler replied: "That's all quite true,
But this, I think, is the thing for you to do;
Get busy on a day that is fair and bright,
Then pitch the old roof till it's good and tight."
But the old man kept on a-playing at his reel,
And tapped the ground with his leathery heel:
"Get along," said he, "for you give me a pain;
My cabin never leaks when it doesn't rain."
(Copied from here.) I have yet to find a vocal version with these lyrics in my intertube searchings. I'm a little shocked that the song is pretty much as I remember it. Granted, I couldn't recite all the lyrics, but I remembered the concepts and some snippets.