File SONGTEXT.HTM, Latest additions/ corrections, Apr. 30, 2002

Some Old Songs, A Personal Choice

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     Gleanings of old songs, from manuscripts, songbooks, broadsides, and even a newspaper: English, Scots, Irish, and even a few American. A few are not known to have ever been printed.

     I have expanded Middle English thorns to 'th'. Spelling was modernized in printed works by about 1600, but manuscripts, even some copied from printed works, continued to use the thorn for about another 60 to 70 years. I don't know what to do about 'e' and 'o', these are sometimes indistinguishable. 'Shoo' is really 'shee', and 'hoo' is 'hee', but I have left the literal translations as found, as is common. Four verses of "Jerusalem my happy home" were copied onto scattered pages of a book in the Folger Shakespeare Library, along with the author's name which appears with the first verse as 'I Leigho', and so the librarians have given it in the Manuscript Index of Poetry. The name appears again with another verse, however, and this time clearly as 'I Leighe'. The superfluous trailing 'e' is extremely common, so the name is just 'J. Leigh', much more reasonable. [I. or J. was almost always 'John']

     I have deleted superscripts which are common in manuscripts and on 18th century single sheet songs with music. 'w' with superscript 't' is common for 'with' or 'what', and with superscript 'ch' is common for 'which'. 'y' with super script 'u' is 'you', and with superscript 'r' it is 'your'. The thorn which looks most like a 'p' in print, could also look like a 'y' in script, so 'y' with superscript 't' is not 'yat', it 'that' or even 'what', context tells which. 'yat' is a common mistaken translation.

     For purposes of comparison I have put English, Irish, and Scots texts together in some places, grouped by subject matter, or to same tune, so the division into Sections, English, Irish and Scots on the disk file is only nominal, and "Father Abney's Will" with English songs is actually American, and one under "Granuaile" is Irish-American historical of 1775. Sometimes for convenience of subject or tune I have grouped more than one sung under a finding code, but have tried to list all the songs given under the finding code, except for fragment and short excerpts, in the index below.

     Many of the tunes are in C. M. Simpson's The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music, BBBM, but I give a few here which Simpson didn't identify, usually Scots ones, e.g. "Robin Cushie" and "The Beds making". One of his big lapses was in noting "An the kirk wad let me be" came from a fragment in Herd's Scots Songs, but missing the fact that the first line there, "I am a silly old man", was the tune citation on a broadside issued before 1677, on which "The blythsome bridal" was based. The broadside text, "The Scotish Contract" is given below.

Some abbreviations used.
BUCEM - British Union Catalog of Early Music. 2 vols, 1957.
NTI - National Tune Index, 1980
CPC - J. Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, 12 books, 1743 - c 1760. Dates for the individual books were given together by James Dick in The Songs of Robert Burns, but these are the ones scattered through the pages of John Glen's Early Scottish Melodies, 1900
BL - British Library (London), formerly British Museum
NLS - National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
SS - single sheet song with music.
SMM - Scots Musical Museum, 6 vols, 1787-1803[1804]
BBBM - C. M. Simpson's The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music, 1966.
PMOT - Wm. Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, 2 vols, 1855-8.
JFSS - Journal of the Folk-Song Society, London. Continued as:
JEFDSS - Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. Continued as:
FMJ - Folk Music Journal.

Note: PLAY commands below are to tunes here in ABC. See note on home page for playing them. Tunes Bxxx are among the broadside ballad tunes. Others are in S1.ABC


Nonsense songs-Tentative outline:

Marvels, Brags, Lies, Impossibilities, etc. Note that often the singer states in the song that he is telling the truth, a sure indication that he isn't.

Anne Geddes Gilchrist gave several traditional examples in an article in JFSS, V, #20, 1942, supplemented it with a few more songs in JEFDSS, IV, 1942. She gave only songs she had collected, excepting "Martin said to his man", in the 1942 article, and really didn't go very far with the subject.

* Below, means the text will be found in Scarce Songs 1 (this file), and ** in Scarce Songs 2. Traditional songs can be located easily in Steve Roud's folksong index.

A: BRAGS- Narrator's fantastic accomplishments:
Taliesin's song in the 'Tale of Taliesin'*, in Forde's 'Mabinogion'; Whetstone for Lyers*; Jovial Broome man*; I was born about 10,000 years ago.

B: Narrator is participator or relator of farcical news, gossip, or fantastical events, but not primary instigator:
"Newes! newes! newes! newes! Ye never herd so many newes!" BL MS Cotton Vesp. A25* (This titleless song could possibly be represented by a Stationers' Register entry of Sept. 18, 1579 which is "Jone came over London bridge and told me all this geere". This date is same as the other latest pieces in the MS). Gossip Joan* (plus 2nd part and imitations, e.g., "How comes it neighbor Dick"). 'Old Woman of Ratcliffe Highway' (prose chapbook, entered in 1660, extract in Ashton's 'Chapbooks'. Early example of text with self-contradictory lines).

"Martin said to his man/ Hurrah Lie", "Tom Tell-truth"* and descendants: "A Shoulder of Mutton Jumped over from France", Cecil Sharp, JFFS 20, p. 292, 1916; As I was going to Banbury: 'A Selection of English Folk Songs', Sharp, Vaughn Williams and others, Novello. Also in Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folksongs, and in Reeves, 'Idiom of the People', #7.

"Teague's Ramble"*, (imitation, but no direct borrowing of lines in "Paddy Backward"); "Nottamun Town"/ "Nottingham Fair" with directly borrowed lines from "Teague's Ramble" but also draws a little from "Tom Tell-Truth", above. "Nottamun Town" in 'English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians', II, p. 270. J. Ritchie, 'Singing Family of the Cumberlands', p. 115, 1955; "Nottingham Fair" in V. Randolph's 'Ozark Folksongs', III, p. 201. Bawdy parody in 'Roll Me In Your Arms', #83, 1992, with another long version, "Nottamon Fair" collected by Vance Randolph. "As I set off to Turkey", Reeves, 'Everlasting Circle', #4; "Bryan/Tom O'Lynn"**. "Benjamin Bowmaneer.

C: UTOPIA, (or other impossible places):
prose- Land of Cockagne, c 1400 (ballad or poem?); Jerusalem my happy home (1587)*; An Invitation to Lubberland*, (c 1685); Big Rock Candy Mountain, Oleanna. See especially Hal Ramel's book on comic Utopias in the US, 'Nowhere in America', 1990.

D: Marvelous Creatures:
Wonderful Crocodile, The Darby Ram, Red or Jolly Herring, Fod. Barely qualifying are: The sow took the measles and she died in the spring, Cutty Wren**.

E: X will happen when Y, string of impossibles, happen:
get married when - "Things Impossible", Gardner and Chickering, 'Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan', from broadside "The young-mans Resolution to the Maids Request" (ZN269), and, with music, in 'Pills to Purge Melancholy.'

F: Impossible transformations to capture or escape:
prose- part of 2nd Kalandar's tale, 14th of 1001 Nights, prose- Ceridwen's capture of Gwion Bach in the Welsh 'Tale of Gwion Bach', broadside ballad- Two lovely lovers, c 1629*, (forerunner of) The Twa Magicians.


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Aileen Aroon (original?), Go to
Ah silly pugge wert thou so sore afraid (by Queen Eliz.), Go to
Alknomook (by Ann Hunter, 1782, not by any of 3 Americans), Go to
Ally Croker (by Larry Grogan), Go to
Amors of the Gods, Go to
Andrew & his Cuttie Gun, Mock Battle, Go to
Angel Gabriel (Carol), Go to
As I gaed to the well at e'en, Go to
As I walked by myself, Go to
Ay Waukin, O, Go to
Aye me, poor maid, Go to
Ballad of a Tyrannical Husband, Go to
Beauties Warning-piece Go to
Bess for Abuses, Mock Battle, Go to
Between two foxes, (riddle poem), Go to
Big Rock Candy Mountain, Cf. Utopia2, Go to
Birds flew over the Green, Go to
Birds Harmony, Go to
Bird's Noats on May Day Last (1655), Go to
Blackbird, The, Go to
Black Joke and Imitations (Anglo-Irish), Go to
Blow the Candle Out, Go to
The blazing torch is soon burnt out, Go to
Blythsome Bridal (original?), Go to
Bob and Joan (Irish); Go to
The Bob-Tail'd Lass, Go to
Bogidon Go to
Bonny Jean of Aberdeen Go to
Bonny Nick the Courier (Scots, c 1605), Go to
Bonny Paisley (with Boys of Kilkenny) Go to
Bonny Portmore, Go to
Border Widow's Lament, Go to
Boys of Kilkenny (original), Go to
Brandy, O, Go to
Brags, or lies Go to
Burning of Old John/ Wanton Widow (Folktale), Go to
Captain Barnswell, Go to
Captain McCan (bawdy Irish), Go to
Card Song (original), Go to
Carman's Whistle, Go to
Close and proper new ballad (missing rhyme), Go to
Clout the Caudron, Go to
Colly my Cow, Go to
Comber's Whistle, Go to
Come, come my sweet and bonny one, Go to
Consent at last, Go to
Contriving Lover (early Keech in Creel3), Go to
Cooper of Norfolk, ref., Go to
Country Kate's Conquest, Mock Battle, Go to
Country Lass and Taylor's measure, Go to
Couragio, Mock Battle, Go to
Courteous Shephardess, Go to
The Courtships, Go to
Crab of the Wood, Go to
Cricket and Crab-louse, Go to
Crossed Couple, (Folktale type 1355B), Go to
A Cuckold by Consent (Folktale), Go to
Cupid's Revenge, Go to
Dabbling in the dew, Go to
Dainty & Dorty (Scots Measure); Go to
A Dainty Duck, Go to
Damon faintly askt once; Go to
Darby's Key to Una's Lock; Go to
Dear Catholic Brother, Go to
Deed of entayle, Go to
Deplorable News from Southwark, Go to
Derby Ram,Go to
Derry's Fair, Go to
Diddle, Diddle, (Lavender's Blue), Go to
Digby's Farewell, Go to
Disappointed Widow, Go to
Down by the sea shore (Laws K17, original), Go to
Down in a garden sat my dearest love, Go to
Down in the North Country, Go to
Drowned Lover (Laws K17, original), Go to
Drumion Dubh (Drimindown, Irish); Go to
Edinburgh Ramble, Go to
Epitaphs, Go to
Fain I would, Go to
Fair Fidelia, tempt no more, Go to
Fancy Lad, Go to
Farmer's Curst Wife (original?), Go to
Farmer's Daughter of Merry Wakefield, Go to
Father Abney's Will (American, c 1729), Go to
Father Grumble, Go to
Fine Old English/ Irish Gentleman, Go to
Fineboy, Go to
Fit for any man (well qualified maid), Go to
Flee stately Juno Samo fro, Go to
Fleming bark in Edinburgh, Mock Battle Go to
Flowers of the Forest, Go to
Foggy, Foggy Dew (original), Go to
Forlorn Lover (The week before Easter), Go to
Fortune my Foe, Go to
Fortune hath taken thee away my love (S. Walter Raleigh), Go to
Four Drunken Maidens (early version), Go to
French Privateer, and City Caper, Mock Battles, Go to
Fright'ned Yorkshire Damosel (Foggy, foggy Dew), Go to
The Friar and the Nun (c 1500), Go to
Gardener Lad (original)Go to
Geld him, lasses, geld him, Go to
The Girl I left behind me (earliest?), Go to
Glasgow Lass's Garland, Go to
Go Sweet Lynes, Go to
Go to the kye wi' me Jonny, Go to
Gossip Joan (complete), Go to
Granuaile/ Commodore Gale; Go to
Greensickness Grief, Go to
Hans Carvel's Ring (Song versions of Folktale), Go to
Hawthorn tree, (complete) Go to
Henry Newel, Go to
Highland Tinker, The, appended to "Clout the Caldron" (qv)
Highlander's farewell to bonny port more, The Go to
An Historical Ballad, Go to
The Holland Smock, Go to
How Oxford Schollars Spend Their Time, Go to
The Huntsman's Delight (The Keeper), Go to
Husband with no courage in him, Go to
I came unto a Puritan to woo, Go go
I have a sister Sally, she's younger than I am, Go to
I never will marry, Go to
I saw me thought, Go to
I was born about four (or ten) thousand years ago, Go to
I'll go to my love where he lies in the deep, Go to
I'll never love thee more (early MS copy), Go to
In Good Old Colony Times, Cf., Go to
In secret place this hinder nycht, Go to
In Summer Time, Go to
In summer time, when flowers smell (Scots kiss), Go to
An Invitation to Lubberland (Big Rock Candy Mountain?), Go to
Jerusalem, my happy home, (by J. Leigh, 1587), Utopia1, Go to
Jockey shall have our Jenny (Scotch Wedding), Go to
John Robinson's Park, Go to
Jovial Broome man (with proper tune), Go to
Katy Cruel, Go to
Keech in the Creel, Cf., Go to
Keep Legs together, Go to
The Keeper, Go to
Kempy Kay, ref., Go to
Kettlebender, Go to
Kind Lad and Scornful Lass, Go to
Kind Robin loves me (original?) Go to
Kissing goes by favour, Go to
The Knave, Go to
Ladies Case (Waggoner's Lad opening), Go to
The Ladies Delight, or Narcissus his Love-Flower, Go to
Ladies Fort Beseiged, Mock Battle, Go to
The Ladies Lamentation, Go to
The Landlady of France, Go to
Langolee I and II (Irish), Go to
Larry Grogan (song as well as tune); Go to

Larry O'Gaff, Go to
Lass of Hexamshire, Go to
Last Christmas 'twas my chance (complete, original tune), Go to
Lavender's Blue, Go to
Little Leather Winged Bat, Go to
Loathly Lady, Go to
Love in a Trance, Mock Battle, Go to
Love is the cause of my mourning, Go to
Love's Fancy, or, the Youngman's Dream, Go to
Loves Victory Obtained, Mock Battle, Go to
MacPherson's Rant (original), Go to
A Maiden of late whose name was sweet Kate, Go to
Maid's call to the Batchelor, Go to
Maiden's Call to the Batchelors, (missing rhyme) Go to
Maiden's Dream, Go to
Maiden's Sad Complaint for Want of a Husband, Go to
Margaret my sweetest, Go to
Mars and Venus, Mock Battle, Go to
Mars and Venus, Go to
Maulkin was a country maide, Go to
Maulster's Daughter, Go to
Medicine for Maids (cure broken maidenhead), Go to
Merrie Ballad of Nash's DildoGo to
Merry New Song, Cooper Cuckolded, Go to
Moggie Lawther on a day (original), Go to
Monaghan Fair, Go to
Mossie and his mare, Go to
Mother, may I go out to swim (whole song), Go to
My dear and only love take heed, Go to
My Dog and I, Go to
My father has forty good shillings, Go to
My heart bleedeth, Invitation, Go to
My Heart's in the Highlands (original), Go to
My love is like,Go to
My man John, (among riddles) Go to
Nay pish (several songs), Go to
Nay pish, nay phew, in faith will you? fie!, Go to
Ned of the Hill, Go to
Nicol o Cod, Go to
The night before Larry was stretched, Go to
Nightingales Song, Go to
No, John, no John no, Cf., Go to
Nonsense, marvels, backwards, Go to
North-countrey Maids Resolution, Go to
Not far from town, a country squire, (Folktale), Go to
Nottamun Town/ Nottingham Fair, Go to
O quickly, Go to
O when shall I be married, Go to
Old Courtier of the Queen, Go to
Old Granny Wales [Granuaile]; Go to
Old Maid's complaint (I have a sister Sally), Go to
Oleanna, Cf. Utopia2, Go to
On holy even when winters nights wax longe, Go to
Once I lay with another man's wife (frag. of original), Go to
On the murder of Glencoe Go to Open the door and let me come in, Go to
Orpheus and Uridice (Farmer's curst wife), Go to
Outward Bound, Go to
Over the water to Charlie, Cf., Go to
The Patriarch, Go to
Patrick O'Neal (Irish sea song); Go to
The Pear Tree, Cf., Go to
Pearl of the Irish Nation, Go to
Peerless Paragon, Go to
Pinnace (Scots), Mock Battle, Go to
Pleasures of Sunderland (with Boys of Kilkenny) Go to
The Plenipotentary, appended to Shambuy Go to
Pollitick Beggar-Man & Jolly Beggar Go to
Popular poetry, (not songs, supplement at end) Go to
Portsmouth's Return, Go to
Presbyterian Cat, Go to
The Pretty Chambermaid (Folktale), Go to
Pretty Peggy Benson, Go to
Pretty Peggy of Derby, O (Irish); Go to
The pretty sweet Jenny she sat on a hill, Go to
A Puritan of Late, Go to
Queen of Love, or In the Wanton Season, Go to
Rakes of Mallow (unexpurgated), Go to
Rakes of Stony Batter; Go to
Rap at the Door, Go to
Repulsive (Repulsing) Maid, Go to
Robbie and Granny, Go to
Rob's Jock came to woo our Jenny, Go to
Rowin't in her Apron, Go to
Samuel and Sara (Constant Lovers), Go to
Scotch Moggy's Misfortune (Kind Robin loves me), Go to
Scotch Wedding (original?), Go to
The Scotish Contract (Blythsome Bridal, original?), Go to
Sea-mans leave taken.. Margery, Go to
Shawnbuy (Sean Buidhe), Go to
She lay all naked in her bed, Go to
A Shipload of Waggery, (missing rhyme) Go to
Shrowsbury for me (with Boys of Kilkenny) Go to
Some say that kissing's a sin, Go to
Shooting arrow, Go to
Sit you merry gentlemen (i.e,. God rest you, c 1650), Go to
Skew Ball, Go to
Soldier and Sailor (Congreve's), Mock Battle, Go to
Soldier's Joy, Go to
Some in the Town (The Hunt), Go to
Songs from Bassus, Go to
Spanish Merchant's Daughter, Cf., Go to
Strawberry Leaves make maidens fair, Go to
Stuttering Lovers, Go to
A Sup of good whiskey, Go to
Supper is na Ready, Go to
Sweetheart's Resolution, (among riddles)Go to
Taliesin's bragging song, Go to
Teague's Ramble (original of Nottamun Town), Go to
Tee hee, Go to
The Terrible Law, Go to
There came a fidler out of France, Go to
Thomas you cannot, Go to
Three sheep skins the wrong side outmost, Go to
Tit for Tat, Go to
Tom Brown's Delight (The Card Song), Go to
Tom Tell-truth, Go to
Tom Tinker's my true love, Go to
The True Englishman, Go to
The Twa Magicians, Cf., Go to
Two lovely lovers walking all alone, Go to
Una's Lock (Irish), Go to
Under her Apron Go to
Up with Aley, Aley, Go to
Venus and Adonis (19th and 17th cent.), Go to
Venus Sports, Go to
Virgin's Complaint for want of a Husband, Go to
Warrington Fair (Lancashire dialect) Go to
Watkin's Ale, Go to
Watten Towns End, Mock Battle, Go to
The way to woo a zealous lady (original and song), Go to
The week before Easter, Go to
We're a' kist sleeping, Go to
We're gayly yet, Go to
When Arthur first in Court Began, Go to
Where are you going my pretty maid, Go to
A Whetstone for Lyers, Go to
Whistle, daughter, whistle, Go to
Widow Brown, Go to
Widow of Westmorland's Daughter (Folktale), Go to
Wife of Auchtermuchty, Go to
Will the Weaver, Go to
Within the North Country, Go to
Woody Querristers, Go top
The Women's Complaint to Venus, Go to
Wooing Maid, the, by Martin Parker Go top
Ye Rakehells so jolly, Go to
You Jacobites by name (original, 1746), Go to
Young Barnwell, Go to
Young Man's Dream (Irish), and related pieces Go to
An Excellent new Song, Called, The Young-Mans Answer to the Maids Garden of Tyme(original)Go to
Young Roger's Conquest, Mock Battle, Go to
The Young Damsell's Resolution, Mock Battle, Go to

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Song Texts.

Section 1, mostly Irish.

Aileen Aroon

Ailen aroon an Irish Ballad Sung by [Kitty] Clive at ye theater Royal [Single sheet song with music.]

Du ca tu non Vanna tu Aileen aroon
San Duca tu non Vanna tu aileen aroon
Duca tu non Vanna tu
Duca tu non Vanna tu
Duca tu, Duca tu, Duca tu non Vanna tu
O Duca tu non Vanna tu aileen aroon.

Kead mille Faltie rote aileen aroon
Kead mille Faltie rote aileen aroon
Kead mille Faltie rote
Kead mille Faltie rote
Oct mille, nee mille, deh mille Faltie rote
O Faltie gus fine rote aileen aroon.

Tuca me sni anna me sgra ma chree stu
O Tuca me sni anna me sgra ma chree stu
Tuca me sni anna me
Tuca me sni anna me
Tuca me sni anna me sni anna me sgra me chree stu.
This and another edition of about the same date listed in BUCEM, p. 294. BUCEM lists another later edition printed in Dublin about 1770, as sung by 'Sigr Savoi at the Rotunda.' A copy with music, crediting Sigr Tenducci with singing it, was printed in Dublin in Exshaw's London Magazine, 1769. Although Exshaw's magazine was largely pirated from the London edition, the song was not in the 1769 issue of The London Magazine. The same song was printed without music in a songbook The Charms of Melody, Dublin, 1776. This probably stems from the singing of one of the two Italians mentioned below.


Ducatu non vanutu Aileen Aroon,
San ducatu non vanutu Aileen Aroon;
     Ducatu nun vanutu, Ducata non vanutu,
     Ducatu, ducatu, ducatu, ducatu non vanutu,
O ducatu non vanutu, Aileen Aroon.

Kead mille faltierote Aileen Aroon,
Kead mille faltierote Aileen Aroon;
     Kead mille faltierote, Schat mille faltierote,
     Oct mille nee mille, deh mille faltierote,
O faltiegus fine root [rote] Aileen Aroon.

Tuca me sni anna me sgramachree hu,
O tuca me sni anna me sgramachree hu,
     Tucca me sni anna me, tucca me sni anna me,
     Tuca me, tucca me, tuca me sni anna me
O tuca me sni anna me sgramachree hu.
The first verse was printed to the tune by Domenico Corri in A Select Collection of the Most Esteemed Songs, Vol. III, p. 21, Edinburgh, n. d. [c 1798]

The song is in Gaelic, spelled phonetically, and apparently in Ulster dialect. [Private communication from Dr. Patrick A. G. O'Hare, ] Dr. O'Hare's literal translation of the 1776 version is as follows:

[Aileen Aroon, translated]

Will you go or will you stay, Aileen Aroon,
And will you go or will you stay, Aileen Aroon,
   Will you go or will you stay, 
   Will you go or will you stay, 
   Will you, will you, will you,
   Will you go or stay,
O will you go or will you stay, Aileen Aroon.

One hundred thousand welcomes to you Aileen Aroon,
One hundred thousand welcomes to you Aileen Aroon,
   One hundred thousand welcomes to you,
   Seven thousand welcomes to you,
   Eight thousand, nine thousand, 
   Ten thousand welcomes to you,
O welcomes and fine [?] root [?], Aileen Aroon.

I shall go and shall not stay love of my heart,
O I shall go and shall not stay love of my heart,
   I shall go and shall not stay,
   I shall go and shall not stay,
   I shall go, I shall go,
   I shall go and shall not stay,
O, I shall go and shall not stay, love of my heart.
A traditional version in JFSS VI (#25) 1925 (with music not given here) has only one verse (in Gaelic) which translated goes (with Eileen a riu/in = Eileen, darling):

Oh, I would drive the calves with you, Eileen, darling (bis)
Oh, I would drive the calves with you,
Westwards through the glens with you,
Hoping to be married to you, Eileen darling

The tune with title "Ellen a Roon" is first found in Charles Coffey's ballad opera The Beggars Wedding, 1729. Coffey's song there is unrelated to "Eileen Aroon". This was acted in both Dublin and London, and at least four editions of the play were printed in that year, with additions to each subsequent edition. The music was printed at the end of the 4th edition, but not with the 1st ed. Music is in some, but not all, copies of the 2nd ed. I have not found out if the music was included with the 3rd edition. The Folger copy of the 4th. edition, 1729, contains the music, as does another copy styled the 4th ed. by different printers, in 1731. The fifth edition, 1733, by yet a different printer does not contain the music.

The second printing of the tune is that on the single sheet song with music, from Kitty Clive's singing. According to Roger Fiske's English Theatre Music in the 18th Century, 2nd edit., p. 626, says that it was sung at Drury Lane Theatre on Aug. 3, 1742, and he hadn't seen any earlier example. However, in Arthur Scouten's et. all.'s The London Stage Kitty Clive is noted to have sung it in Dublin before she sang it at a production of The Man of Mode on Mar. 8, 1742. She sang it least 8 other times, until her last known singing of it in Apr. 1745.

The third printing of the tune seems to have been the elaborated version with a bass given by Burk Thumoth [Thomond of Burke] in Twelve Scotch and Twelve Irish Airs, John Simpson, London, n.d. (c 1744) In this work the tune is in the Irish section. This work contains an advertisement on the title page for James Oswald's A Collection of Curious Scots Tunes, which is known to have appeared in November, 1742, so Thumoth's book is probably to be dated 1743-4. I subsequently discovered that the deduction of a date of 1743 was also arrived at by Francis O'Neill in Irish Music and Musicians, Chicago, 1923? Old estimates of the date range from 1720 to 1760.

The tune was printed in Scots collections in the eighteenth century, and this has given rise to some Scots claims to the tune, however, the Irish evidently had a song to the tune, while the Scots seemed to know only Lady Keppel's song "Robin Adair," more on which below.

The fourth and fifth printings of the tune that I have come across are those in James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book V, c 1753, and in his A Collection of Scots Tunes with Variations, c 1756. These were both published by Oswald after leaving Edinburgh in 1741 or 1742.

The tune from Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion is reprinted in James Dick's The Songs of Robert Burns, #45, p. 45, 1903, as the setting for Burn's song "Phyllis the Fair." Burns was actually familiar with the variant of the tune "Robin Adair," from a printing with music of Lady Caroline Keppel's song in a Scots songbook of the 1790's. Robert Burns, however, had met a Highland Scotsman who claimed that his mother had sung a Gaelic song to the tune. Unfortunately we do not have the title or a single line of the song, and we know that Burns was occasional misinformed, memory of far past events being notoriously error prone. I have not ascertained when the version of the tune "Robin Adair" first made its appearance. The song was by Lady Charlotte Keppel, probably between 1750 and 1760, and certainly before her marriage to her Irish "Robin" Robert Adair. The song is certainly not a Scots one.

A Cantata on the "Roast Beef of Old England" contains about 30 total verses using about a dozen different tunes. Among these are two non-descript verses to the tune of "Ellen Aroon." I do not know when this first appeared. It is in The London Songster , 1767; The Humming Bird, London, 1776; The Linnets, Wolverhampton, 1777; and in The British Muse, Newcastle, 1787, all without music. It is with music as a single sheet with music printed by J. Longman & Co., c 1780? On the latter and the first of the books above it is styled 'A Cantata taken from a Celebrated Print by the ingenious Mr. Hogarth.'

A song without title, set to the tune in Vocal Music, or, the Songsters Companion, London, n.d. [c 1778] [Single sheet ed, 'A favorite Irish ballad,' c 1770, noted in BUCEM], goes:

[Untitled song to the tune of "Aileen Aroon"]

   How sweet and how pleasing the birds sing in tune!
   How sweet and how pleasing the birds sing in tune!
   Gay prospects abounding, All nature resounding, 
   And will delight my sweet Ai---leen Aroon!
   And will delight my sweet Aileen Aroon. 
   The roses and li---lies in May and in June,
   The roses and lilies in May and in June,
   So charming and blooming, Around all perfuming,
   So charming and blooming, Around all perfuming,
   Are not half so sweet as my Aileen Aroon.

   When sultry bright Phoebus, makes fervid the noon,
   When sultry bright Phoebus, makes fervid the noon,
   In the grove or the bow'r I'll pass the long hour,
   And sing in the praise of sweet Aileen Aroon!
   And sing,---- sing in praise of sweet Aileen Aroon!
The latter song is also in The Thrush, London, p. 16, 1827.

A song to the tune "Aileen Aroon" was written and published by a songwriter in London, William Collins. His songs have tune directions which are mostly Irish tunes, and several of the songs are set in Ireland, and all are much better songs than the general run of Anglo-Irish songs, most of which are supposedly comic songs about the backwardness of the Irishman. His song is in his collection of sixty songs entitled The New Vocal Miscellany, 1787.


   Ah haste to these arms sweet Sheela my dear,
     Ah haste to these arms sweet Sheela my dear,
   Poor Murtagh no ease can find
   Your image still haunts my mind;
   When Sheela is absent, each day seems a year,
     When Sheela is absent, each day seems a year.

   I'll travel to Dublin in search of my love,
     I'll travel to Dublin in search of my love,
   There, fly to the play each night,
   To meet my own heart's delight;
   And then to Kilkenny return with my love,   
     And then to Kilkenny return with my love.
[one more verse, not copied.]

Another song to the tune, headed:

Aileen a Roon

'The following very elegant paraphrase on the celebrated song of Aileen a Roon, by the late Rt. Hon. John Hely Hutchinson, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, and first Secretary of State, is now published for the first time, from the original manuscript.' [Not quite true, see below]

Oh! welcome, my Aileen; the moment is blest
That brings thee to soothe ev'ry care of my breast;
   These eyes that behold thee,
   These arms that enfold thee;
   This faithful heart beating,
   In joy of our meeting,
Welcome a thousand times, Aileen a Roon.

My faithful companion* who walk'd by my side,
Flew away like the wind when my Aileen he spy'd:
   With music he greets thee,
   In rapture he meets thee,
   Now to thy side clinging;
   Now up to thy lap springing,
He welcomes, a thousand ways Aileen a Roon.

My flocks gaze and bleat as my Aileen draws nigh,
And my little stream flows more melodiously by;
   At her feet the flow'rs springing;
   The birds round her singing;
   In her presence delighting,
   All nature uniting,
Proclaims a glad welcome to Ailen a Roon.
Thy presence my Garden rejoices to hail,
And gives thee her welcome perfum'd in the gale,
   Amid' thy charms straying,
   Fond zephyrs are playing,
   Now on thy cheek lying,
   Soft breathing and sighing,
With whispers they welcome thee, Aileen a Roon.

The blossoms are clust'ring, more verdant the grove, 
And my fields smile with gladness to welcome my love,
   To thee all is owing,
   In thee pleasure showing;
   All objects appearing
   More soft and endearing,
What wonder we welcome thee, Aileen a Roon.

In their gayest apparel the shepherds appear,
And are thronging to see and to welcome thee here;
   Thy dear name resounding,
   From hill to hill rebounding;
   Fond echo conveying,
   And joyfully saying
Welcome, a thousand times, Aileen a Roon.

If to welcome thee all things in nature unite,
In what strains shall thy Donald express his delight?
   At sight of his treasure,
   Transported with pleasure;
   Thus gazing and pressing
   To his bosom his blessing--
He has scarce breath to welcome thee, Aileen a Roon.
* a favourite Spaniel

Above from a songbook without music, issued in 100 parts, of which there is no complete collection, The Charms or Melody, or Syren Medley, Dublin, n.d. [c 1795-1810, from paper watermark dates.]

Hutchinson is noted in D. J. O'Donoghue's The Poets of Ireland, as having a reputation as a poet, however, O'Donoghue could not locate any poetical pieces attributed to him. Hutchinson's death was given by O'Donoghue as Sept. 4, 1794. The song appears to be little known in Ireland, probably because it was published in London in The European Magazine, April, 1794, as "AILUN A' Roon," with an appended note, 'Words to Ailun A'Roon. By the Right Hon. J. H. H. Secretary of State for Ireland.' [Huntington Library, Catalogue of Music Printed Before 1801.]

I have not found when Gerald Griffin's familiar song "Aileen Aroon" was written. He was born about 1803, and stayed in Ireland to complete his education when his parents emigrated to the US about 1820. This is the one sung by Jean Redpath.

Play: S1, AILNRON, Tune from Beggars Wedding, 1729

Go to Index

Alley [Alicia] Croker [later, Croaker]

There liv'd a man in Ballinocrazy,
Who wanted a wife to make him uneasy;
Long had he sigh'd for dear Ally Croker,
And thus the gentle youth bespoke her,
   Will you marry me, dear Ally Croker?
   Will you marry me, dear Ally Ally Croker?

This artless young man, just come from the schoolery,
A novice in love and all its foolery;
Too dull for a wit, too grave for a joker,
And thus the gentle youth bespoke her -
   Will you marry me, dear Ally Croker?
   Will you marry me, dear Ally Ally Croker?

He drank with the father, he talk'd with the mother,
He romp'd with the sister, he gam'd with the brother,
He gam'd till he pawn'd his coat to the broker,
Which lost him the heart of his Ally Croker.
  O the fickle fickle Ally Croker!
  O the fickle Ally Ally Croker!

To all young men who are fond of gaming,
Who are spending their money while others are saving,
Fortune''s a jilt, the Devil may choak her,
A jilt more inconstant then Ally Croker.
   O the inconstant Ally Croker!
   O the inconstant Ally Ally Croker!
Larry Grogan was an Irish piper of the first half of the 18th century, traditionally credited with composition of "Ally Croker" about 1725. The tune for this is familiar as that for William Collins' "Golden Days of Good Queen Bess," George Colman's "Unfortunate Miss Bailey," (from Act 2 of 'Love Laughs at Locksmiths, premiered on July 25, 1803) song in The Whim of the Day for 1804 with tune direction "Ally Croaker", and Samuel Woodward's "The Hunters of Kentucky." T. Crofton Croker in Popular Songs of Ireland, 1839, related a traditional story about the composition of the tune for "Ally Croaker," about 1725. The song of that title was said to be written on rejection of his suit by a jilt, Alicia Croker. I had doubts about this story until I found that there is a single sheet copy of the song with music of about 1730, with Alicia Croker's last name spelled correctly. Unfortunately I have not seen a copy of this issue, which commences "There lived a man in Ballenocrazy". Other copies of the song and tune, of which there are many, stem from 1753, when it appeared as "Ally Croaker" in S. Foote's The Englishman in Paris. The tune under the "Ally Croaker" title appeared with and without the song in several publications over the next few years. A copy of the song "Ally Croaker" in The Universal Magazine, London, 1753, was termed "A New Song". This did not fool everyone. In G. A. Stevens' Songs, Comic and Satirical, 1772, is a song with tune direction "Ally Croker", not "Croaker", and therre are many other songs with the same tune direction.

Wm. Chappell in Popular Music of the Olden Time, II, p. 713, unaware of the early single sheet issues of "Ally Croker" assumed the song "Ally Croaker" originated in Foote's play. He stated that the tune appeared in Love in a Riddle, 1729, as the tune for a song "No more, fair Virgins boast your power". The tune in Love in a Riddle seems to me to be only vaguely similar to "Ally Croker". I have not run across any early copy of Wm. Collins' "The Golden Days of Good Queen Bess". With music it is in The British Musical Miscellany, p. 42, Edinburgh, 1805. As with George Colman later, Irish tunes were favorites with Collins and several, including some now unknown, are cited for songs in his The New Vocal Miscellany, 1787. [Unknown, at least to me, are "Pegeine O'Leary", "Pearl of Wicklow" and "Mortaugh Delany and Jenny O'Danelly"]

Reference to our song is made in: A song, "The Irish Proker", Sung by Mr. Dignum, The Charms of Chearfulness, or Merry Songster's Companion>, p. 145, 1789. - "About 20 years ago Ally Croaker made a great noise"

Play: S1, ALYCRK1, Love in a village
S1, ALYCRK3, Riley's Flute Melodies

Go to Index

Larry Grogan

The 18th century Irish song usually mentioned in connection with this tune is "The County Limerick Buck Hunt." There are copies of this without music in The New Merry Companion , London, c 1772, and in The Charms of Melody , Dublin, Sect. 2, p. 8, 1776, where in both it is entitled "On the Buck Hunt In the County of Limerick," with tune direction, "Larry Grogan." It also appears as "The Limerick Buck Hunt" in The Charms of Chearfullness, London, p. 81, 1781, with the same tune direction. I have always seen this as the tune direction, but James N. Healy in The Second Book of Irish Ballads printed the song, which he said was by a Pierce Creagh about 1735, (copying T. C. Croker's 'Popular Songs of Ireland', 1839) and gives a different tune, "Nac Mbaineann sin do". (Thumoth's '12 Scotch and 12 Irish Airs', c 1745 has a "Mr. Creagh's Irish Tune"). Another copy without music is in the 45th issue, c 1802-3, of the periodically issued The Charms of Melody, Dublin, c 1795 - 1810. The 'Buck Hunt' song commences:

By your leave Larry Grogan, Enough has been spoken, It's time to give over your sonnet, your sonnet; Come listen to mine sir, Much truer than thine sir, For these very eyes were upon it. It is of a buck slain, This very campaign, To let him live longer, 'twere a pity, 'twere a pity: For head and for branches, For fat and for haunches, Exceeding the mayor of a city, a city. [Alicia Croker reappears in this song in the fourth verse, Cf. ALYCRKR above]

The first half of this verse clearly refers to an older song about Larry Grogan, which is evidently our song "Larry Grogan".

The song "Larry Grogan" is much earlier than the songbooks in which it is appears, The Charms of Chearfulness, p. 143, London, 1781, and The Polite Songster, p. 377, North-Shields, 1781. It is without music or tune direction in either, but the title gives the tune. Note the fifth line, "We'll send for sweet Larry, be merry, be merry." A song "Robin John Clarke" in A Collection of Loyal Songs, Poems, 1750, has the tune direction, "sweet Larry, be merry," undoubtably from our song. "Robin John Clark" is printed from a manuscript, but with a different tune, in J. Hogg's Jacobite Relics, I, p. 24, 1819.

Larry Grogan.

Ye rakes that are jolly and hate melancholy,
   Who through the wide world are a jogging;
In the land of good ale did you never hear tell,
   Of that frolicksome lad Larry Grogan.
We'll send for sweet Larry, be merry, be merry;
   Hah, there is his bagpipe a humming;
Zounds boys join in chorus, hey! all the world for us,
   I knew the dear Joy was a coming.

Now peace with your singing, we'll make a'round ring, an
   Young Larry, shall play in the middle;
Now for it my ranter, one tune from your chanter,
   Shall beat the harp, hautboy or fiddle,
Your pipes Larry Grogan all other ones flogging,
   Tune up in a measure so frisky,
To hear Lanstrum pone what heart can be stony, [*
   While'er we've a bumper of whisky.

Come Larry play over the march of the rover,
   The rakes and the drunkards and troopers;
Lads rather than quarrel we'll stave a whole barrel
   So damn it more work for the coopers.
Come drink about plumpers, lads fill up your bumpers,
   And landlady bring us a twitcher;
But hearkee__ no roguing,--- you know Larry Grogan,
   Can find out the hole in a pitcher.

Come drink about Larry, let's laugh and be merry,
   This world is nothing but sorrow;
To day let us caper and sweal out life's taper,__
   It may be extinguish'd tomorrow.
Yet if death do approach us, he never dare broach us;
   The rascal had better be civil;
We'd call him a liar, put's dart in the fire,
   And shove his dry bones to the Devil.

Amongst other crochets we'll play up to Hatchet's,
   And drink a whole hogshead at Hammond's,
From there to Moll Wheelers we'll visit the females,
   And toss off a cog to Doll Cummins.
We'll touzle the tatters of each mother's daughter,-- 
   What says my young worthy sweet Larry?
Come lads never fear us, we'll rant it like heros,
   But mind we are never to marry.

Now faith Larry Grogan, with never a brogue on,
   I'll skip to thy music with pleasure;
So down with the glasses, and haul in our lasses;
   In dancing we'll stick to no measure.
Well broke Larry Grogan, 'tis time to be jogging,
   We reel with a motion so weary;
For piping and dancing for singing and prancing,
   Who e'er so a blade like young Larry.
* Pipe tune of which there are many versions, and now called "Langstern's pony". "Lastrum Pone" in the Neals' A Choice Collection of Country Dances, Dublin, c 1726; "Lestrum pone" in The Beggar's Wedding, 1729; It appears in several collection of country dances, including, "Lass Trumponey" in Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, Book 1, c 1734, and is "Lastrumponey" in Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, and elsewhere later.

The tune "Larry Grogan" was printed in 1736 in the second book of J. Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, and appeared about the same time on a single sheet song with music, (noted in 6/4 rather than 6/8 time) with the title "Larry Grogan, or the London Rakes delight." This song is an English bacchanalian, and Larry Grogan appears only in the title. The tune "Larry Grogan" was also printed in J. Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 10, p. 12, c 1760.

Play: S1, LRYGRGN, from single sheet issue, below

[Following from single sheet song with music, the tune being "Larry Grogan." London, c 1730-40]

Larry Grogan, or the London Rakes Delight.

Come Boys let's be jolly and drown melancholy,
   We'll tope off a Hogshead of Sherry, of Sherry.
Let doating old Puritans dye in their folly,
   While we that are Rakes will be merry, be merry
Each Rake with his Miss shall tipple & frolic it.
   Peggy & Nanny & Nanny & Sarah, & Sarah,
& Harry & Ionny & Robin no politick Dicky 
   and Doll of the Dairy, the Dairy.

We'll Dance and sing and caper, rant, rattle, and Vapour,
   And revel like true Sons of Thunder, of Thunder,
Bauds, Pandors, and Bullies, Pimps, Whores & their Cullies,
   Amaz'd & afraid shall knock under Boys, under,
If they resist we'll beat them all back again,
   no Man our frolick shall hinder, shall hinder,
We'll Booze & we'll drink, & when in a merry Vein,
   Turn the House out the window, the window.

When Drunk with good Sherry Champain of Canary,
   We always are frisky & Jolly, & Jolly,
Each Lass of the Town that is free brisk and airy,
   Young Cicely Bersheba and Polly, & Polly,
Shall fly to our Arms with am'rous embraces,
   And meet a return from each Gallant, each Gallant,
While Liquor inspires us we mind no disgraces,
   But boldly make use of our Tallent, our Tallent.

Our Bottles, Religion, our Lasses, a Region
   Of bliss there our Joys we do Center, do Center,
While Bachus inspires us & Venus she fires us,
   We Value not Hymens Indenture, Indenture,
Those that do marry do often miscarry,
   Venus you know Cuckold'd Vulcan, old Vulcan,
His Horns oft did hinder the sight of his rival,
   While Mars in a corner lay sculking, lay sculking.
Some Women are fickle & lov & to be tickl'd,
   By those that to them should be Strangers, be Strangers,
The Rakes life is best tho' with Pox he is Pickl'd, 
   He need not to fear other dangers, Sir, dangers,
For what will come after we have no cause to fret,
   Think not at all of to morrow, to morrow,
A whole pound of grief will ne'er pay an Ounce of Debt,
   Hang care and cast away Sorrow, Boys, Sorrow.
Go to Index

[Black Joke and imitations]

The Original black Joke, sent from Dublin.

No mortal sure can blame ye man,
Who prompted by Nature will act as he can
     With a black joke, & belly so white:
For he ye Platonist must gain say,
that will not Human Nature obey,
     in working a joke, as will lather like soap, 
     & the hair of her joke, will draw more than a rope,
     with a black joke, & belly so white.

The first that came in was an English boy,
& then he began for to play & toy,
     With her black & c.
He was well vers'd in Venus's School,
Went on like a Lyon came off like a fool,
     From her coal black & c

Then Shonup a Morgan from Holly-head
Was stark staring mad to go to bed,
     To her black & c
His cruper her saddle did not fit,
So out of door she did him hit;
     With her Coal black & c.

Then hastily came in a Hilland man,
His chanter & pipe both in his hand,
     To her black & c
But his main spring it was not strong
For he could only flash in the pan
     Of her Coal black & c

A Frenchman oh yh wth ruffles & wig
With her he began for to dance a Jig
     With her black & c
& wn he felt wt was under her smock,
Begar said Mounsier 'tis a fine Merimot
With a Coal black & c.

A rich Dutch skipper from Amsterdam
He came wth his gilt ready in hand,
     To her black & c
He fancy'd himself very fit for ye game,
She sent him to Holland all in a flame,
     By her Coal black & c

The good Irish Man he cou'd not forbear
But yt he must have a very good share,
     Of her black & c
Madam said he for money I have none.
But I'll play a tune on ye jiging bone
     Of your Coal black & c

Then next came in a brave Granadeer,
& calls in for plenty of Ale & beer,
     For her black & c
The cuning sly Jade show'd him a trick
& sent him away wth fire in his stick
     From her Coal black & c.

Traverse ye Globe & you'l find none,
Who is nott addicted & very much prone,
     To a black & c
The Prince, ye Priest, ye Peasant do love it,
& all degrees of Mankind do covet
     A Coal black & c

The rigid recluse wth his meager face,
From fasting & prayer wd quickly cease,
     For a black & c
Let ye Clergy Cant & say wt they will
They stop ye mouth & tickle the Gill
     Of a Coal black & c

The Bishop in his Pontifical Gown,
Wou'd tumble another Susanna down,
     For her black & c
The Lawyer his Clients cause wd quit
To dip his pen in ye bottomless Pit
     Of a Coal black & c
Text and tune here are from a single sheet song with music, c 1730, here from a copy in the Folger Shakespeare Library. Another copy is reproduced in reduced facsimile in 'Music in Colonial Massachusetts', I, Fig 18, 1980. As shown below, the estimated date of c 1720 for the latter copy is too early. The last copy that I know of is at Glasgow University Library. 'Joke' is also later given as 'Joak' and 'Jock.' This is quite possibly the earliest Irish popular song to be printed with it own tune, but tune "Captain "Mckean" is earlier and from MS copy of c 1745, song is quite as bawdy. The first verse and last three of our song here appear without music in The London Miscellany, 1730, as "A New Song, to the tune of Black-Joak the words by the R---d Mr. S---th, Chaplain to a Man-of War." The fact this this collection announced itself to be scarce pieces and the word "Original" in our song title here implies that song was circulating about London inspiring imitations of both text and tune, before it was printed there. The earliest known datable copy of the tune is in Charles Coffey's ballad opera The Begger's Wedding, 4th ed., Act I, Air #10, 1729, where it is entitled "Coal Black Joak" and was followed by use in another ballad opera with the same tune title. Five others later, that also printed the music, call it simply "Black Joke," or "Black Joak". Our song here seems to have nearly established a new industry in London producing immitations of it.

About 1730 John Walsh published The Third Book of the most celebrated jiggs, ... etc, containing the tunes 'the Black Joak, the White Joak, the Brown, the Red and the Yellow Joaks.' [ABC's of all tunes in the book are at] Coffey's song from The Begger's Wedding was also published in at least two different issues as a single sheet song with music entitled "The coal black Joke."

"White Joke" appeared in Robin Hood, Air #14, 1730, and both of these tunes appeared in Fielding's The Lottery, 1732. A song, 'The White Joak Sung by Mrs Roberts at the Theatre in Dury Lane The Words by Mr. Davis', commencing "Gay Myra toast of all the town" was published in at least two single sheet editions. Song, "The White Joak" commencing "Thrice happy Lizzy, blooming maid" appeared without music in The Vocal Miscellany, 'Volume the Second and Last', p. 1, 1734. "The City Lass and the Country Lass" to the tune of "White Joak" appears in Vol. 5 of Walsh's The British Musical Miscallany,n.d. [1736] Margaret Crum's First Line Index of English Poetry..Bodleian, item W746a, notes "A New Song to the tune of Coal black Joke", commencing "What though my love has got no pelf".

James Oswald in The Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 7, pp. 18-19, c 1756, included a "Burlesque on Black Joak." He turned "Black Joke" into a Scots tune about a year later by scoring it in 3/4 time and titling it "Black Jock" in A Collection of Scots Tunes. The tune continued to be published occasionally in dance music collections throughout the 18th century, and was well known even in America.

The Black Jack

(from NLS MS 6299, c 1745. Variant of "The Coal Black Joke". See poor catch-penny single sheet version of the latter at the end of this section.)
There was a lady came out of France                 
all for to learn an english Dance
with her coal black jack that will lather [like soap
and the hair of her Jig will draw more than a rop[e
  with a black Joak, and belly so white

We girls of the Town are Ladies of pleasure         
We go to the Tavern and stitch at our leisure
   with her coal &c

Whe have such ways to draw men in                   
We'd rather stitch then learn to spin
   with our--- &c

In comes prime phillis then in a great h[--]  
and swears l--m her soul she'll stitch without m[en
  with our --- &c

She followed me from lane to lane           
picking my pockets quite so clean
  with her &c

Of all the Collours that are in the Town       
a red, a flaveen, a Grey or a brown
 with her---&c

Remember you Gallants, that follow the gam[e 
french Ladies first gave you sauce for the same
With] a coal black &c

It] is our Delight for to pick up a spark    
To] walk with at night in the Garden or park
Wit]h a Coal black &c

You] sparks of saint James's and likeways pall mall 
I'd] have you take care of this frenchify'd Girl
W]ith a Coal black Jack &c

The cole Black Jack

From NLS MS 6299, c 1745

A] Lady of pleasure that came from France
She] it was that learned me a dance
W]ith her pretty black hair and her hands so white

I] hurried me from lane to lane
untill she picked my pockets clean
W]ith her &c

My] watch my sword my rineys[?] likewise
the whore she seized on the golden prize
with her &c   

She] striped me naked and got me to bed
A]nd laid me close by a whore that was dead
with her &c

--] in the morning when I did rise
I then began for to rub my eyes
with her &c

When I thought to embrace my paramo[ur]
I found nothing there but fullsome ded [whore]
with her &c

I wish that I had been grut in the street [--
for the comical whore gave me the pox
wither her &c

Stark naked thro' the streets I did run
You would laugh for to see how I riggl[led along
with her &c
[A second part follows that above]

The whore's Answer to the Rakes

You Rakes and Bullies and comical fops
you say that we sent you away with the [pox
  with our &C

But pox on you for comical fools
we scorn to meddle with such dirty Poo[r tools
  with our &c

Its very weel known we are pritty Girl[s
and that we are company for Lords and E[arls  
  with our &C

And when into Essex street we come
the rakes and bullies the[y] turn up one bu[m
  with our &C

And when we come to temple bar
Then we pick up a Jolly tar
  with our &C

An]d when we come to featherbed lane
O]ur lovers will kindly us entertain
  with our &c.   Finis
[New addition, Mar. 1, 1999, but it has now become obvious that this is a cheap and incomplete version made to be palmed off as the original. It appears to lack 2 long verses.]

The Coal black Joke.
[single sheet song with music that is "Black Joke"]

There was a lady came from France
to learn an English country Dance,
wth her black Joke & Belly so white:
She follow'd me from Lane to Lane
& picked my Pockets quite & clean,
she follow'd me from Lane to Lane,
wt her coal black Joke, yt will lather like Soap,
& ye hairs of her head will draw more yn a Rope,
black Joke & Belly so white

The Girls of the Town are such Ladies of Pleasure,
They go to the Tavern & stitch at their leisure
    with their Black Joke & Bellies so white:
Their Cullies they call 'em my dear & my honey
They let down their Britches & lug out their money,
    They let &c
    For their coal black Jokes &c.

They ramble ye Town to pick up a Spark,
& go to ye Tavern, ye Play-house, or Park,
    With their black Jokes & Bellies so white:
They have such a Way to draw Man in,
They rather chuse to stitch than to Spin,
With their coal black Jokes &c.

Remember yu Sparks yt follow ye Game
ye French Ladies first gave yu Sauce for ye same,
    With their &c.
ye Girls of our Nation who draw yu in,
Will handsomely pepper yu off to ye Skin,
They'll handsomely &c.
With their coal black Jokes &c.
[End of this incomplete version.]

Bodleian Library MS Mus. Sch. G 636 contains a song with music "The Black Joak," commencing "No sooner comes [up] a country clown." Not seen there, but headed 'To the Tune of Black Joke' is a copy in The Merry Companion or, Universal Songster, 4th ed., 1750. A song of two verses where a prodigal spends all his money, turns to crime, and is then hung. Another bawdy song entitled "Black Joke" is a traditional one collected 1826-8, given in Emily Lyle's 'Andrew Crawfurd's Collection of Ballads and Songs, I, #69, 1975. There is also to the tune a song on "The Rebels" (Americans) whose reference I've misplaced.

Play: S1, BLCKJKE, from single sheet issue

Go to Index

[A series of related songs: Boys of Kilkenny, Shrowsbury for me, Pleasures of Sunderland, Bonny Paisley, On yonder high mountain. Note on Streams of Lovely Nancy versions.]

The Boys of Kilkenny

A Favorite Irish song Inscribed to Col.l Doyle By M.r Kelly MK

Oh the Boys of Kilkenny are brave roaring blades
And if ever they Meet with the nice little maids
They'll kiss them & coax them & spend their money free
And of all Towns in Ireland Kil-kenny for me
And of all Towns in Ireland Kilkenny for me.
Fal de ral de ral de ral de ral lal ra la la lo.
In the Town of Kilkenny there runs a clear stream,
In the Town of Kilkenny there lives a pretty Dame,
Her lips are lke roses,  and her mouth much the same,
Like a dish of fresh strawberries smother'd in cream.
  Fal de ral, &c.

Her Eyes are as black as Kilkennys large coal,
Which thro' my poor bosom have burnt a big hole;
Her mind like its river is mild clear and pure,
But her heart is more hard nor its marble I'm sure.
  Fal de ral, &c.

Kilkenny's a pretty Town and shines where it stands,
And the more I think on it, the more my heart warms;
For, if I was in Kilkenny I'd think myself at home,
For its there I'd get sweethearts, but here I get none.
  Fal de ral, &c.
London Printed for M.r Kelly at his Opera Salon 9 Pall Mall.

My London map of 1731 shows 6 bldgs on Pall Mall St. (between Haymarket and St. James St., and opposite a park) but doesn't identify them or give numbers for them (and the map may have been incorrect by the early 19th century. Song and tune here are from a single sheet copy which is believed to be the original publication of this song. If that is true then it must have been based on one of the songs below. Michael Kelly's music shop where it was printed, was in business from 1802 (or 1801) to 1811. The tune here is a variant of that later called by Thomas Moore, "The Old Head of Dennis."

Play: S1, BYSKLKN, from single sheet

Shrowsbury for me:

A Song in praise of that Famous Town,
Which hath throughout all England gain'd renown,
In Praise thereof, let every one agree,
And say with one accord, Shrowsbury for me.
To a delightful New Tune: or, Shrowsbury for me.

Come listen you Gallants
   of Shrowsbury fair Town,
For that is the place,
   that hath gained renown:
So set forth its praises,
   we all will agree:
Then every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

The merry Town of Shrowsbuy,
   God bless it still,
For it stands most gallantly
   upon a high hill:
It standeth most bravely,
   for all men to see,
Then every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

There's six Parish Churches
   all in that fair Town
And six gallant Ministers,
   in their black Gowns:
There's twice a week Market,
   for all men to see,
And every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

The second part, to the same tune.

O the brave bells of Shrowsbury,
   merrily doth ring,
And the gallant young-men & Maid[s],
   sweetly they sing:
There runs a fair River,
   for all men to see
And every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

O the Pinnacle of Shrowsbury,
   shews it self still,
For it's mounted gallantly
   on a high hill:
It standeth most bravely
   in view for to see,
Then every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

The Trades-men of Shrowsbury
   drive a fine Trade,
Their wives go most gallant,
   and bravely aray'd,
And like loving couples
   they always agree,
Then every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

The Sea-men went to Maid-stone,
   the Jayl for to see,
And from thence to London,
   that noble City:
Then home they returned,
   by one, two, and three,
And every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

The young-men of Shrowsbury,
   are jovial Blades,
When they are in company,
   with pretty Maids,
They court them compleatly,
   with complements free,
Then every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

There's fishing and fowling
   at Shrowsbury Town,
There's shooting and bowling,
   both up hill and down:
With brave recreations
   for every degree
Then every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

There is no man in Shrowsbury
   needs for to want,
for all things are plenty,
   and nothing is scant:
What e're you can wish for,
   for all men is free,
Then every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

The who would not gladly,
   live in this brave Town
Which flourishes gallantly,
   with high renown:
The like of it is not
   in England to see,
Then every man to his mind,
   Shrowsbury for me.

Then brave Lads of Shrowsbury,
   let us be merry,
Carrouse it most freely,
   in white-wine and Sherry:
Cast up your Caps bravely,
   for all men to see,
And still cry with one accord,
   Shrowsbury for me.

[Here from an issue published by Wright, Clarke, Thackeray, and Passenger. Copies printed by Richard Burton are in the Douce, Rawlinson, and Wood collections. Burton transfered his ownership rights to Coles, Vere, and Gilbertson on July 26, 1658.]

[Next, from The Bishopric Garland, Or, Durham Minstrel, Stockton, 1792, via Ritson's Northern Garlands:]

The Pleasures of Sunderland.

In the fine town of Sunderland, which stands on a hill,
   Which stands on a hill most noble to see,
There's fishing and fowling all in the same town,
   Every man to his mind, but Sunderland for me.

There's dancing and singing also in the same town,
   And many hot scolds there are in the week;
'Tis pleasant indeed the market to see,
   And the young maids that are mild and meek.

The damsels of Sunderland would, if they could,
   To welcome brave sailors, when they come from sea,
Build a fine tower of silver and gold;
   Every man to his mind, but Sunderland for me.

The young men of Sunderland are pretty blades,
   And when they come in with these handsome maids,
They kiss and embrace, and compliment free;
   Every man to his mind, but Sunderland for me.

In silver-street there lives one Isabel Rod
   She steeps the best ale the town can afford
For gentlemen to drink till they cannot see
   Every man to his mind, but Sunderland for me.

Sunderland's a fine place, it shines where it stands,
   And the more I look on it the more my heart warms;
And if I was there I would make myself free:
   Every man to his mind, but Sunderland for me.

[Wm. Logan in A Pedlar's Pack, p. 405, 1869, gave "Bonny Paisley" from a chapbook dated 1795 as follows:]

Bonny Paisley.

Over hills and high mountains,
  I have oftentimes been,
Through hedges and broad ditches
  I wandered alone.
There is nothing that doth grieve me,
  Or troubles my mind,
As the leaving of my sweetheart
  In Paisley behind.

O Paisley is a fine town,
  It shines where it stands;
The more I think on it,
  The more my heart warms,
For if I were in Paisley,
  I would think myself at home,
For there I have a sweetheart,
  But here I have none.

O the weavers in bonny Paisley,
  They are clever young blades,
When they do go a-courting
  Of pretty young maids;
They will kiss them and clap them,
  And spend their money free;
Of all the towns in Scotland,
  O Paisley is for me.

O the lasses in bonny Paisley,
  They are pretty young maids,
For they love the jolly weavers,
  And despise all other trades.
And if any other tradesman
  Should cast a loving eye,
To the arms of a jolly weaver
  She will suddenly fly.

For it is up into the Hoxiehead
  I will build my love a bower,
Where neither Duke nor Lord
  Shall over her have power.
But if anybody ask you,
  "My dear what is your name?"
Tell them that I'm your jolly weaver,
  And your my dearest swain.
"Bonny Udny" is in Gavin Greig's Folk-Song of the North East, Article 32, and Greig recognized the similarity of it to other songs, including most of ours here. [See additional versions in The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, VI, #1089, ]. As Greig notes this song seems related also to one in English County Songs, "Bristol City", where the last verse commences "I'll build my love a castle on yonder high ground." The following is intended to draw some references together for those who might wish to pursue a study of this latter song, and hopefully be able to add something that will tie together some vague relationships and history. There is a extensive note on this latter song and its variants by Anne. G. Gilchrist in JFSS, 17, p. 312, 1913, where the copy printed is "Come all you little streamers." [Another version is called "The Streams of Lovely Nancy", in JFSS, of which there are several broadside texts on the Bodley Ballads website. This in Harding B 28(29) dating from 1820-24.] Another American version is "Green Mountain" in 'Folk Songs out of Wisconsin', p. 120, 1977. Thanks to John Moulden for pointing out an Irish version I had overlooked, "The Strands of Magilligan" in Huntington and Herrmann's 'Sam Henry's Songs of the People', p. 259, 1990, also Hugh Shields' 'Shamrock, Rose and Thistle'.

One of the best and earliest copies of "Come all you little streamers" is actually an untitled American one in An Astronomer's Wife, 1908, with its tune, p. 18. This text seems to date from the 1840's, being one of Angelina Hall's father's songs. G. L. Kittridge reprinted this text and tune in Journal of American Folklore, 1917. Except for the order of verses "Faithful Emma" in Broadwood and Fuller Maitland's English County Songs, 1893 is practicaally the same. Surprisingly there's no Emma in the song, but an unfaithful Mary.

On yonder high mountain there the castle doth stand,
All decked in green ivy from the top to the strand;
Fine arches fine porches, and the limestone so white-
'Tis a guide for the sailor in the dark stormy night.

'Tis a landscape of pleasure, 'tis a garden of green,
And the fairest of flowers that ever was seen.
For hunting, for fishing, and for fowling also-
The fairest of flowers on this mountain doth grow.

At the foot of this mountain there the ocean doth flow,
And ships from the East Indies to the westward do go,
With the red flags aflying and the beating of drums-
Sweet instruments of music and the firing of guns.

Had Polly proved loyal I'd have made her my bride,
But her mind being inconstant it ran like the tide;
The king can but love her, and I do the same-
I'll crown her my jewel and be her true swain.
I have not been able to make any certain connection of these songs with the tune "On yonder high mountain" in The Cobbler's Opera, 1728, Momus turned Fabulist, 1729, and Sylvia,1731, and no verses are known for this tune. C. M. Simpson in The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music, notes in two places that the ballad opera tune is quite similar to "Love will find out the way." This ballad opera tune is quite similar to that of our last song above. Could our song here be descended from a lost original? See also "The Highlander's farewell to bonny port more" for some more related verses. [For more texts see Steve Roud's folksong index, Roud #688, #5638, #3450, #1451.]

Play: S1, YNDRMTN1, On yonder high mountain, Astronomer's Wife
S1, YNDRMTN2, " , Silvia, 1731

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Captain Mckean

[Captain Mckean/ Magan/ Mc Can, etc. Here from NLS MS 6299]

Bon]ny maidens all both great and small
Come listen a while to my ditty, my ditty
I']ll sing you [a] song and before it belong
I'm sure you will say it is pretty is pretty
of Captain Mckean that jolly brave man
that lives in county of carry of carry
who carrys a p__k that's both long & thick
that makes all the lasses full merry, full merry

You maidens that [are] young be sure to come
and make your complaint to ye Captain ye [Captain]
and when you come there you need not to fear
that he will give you full slashes full slashes
Hurey[,] be not so coy when you meet a young b[oy
that's willing to spend all his money his [money
but smile in his face & pity his case
and surely he'll call you his honey his [honey

There's a lass in this town she wears a g[reen gown]
she lies on her back & she's sivle, she's [civil
he['s] worse then a clown that will not knel[l down]
and play up a tune to her fiddle her fiddle
No]t silver or gold nor jewels I'm told
will please this beautiful virgin, this virgin
untill that she feel both morning & eve [--?
a p--k in hand & it sloping it sloping

You Dublin Girls with ribbands & pear[ls]
ye'r decked like ladys of honour of honour
bell Briget & Nell & fair Isabel
and then like ways misconour muiscon [ Miss Connor?
F]air Nell she is kind will tell you her minde
and call you aside with a whisper a whisper
if your p--k it be strong no matter how long
you may play up a tune to her sister her sister

There's never a lass betwixt cork and Belfast
but will drink with the man that she'll fancy she'll fancy
she'll sit at the table & drink while she able
and toss up a bumper of brandy of Brandy
Then without delay the reconing she'll pay
and pull out a hand full of money of money
a guinnea in hand she'll give to that man
who freely will tickle her Cony her cony

In] the dead of the night his pleasure upright
she'll fill him a glass of Canary Canary
to cheerish his heart for she'll never part
untill that she find him grow weery grow weery
Up]on her dear breast he may take his rest
and sleep in her arms some hours some hours
A]fter pasing delight they shall both take their play [rhyme lost
And] sport in the shades of green bowers green bowers

Captain Mckean is a Jolly brave man
and into the battle will venture will venture
so boldly appears with a heart void of fea[rs]
and swears that a fort he will enter will enter
He's hardy & bold will not be Contrould
untill that he fires a volly a volly
at the port hole hes stand with his prick in hand
at the ballops all able to rallie to rallie

Altho' that porthole were as black as a cole
and its fringes all setteell[?] about it about it [settled?]
in the midst there's a hole most neatly Comp[ressed
which few men can do well without it without it
Now dear loving friends to make you an end
that man is much worse than a sinner a sinner
that would deny but freely comply
to riffle the Charms within it within it ['within her' ?

The tune for the song here may be found in Nicholas Carolan's edition of the Neals' Dublin work of c 1724, A Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes, #12. See his note to that and "Morgan Magan," #37, for possible attribution to O'Carolan. About two years later the Neals gave a dance version in A Choice Collection of Country Dances (edited by Rich Jackson and George Fogg, Country Dance Soc., Cambridge, Mass, 1990). Here is given a vocal score, from Charles Coffey's ballad opera, The Beggar's Wedding, Act II, Air #1, 1729. Coffey also gave the tune in The Merry Cobler, 1735. The tune is credited to O'Carolan in the recent The Complete Works of O'Carolan, 2nd. ed., Cork, 1989, but no evidence for the attribution is cited.

George Colman wrote a new song for the tune which may be found without the tune in Davenport's Beauties of Song for 1803, commencing "The face of brave Captain Megan, was broad as a big frying pan." With the tune it may be found later in Crosby's Irish Musical Repository, p. 162, 1808, and the tune without a song in Moore/ Stevenson's A Selection of Irish Melodies, issue #3 (1810).

The song here is from a Scots manuscript collection of songs compiled c 1735-50, and although mostly Scots songs, the bawdiest are English and Irish. Narrow margins for binding have obscured beginning of lines on recto of leaves, and ends on verso, and my guesses at original are separated by brackets, [ or ], from the MS text. The repeats at the ends of even numbered lines are the same as in most early songs to "Larry Grogan".

Play: S1, CAPTMGN, from Beggar's Wedding, 1729.

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Drumion Dubh: Or, The Irishman's Lamentation for the Loss of his Black Cow.

Oh! there was a poor man,
  And he had but one cow
And how he had lost her
  He couldn't tell how,
But so white was her face
  And so sleek was her tail,
That I thought my poor Drumion Dubh
  Never would fail.
   Agus oro Drumion Dubh
     Oro ah!
   Oro Drumion Dubh
     Mhiel agrah!
  Agus oro Drumion Dubh
     O, ochone!
  Drumion Dubh dheelis
  Go dea tu slan.

Returning from mass                  
  On a morning in May,                 
I met my poor Drumion dubh,          
  Drowning by the way
I roared and I bawled,               
  And my neighbours did call,       
To save my poor Drumion Dubh,       
  She being my all.          
     Agus oro, &c.                      

Ah, neighbours, was this not
  A sorrowful day?
When I gazed on the water;
  [Where] my Drumion Dubh lay?       
With a drone and a drizzen,
  She bid me adieu,
And the answer I made, was 
  A loud phillilu.
    Agus oro, &c.

Poor Drumion Dubh sunk,
  And I saw her more
Till I came to an island
  Was close by the shore;
And down on that island
  I saw her again,
Like a bunch of ripe blackberries
  Rolled in the rain.
    Agus oro, &c.

Arrah, plague on you Drumion Dubh,   
  What made you die?
Or why did you leave me?
  For what and for why?  
I would rather lose Padeen
  Ma mhogiel beg ban
Than part with you Drumion Dubh,  
  Now that you're gone.
    Agus oro, &c.

When Drumion dubh lived,
  And before she was dead,
She gave me fresh butter
  To [eat] to my bread;
And likewise new milk,
  That I soaked in my scon,
But now its black water,
  Since Drumion Dubh's gone!
     Agus oro, &c.
[Text from The Irish Minstrel, c 1828]

Drimin Dhu

'Tis a sorrowful ditty I'm going to sing now,
It's of a poor man and he had but one Cow,
And often drove her to the field to be fed,
But oh! and alas! my poor Drimin dhu's dead!
     Agus oh! Ro Drimin dhu, O Ro Ah! 
     O Ro Drimin dhu muiel agragh 
     O Ro Drimin dhu Oh! O hone!
     Drimin dhu dheelis Go dea tu slaun.

Last Sunday morning just coming from mass,
I milked my Drimin dhu out on the grass,
So white was her face and so sleek was her tail,
I thought that my Drimin dhu never would fail.
     Agus oro Drimin dhu &c.

Last friday morning, ochone! and alas!
I saw my poor Drimin dhu stretch'd on the grass,
I called to my Sheelah to view my sad case,
And the soft tear of pity trickled down her poor face.
     Agus oro Drimin dhu &c.

Arrah speak to me Drimin dhu, What made you to die,
Och! what made you leave me, for what and for why,
I'd rather lose Padeen, my mhogiel beg ban,
Than part with you Drimin dhu Ochone! Ochone!
     Agus oro Drimin dhu &c.
The first text, slightly corrected, is from The Universal Songster, III, p. 45, London: Jones and Co., 1828. No music was given, nor was a tune indicated. This is the earliest complete copy of the song I have found. There are several incomplete versions of the song from tradition, all, that I know of, to tunes different from the original one. A slightly modified text, the second above, from Ref. D below, was given about the same time, with music. The earliest, 1805? is that in reference H below.

Play: S1, DRUMDB1, Drimen Duff from Thumoth, c 1744. Source A below.
S1, DRUMDB2, Drimen Duff Oswald's CPC

Many accounts and comments on this song and tune are badly flawed by confusion with other songs or tunes of the same or similar title. I will note these at the end, and until that point all comments and references here are to slight tune and textual variants of a single tune and its song.

"Oroo Dremendoo" is the tune direction of a song in an Irish ballad opera of 1748 by Henry Brooke. The ballad opera was immediately closed by authorities, but the songs in it were published in Songs in Jack the Gyant Queller, Dublin, 1749. In the song there, it is Jackie that is lost rather than "Druimion Dubh" and Brooke seems to have imitated lines in "Druimion Dubh," given here. The last line of the 4th verse is "But where is my Jackie, now tell me - O where" and the 5th and last verse concludes, "For while lilly lilly loo- my Jackie is gone." Unfortunately this is the only evidence for the existance of the song in the present form from the 18th century. Robert Owenson [originally named Mac Eoghain] is known to have sung "Dhrimminduh" in a Dublin concert in 1778, but no copy of the text or music survives, however, see reference to an early version given by his daughter at ref. H below. Breandan Breathnach, in an article 'The Pipers of Kerry,' Eigse Cheol Tire [Irish Folk Music Studies], IV, p. 5, 1985, quotes from T. Crofton Croker's Legends of the Lakes, I, p. 26, 1829, (Croker's Legends are said elsewhere to be based on another person's manuscripts, unfortunately I failed to copy down the reference for this statement) an account of the renown Kerry piper James Gandsey, in 1815, as follows:

"He sang to a most plaintive melody, the poor man's lamentation for the loss of his cow:

     Oh! there was a poor man,
     and he had but one cow,
     and what way he lost her,
     He could not tell how. 
     Sleek and black was her coat
     from the head to the tail,
     and copious and pure
     flow'd the milk in the pail.
     Agus oro drimen dubh
     oro bo!   
    .... and so on."
It is obvious that Breathnach did not recognize the song and thought little of it. Breathnach's comment was: Croker's versification runs too close to 'There was an old woman who lived in a shoe' to excite in the reader much sympathy for the old man on the loss of his cow.

There will probably never be any direct proof that the song here inspired the English broadside ballad, "Colly my Cow," which is in somewhat different meter than "Drumion Dubh." (Roxburghe Ballads, III, 600, Euing Collection, #31, 32) "Colly" has some lines very similar to those in "Druimion Dubh," and is also a lament for a dead cow, and the woodcut of the black cow with white spots on the back fits "Drumin Dubh Dilis: The Dear Black White-Backed Cow," to a tee. It was issued by a number of different printers from about 1680. It was certainly inspired by a Gaelic song or it wouldn't have a pseudo-Gaelic chorus. The chorus was eliminated in a shortened version of about the middle of the 18th century sung at Marylebone Gardens, and it is not found in a traditional version given by the Rev. Baring-Gould in Songs of the West, p. 212, 1905. Francis O'Neill, The Music of Ireland, "The Dear Black Cow," #130, unaccountably gives "Colly my Cow" as an alternate title for our tune here.

The tune given here is from E, below, where verses almost identical to our first text above are set to it. Tune copies, mostly somewhat variant, are as follows:

A. "Drimen Duff." Twelve Scotch and Twelve Irish Airs. by Burke Thumoth. London: J. Simpson, London. n.d. [1743-45] Given as an Irish Air, p. 38.

B. "Drimen Duff." The Caledonian Pocket Companion, by James Oswald. Book 8, p. 12. n.d. [c 1756]. This slight variant was reprinted several times: With tune slightly altered, e.g., Scots Musical Museum, #303, where it is used as a setting for "Hughie Graham," Child, #191; Repeated in R. A. Smith's The Scottish Minstrel; Arranged by J. T. Surenne, it was used in G. F. Graham's Songs of Scotland, II p. 44, 1848, as a setting for a song by Robert Burns, "The gloomy night is gath'ring fast." Bertrand Bronson, The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, III, p. 179, 1966, reprinted the text and tune from SMM, and noted a connection of the tune with "Lumps of Pudding."

C. "Drimindoo." A New Selection of the most Admired Original Irish Airs. Dublin: Hime. n.d. p. 4. [c 1800] All but identical to A above. Having the same theme code is one I have not seen, "Drimindoo" in volume VI, p. 37, of Aird's Airs, c 1803.

D. "Drimin dhu". R. A. Smith, The Irish Minstrel, p. 100-01. 2nd. ed. Edinburgh: Robert Purdie, n.d. [1828?]. Text given above. [Neither text nor tune are in the supposedly suppressed original edition of 1825 in the Library of Congress.]

E. "Drimindub-Deelish." Folio sheet music with song. Words by T. L. Arranged by C. McDonnell. Baltimore: John Cole. n.d. (c 1830-40). [I can find no Scots or Irish poet or songwriter with these initials except for Thomas Lyle, who did not give it in his book of songs in 1828, nor is he credited with it in Smith's <>, 2nd edit., where several songs credited to him do appear.]

F. "Dear Black Cow." The Ancient Music of Ireland. by Edward Bunting. Dublin: Hodges and Smith. Music page 32, 1840. Bunting gives a variant chorus with the music, and below it gives what he claims is a translation from the Gaelic, with English title "The Poor Irishman's Lamentation for the Loss of His Cow." No such Gaelic original has been found, and it appears his text is a version of "Drumion Donn Delish," rather than "Druimion Dubh Delish," but with his chorus from the latter.

G. "Drimin Dhu" (Old Irish Air) [Copyright, with new verses about a cow also named Drimin dubh, 1912]. Chicago: Gamble Hinged Music Co.

H. "Drimendoo" 'A much admir'd ancient Irish air. To which are adapted some verses written by Miss [Sidney] Owenson' [later Lady Morgan] (these commence, "Oh farewell dear Erin'). There are also three rather poor verses given. This is now on the internet as Box 30, Item 10 at [This was probably taken from her Twelve Original Hiberian Melodies, 1805, (which I have been unable to locate), but perhaps more than her "Kate Kearney" were published as sheet music songs by Michael Kelly at his music shop in London, c 1802-11. Other tunes for the song.

P. W. Joyce, Old Irish Folk Music and Songs, p. 103, #210, 1909, tune, "Drimin Dhu Dheelis," with chorus only of the song given here. This is a different tune, but similar. Joyce also gives, p. 250, # 445, another tune in 3/4 time, "Drumin Dubh Dilis: The Dear Black White-Backed Cow."

For a few of the references to the song and/or the tune after 1800, cited above, I am indebted to notes by Rae Corson in a folder in The Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress, although this list also contains much unrelated to "Druimion Donn Delis," and even a late 19th century song about an unrelated Irish cow.

Unrelated Gaelic Cows [bo] (and also unrelated to Caleendhas Crootheenamoe = Pretty girl milking the cow).
Druimionn Donn Deelis: The Dear Brown Cow. There is an old Irish allegorical song "Druimionn Dhown" [Brown-backed Cow] in which "Druimionn Down (Donn)" like "Granuaile' (Gráinne O'Máille = Grace O'Malley), is Mother Ireland herself. The song as well as the air are given in the first two references below.
"The faithful Druimionn Donn.", G. Petrie. The Ancient Music of Ireland, I p. 115, 1855. With Gaelic and translated verses. Petrie incorrectly gives "Druiminn dubh deelish" as an alternative title.
"Drimin Dhown." Donal O'Sullivan. Songs of the Irish, p. 143, 1960. With Gaelic and metrically translated verses, and literal translation.
"Drium-fion donn dileas." Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland, Chicago, 1903, #605, #606. Settings closely related to the two above. "Druimfhionn Donn Dilis," The Roche Collection of Traditional Irish Music, III, p. 21, [1927], reprint, 1982. Tune only.

Other, but different tunes:
"Drimin Donn Dilis." P. W. Joyce, Old Irish Folk Music and Songs, 1909, p. 169-70, #370, tune only, but with reference to another version of the tune that he had given previously with the verses. This is the tune used by Georges-Dennis Zimmerman, Irish Political Ballads and Rebel Songs, 1760-1900, for "The Barrymore Tithe Victory."
Young Brown Cow: "Drimen Down Oge." [Young Brown Cow] [P.] O'Farrell's Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes. Vol. I, p. 127, c 1806. O'Neill changes the color in Music of Ireland, #220, where this tune appears as "The Young Black Cow."

"Driman Dubh" Scots Gaelic song and tune, apparently unrelated to Irish songs or tunes. Domenico Corri, A New and Complete Collection of the most favourite Scots Songs Including a few English and Irish, 2 books, Corri and Sutherland, Edinburgh, n.d. [1783]. The Scots Gaelic song there, entitled "Driman Dubh," is apparently only a chorus, given as follows:

   Ho ro'n driman dubh ho ro ei la,
   Ho ro'n driman dubh ho ro ei la,
   Ho ro'n driman dubh ho ro ei la,
   Andrimman dubh laothach's i roghe na spraidhe.
Same (Scots?) tune as that preceeding: Scots Musical Museum, #179, p. 187. Setting for Robert Burns' "Musing on the roaring ocean." Tune there from Patrick McDonald's A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs, #89, n.d. [1784], according to James Dick. Tune from latter reprinted by James Dick, The Songs of Robert Burns, 1903, p. 31, with notes on the tune at p. 362.

Drumion Dubh texts to other tunes:
Text without music, Gordon MSS, Vol. 5, p. 1035, Library of Congress Folklore Archive/ Helen Creighton, Maritime Folk Songs, 1961/ Helen Creighton and Calum MacLeod, Gaelic Songs in Nova Scotia, 1979/ Sing Out, 1, 9 (Summer, 1959) [Not in recent collected reprints from Sing Out]/ Leadbelly, Elektra EKL-301-2/ David Sear, Folkways FA 2428/ Library of Congress field recording, AFS 8038A. Recorded by Wayland Hand from Eamon O'Sullivan, Butte, Montana, 1945.

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The country-mans lamentation for the death of his cow.

          A Country Swain of little wit one day,
          Did kill his Cow because she went astray:
          Whats that to I or you, she was his own,
          But now the Ass for his Cow doth Moan:
          Most piteously methinks he cries in Vain,
          For now his Cow's from hunger free, and pain;
          What ails the fool to make so great a stir,
          She cannot come to him, he may to her.
To a pleasant Country Tune, called, Colly my Cow.

Little Tom Dogget, what dost thou mean,
To kill thy poor Colly, now she's so lean:
     Sing , Oh poor Colly, Colly my Cow;
     For Colly will give me now more milk now.
          Pruh high, pruh hoe, Pruh high, pruh hoe,
          Sing pruh, pruh, pruh, pruh, pruh, pruh,
          Tal dal daw.

I had better have kept her, till fatter she had been,
For now I confess she was a little too lean:
     Sing, Oh poor Colly, &c.

First in comes the Tanner, with his sword by his side;
          And he bids me five Shillings, for my Cows hide:
          Sing, Oh poor Colly, &c.

Then in comes the Tallow-chandler, whose brains were but shallow,
And he bids me two and Six-pence, for my Cows Tallow:
     Sing, Oh poor Colly, Colly my Cow,
     For Colly will give me no more milk now:
          Pruh high, pruh hoe, pruh high, pru hoe,
          Sing pruh, pruh, pruh, pruh, pruh, pruh,
               Tal dal daw.

Then in comes the Huntsman, so early in the morn,
He bids me a Penny, for my Cows horn:
     Sing, On poor Colly, Colly my Cow:
     For Colly will give me no more milk now:
          Pruh high, pruh hoe, pruh high, pruh hoe,
          Sing pruh, pruh, pruh, pruh, pruh, pruh,
               Tal dal daw.

Then in comes the Tripe woman, so fine and so neat,
She bid me three half-pence for my Cows feet:
     Sing, Oh poor Colly, &c.

Then in comes the Butcher, a nimble-tong'd youth:
Who said she was Carrion, but he spoke not the truth:
     Sing, Oh poor Colly, &c.

This Cow had a skin, as soft as the silk,
And three times a day, my Cow would give milk:
     Sing, Oh poor Colly, &c.

She every year, a fine Calf did me bring,
Which fetcht me a pound, for it came in the Spring:
     Sing, Oh poor Colly, &c.

But now I have kill'd her, I can't recall:
I will sell my poor Colly, Hide, Horns, and all:
     Sing, Oh poor Colly, &c.

The Butcher shall have her, though he gives but a pound:  
And he knows in his heart, that my Colly was sound:
     Sing, Oh poor Colly, &c.

And when he has bought her, let him sell all together,
The flesh for to eat, and the hide for Leather.
     Sing, Oh poor Colly, &c.

Some say i'm a Cuckold, but i'le swear I am none,
For how can it be, now my horns are gone.
     Sing, Oh poor Colly, &c 
Printed for J. Hose, over-a-gainst Staples-Inn in Holbourn. [c 1675]

Traditional text and tune in Baring-Gould's Songs of the West.

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The Girl I left behind me.

I'm lonesome since I cross'd the hills,
  And o'er the moor that's sedgy;
With heavy thoughts my mind is fill'd,
  Since I parted with my Naggy  [early pencilled correction
When e'er I return to view the place, [ gives 'Peggy']
  The tears doth fall and blind me,
When I think on the charming grace
  Of the girl I left behind me.

The hours I remember well,
  When next to see doth move me, ['see' can't be correct]
The burning flames my heart doth tell,
  Since first she own'd she lov'd me:
In search of some one fair and gay, [rhyme lost 
  Several doth remind me;
I know my darling loves me well,
  Tho' I left her behind me.

The beas shall lavish, mare no store  [bees, languish, bear ? 
  And the dove become a ranger;
The falling water cease to roar,
  Before I'll ever change her:
Each mortal promise faithful made, [rhyme lost
  By her whose tears doth blind me;
And bless the hours I pass away,
  With the girl I left behind me.

My mind her image still retains,
  Whether asleep or waking;
I hope to see my dear again,
  For her my heart is breaking:
But if e'er I chance to go that way,
  And that she has not resign'd me;
I'll reconcile my mind and stay,
  With the girl I left behind me.
Text from The Charms of Melody, n.d., Dublin, issue #72. The one hundred four page issues of this work came out approximately every 1.8 months, c 1795-1810. The text is from #72, being approximately of 1805-6, and this appears to be the oldest text yet found. However, in a songbook, The New Whim of the Night, or the Town and Country Songster for 1799, is a song "The Girls we love so dearly" 'Written by R. Rusted Tune - The Girl I left behind me.' Rusted's song commences "Come, messmates, fill the flowing can". This is the only reference to the song or tune in the 18th century that I've found. The first and third verses here are in Vance Randolph's Ozark Folksongs, III, 'C' text, p. 354, from a manuscript and without tune.

Wm. Chappell in Popular Music of the Olden Time had much to say about "The girl I left behind me" being connected with "Brighton Camp" and being an 18th century song, none of which has been subsequently verified, and if one studies Chappell carefully one sees he gives no solid information that would prove an 18th century date for text or tune. James J. Fuld, The Book of World Famous Music, tracked down the earliest known copy of the tune, that in Himes' Pocket Book for the German Flute, Dublin, n.d [c 1810], and notes the text "Blyth Camps, or the Girl I Left Behind Me" in Bell's Rhymes of the Northern Bards, 1812. Fuld points out that "Brighton Camp Quick March", 1792, is not the same tune.

The tune appears as "Brighton Camp or the Girl I Left Behind Me" in Riley's Flute Melodies, I, #349, New York, n.d. [1816], but much yet remains unexplained regarding the history of this song and tune, and its connection to "Brighton Camp".

Play: S1, GRLBHND, from Riley's Flute Melodies

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[Granuaile. (Gra/inne Mhael, Gra/innu Mhaol, Granny Wale, = Grace O'Malley)]

Commodore Gale

Tune - Granny wale. [Granuaile]

Come boys, and before the old vessel unmoors,
Let's toss off a can to the doxies on shore;
'Tis pity to let the good liquor grow stale,
We'll knock round The Wash then, says Commodore Gale.  
   So mix it, and stir it, says Commodore Gale;
   So mix it, and stir it, says Commodore Gale
  'Tis pity to let the good liquor grow stale,
  We'll knock round The Wash then, says Commodore Gale.  
Confusion to watching and trudging the deck,
We can but at worst, have a damnable check;
Sit still then, and let all the officers rail;
We'll ride out the breeze, says Commodore Gale.
   So drink and replentish, &c.

The liquor's not theirs, it is very well known,
We bought it, - and so - d--n, 'tis our own;
I'll bowze it about, till I spue like a whale;
Here's to peace, and their downfal, says Commodore Gale.
   Drink, and replentish, &c.

If they were ashore, and to tip me their jaw,
My truncheon could soon make them stand in more awe,
I'd thresh 'em as farmers, do corn with a flail,
Till they cried out peccavi*, O Commodore Gale.
   I'd thrash 'em and smack 'em, &c.

But thus while he swaggers, and blusters, and roars,
And brags of his bruising, and toasts all his wh--rs,
His noddle and stomach, begin both to fail,--
Here's go and turn in -- says old Commodore Gale.
   Let's knock off and sleep, &c.

Then he staggered to bed, and top heavy with bub,
He piss'd in his hammock instead of the tub;
Then dreamt he was swampt, in a boat under sail,
And bale her, hoa! bale her, cries Commodore Gale.
   Hoa! scoop her and bale her, &c.

Learn hence when you're drinking, ye bucks of the main,
To ne'er overballast your stomach or brain:
So with this good moral we'll stopper the tale,
And drink reformation to Commodore Gale.
   Sing drink remember, &c.

* peccavi, - Latin: I have sinned, or, confession of guilt.
The song "Commodore Gale," which obviously isn't Irish, is from a rare songbook without music, The Charms of Chearfulness, London, 1781. "Granuaile" is symbolic name for Ireland derived from the Gaelic spelling of the name of a female Irish pirate of the last half of the 16th century, Grace O'Malley. D. K. Wilgus in an article "The Aisling and the Cowboy", Western Folklore, 44, pp. 275-6 (1985) quotes a few other spellings of the title and gives a list of several "Granuaile" songs, but the tune given here seems to be the only one traceable to the 18th century.

"Grania Meuel" is cited as the tune for a two verse song in Songs in Jack the Gyant Queller, Dublin, 1749, from Henry Brooke's suppressed Irish ballad opera of 1748. The song there fits the tune given here. This is the earliest reference to the tune that I have found. The 1st verse goes:

Though Passions conttend, and Afflictions storm,
And shake ther frail state of our human Form;
If Virtue the Base of our Pile sustain,
Affliction shall rage, and assault in vain.

The tune "Granuaile" is given in a instrumental setting as "Granu Weal or Ma Ma Ma" in Edward Bunting's The Ancient Music of Ireland, p. 36, 1840. Bunting said, p. viii, that the tune was obtained from a piper named Macdonnell in 1797, and he thought, p. 93, that the tune was as old as Grace O'Malley herself. Bunting's setting, however, is unsatisfactory as source for a vocal score. The melody part of Bunting's tune was reprinted by Francis O'Neill in The Music of Ireland, #546. [O'Neill also gives a different tune "(Graine na Maille) Grace O'Malley," #485.] Fortunately there are better sources for the tune.

A singable set of the tune is "Granuwail" is in B. Cooke's Cooke's Selection of Twenty One Favourite Original Irish Airs, c 1795, copied in Hime's 'New Selection', c 1805. The tune is Dorian mode. Bunting's setting has a key signature of two flats (G minor), but he then puts a natural sign in front of all of the E's.

The second copy of the tune here is an instrumental version, not suitable for singing, but it seems to be the earliest copy of the tune.

Play: S1, GRNWALE1, from Cooke's Selection, c 1795.
GRNWALE2, from Henry Beck flute MS, 1786.

Another copy of our tune here is "Gr/inne Mhaol," reprinted from The Dublin Monthly Magazine, May, 1842, by Georges-Denis Zimmermann in Songs of Irish Rebellion , p. 183, 1967. The tune there is given as sixteen measures, but the last eight are simply a repeat of the first eight. This setting differs little from that published by Haverty. The earliest copy of the tune I've seen is in the Henry Beck Flute MS, 1786, in the Library of Congress, but given there as G major instead of G minor, and it is an intrumental version unsuitable for singing.

Granau Wale/Weal is (Mother) Ireland in a song which I think is probably American, although set in Dublin and London. "Old Granny Wales" there complains to several English statesmen about the hard times the English are giving to her sons in America. The song mentions events in America from the Boston tea party up to, but not including, the start of the Revolutionary War. The song was printed in the very rare The Green Mountain Songster of 1823, and I am deeply appreciative of a xerox copy from Margaret MacArthur. A later copy, with several corruptions, is printed from the Stevens-Douglas manuscript (c 1841-56) of western New York in A Pioneer Songster, (by Harold Thompson and Edith Cutting) p. 85, 1958. In the latter the song is entitled "Old Grannau Weal." Neither copy contains a tune direction, nor do any of the editors suggest one, but the song fits our tune here quite well. There is broadside ballad issue of the song in the Isaiah Thomas collection. I suspect the song was actually written in America by an Irish American: the writer does not seen to know the names of any real streets in Dublin or London, and even after the date of this song Irishmen were being executed for treason for less provocative acts against the English.

Old Granny Wales

As granny arose in the morning soon,
  She put on her petticoat, apron and gown;
I've very bad new last night came to me,
  They're wronging my children over the sea.

Then granny mounted her gelding in rage,
  And strait up to Dublin it was her first stage;
As she was a riding up through Dublin street,
  'Twas there my lord Conner she chanced to meet.

He said noble granny come tell me in haste,
  What is the best news you have from the west?
I've very bad news which makes me complain,
  They're wronging my children that's over the main.

That news is too true, my lord Connor he said,
  They'll bring us to slavery I am afraid,
There is my lord Granville and infamous Bute,
  They've brought on this tea act that's now in dispute.

The weather being wet and her sorrows increas'd,
  She strait up to London it was her next stage,
As she was a riding up through London street,
  'Twas there my lord Granville and Bute she did meet.

She said noble gentlemen tell me in fact,
  Are you the ring leaders of this here tea act?
To enslave my sons that's in a foreign land,
  You are the villains I do understand.

They say noble granny you're wrongly inform'd,
  To enslave America we never intend;
But this land is our king's we do solemnly say,
  And we will make laws for your sons to obey.

It's a lie! it's a lie! said old granny in haste,
  For it's very well known from the east to the west,
They ventur'd their lives all over the flood,
  And they purchas'd that land with the price of their blood.

They say noble granny don't make such a vent,
We'll tame your sons courage, we'll make them repent,
Our great ships of war and our men in the fie[l]d,
They'll tame tame your sons courage & make them to yield.

You ne'er need to think for to frighten my sons;
At Lexington battle they made your men run, [Apr. 19, 1775
They're men of experience in every degree,
And they'll turn your great ships with their helms alee.

I've thousands of sons that's American born,
To yield to your slavery they highly it scorn,
They're men of experience in every respect,
And they scorn to be held down now by your tea act.

Now says noble granny I'll take leave to tell,
The battle we fought on yon Bunker's hill, [June 17, 1775
Where nine hundred Britons lay dead on he ground,
And five hundred more since have died of their wounds.

They say noble granny don't boast of your sons,
Although it was bloody the battle we won;
And then you had Waren, but now he is dead,
And you have no Warren your armies to head.

I well know says granny our Warren is dead, [at Bunker hill battle
But we have a Washington our armies to head;
He'll handle your troops as polite as you please,
And pay them trouble for crossing the seas.

We allow noble granny your sons they are brave,
But now do you think of the armies we have,
We'll send over Cornwallis, our Bixly and Graves,
And your sons shall submit or we'll make them all slaves.

Well, well, say old granny go on with your cause,
My sons they will never submit to your laws,
They ventur'd their lives all over the flood,
And they purchas'd that land with the price of their blood.

I've millions of sons that's American born,
To hold to your slavery they highly it scorn,
They're men of experience in every degree,
And they'll turn your great ships with their helms alee.

Now say noble granny I'll this to you state,
You'll repent of your crimes when it is too late,
An when we have whip'd you and sent your troops home,
My sons shall be free and make laws of their own.

Oh rubber! oh rubber! cries old granny Wales,
The fox in the trap is caught by the tail;
We've men of experience that never will fail,
Here's success to the sons of old granny Wales.

[For tune see song above.]

For another historical song obviously to this tune, and in which Granu Weale reappears, see "The Hornet and the Peacock" in the Digital Tradition Database. Thanks to Dick Greenhaus for this referrence. A fragment of it (which does not mention Granuaile), and which is to a different tune is "The peacock that lived in the land of King George" in Mary Eddy's 'Songs and Ballads of Ohio', #107.

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Ye Ladies attend to your juvenile poet,
  Whose labours are always devoted to ye,
Whose ambition it is, and most of you know it,
  To charm all your hearts, with his Langolee.
    Langolee! what sweet vowels compose it,
      It is the delight of each fair maid that knows it
    And she that does not, may with rapture suppose it,
      That Irish shillalee, call'd Langolee.

The loss of our eminent Handel's lamented,
  Yet in this opinion all ladies agree,
That his solos, concertos, and all he invented,
  Could ne'er charm their senses like Langolee.
     Langolee, oh! Handel resign it,
       The contest is vain, you had better decline it;
     For musical ladies thus chose to define it,
     The gamut of music is Langolee.

Ye languishing beauties, with asthma disorder'd,
  If from the consumption you'd wish to be free,
My sweet pretty patients, take this that is order'd,
  The pectoral essence, call'd Langolee.
     Langolee makes a noble decoction,
     'Tis a nice three-square root of true Irish extraction;
     Dear Ladies pray always take for your protection
     That Irish physician, call'd Langolee.

This elixir, this wonderful physic,
  Cure female disorders of every degree;
The young of green-sickness, the old of the phthisic,
  And makes them alert, and as brisk as a bee.
     Langolee! to prevent imposition,
     You'll get it of none but an Irish physician,
     Made up un triangular pills for emission
     That Hibernian coltsfoot, call'd Langolee.
The song here is from The Festival of Anacreon, London: L. Halland, Seventh Edition, 1789. A second 'Seventh Edition,' without date was published by George Peacock, c 1791, with a few additional songs. The publisher's names here and the edition numbers are undoubtably fake. The 'Halland' edition is probably the second. The actual publisher was undoubtably Wm. Holland, whose name appears on the frontispieces of both parts of the 'Peacock' edition. A book by Holland, containing several of the same songs as in The Festival of Anacreon, and in the same type and style, will be noted below.

The song and tune here are both entitled "Langolee." The tune is actually "New Langolee," which is metrically quite different from the original "Langolee," and the latter cannot be the tune for any songs mentioned below. The earliest appearance of the tune that I have seen is among the nine country dance tunes used for a comic dance performance in London, The Irish Fair, 1772, where it is entitled "New Langolee," and is set too high for a vocal score. The tune is also on a single sheet song with music, "Langolee," commencing "There lives a sweet lovely dear Girl in the City," c 1775. This brings in the metaphor used in the songs below. The tune appeared in the Thompsons' Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1775, and several songs were written to it about that time, one of which, "The Banks of the Dee", is given as #516 in The Scots Musical Museum.

Play: S1, LANGOLEE, from Irish Fair, 1772

Another "Langolee" song is in both copies of The Festival of Anacreon, and in Songs of Captain Morris. It is Captain Morris's song "The Amors of the Gods," without tune direction, but the first part, at least, of each verse is in the proper meter and has "Langolee" appearing as the same metaphor.

Both of these songs can be see to be similar to "The Kettlebender" which is printed with music in The Muses Delight, Liverpool, p. 99, 1754. The tune of the latter appeared with the same title in J. Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 11, c 1760. "The Kettlebender" although scored in common time, sounds like an Irish jig, and it has been stated that it is quite similar to the Irish tune by Larry Grogan, c 1725, "Ally (Alicia) Croker," or, later, "Ally Croaker" (a resemblance I do not see at all).

Another song to the tune of "Langolee," is in the c 1791 edition of Festival. This song is entitled "The Irishman's Journey to London," and is without tune citation or attribution. It is by William Collins, and its original appearance seems to have been that in Wm. Reeves' A Picture of Paris, 1790. I do not know what tune was used in this production, but in 1792 Collins sang it in an embellished version of his song concert, 'The Evening Brush' (these commenced before 1789), and his song there with its new title, "Paddy Bull's Expedition," was sung to "Langolee," as evidenced on a single sheet copy of the song with the latter title, with tune given and named "Langolee." "Paddy Bull's Expedition," was printed to "Langolee" in Crosby's Irish Musical Repository, 1808. This song also appeared under the "Irishman's Journey" title in Wm. Holland's Paddy Whack's Bottle Companion, 1791.

An extensively rewritten version of "Langolee" was given in the c 1825, 'Dublin' edition of The Merry Muses of Caledonia. [This work contain six songs from the two editions of The Festival of Anacreon cited above, not counting "Langolee."] It is here appended from a rare reprint in this writer's possession, The Merry Muses of Robert Burns, probably issued about 1935 in New York state, but is dated 1905.

Langolee, II

[Dublin, Merry Muses]

Ye botanists yield, I've discovered a root,
Adapted to females of every degree;
How soverign its virtues, balsamic its fruit;
I hope you'll believe when you hear it from me.
Langolee is the Irish name of it;
Great in the nation already the fame of it;
Make but one trial and quickly you'll see,
There's nothing comparing with Langolee.

When winter's keen blasts are corrected by spring,
The lads and lassies of every town,
Dance 'round the Maypole, for Maypole's the thing,
Expressive of Lango's high fame and renown.
Langolee, wonderful medicine,
Sensitive plant and beggar's best benison;
How happy the island productive of thee
Thou root of all roots, thou Langolee.

Ye matrons afflicted with colic or wind,
Hysterics, or what you call it, from me,
Restorative Lango, a medicine you will find,
'Twill enliven your spirits most wondrously.
Lanmgolee, sweet is the juice of it;
Grently compress it, and gently make use of it.
In city or country, wherever it be,
The sweets are the same of the Langolee.

Ye girls of the cities, with nervous disorders,
If from declensions you'd wish to be free,
Ye dear little gentles pray take what I order,
The Hibernian colt's foot call'd Langolee.
Langolee to prevent imposition,
You'll get it from none but the Irish physician;
Made up in triangular pills for admission;

The Amors of the Gods

[by Capt. Morris, Cf. "The Kettlebender."]

Europa's fair bull, as fam'd Ovid did write,
For love of that nymph ventur'd over the sea,
When he turn'd on his back, she caught hold, in a fright,
On his horn (as she thought) but 'twas Langolee.
The closer she stuck to it - much bolder her spirits grew,
She wish'd that the voyage might continue a month or two;
So safe it appear'd, and indeed 'twas so pleasant to,
Riding astride of Langolee.

On a visit to Leda Jove went as a swan,
And with wings of delight veil'd his favourite she!
On stroking his neck, which she scarcely span,
It quickly became a sweet Langolee:
Langolee, with a root that was feather'd well,
Bold and erect, forc'd into her mossy cell-
First billing - then cooing, at last dropping down it fell,
She sighing, cried - encore - sweet Langolee.

In an amorous mood he to Danae went,
And abundantly shower'd his gold as a fee;
But her melting mind on the bags was more bent,
That hung at the root of his Langolee -
Oh then she sigh'd with looks that spoke soft content
And vow'd from her soul, that such joys she ne'er underwent;
Take the gold - free I give it - since pleasure like this is sent,
Too much I can't spend upon Langolee.

Daphne outstript the fam'd musical God,
And for running so fast was turn'd into a tree;
If instead of his lyre, he had shewn her a rod,
That's known by the name of a Langolee;
From such a temptation Miss Daphne had never fled,
He'd have melted the bosom of that frozen-hearted maid,
Had his honours been plac'd round his tail, and not round his head,
She'd have branch'd from the root of his Langolee.

Mars, an old soldier, who well understood his trade,
When attacking the nymph who sprang from the sea -
He laid by his buckler, his shield, and well-temper'd blade,
And thought himself arm'd with his Langolee:
He open'd his trenches, platoon'd as a soldier should,
Flew to her breast-works, and there made his lodgement good,
First standing - then stooping - at length on his knees he woo'd,
And enter'd the fortress with Langolee.

Thue amorous Ovid, in fanciful fiction,
Sweetly sung of celestials, on land and by sea,
Told what fondness all felt for the lust-melting friction,
And virtue inherent of Langolee.
O! that stately machine, I swear by the might of Jove,
When richly replete with the lewd lucious juicce of love,
Each goddess below feels sensations like those above,
From the full stroke electric of Langolee.

Go to Index

The Kettlebender.

[This song appears with music in The Muses Delight, Liverpool, 1754. The tune was later given without the song in J. Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion. NTI lsits an earlier copy of the tune. One might wonder if Oswald himself didn't compose the tune. Another song containing the allusions to Europa, Leda, and Danae, and substituting "Langolee" for the "Kettlebender" is Captain Morris's "The Amours of the Gods," appended here to "Langolee."]

All you who are fair or witty,
Come and listen to my ditty;
My muse shall sing if you'll attend her,
That same thing call'd the Kettlebender
   O rare Kettlebender O rare Kettle-Kettle-bender.

The Ladies take it all their hands in
That it's the universal medicine
For old or young or weak or tender,
All find ease by the Kettlebender
   O rare Kettlebender, &c.
Nay some, who matters fain would gloss over,
Say 'tis the stone of great philosopher;
For hardest hearts it soft will render,
Transmitted by the Kettlebender.
   O rare Kettlebender, &c.

Pray what d'ye think made Portsmouth's dutchess, [Louise      
 Who, or fame lies, a nonsuch was, [ Keroualle, mistress
Stick so close to the Faith's Defender?  [of Charles II
What, but the love for his Kettlebender.
   O rare Kettlebender, &c.

I'm sure if you have learn'd but any ways,
You must have read of Madam Danae,
That bolts nor bars cou'd e'er defend her,
Or keep her safe from Kettlebender.
   O rare Kettlebender, &c.

Europa's ease you've heard, I'm satisfy'd,
How, fearless, on the bull she sat astride;
Nor waves, nor rocks, her flight could hinder,
She stuck so close to the Kettlebender.
   O rare Kettlebender, &c.

It went so hard too with poor Leda,
Who was afraid to die a maid-a,
That to a swan she did surrender,
Rather than want a Kettlebender,
   O rare Kettlebender, &c.

I must name Proserpine to you too,
Who ravish'd was, they say, by Pluto;
Was she so?-- the devil mend her,
She went to hell for the Kettlebender
   O rare Kettlebender, &c.
Play: S1, KTLBNDR, from Muses Delight

Louise Keroualle, Dutchess of Portsmouth, mistress of Charles II, was not well like by the English. She made a trip to France in 1682?, and on her return the following was written, which is about as obscene as anything I've ever seen. Nothing is as vile as political slander. No too much new there. An earler mistress of his, and of severaal others, was Barbara Villiers, on whom a poem is given very near the end here. [Charles was noted for ennobling all of his bastards and dutchessing all of his whores (except Nell Gwinn).] For another political diatribe of about the same date as our one above see "An Historical Ballad"

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Portsmouth's Return to a new Scotch Tune

[Bodleian MS Rawl. 159. 1682. See Roxburghe Ballads, IV, p. 278] without tune indication in BL MS Harl. 6914, and Victoria and Albert Museum MS D.25.F.37.

Our Morarch's whore from France is come   
  Since Vandom's Bugg'ring Tarse
Has fallen foul on Crequy's Bum,
  Instead of Portsmouth's Arse
So great affront would make one run
  From such a wicked place
Where Arse has had such honour done
  And C--- in such disgrace

Now she's return'd bright as the Sun
  So sparkish & so fair
And brought great Charles a butter'd Bun   
  A present from Navarr:
She had not gone, but to contrive
  New fashions for the Court;
Both how to Dress, and how to Swive,
  And to improve that Sport

Buckley obligingly has brought
  Both for herself, and Friends,
New swinging Dildoes, richly wrought
  With Satin & Velvet ends:
With Furling water, to draw't up streight,
  And Rowels to heighten delights
New-fashion'd Springs, to Scour her Twat
  From slimy sperm, & whites.

Now Nelly you must be content  [Nelly- Nell Gwin]
  Her grace begins her Reign
For all your Brat, you may be sent
  To Dorset back again
Your Hagged Carcase yeilds no delight,
  As Grafton of late has said    [Duke of Grafton]
Nor Jennings, nor betraying Knight
  Can bring you to Charles's Bed 

Portsmouth has play'd so damn'd a trick
  Mazarine is sore distrest  [French Dutchess of Mazarine]
She's taken to herself his P----
  Bought Dildoes for the rest
But Stallion Pilty swears by C--
  He'l F--- with all his might
For to avenge the great affront
  And set his Dutchess right
Tune unknown

Go to Index

Patrick O'Neal.

Ye sons of Hibernia, who sung on dry land,
Round your smoaking turf fires, and whiskey in hand,
Drink kaid-milk, full rough, and ne'er think of the boys,
Who are fighting your battles thru' tempest and noise,
Attend to my ditty -- 'tis true, I declare,
Such swimming and sinking would make you all stare;
For stortns, squibs, and crackers, have sing'd my tail,
Since the press-gang laid hold on poor Patrick O'Neal.

'Twas the first day of April, I sat off, like a fool,
From Kilkenny to Dublin, to see Lawrence Tool,
My mother's third cousin, who oft' had wrote down,
And begg'd I'd come to see how he flourish'd in town;
But I scarce had set foot in this terrible place,
'Ere I met with a sharper who swore to my face;
He beckon'd a press-gang that came without fail,
And neck and heels dragg'd off poor Patrick O'Neal.

Then they scamper'd away, as they said, with a prize,
(For they thought me a sailor run off in disguise)
But a terrible blunder they made with their strife,
For I'd ne'er seen a ship, or the sea in my life;
And away to a tender they bade me to steer,
But of tenderness devil a morsel was there;
O! [I] roar'd and I curs'd, tho' it did not avail'
Then down in the cellar cram'd Patrick O'Neal.

We set off from Dublin the very next day,
'Twas half-starv'd and sea-sick the rest of the way;
Not a mile-stone I saw, nor a house, nor a bed,
'Twas all water and sky 'till we came to Spithead;
Then they call'd up all hands --- hands and feet soon obey'd,
O [I] wish'd myself home cutting turf with a spade;
For the first thing I saw made my courage to fail,
Was a great floating castle for Patrick O'Neal.

This huge wooden world roll' about on the tide,
With a large row of teeth stuck fast to her side,
They put out the boat, and they told me to keep
Fast hold with my trotters for fear I should slip--
I let go with my hands to stick fast by my toes,
The ship gave a roll and away my head goes,
I plung'd in the water and dash'd like a whale,
'Till with boat-hooks they fish up poor Patrick O'Neal.

Midsts shouts, jests, and laughter they hoisted me in
To this huge wooden world full of riot and din;
Such ropes, and such pullies, such sighs [sights] met my eye,
And so large were the sheets that they hung up to dry:
And I thought it was Noah's ark, stuff'd full of queer guests,
Hogs, pedlars, geese, sailor, and all other beasts--
Some drinking bladders of gin, some drank pitchers of ale,
And they sung, curs'd, and laughed at poor Patrick O'Neal.

All confounded with bother I began to look queer,
When the boatswain's shrill pipe made all hands appear,
Up the ropes like monkies they singing did swear,
Then like gibbets and rope-dancers swung in the air;
They clapt sticks in a capstan, (as I afterwards found)
The chap sat and fif'd as they turned him around;
The ship run her anchor, spread her wings, and set sail,
With a freight of live lumber, and Patrick O'Neal.

Then to go down below I exprest a great wish,
Where they live under water like so many fish;
I was put in a mess with some more of the crew,
And, it being banyan-day, they gave me burgue:
For a bed they'd a sack, hung high as my chin,
They call'd it a hammock, and bade me get in,
I lay hold, took a leap, but my footing being frail,
It swang me clean over!___ poor Patrick O'Neal.

With some help I got in, where I rocked all night,
The day broke my rest in a terrible fright;
'Up hammocks, down chests,' was cry'd from all parts,
'There's a French ship in sight!' -- up and down went my heart!
To a gun I was station'd, they cry'd with an oath,
To pull off his breeches, unmuzzle his mouth!
They took off the apron that cover'd his tail,
And the leading-strings gave to Patrick O'Neal.

Our thick window shutters we pull'd up with speed,
And we run out our bull dogs of true English breed:
The Captain cry'd England and Ireland, my boys,'
When he mention'd old Ireland my heart made a noise!
Our sweet little guns did the Frenchman defy,
We clapt fire on his back and bade him let fly;
His voice made me leay [?], tho' I'd hold by his tail,
The beast then flew bock [sic] and threw Patrick O'Neal.

Then we lather'd away, by my soul, hob and nob,
'Till the Frenchmen gave up what they thought a bad job;
Then to tie him behind a long cord they did bring,
And we led him along, like a pig in [sic] a string!
So home to Old England we led the French boy,
O the sight of the land made me sea-sick with joy;
They made a new peace when the war was too stale,
And set all hands adrift, and poor Patrick O'Neal.

Now safe on dry land a carousing I'll steer,
Nor cat-head, nor cat-block, nor boatswain's cat fear;
While there's shot in the locker I'll sing and be bound,
That Saturday night shall last all the year round:
But should peace grow too sleep [?], and war come again,
By the piper of Leinster I'd venture again---
Returning I'll bring you, good folks a fresh tale,
'Till you'll cry, 'till you laugh at poor Patrick O'Neal.

This excellent Irish sea song is in two undated songbooks without music, published by Wm. Lane in London, The London Songster, Or Musical Boquet, c 1793, and , c 1795. This twelve verse version is also in one of the numbers of the periodically issued The Charms of Melody, Dublin, n.d. (c 1804). A condensed eight verse version, without title, noted to have been sung by a Mr. Norman is in The Whim of the Day for 1795. The eight verse version commences with the second verse of the longer text. This text is also in The Musical Banquet, 2nd. edit. p. 119, n.d. (c 1801). Early 19th century chapbooks containing the song are in the White Collection, Newcastle Univ. Library, and at Philadelphia, the latter an American edition.

An Irish traditional tune, subsequently identified as "The Fine Old Irish Gentleman," with eight verses of "Patrick O'Neal" from a songbook, The Northern Minstrel, 1829, is in Huntington and Herrmann's Sam Henry's Songs of the People, 1990, p. 102. The text there is identical to that in The Universal Songster, II, p. 82-3, London, 1826.

Another tune is given from the Broadwood Papers, Cecil Sharp House, along with a text of twelve four-line verses in Roy Palmer's The Valiant Sailor, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1973. Palmer mentions the text in The Northern Minstrel, but doesn't say from where his text (derived from the short form) is taken.

A third tune, that given first here, 'Patrick O'Neil,' is from a manuscript collection of dance tunes, compiled c 1795-1800.

Play: S1, PATNEAL, tune from MS, and see Fine Old Irish Gentleman below.

"The Fine Old Irish Gentleman" is said to be in Dinny Blake's Sprig of Shillelah, but I've only seen it in Howe's Songs of Ireland, 1864. It is a reworking of Thomas Hudson's "The [Fine] Old English Gentleman" published without tune direction in his Comic Songs by Thomas Hudson, Collection the Fourth, London, 1821. Ebsworth quotes the song in his edition of Choyce Drollery, p. 313, 1876, and points out that it a successful reworking of "The Queen's Old Courtier" in An Antidote against Melancholy, 1661, and elsewhere. The copy in Le Prince d'Amour, 1660, is reprinted in Roxburghe Ballads, VI, 756 (given below). Ebsworth also cites several imitations of the older song and Hudson's song (but didn't know about Hudson's authorship). See Simpson's BBBM, #385, for other copies of "Queen's Old Courtier", and "Old Soldiers of the Queen".

Old Courtier [Roxburghe Ballads, from Le Prince d/Amour, 1660.]

An old song made by an old aged pate,
Of an old worshipful gentleman, had a wealthy estate,
That kept an old house at a bountiful rate,
And an old Porter to relieve poor people at his gate,
Like and old courtier of the Queen's,
And the Queen's old courtier.

With an old Lady whose anger one word asswageth,
Who every quarter paid his old servants their wages,
Who never knew what belonged to coachman, footman, nor pages,
But kept two and fifty men in blew caps and badges.
Like an old courtier, &c.

With an old study, stuft full of old learned books,
And an old parson, you may know him by his looks;
And an old butt'ry-hatch worn quite off the old hooks,
And an old kitchin that maintain'd half a doxen old cooks.
Like an old courtier, &c.

With an old hall hung with pikes, guns, and bows,
And old blades and bucklers, had borne many shrowd blows,
With an old freezadoe coat to cover his trunck hose,
With an old cup of sherry to comfort his old nose.
Like an old courtier, &c.

When an old fashion, when Christmas was come,
To call in all his old neighbours with a bagpipe or a drum,
And good cheer enough to furnish out every old room,
And beer and ale would make a cat to speak, and a wise man dumb.
Like an old courtier, &c.

With an old faulkner, a huntsman, and a kennel of hounds,
That never hauked nor hunted but in his grand-father's old grounds,
Who like a wise man kept himself in his own old bounds,
And when he died gave each child a thousand old pounds.
Like an old courtier, &c.

But to his son and heir his lands he assign'd,
With an old will to charge him to keep the same bountiful minde,
To be good to his old tenants, and to his old neighbours kinde,
But in the next ditty you shall hear how he was inclin'de.
Like a new courtier of the King's,
And the King's new courtier.

The New Courtier

With a flourishing gallant, who is newly come to his land,
Who keeps a brace of painted creatures at his own command,
And can take up readily a thousand pounds on his bond,
And drink in a new tavern, till he can neither go nor stand,
Like a new courtier, &c.

With a new lady whose face is beautiful and fair,
Who never knew what belong'd to house-keeping nor care,
But purchas'd seven colour'd fans to play the wanton ayr,
And seventeen new dressings of other women's hair,
Like a new, &c.

With a new study full of pamphlets and playes,
With a new Chaplin, that drinks oftener than he prays,
With a new butt'ry-hatch opens once in five or six days,
With a new French cook to devise cickshaws and toys,
For the new, &c.

With a new hall builded where an old hall stood,
Hung round with new pictures, does the poore little good,
With a new shouel-board whereon never stood food,
With 22 fair chimnies never burnt coals nor wood.
For the new, &c.

With a new fashion when Christmas was drawing on,
Upon a new journey they must all to London be gon,
And leave none to keep house in the country, but their new man John,
Who relieves all his neighbours with a great thump on the back with a cold stone,
For the new, &c.

With a new gentleman-usher whose carriage is compleat,
With a new coachman, and two footmen to carry the meat,
With a new waiting geltlewoman whose dressing is very neat,
Who when he lady hath dined gives her fellow very little meat,
Like a new, &c.

When new titles of honor bought with his grand-father's old gold,
For which most of his father's mannors were all sold,
And that's one cause housekeeping is grown so cold,
Yet this is the new course most of our new gallants hold.
Like new courtiers of the King's, and the King's new courtiers.

Thus have you heard of the old courtiers and the new,
And for the last I could wish never a word were true,
With these rude lines which I dedicate to you,
And these rude verses I present to your view.
By the poor courtier of the King's, and the King's poor courtier.

The Old English Gentleman
[nominally Hudson's, 1821, but I neglected to copy his text. In the interim here's that given by Ebsworth, 1876. (It's also in Henderson's Victorian Street Ballads, p. 114, 1938, with an additional verse.) But did Hudson make only alterations? I found in my notes reference to a song, "Moderation and Alteration" in 'New Songs. The Fashionable Songster', 1801. This commences "Here's an old song made by a good ancient pate/ Of a worthy old gentleman who had a good estate".]

I'll sing you a good old song, made by a good old pate,
Of a fine old English gentleman, who had an old estate,
And who kept up his old mansion, at a bountiful old rate;
With a good old porter to relieve the poor at his gate.
Like a fine old English gentleman, all of the olden time.

His hall so old was hung around with pikes, and guns and bows,
And swords, and good old bucklers, that had stood against old foes;
'Twas there "his worship" held his state in doublet and trunk hose,
And quaff'd his cup of good old sack, to warm his good old nose:
Like a fine old English gentleman, &c.

When winter's cold brought frost and snow, he open'd house to all;
And though three-score and ten his years, he featly led the ball;
Nor was the houseless wanderer e'er driven from his hall,
For, while he feasted all the great, he ne'er forgot the small:
Like a fine old English gentleman, &c.

But time, though sweet, is strong in flight, and years roll swiftly by;
And autumn's falling leaves proclaim'd, the old man - he must die!
He laid him down right tranquilly, gave up life's latest sigh;
While a heavy stillness reign'd around, and tears dimm'd every eye.
For this good old English gentlman &c.

Now surely this is better far than all the new parade
Or theatres and fancy balls, "At home," and masquerade;
And much more economical, when all the bills are paid:
Then leave your new vagaries off, and take up the old trade
Of a fine old English gentleman, &c.

The Fine Ould Irish Gentleman [Howe's Songs of Ireland, 1864]

I'll sing you a dacent song, that was made by a Paddy's pate,
Of a real old Irish gentleman who had a fine estate,
Whose mansion it was made of mud, with thatch and all complete, With a hole at the top thro' which the smoke graceful did retrate;
Hurrah for the Irish gentleman, the boy of the oulden time.

His walls so cold were covered wid the devil a thing for show,
Except an ould shillelah, which had knocked down many a foe,
And there ould Barney sits at ease without a shoe or hose,
And quaffs his noggin of poteen to warm his big red nose,
Like a fine ould Irishman, the boy of the oulden time.

To Donnybrook his custom was, to go to ev'ry fair,
And tho' he'd seen a few score years, he still was young when there,
And while the rich they feasted him, he still among the poor
Would sing, and dance, and hurl, and fight, and make the spaleens roar,
Like a real ould Irish gentleman, the boy of the oulden time.

But och! mavrone! once at a row, ould Barney got a knock,
And one thaat kilt him, 'cause he could'nt -- overget the shock;
They laid him out so beautiful, and then set up a groan,
Och! Barney darlint, jewel, dear-- why did ye die? och hone!
Then they waked the Irish gentleman, the boy of the oulden time.

Tho' all things in their course must change, and seasons pass away,
Yet Irish hearts, of oulden time, were just as at this day.
Each Irish boy he took a pride to prove himself a man--
To serve a friend, and bate a foe, it always was the plan
Of a raal ould Irish gentleman, the boy of the oulden time.

Play: B385, Queen's Old Courtier
S1, IRGNTMN, Fine Ould Irish Gentleman

Go to Index

From the same songbook:


     To old St. Catherine's now adieu,
     Likewise to Peggy, Kate, and Sue,
          And Polly of Wapping Sound;
     Our anchor's weigh'd, the sails unfurl'd,
     And now to plough the watr'y world,
          Yeo Yea, we're outward bound.
     Our anchor's weigh'd, &c.

     The gale blows fresh, the wind North-East,
     Six knots an hour we scud at least
          Huzza! the shores resound;
     Our thund'ring guns again reply,
     And salutations rend the sky,
          Yeo Yea, we're outward bound.

     Mayhap, e're far we chance to go,
     Some rich galleon we'll take in tow,
          And such are to be found;
     Why, then each man will touch his chink,
     And, damme [damn me] lads, like fishes drink,
          Yeo Yea, we're outward bound.

     And should we touch at Malabar,
     Or veer to foreign parts [ports?] afar,
          We ne'er shall lack a pound;
     Our purser will our wants supply,
     And while we've grog, we ne'er shall die,
          Yeo Yea, we're outward bound.

     Old England we shall see again,
     Ne'er fear, my hearts, and sailors, then
          The girls will flock around;
     And we, like tars, their charms will clench,
     And freely board each smiling wench,
          Yeo yea, we're homeward bound.
Song in The London Songster; Or Musical Boquet. London: Printed for W. Lane, Leaden-hall. n.d. [c 1795], p. 28, no author, music, or tune direction.

A version of the song was found by Gale Huntington in the log of the ship Minerva, 1845, and was given to Ewan MacColl, who sang it as last song in the film and on the record "Whaler out of New Bedford." It is not printed in Huntington's book, Songs the Whalemen Sang, 1964, 1970. The latter song has only its first verse in common with "Outward Bound," above, but the rest of its verses are in almost all subsequent traditional versions of the song.

Cf. Hugill's Shanties from the Seven Seas, p. 541, 1961; Shay and Wilson, American Sea Songs and Shanties, p. 147, 1948. Some of the same additional verses appear in version I of "Homeward Bound" given by Doerflinger, p. 87 of Shantymen and Shantyboys, 1951, and, 2nd ed., Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman, 1972. A text from a late broadside is given in R. Palmer's Oxford Book of Sea Songs, #88, (1986).

Go to Index

Pretty Peggy of Derby, O.

There was a regiment of Irish Dragoons,
And they were (all quartered in) Derby, O.  [all marching to] 
  The Captain fell in love
  with a pretty chamber-maid,
And her name it was called pretty Peggy, O.

Oh! come down the stairs pretty (Peggy, my dear,) [Peggy, O] 
Oh, come down the stairs pretty Peggy O,
  O come down the stairs
  and comb back my hair
And take the last farewell of your darling O.

I tell you now as I told you before
And for what should you teaze me any more  
  What will your Mammy think
  when she hears (the Guineas clink),   [you are sick]
And the hautboys are playing before you go.

A soldier's Wife I never will be,
And a soldier shall never lay in bed with me,
  For I will make him stand
  with his hat in his hand
When he stands in the presence of my company.

Then spoke his brother, a stout young man,
A valiant soldier as [any O]  [incomplete, from version below
  Saying, if she'll not go, 
  we shall have sweethearts anew
When we come to the Town of killarny O.  [no cap.]       

When we come to the water that runs so clear
That joins the town of Killarney O,
  The Captain did sigh and (say),           [said]
  We are many miles away,
Here's a health to the pretty Girl of Derby O.

When they did come to the last town,
The town they call Killarny O,
  His name was Captain Wade, 
  & he died for a maid
And he died for the pretty girl of Derby O.
Here is a later broadside copy where Kilkenny replaces Killarney
Pretty Peggy of Derby, O

[American 'traditional' version at end.]

The text above is slightly modified from that in a small chapbook type songster, The Winter's Amusement; and Jolly Toper's Companion. I have made some corrections, giving original readings in brackets. The imprint has been shorn on a copy in Library of Congress, Music Div. Another copy at Harvard (Cat# 1655,) has the address '42 Long Lane' (London). The Library of Congress dates this 179-. A few broadsides issued from this address, that of Howard and Evans, and J. Evans, were dated 1794, and a piece by Howard and Evans about Napolean was issued at that address about 1805, but I have no additional information regarding a possible date for the printing of this text, which is certainly not the original. J. Evans seems to disappear about 1805, and in 1807 T. Evans appears at 79 Long Lane. [Frank Purlsow, in a book review in Folk Music Journal, p. 56, 1970, mentions his favourite [John] Pitts' broadside ballad is "Pretty Peg o' Derby." This I have not found, but being by Pitts it can be dated as 1802 or later. For another mention of this Pitts broadside, a traditional version and references to others, see H. M. Belden Songs and Ballads collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society, p.169, 1940, 1955. [Addendum: Steve Roud's broadside ballad index lists several broadside copies of the song. Others can be found on the Bodleian Ballads website.]

The first text above is the 10th of 25 songs cramped into 7 pages of song texts. The song is not divided into verses, and some long lines are continued on a following line, while others are continued at the end of the preceding line, while the second line of the 5th verse is not completed at all. The text was obviously taken down from recitation, and is corrupt in several places, and has here been amended. The song is an early version of that now known as "The Bonnie Lass O' Fyvie, O," and some lines have here been corrected from parallel verses among the numerous traditional versions of the latter in P. Shuldram-Shaw and Emily Lyle's The Grieg-Duncan Folk Song Collection, I, #84, pp. 197-209, 1981. See the notes there for much of the later Scottish history of the song. [Much the earliest text of this song appears to be in Peter Buchan's MSS in the British Library, c 1828, but this text I have not seen.] The amended readings are in parenthesis and the originals are given in brackets, except for the second line of the first verse which reads "They were all marching to Derby, O." The amendment here is from a medley mentioned below.

The earliest copy of the tune which I have found is for a song in a play published in 1785, Two to One, written by George Colman (the younger), and produced the previous year. The music for the play, composed and/or arranged by Dr. Samuel Arnold, was published separately from the play text, but with the play title, on July 5, 1784. The tune is Air V, p. 16, with the title "Peggy of Derby O!". The tune is a vocal arrangement with instrumental introduction and conclusion, and is a setting for Colman's song on "Little Tippet." This song is without title in the play, and without title or tune direction in a songbook, The New Vocal Enchantress, London, 1789, p. 275, but Colman's song was also published with the title "The Dandy O!" in the same year in The Charms of Chearfulness, p. 11, London, again without tune direction. This song, one of Colman's earliest, is not one of his better efforts, even to this tune, as we shall see later.

In the same meter, and although without tune direction, but obviously to the same tune, are two other songs entitled "The Dandy, O." A song, "The Dandy-O," fitting the tune, but without music, and noted to have been sung by Mr. [Joseph Shepherd] Munden, is in The Festival of Momus, p. 152, London: W. Lane. n.d. [c 1791-2]. Munden was known primarily as an actor, rather than singer, but there are a few other songs also credited to Munden's performances. We may thus suspect his song was sung in a play. According to William Montgomerie's 'Bilbiography of Scottish Ballad Manuscripts' in Studies in Scottish Literature, V, p. 132, 1967, there is a copy of this song with title "Dandy O" in the Scottish song collection known as the Mansfield/ St. Clair Manuscript. I strongly suspect it was Mr. Munden's song from which the tune came to be called "The Dandy, O." Mr. Munden's song in Festival is as follows:

The Dandy-O

Tho' late, as a waiter, I ran up and down,
   With bottles, glasses, Claret, Rum and Brandy-O;
Now an officer I'm made, I'll have servants of my own
   And be among the ladies quite the dandy-o.
My cravat sticks out like a pigeon's breast,
   My hat so smart, my sword so long so handy-o;
Like a sheep's tail at each ear my hair's completely drest,
   And crops I'm sure you'll own are quite the dandy-o.

At concerts and dances the ladies I'll court,
   With words and looks as sweet as sugar-candy-o;
And then with fighting duels by the lord I'll have rare sport
   And then who but I shall be the dandy-o.

And when from abroad I return, as I design,
   With Jacob here to take a nip of brandy-o,
And who knows but in time he'll hang me up for his sign,
  Then Caleb, boy, I think you'll be the dandy-o.
I presume that Jacob and Caleb mentioned in the song are characters in a play in which the song appeared.

Another "Dandy, O" is reprinted in de Sola Pinto and Rodway's The Common Muse, #67, from an early nineteenth century broadside, seemingly too late to be the source of the tune title "Dandy-O."

The national origin of the tune is explicit in the heading of a copy of it entitled "Peggy Darby. or the Dandys. Irish." This is tune #431, p. 166, of A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, III, James Aird, Glasgow, n.d. [1788]. Except for unnecessary note splitting in the last measure of each strain, this score is a good vocal version of the tune, without instrumental elaborations or variations. I have not found the song corresponding to the title "The Dandys," although a seeming imitation of it, "The Lady Dandies," will be cited below.

Another printing of the tune appears as "Peggy Derby or Dandy O." on p. 22 of John Brysson's A Curious Collection of Favourite Tunes>. Edinb., n.d. [June, 1791]. This score is an extended instrumental version of 36 measures, and is not suitable as a vocal score.

Yet another song to the tune is a broadside printed by J. Pitts, and thus to be dated after 1802, and given in Holloway and Black's Later English Broadside Ballads, Vol. II, 1979, #110. There is no tune direction on this copy, but the meter and rhyme are those of "Pretty Peggy of Derby," which is the tune direction for the next song given by Holloway and Black, #111, "The Lady Dandies, Or, Daniel Dewhoofs Luck in London." This is again a Pitt's issue. The rhyme is 'handy, O/ dandy, O,' in all verses of these latter two songs.

The tune later acquired some other titles from a single song which was known by several titles. "The Landlady of France," was the tune direction for the American naval ballad "The Constitution and the Guerriere," (G. M. Laws, Native American Balladry, A6; C. H. Firth, Naval Ballads and Songs, Naval Record Soc., 1908). The song "The Landlady of France" is in Wm. Dimond's play, The Foundling of the Forest, acted and published in 1809. The incidental music in the play is there stated to be by Michael Kelly. A footnote to the song in the play credits the song to George Colman. In the article on Michael Kelly in Grove's Dictionary, 5th. ed., and The New Grove's Dictionary, it is stated that there was no musical score published for the play, consequently the tune for the song does not seem to be known with certainty in the British Isles. The Dictionary statement is not quite true. The songs and the music for them were printed in an American publication The Favourite Songs in the Comic Opera The Foundling of the Forest, 'Written by Wm. Dimond Esq.r, Composed by Mich.l Kelly.' Philadelphia, Published by G. S. Blake, n.d. [before 1820]. [The only traditional version of Colman's song that I know of is an unpublished one collected without tune from a singer in Antioch, Virginia in 1942, "Brandy O."] Colman's song was probably suggested by that of Mr. Munden.

Brandy O

A Landlady of France, she lov'd an officer 'tis said
And this officer he dearly loved her Brandy, oh!
Sighed she,"I love this officer, although his nose is red,
And his legs are what his regiment call bandy, oh!"

But when the bandy officer was order'd to the coast,
How she tore her lovely locks that look'd so sandy, oh!
"Adieu, my soul;," says she, "if you write pray pay the post;
But, before we part, let's take a drop of brandy, oh!"

She filled him out a bumper, just before he left the town,
And another for herself, so neat and handy, oh!
So they kept their spirits up, by their pouring spirits down,
For love is like a cholic, cured with brandy, oh!

"Take a bottle on't,: says she, "for you're going into camp,
In your tent you know, my love, 'twill be the dandy, oh!"
"You're right," says he, "my life! for a tent is very damp;
And 'tis better, with my tent, to take some brandy, oh!"

The earliest appearance of the tune is in Skillern's Country Dances for 1782, but I don't have a copy of that one.

Play: S1, PEGDRBY1, from Arnold, 1784
S1, PEGDRBY2, from Aird, 1788
S1, PEGDRBY3, from Brysson, 1791
S1, PEGDRBY4, "Eveleen's Bower," from Stevenson/ Moore, 1807/8
S1, PEGDRBY5, "Dandy, O", from O'Farrell's Pocket Companion
S1, PEGDRBY6, 'Kelly's' tune, from Songs in Foundling of Forest
S1, PEGDRBY7, Riley's Flute Melodies

The works I've seen on American historical ballads which give "The Constitution and the Guerriere" trace the tune, at best, to this work and ascribe the tune to Kelly, or note the tune is that of an 'old English drinking song,' doubtlessly Colman's. The title page of the musical score, as quoted above, implies that the songs are all by Dimond, and the song in this work is headed "Brandy, O, a favourite Comic Song sung by Mr. Jefferson in the Foundling of the Forest. Composed by Michael Kelly." It seems quite obvious that the American publication of the songs for The Foundling of the Forest was pirated, or at least unauthorized, because the song is not by Dimond, and the tune is certainly not by Michael Kelly. The copy of the tune there differs little from that used earlier by Colman, as published by Arnold.

Colman's song was printed in an undated songster of c 1810-15, Tegg's Comic Song Book, Second Collection, with tune direction "The Dandy O." In an undated songbook of about 1814, unfortunately without title page, The Vocal and Musical Cabinet, there are on p. 76, "Probatum Est. A Comic Ballad sung by Mr. Fawcett in The Privateer. Tune- Pretty Peggy of Derby," and on p. 188, "Love and Brandy [Brandy O/ Landlady of France]. Written by Mr. George Colman, Esquire. Tune-Pretty Peggy of Derby, O." Even without the tune in the songs for Dimond's play, there is solid evidence for the tune for Colman's song.

None of the published texts of "The Constitution and Guerriere" listed by G. M. Laws, Native American Balladry, (A6), are accompanied by a tune that is clearly traditional, although the tune, when given, in those works cited by Laws, is "The Landlady of France/ Brandy O/ Pretty Peggy of Derby, O". The version recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell from Warde Ford in Central Valley Ca, Dec. 1938, is on a tape in the Library of Congress Folklore Archive, Record #4202 A4, entitled on the recording "Proud Dacres and Capt. Hull." In an introduction to the song Mr. Ford says that he 'is not quite sure about the words or the tune,' and could recollect only one verse of the song at that time. He later learned the rest of the song from print. Although his tune is somewhat worn down, it is recognizable as "The Landlady of France", except for the music for the third line of the verse, which Mr. Ford apparently didn't remember, and simply improvised.

The battle of the Constitution and the Guerriere was fought in 1812 and in the following year the English won the battle of the Chesapeake and the Shannon, and an English ballad using the same tune commemorated the event. All three traditional versions of "The Chesapeake and Shannon" listed by G. M. Laws, American Balladry from British Broadsides, J20 are sung to this, same tune, which Cecil Sharp named, for the version he collected, "Pretty Peggy of Derby." John Harrington Cox, Folk-Songs of the South, p. 257 [1925] 1964, lists many early printings of this song.

A version of the tune was arranged by Sir John Stevenson for Thomas Moore's song "Eveleen's Bower." Thomas Moore's song is in the second number of A Selection of Irish Melodies, n.d. [1807/8], i.e., the second and last part of Vol. I. The title of the air is given as unknown, but a footnote states, "Our claim to the melody has been disputed; but they who are best acquainted with National Melodies pronounce it to be Irish. It is generally known by the name of "The Pretty Girl of Derby, O".

The tune was again printed in the United States as "Brandy O or Peg of Darby," an instrumental setting being on p. 43, of Riley's Flute Melodies, New York, n.d. Page 43 is in the third part of the six parts comprising Vol. I, which was completed in Apr. 1816, and this third part would be of late 1814 or early 1815. The dual title here shows that Edward Riley recognized the "Brandy, O" tune as a version of "Pretty Peggy of Derby." Riley also included the tune as "Eveleen's Bower" on p. 30 of the second volume of his collection, 1819-20.

Another American song using the tune is one on the American Civil War naval battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac, fought Mar. 9, 1862, and called "The Iron Merrimac." This was collected at the Library of Congress from Judge Learned Hand in 1942. It is available on Library of Congress recording AFS L29. The original song, with tune direction "The Landlady of France", may be seen in the Lester Levy sheet music collection, at]

Thomas Lyle, a Scottish surgeon and songwriter of Perth, collected a version of "Pretty Peggy of Derby, O" in Scotland, but unfortunately he rewrote the song (as well as the others he collected) before he published it as "Pretty Peg of Derby" in Ancient Ballads and Songs, pp. 162-3, London, 1827. Lyle's book contains no tunes. Since he noted that it was to the same tune as Moore's "Eveleen's Bower," he obviously collected the tune also. Lyle's note at the end of the song is ambiguous. He said he never saw the song in print, yet says his version is 'collated with a copy taken down from recitation.' The verse he gives at the end of his note, then, is probably the first verse that he actually collected. He says it is 'in its original dress.' This verse he gives as follows:

          O there was a regiment of Irish dragoons,
          And they were marching through Derby, O.
               The Captain fell in love
               With a young chamber-maid,
          And her name it was called pretty Peggy, O.
This verse is quite similar to the first verse of the songster text. Lyle's rewritten six verse text is roughly parallel to the songster text after deletion of the fourth verse of the latter. Lyle's rewritten version, however, has the regiment going to Kilkenny, rather than Killarney. Lyle also wrote a new song for the tune, given in the work cited, and printed earlier with music. Lyle's song was "The Bonnie Blue Forget-Me-Not," which had been given in R. A. Smith's The Irish Minstrel, n.d. [1825, the original, supposedly suppressed, edition]. The title of the tune is there given as "The Maid of Derby." While Lyle's text "Pretty Peg of Derby" is worthless as a traditional song, we can be certain that "Pretty Peggy of Derby" was sung in Scotland in the first quarter of the 19th century with a text very similar to that in the songster. [Incongrously, Lyle's text rather than a chapbook or broadside copy appears Roy Palmer's recent Everyman's Book of Ballads.]

Perhaps slightly earlier "Pretty Peggy of Derby, O" was rewritten as "The Bonnie Lass o' Fyvie" as evidenced by a copy in Peter Buchan's MSS in the British Library, which are thought to date about 1828.

The following lines are from 'An Irish Medley' in The Universal Songster, II p. 397, 1826.

'A regiment of Irish dragoons,
And they were all quartered at Derby, O!
And they fell in love__'

The first line and a half, almost the same as those above, are also in a medley in Vol. I, p. 4, 1825. There are songs to the tune "Pretty Peggy of Derby, O" on p. 107 and 276 of Vol. III, 1828, and the first line of "Peggy of Darby" is in a medley on p. 284.

T. Crofton Crocker in The Popular Songs of Ireland, London, 1839, p. 124 (p. 121 of 1886 reprint), says, "The pretty Maid of Derby, O!" is known to be the production of an Irishman, but be provides no particulars whatever, not even mentioning where a copy of the text or tune could be found. It would appear that Crocker expected his readers to be familiar with the song and tune. The evidence cited above seems to me to be quite conclusive for taking "Pretty Peggy of Derby" to be an Irish song and tune. Lacking this evidence, however, there were counterclaims. Wm. Chappell in Popular Music of the Olden Time, II, p. 771, noted Crocker's claim, but implied that the tune was not Irish, however, he supplied no direct evidence. Chappell's statement that Bunting rejected it is without foundation. Bunting didn't mention the tune, which is certainly not the same as saying he rejected it. Donnal O'Sullivan, concurs with Chappell in his article on Irish Folk Music in the 5th ed. of Grove's Dictionary, but cites no evidence pro or con, so we do not know what evidence he had seen, if any.

Lastly, two items I haven't yet seen. There is a copy of the tune in a flute tutor published by T. Cahusac in 1788, and a single sheet song with music is in two American collections, "Peggy of Darby", which commences "There was a gay Captain in Darby Town". BUCEM lists no copy of this in the British Isles.

Unrelated: "Drops of Brandy" is a much older unrelated tune of similar title, also called "Dribbles of Brandy." The latter title may stem from Adam Thomson's song to the tune in his Edinburgh ballad opera 'The Disappointed Gallant', 1738. A few years later this song was copied into NLS MS 6299. The song could pass for the original one for the tune if we did not know that the tune was earlier. "The Dandy, O," Thomas Moore's tune for his song "Young May Moon" in 5th number of Irish Melodies, n.d. [1813] is a different tune in 6/8 time with identical title, evidently supplied by Moore from the chorus of a song in Robin Hood where the tune appeared without title.

[American version probably derived from that you clicked on. From Ed. Cray's xerox of pages in a book at Harvard in LC Folklore Archive. Library of Congress catalog also lists a copy of the book. Versions were collected by Cecil Sharp in the Southern Appalachains, and by a few others in the United States.

Pretty Peggy and Other Ballads. / Illustrated/ by Rosina Emmet./ New York,/ Dodd, Mead & Company./ Publishers./ Copyright 1880 by Dodd Mead & Company. [The dedication is: 'To my two little sisters I dedicate this book'. According to Ed Cray's recollection the illustrator Rosina Emmet/ Emmit had two younger sisters at that time, so she may have had a much larger hand in the book than that of illustrator. The music is from a hand engraving and the illustration added later. She was later mother of the distinguished playwright Robert Emmit Sherwood.]

Pretty Peggy.

  It was down by the banks of the Ivy O--
  It was down by the banks of the Ivy O--
Our Captain fell in love with a lady like a dove,  
  And they called her name Pretty Peggy 'O.

  "Now will you marry me Pretty Peggy 'O; 
In a carriage you shall ride, like a lady in her pride,
  With the hautboys playing before you 'O."

  "My mother won't consent noble Captain 'O;
She never would consent, and I always should repent,
  If I should ever disobey my mammy 'O."

  "What would your mother say, Pretty Peggy 'O--
What would your mother think, if she heard the guineas chink,
  And the hautboys playing before you 'O?"

  Out spake his brother John so angry 'O,
Saying "this will never do, there are ladies enou',
  And many pretty girls on the Ivy 'O"     
  Came tripping down the stair Pretty Peggy 'O--
Came tripping down the stair, combing out her yellow hair,
  For to take a last farewell of her deary 'O.

  The troops were marching from Ivy 'O.
Our Captain he fell sick, and his pulse it beat so quick,
  And 'twas all the love of Pretty Peggy 'O.

  The very next town they marched through,
  The drums they beat so gloomy 'O;
Our noble Captain died, nr left his like alive,
  And 'twas all for the love of Pretty Peggy 'O.

  The news soon reached the Ivy 'O;
The mother did relent and the brother did repent,
  For it soon put and end to Pretty Peggy 'O.

[One reason I suspect this is not really traditional is the lame 3rd line has not disappeared yet. Few lines that bad are to be found in traditional songs. The carrage/ coach/ buggy ride seems to be only in American versions. Hautboys survives precariously as ha'boys in a version of "The Bonny Lass of Fyvie' O," Greig-Duncan Collection, I, #84, and as oboe in another. As we see from the ABC below, it was not to the Irish (and Scots) tune.

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The Pearl of the Irish Nation

Hard was my lot for to be shot
All] by Cupid's cunning arrow
Thus] both Night and Day I fall away
It's] thro' perfect grief and sorrow
Thro'] the Hills and Dales I often reveal [?]
I sigh] and breaths forth my Lamentations:
The] which I endure for that virgin pure
She's] the pearl of the Irish Nation

This] Beauty so bright has Dazled my sight
Now] alace my poor heart is wounded
There's] no way I find to ease my mind
For] by Cupid I am surrounded
[obviously a line is missing here]
Great] and sad is my grief & vexation
--]and all for the sake of that Beautiful maid
She's] the pearl of the Irish Nation

Tho many there be that daily I see
of beautiful charming creatures
with red rosie cheeks & Rubie lips
and likewise comely features
Yet there is none abroad or at home
in Country town or plantation
that can compare with that maiden fai[r
the pearl of the Irish Nation

No way can I find to ease my mind
but spend my time in weeping
I sigh, I groan I sit and moan
while others lies by me weeping
To some longsom place I'll go for a space
there I'll make my habitation
since I cannot gain that beautiful [dame
the pearl of the Irish Nation

I know there is some that thinks I do mow[--
and makes all my moan for the Lilly
perhaps it is so but the cause of my w[oe
I]s for the rose that Grows in the valley
It's] rare to be seen like Venus the Queen
Fo]r modest virtue and patience
M]y hearts is link'd to that Beautiful pink
Th]e pearl of the Irish Nation

A]lace! there is none that can ease my moan
Bu]t only that charming creature
With] cheeks like the Rose that sweetly grows
The]r by the banks of the Cedar[?]
Her] name to Declare this time I forbear
Th]o' my heart is fill'd with vexation
T]hough you may suppose she's called ye rose
Th]e pearl of the Irish Nation

Thes]e lines I intend for to have pen'd
A]nd send to my dearest Jewel
Thus] let her know a part of my woe
An]d if she chance to prove cruel
Then] a pilgrim I'll go thro frost & thro snow
I']ll forsake my former station
Sin]ce I cannot gain that Beautiful Dame
Th]e pearl of the Irish Nation

I'll travel to spain from thence to lorrain
I'll often times cross the wide ocean
Since sorrow and pain thro' her Disdain
happened to be my fortune
If hunger and cold should on me take ho[ld
and cause me to die in this station
the woods shall not ring nor hear me to [sing
of the pearl of the Irish Nation

Tho' I be sad (Oh!) if I had
some part of the wits of ovid
with a willing heart to what I inten[-- 'impart'?
it should freely be Disclosed
My Name I'll rehearse and there piti[--
and to make a Declaration
for I vow and I swear my heart is c[aught here?
by the pearl of the Irish Nation

P is a part and A is an art [Cap. letters spell out
and T is the teacher of strang[ers] [PATRICK KELLY
[R, I] and C is Numbers three
And] K is the is the Keeper of Chambers
K shall be King when E cannot reign
Double] L must ly by in its station
Y shall be young when it is New sung
sh]e's the pearl of the Irish Nation

Vir]gin most kind when you read these b[?][--probably 'lines'
I']d have the same perused
If] I have said ought out of the way
Pr]ay let my fault be excused
An] answer pray send to what I have pe[nned
since I have made a Declaration
Fo]r I vow and I swear my heart is insnar'd
By] the pearl of the Irish Nation

The Modest Maid Reply

Th]en Reply'd this this [sic] Beautiful Bride
He]r answer was with Discretion
M]y parents they say they'll turn me away
If] I join with your profession
Out of this land as I understand
they'll send me where I'll se [sic] no man [there
if that I attemp [sic] without their conse[nt
to marry a man that is a Roman.

My Dear said he if thou wilt agree
this Day with me for to marry,
there is gold and land at your Command
therfor no longer tarry
for let your friends say what they wi[ll
I am not obliged to no man
I will prove faithful to you still
altho I be a Roman

Alas why do you slight me so
is it for my religion
You are ungratfull if you do so
hold me in such Derision
if all the grecian gold were mine
on you I would bestow it
then for your heart to me resign
befor your parents know it

O then said she as I am a maid
with you I'll freely marry
I will no longer be afraid
Therfor let us not tarry
I know my parents wish me slight
A]nd say I will be ruled by no man
turn me quite out of there [sic] sight
For] marrying a man thats a Roman

Text from NLS MS 6299, f. 63, 1740-50. Erratic indentations make it impossible to guess how much might be hidden under left margins, anything from about zero to five letters. On left side pages it is the ends of long lines that are missing. There is printed copy of this song that I have not seen, British Library, Roxburghe Collection, Vol. III, p. 468 (Ebsworth's contents listing, Roxburghe Ballads, VIII, p. 185)

Donal O'Sullivan (The Bunting Collection, Irish Folk Song Society, JIFSS, XXVI, 1927-32. Part IV, 1932), found the alternative title "Pearl of the Irish Nation" in Edw. Bunting's MSS for a tune printed by Bunting in his 1809 work as "The charming fair Eily". Bunting used the tune as a setting for one of Thomas Campbell's immitations of old ballads, "Lord Ullin's Daughter", (but without its usual title). O'Sullivan also gave an undated Gaelic song found amongst Bunting's papers, and gave a literal translation of it. He also noted what may be the original Gaelic song in Edinburgh Univ. Library. O'Sullivan further notes no less than six variant versions of the tune in the Stanford-Petrie collecion, all under other titles. P. W. Joyce gave variants of the third and eleventh verses of our song here, with the tune in Old Irish Folk Music and Songs, p. 25, 1909, but said they were written by Patrick Kelly (see next to last verse of 1st part) at the beginning of the 19th century, but did he mean 18th?

There is another tune, "The Pearl of the Irish Nation", in 4/4 time, in The Roche Collection, Vol. III, #29, 1927, but it does not seem to be related to that here, and does not fit our verses.

Play: S1, PERLIRN, from Joyce

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The Rakes of Mallow.

Beauing, belling, dancing, singing,
Breaking windows, damning, sinking,
Ever raking, never thinking,
  Live the Rakes of Mallow.
Spending faster than it comes,
Beating Bawds and Whores and Duns,
Bacchus' true begotten sons,
  Live the Rakes of Mallow.

One time nought but claret drinking, 
Then like politicians thinking,         
To raise the sinking-fund when sinking,  
  Live the Rakes of Mallow. 
One time flush of money store,           
Then as any poet poor,
Kissing Queens, and then a W--re,        
  Live the Rakes of Mallow.             

When at home with dada dying,
Still for Mallow waters crying, 
But when there, good claret plying,
  Live the Rakes of Mallow.
Living short, but merry lives,
Going where the D---l drives,
Keeping Misses, but no Wives,
  Live the Rakes of Mallow.
Racking tenants, stewards teizing,
Swiftly spending, slowly raising,
Wishing to spend all our days, in 
  Raking thus at Mallow.
Thus to end a raking life,
We grow sober, take a Wife,
Ever after live in strife,
  Wish again for Mallow. 
Although widely known, the widely known version of this song is usually somewhat expurgated. The song with tune was printed about 1740 as a single sheet issue, copies of which are in the British Library and the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Other copies of the song are in The Charmer, 3rd. ed., p. 277, Edinburgh, 1765, and it is possibly in the two earlier editions, 1749 and 1751, which I have not seen. The song is also in the 4th ed. I, p. 277, 1782, in The Charms of Melody, Dublin, 1776, and in the Encyclopedia of Comic Songs, London, 1819. In the first of the preceding it is given as four double length stanzas. A copy of the 1740's, given as eight four-line verses is in NLS MS 6299. An expurgated copy of the song was given by T. Crofton Crocker in Popular Songs of Ireland, 1839, with the tune cited for it as "Sandy lent the man his mull." That tune direction is circular, since the first verse and chorus of the latter are in David Herd's MS, c 1776, (reprinted by Hecht, Songs from David Herd's Manuscripts, 1904) with the tune direction "The Rakes of Mallow."

The tune was printed among the Irish ones in Burke Thumoth's Twelve English and Twelve Irish Airs, London, c 1744. It appears as "The Rakes of London" in Rutherford's 200 Country Dances, c 1756. It occurs in two English manuscript collections of the 1770's, the Vickers MS from Northumberland (edited by Math. Seattle as The Great Northern Tune Book, 1987) and in another annonymous one of c 1770 in the British Library, MS Add'l. 23971. It appeared in John Brysson's A Collection of Curious Tunes, p. 33, n.d. [1791], and was used in a medley of otherwise Scots tunes in the overture to the Arnolds' comic opera Auld Robin Gray, 1794. It was printed in Dublin about 1805 in Hime's Forty Eight Original Irish Dances, part II, p. 4. The tune copy used here is that from Riley's Flute Melodies, I, p. 7, n.d. [1814] New York.

Play: S1, RKSMALL. Riley's

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The Rakes of Stony Batter [Bob and Joan]

Come all you roving blades, that ramble through the City,
Kissing pretty Maids, listen to my ditty,
Out time is coming on, when we will be merry,
Kitty, Poll, and Nan, will give us Sack and Sherry. 
     Hey for Bobbin Joan, Hey for Stoney Batter,
     Keep your Wife at home or else I will be at her.

There's Bridget, Peg, and Nell, with Nancy, Doll, & Susan,
To please their sweethearts well, sometimes will go a boozing,
But when their cash is gone, they'll hunt for a Cully,
And bring their splinters home, to their beloved Bully.
     Hey for Bobbin Joan, Hey for Stony Batter, etc.

In Summer Lasses go, to the Fields a Maying,
Thro' the Meadows gay, with their Sweethearts playing,
Their smiling winning ways, shewe for game their willing,
Tho' Jenny cries nay, I won't F--k for a shilling.
     Hey for Bobbin Joan, Hey for Stony Batter, etc.

Go you cunning Knave, no more of coax nor wheedle,
By those Buttons in my Sleve, I'll prick you with my needle,
What will you still be bold, Mammy call to this Man,
For shame my hands don't hold, I vow my breath is just gone.
     Hey for Bobbin Joan, Hey for Stony Batter, etc.

There's Joan a buxom Lass, met with lusty Johnny,
They went to take a glass, he call'd her dear and honey,
She said you silly Clown, take me round the middle,
Play me Bobbin Joan, or else I'll break your fiddle.
     Hey for Bobbin Joan, Hey for Stony Batter, etc.

He gently laid her down, and he pull'd out his scraper,
He play'd her such a tune, which made her fart and caper;
She said my dearest John, your such a Jolly rover,
My cloak and gown I'll pawn, that you should n'er give over.
     Hey for Bobbin Joan, Hey for Stony Batter, etc.

Come let us take a roam, up to Stony Batter,
Keep your Wife at home, for humpers will be at her,
Hey for cakes and ale, Hey for pretty misses,
That will never fail, for to crown our wishes.
     Hey for Bobbin Joan, Hey for Stony Batter,
     Keep your Wife at home or else I'll stop her water,
     Is your apples ripe, are they fit for plucking,
     Is your maid within, ready for the F--king.
This spirited Irish ditty, set in the Stony Batter quarter of Dublin, is in the Roxburghe collection in the British Library, and the Madden collection at Cambridge. The latter copy is reprinted in Holloway and Black's, Later English Broadside Ballads, p. 223, 1975. The date is very uncertain, the Roxburghe collection copy is probably slightly earlier than 1775.

The tune is not named, but is obviously that printed in Irish and Scots music collections as "Bob and Joan," "Bobin John," etc. There are at least eight English songs to the tune, one of which is a parody of the original. Only one of the English songs calls for the tune as "Stony Batter," the rest, "Bob and Joan" or some variation on it. Its Scots tune seems to be first found in book 3 of Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, c 1740, as "The Key of the Cellar." It is also one of the tunes in a Scottish dance tune MS of 1740, compiled by David Young, and now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The tune was used for "Robin shure in hairst" [which originally had it own tune, which can still be found] in The Scot Musical Museum, #543, and "Cam ye o'er frae France." The tune is "Key of ye Seller" in British Lib. MS Addl. 23971 and "The Celler door key" in the Vickers MS, c 1772 (#377 in The Great Northern Tune Book, 1987).

The Irish also used it later for "Courting in the Kitchen". The tune was used the late 18th century Irish song, "Love and Whiskey" and that is set to the tune in Crosby's Irish Musical Repository, p. 178, 1808. The tune also appears as "Bobbing Joan" in Himes' Forty Eight Original Irish Country Dances, Dublin, part I, #2, c 1800, and as "Love & Whiskey or Bob & Joan" in O'Farrell's Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes, II, p. 2, c 1811. There is considerable variation among various copies of the tune, but even the most variant are unmistakeably the same tune.

The popularity of the Irish song led to a temporary displacement of the original tune title in Scotland. The tune appears as "Bobin John" in Gow's Complete Repository, Book 2, pp. 22-3, [1802], but in The Beauties of Niel Gow, Part 3 p. 31, [c 1826] the title is back to "The Key of the Celler." In the United States the tune was used in 1812 by Samuel Woodward for "The Patriotic Diggers," and from that, for Haverford and Swarthmore school songs. The tune is also in Riley's Flute Melodies, New York, #143 [c 1815] as "Bobbing Joan or the Patriotic Diggers."

Thomas Moore wrote his song "Fill the bumper fair" to the tune, with verses and music appearing in the sixth issue (part 2 of Vol. III) of A Selection of Irish Melodies, 1815.

The song was evidently very popular in England, and about a dozen new songs were written to the tune "Bob and Joan" or, ocassionaly "Stoney Batter" most were not bawdy. One was an apparenty polite imitation of the original. One song to "Bob and Joan", however, apparently slightly later than the middle of the 19th century, is quite bawdy.

The Way to Come over a Maid

If you'd get over a maid,
  Tickle and amuse her;
Anything she asks,
  Mind you ne'er refuse her.
Walk her out each day,
  O'er the fields romantic;
Roll her in the hay,
  With many a lustful antic. 
     Tol de rol, &c.

First her bubbies feel,
  To raise her hot desire;
Next just feel her thigh,
  Than a little higher!
If whe won't wince at that,
  Put Bob in her grasp then;
And depend when it she feels,
   She'll take a precious rasping!     
     Tol de rol, &c.

If she simpers "oh!"
  Embrace her, then caress her;
Disrobe her form below,
  Entwine round her and press her!
Soon you'll find her yield,
  For her lusts gets stronger;
One more close embrace,
  And she's a maid no longer!
     Tol de rol, &c.

But if a widow you'd kiss,
  You must be much bolder;
For as they've sipt the bliss,
  They don't feel much the colder!
If you'd seduce a maid,
  You must swear, and sigh, and flatter,
But if you'd win a widow,
  You must down with your breeches and at her!
     Tol de rol, &c.
Play: S1, BOBJOAN1, from Riley's Flute Melodies

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Skew Ball

[From The Vocal Library, London: John Souter, 1818. The song is without music or tune direction.]

Come, gentlemen sportsmen, I pray listen well,
I will sing you a song in praise of Skew Ball;
And how he came over, you shall understand,
It was by Squire Mervin, the pearl of the land.
And of his late actions as you've heard before,
He was lately challang'd by one Sir Ralph Gore,
For five hundred pounds, on the plains of Kildare,
To run with Miss Sportly, that famous grey mare.

Skew Ball then hearing the wager was laid,
Unto his kind master said -- Don't be afraid;
For if on my side you thousands lay would,
I would rig on your castle a fine mass of gold!
The day being come, and the cattle walk'd forth,
The people came flocking from East, South, and North,
For to view all the sporters, as I do declare,
And venture their money all on the grey mare.

Squire Mervin then, smiling, unto them did say,
Come, gentlemen, all that have money to lay;
And you that have hundreds I will lay you all,
For I'll venture thousands on famous Skew Ball.
Squire Mervin then smiling, unto them did say,
Come gentleman sportsmen, to morrow's the day,
Spurs, horses, and saddles and bridles prepare,
For you must away to the plains of Kildare.

The day being come, and the cattle walk'd out,
Squire Mervin order'd his rider to mount,
And all the spectators to clear the way,
The time being come not one moment delay.
The cattle being mounted away they did fly,
Skew Ball like an arrow pass'd Miss Sportly by;
The people went up to see them go round,
They said in their hearts they ne'er touch'd the ground.

But as they were running in the midst of the sport,
Squire Mervin to his rider began his discourse;
O! loving kind rider, come tell unto me,
How far at the moment Miss Sportly's from thee;
O! loving kind master, you bear a great style,
The grey mare's behind you a long English mile,
If the saddle maintains me, I'll warrant you there,
You ne'er shall be beat on the plains of Kildare.
But as they were running by the distant chair,
The gentlemen cry'd out -- Skew Ball never fear,
Altho' in this country thou was't ne'er seen before,
Thou has beaten Miss Sportly, and broke Sir Ralph Gore.

This is an Irish song, with several traditional versions known, but the only traditional Irish version I've seen, text and tune, is in the relatively recent book by Hugh Shields, Old Dublin Songs. Shields in his notes mentions no other copy of the song or tune. There is a copy of the song in P. Buchan's MSS in the British Library. Practically identical to the text above is one probably a little earlier, "Scew Ball", reprinted in Holloway and Black's Later English Broadside Ballads, #109. It was printed, in four line verses, at 42 Long Lane, London, the address of Howard and Evans, and J. Evans (c 1785- c 1806)

Original tune is a puzzle; one old copy says the tune for it is "Money makes the mare to go". Is this factitious, or real? "Money makes the mare to go" seems to have been a proverbial expression, but it was also the title of a 17th century broadside ballad, which was sung to "She got money by th' bargain", which we give later here as SHAMBUY4. "Money will make the mare to go" is also the occasional title of the catch that commences "Wilt thou lend me thy mare to go a mile?", but the catch tune doesn't seem to fit this.

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[Prototype of "Nottamun Town"]

Teague's Ramble

Dear Catholick sister thou son of great M[ars
I've been at the fighting where there was no w[ars
no guns or no swords, but a great deal of arm[s
to kill our poor friends that wou'd do us no ha[rms

I set out for Dublin, next michael mass pas[t
and Gallop't to Chester in a Damnable has[te
but the seas blow'd a storm, & the winds they did roll
which cast me away on the shore by my shoul

I having no haste did ride post to the mail
Dear sister pray hear my poor sorrowful tale
My] horse standing still, She threw me in the dirt
I] doubed all my flesh & sore bruised my shirt

I] being of Courage I mounted again
And] on my ten toes I tript over the main
The]re taking a nap for six days on the ground
In th]ree I arrived in fair London Town

And] when I came there not a shoul cou'd I see
The] Crowd was so thick they stood staring at me
Not] one word did thee speak but made damnable game
And] my feet were worn out & my Brogues grown so thin

Then] nevertheles standing still I did go
--]e for hide peark & enquire for the shew [Hyde Park
By] my shoul Cry'd the people but nothing did say
The] army is here tho the Camp's march'd away

To f]ind out new pleasures I was at a loss
So] shuting my eyes, I perceiv'd Charing Cross
The]re a man sat on horse back upon a cold stone
Wi]th thousands about him good fait all alone

I sal]ult'd off my head to his majesties Graces
I ask'd him the way to, I do not know what pl[aces
but he was so Brazen, he wou'd not come do[wn
Nor shew me the way for an Irish half Cro[wn

So by my own self I went stumbling on
Quite tired to death, with the Damnable C[?]h[--
at last to hide Park good fait I did Com[--
by the beat of a Trumpet & Sound of a Dru[m

Heat[?] soldiers on horseback stood here & lay there
With their left wing in the front & their right in the [rear
and horse men on foot in an open Defence
broke open their files with a brave allie[nce?

Then by my fait they began to retire
when the Conel cry'd march, present they gave [fire
Without powder or Ball such a noise the[y] did mak[e
as made the earth tremble & Clouds for to quake

The noise being over, tho' none did I hear
I went to the Baker to Buy me some Bee[r
and having no trust I payd Chink for my Ch[--
I took Hakney Coach & away I did walk

Then down to the Thames I made my appro[ach
I] took me a place in the flying stage coach
So] long we did Roll on the watery main
At la]st we arrived at Salisbury plain

I']s quite Choak'd with dust tho' it rained all the day
I ho]ld for a pint to drive Gladness away
But] ever I cou'd drink it, I heard a great noise
'Twas] nothing at all but Hallo my boys

The] King and the Prince & a great many more
All] coming behind us just going before
And] all keeping silence the[y] loudly did sing
They] keept on their hats for to honour the King

Be]ing Contented to sit on my seat
I'm] still and went out to the midst of the street
The]re the Bishop of Salisbury he did rehearse
A p]iece of good Latine in old English verse

It] pleased his majestys grace to protest
Bu]t it was a fine one altho meanly dres'd
The]n out came the Clergy in a black scarlet Gown
To] kiss the King's hand for the sake of the Crown

But all the while that the Conduits did run
There was good rost beef & Backon & best of spic'd bun
There was Baskets of Claret & white wine was spread
on Tables for firemen to eat when they're dead

I took such a surfeit now at this fine fe[ast
as did not disturb my poor shoul in the le[ast
but if ever I go to see London again
The Devil may be after taking Teague for his pain

This verse must be sung after the 10th There was Hollands Genever run thro' every [---
and horses made fast for Greeting of win[--
By my shoul I admired their wisdom & pride
With Sword on their shoulders & Guns by their side

The text here is from a Scots song manuscript in the National Library of Scotland, MS 6299. This collection was apparently compiled during the 1740's. Beginning or ends of lines lost in binding. On the Bodleian Ballads website is a long version, but the photo is poor, and it's mostly unreadable. There's also a slightly modified version there called "Teague's Ramble to the Camp". Other printed copies listed below] A shorter copy of the song is in the later Scots Mannsfield/ St. Clair MS.

A later revamping is "Nottingham Fair" [or, Nottamun Town] in, for example, Randolph's Ozark Folksongs, III, p. 202.

The tune for this song is given in Hime's A New Selection of the most Admired Original Irish Airs, Dublin, n.d (c 1800). An earlier copy is called "Nell of Connaught" in J. Oswald's 'The Caledonian Pocket Companion', bk. 9, c 1760. Alfred Moffat in Irish Minstrelcy, 1897, noted that the tune was a setting of that called "The Irish Lady, or Anniseed-water Robin," in The Dancing Master from the original 1651 edition. See Irish tune index for a copy in Joyce's OIFMS. Moffat also said this is called "Shane Glas." The opening of the song here imitates that of "Dear Catholic Brother" c 1710, (Pills to Purge Melancholy, VI, p. 277, 1720, text below) and the latter has some 'backwards' parts, but the two tunes don't seem to be related.

Catalogue of English and American Chapbooks .. Harvard College Library, 1905/ Item #1120a = #2025: Teague's Ramble to Hyde Park, broadside with woodcut/ #1600, Teague's garland, including "Teague's ramble to Hyde Park"/ #1601- "Teague's Ramble to Hyde Park"

Play: S1, TEGRMBL1, Hime's tune
S1, TEGRMBL2, Nell of Connaught, Oswald's CPC, c 1760
S1, TEGRMBL3, Irish lady, from Dancing Master

The Catholic Brother

Dear Catholic brother are you now come from the Wars,
So lame of your foots and your Face full of Scars;
To see your poor Shela who with great grief was fill'd,
For you my dear Joy when I think you were kill'd.
   With a Fa la, la.

O my shoul my dear Shela, I'm glad you see me,
For if I were dead now, I could not see thee;
The Cuts in my Body, and the Scars in my Face,
I got them in Fighting for her Majesty's Grace.

But oh my dear Shela dost thou now love me,
So well as you did, e're I went to the Sea;
By Cri-- and St. Pa-- my dear Joy I do,
And we shall be Married to morrow Just now.

I'll make a Cabin for my dearest to keep off the Cold,
And I have a Guinea of yellow red Gold;
To make Three halves of it I think will be best,
Give Two to my Shela and the Tird to the Priest.

Old Philemy my Father was full Fourscore Years old,
And tho' he be dead he'll be glad to be told;
That we Two are Married, my dear spare no cost,
But send him some Letter, upon the last Post.
The tune is in C. M. Simpson's The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music, 1966, and in the Stanford-Petrie collection as "Poor Catholic Brother".

Play: B105, Dear Catholic Brother

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The Lock that scatters Oonagh's P---.,

[or Una's Lock, or, Darby's Key to Una's Lock.]

'Twas on a sweet morning,
  When violets were a-springing, O
The dew the meadows adorning,
  The larks melodious singing, O
The rose-trees, by each breeze, 
  Weregently wafted up and down,
And the primrose, that there grows,
  Bespangled nature's verdant gown.
The purling rill, the murmuring stream,
  Stole gently through the lofty grove:
Such were the hours when Darby stole
  Out to meet his barefoot love.  

Sweet Una was the tightest,
  Genteelest of the village dames;
Her eyes they were the brightest
  That e'er set youthful heart in flames.
Her lover, to move her,
  By every art in vain essayed;
In ditty, for pitty,
  This lovely maid he often prayed;
But she, perverse, his suit denied.
  Sly Darby being enrag'd at this,
Resolved, when they next met, to seize
  The lock that scatters Una's piss.

Beneath a lofty old oak
  she sat with cow and milking pail,
Her lily hand at each stroke, 
  sweetly flowing stream of milk doth steal;
With peeping, and creeping,
  Sly Darby now comes on apace,
In raptures the youth sees,
  the blooming beauties of her face;
Fir'd with her charms, he now resolves 
  no longer to delay his bliss,
But instantly to seize upon - 
  the lock that scatters Oonagh's p---.

With his arms he seiz'd her, 
  then prest her to his panting breast,
What now could have appeas'd her, 
  but oaths which Darby meant in jest.  
He swore, he'd adore, and
  to death would constant to her prove,
He'd wed her, he'd bed her, 
  and none on earth but her he'd love;
With vows like these he won her o'er 
  to think for what was not amiss,
To let sly Darby seize upon - 
  the lock that scatters Oonagh's p---.

Upon her back he laid her,
  turn'd up her smock so lilly white,
His joy to meet he prey'd her,
  then gaz'd with wonder and delight!
Her T--s were, as snow fair,
  and just between a crack:
With lips red, and o'er-spread 
  with curled moss of jetty black.
Transported Darby now beholds,
  just glowing in the feast of bliss,
The Lock he long had wished to seize - 
  and that which scatters Oonagh's p---.

His p---e stood erected, 
  his breeches down about his heels,
And what he long expected,
  he now with boundless rapture feels:
Now enter'd, concenter'd, 
  the lovely maid lay in a trance,
His a--- goes, like elbows
  of fiddlers in a country-dance:
With broken sighs, the fair one cries, 
  oh! I'd part with life for joy like this!
With showers of sperm they jointly oil'd - 
  the lock that scatters Oonagh's p---.
[From Merry Muses, 'Dublin', 1825, via my reprint of it. 1st verse as 1st above, song continues:]

Beneath a lofty old oak
  She sat, with cow and milking pail;
From lily hands, at each stroke
  In flowing streams the milk doth steal.
    With peeping and creeping,
      Sly Darby now comes on a pace,
    In raptures, the youth sees,
      The blooming beauty of her face
Fir'd with her charms, he now resolves
  No longer to delay his bliss,
But instantly to catch the lock
  That scatters pretty Una's piss.

Within his arms he seiz'd her,
  And press'd her to his panting breast;
What more could have appeas'd her,
  But oaths which Darby meant in jest;
    He swore he'd adore her,
      And to her ever constant prove;
    He'd wed her, he'd bed her,
      And none on earth but her he'd love.
With vows like these he won her o'er,
  And hop'd she'd take it not amiss,
If he'd presume to catch the lock
  That scatters pretty Una's piss.

Upon her back he laid her,
  Turn'd up her smock, so lily white;
With joy the youth surveyed her,
  Then gaz'd with wonder and delight.
    Her thighs were as snow fair,
      And just between appeared a crack;
    The lips were red, and overspread
      With curly hairs of jetty black.
Transported, Darby now beholds
  The sum of all his promis'd bliss,
And instantly he catch'd the lock
  That scatters pretty Una's piss.

His ----- stood erect,
  His breeches down about his heels;
And what he long expected,
  He now with boundless rapture feels.
    The beauteous maid lay in a trance;
      His ---- goes like elbows
    Now enter'd, now concenter'd,
      Of fiddlers in a country dance.
The melting Una, now she cries,
  I'd part with life for joys like this;
With show'rs of bliss they jointly oil'd
  The lock that scatters Una's piss.
The tune here is that in The Scots Musical Museum, #447, a setting for Robert Burns' "Sae flaxen were her ringlets," and there called 'An Irish Air.' Burn's knew the tune as "Oonagh's waterfall." Thomas Moore used the tune, under the title "Oonagh," in 1810 for his song commencing "While gazing on the moon's light," the fourth song in the third issue of A Selection of Irish Melodies.

The song was know by several titles, and is here "The Lock that scatters Oonagh's P---. from The Festival of Anacreon, 1789. A few obvious misprints in the text have been corrected here. The song was given later as "Una's Lock" and as "Darby's Key to Una's Lock," the latter in the c 1825 'Dublin' edition of The Merry Muses of Caledonia. This latter copy, which contains several more misprints, also contains an additional verse, as the second, and is here annexed. The latter copy of the song is printed from the 1825 'Dublin' Merry Muses in the J. Barke and S. Goodsir Smith edition of The Merry Muses of Caledonia, 1959, 1964, where the title is given as "Una's Lock." I have some doubts about their stated source. I have a rather rare reprint edition of the c 1825, 'Dublin' Merry Muses, in which the song is entitled "Darby's Key to Una' Lock," from which I've made a few corrections to the first verse here.

I am somewhat mystified by the apparent connection of the song with two tunes that do not fit it, both of which are reels.
1: "The Cumberland Reel or Una's Lock," in Longman and Broderick's Second Selection of Country Dances, p. 5 (c 1791). This is given as "Miss Gibson's (or the Cumberland) Reel," in Gow's Complete Repository, Book 2, p. 31 [1802].
2: "Downey's Lock," or "The Lock Downey Pissed Through," in Gale Huntington's edition of a manuscript of c 1800-04, William Litten's Fiddle Tunes, p. 13, 1977.

Play: S1, UNALOCK, from Scots Musical Museum

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The Young Man's Dream.

[From NLS MS 6299, f. 86v. Anglo-Irish song]

One night I Dream'd I lay most easy
down by a murmering river side
whose lovely banks were clad with [daisies
and the streams did gently glide

It was all around me and greite ont
spreading branches were display'd
-]lill interwoven in due order
--] soon became a pleasant shade

--]ese sudden raptures of Delusion
--]lull'd with slumber sweet ease
I thought I saw my lovely Susan
thro' the green and the blooming [?]hades

Th]e moon gave light I could Discern
H]ow my goddes walked along
a]ttended by each killing Charmer
W]hilst the fair one sweetly sang

Oh] friendly shades of night convey me
U]nto Adonice my sweet Joy
Y]e Gods and Goddesses pray ye guide me
-]not that dear and that Darling boy

-]r noisy winds gave over blowing
--]eare while that I may hear
--]sweet adonice be a loving
--] the groves or the valleys near

-] she set down and turn'd her sponnet
which made the valleys to echo round
which wack'd the early lark and linnet
which might engage a monarchs Crown

O then I fancies she drew near me
with a melting and Blushing air
and by her countenance seem'd to fear [me]
and soon repented that she came there

Then I arose and Gently ease'd [?] her
whilest my Charmer swowned away
and in my armes I straight convey'd h[er
to the Arbor where I lay

She soon recovered her sence and said sir
why will uou kill me I am undone
why will you smother a harmless maid
prey let me go for I must be gone

Then in my arms with amorous kisses
I carressed the sobbing dame
and in the midst of all this blisses
I woke and found it to be Dream

Play: S1, YNGMNDM1, "Young man's dream", SMM #126
S1, YNGMNDM2, (Young Man's Dream), SMM #146
S1, YNGMND3, "Young Man's Dream" from Hime's New Selection...Irish Airs, noted below.
S1, LNDNDRY, [A Londonderry Air- Danny Boy tune] Petrie's Ancient Music of Ireland, 1855.
S1, LNDNDRY2, A. G. Glichrist's revised 'Londonderry Air", JEFDSS I, 1934

The tune here is evidently the original form of "Londonderry Air" and a history is here: Michael Robinson's history

A recast version of this song is attributed to James Tytler, in The Scots Musical Museum, #126. The tune there is minor mode version of SMM #146, the earliest known copy of the Irish tune "The Young Man's Dream." The manuscript text below was obviously inspired by 17th century "Loves fancy or The Young Mans Dream" as the broadside of 1663-74 entitles it (given below). The 17th century English tune is in C. M. Simpson's The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music, 1966, as "She lay all naked in her bed," Simpson's #425, or his #182, both 4/4 tunes. "Love's Fancy or the Young Man's Dream" is an expansion of a song found in Wit and Drollery, 1656, and all editions of Merry Drollerie from 1661.

A few related early songs are (1) "Last night I thought my true love I caught" in Bishop Percy's Folio MS: Loose and Humorous Songs, and in Folger Lib. MSS V.a. 339 and V.a 345, both of c1625-35; (2) I dreamed my love lay in her bed" (or "Loves Dream" in Merry Drollery) in Loose and Humorous Songs, and BL MS Harl. 7332; (3) "Now ffye on Dreams," Loose and Humorous Songs, c 1625-30, and in Folger MS V.a. 345. "Maiden's Dream," G. R. Kinlock, Ballad Book, p. 37.

Other copies of the tune for the Irish song are: The Young Man's Dream, Bunting's first collection, #17, 1796: The Young Man's Dream; Hime's New Selection... Irish Airs, p. 6, c 1800: Young Mans Dream; Riley's Flute Melodies, #64, New York (1814): The Young Man's Dream [for Moore's song, As a beam o'er the face of the waters]; Moore/ Stevenson, A Selection of Irish Melodies, 1st issue, #11, 1807: Oh! When that mild eye is beaming. Air-The Young Man's Dream; Crosby's Irish Musical Repository, p. 259, 1808: The Young Man's Dream Irish; O'Farrell's Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes, II, p. 44. (1808): O'Neill's Music of Ireland, #382, gives a simplified copy of Bunting's version.

For the relationship of our tune to "Londonderry Air" (for Danny Boy") see Michael Robinson's history at Danny Boy with his translated Gaelic texts of "The Young Man's dream" compare the following two:

D. O'Sullivan's edition of Bunting's MSS, JIFSS #22, 1925, gives another song from Bunting's MSS where no source is noted. After several corrections by O'Sullivan the song is:

"A chu/ilfhionn mhaiseach, bhe/arfainn geallach dhuit, da/ gereidfea/ me/,
Go bhfuilim deacrach le fada dho mho/r-ghra/dh i bpe/in.
Tabhair gealladh dhom, a ainmir dheas na geoca/n re/idh,
No/ go bra/th ar a' mbaile seo ni bheicfear me/?"

Aisling bheag do chonaire me/ in mo shuan are/ir,
Go dta/inic chugan-sa an ainmir dheas ba stuama ar bith me/in.
Ge/ gur leanas chun a' bhealaigh i ar a bonn go ge/ar,
Is ro/-eagal liom gur theastaigh uaim mo chu/ilfhionn fe/in.

"A ansacht, ciarh' anna\sa dhuit, gra/dh o/n sawghal,
No/ an annsacht na n-annsacht thug gra/dh dhuit fe/in?
Ma/ ba annsa, 'si an annsacht gan fa/th dhuit e',
'S go bhfuil an annsacht le b'annsa thu/ cra'idhte i bpe/in.

"A spe/irbhean da/ ghe/illim ar maidin roimhe Dia,
A mbionn na caol-choin ar le/igint a racha 'do dhiadh,
An me'id-se faoi t'e/acach nach bhfaca mise riamh
Ma/ fhe/adam-sa, beidh 'fhe/achaint go gairid aige Liam!"

Ni pho'sfa ne/ an t-o/igfhear dharbh' ainm do/ Liam
Ar no/s ar bith, dar ndomhnach, mara graillidh me' mo chiall.
Punainn eorna san fhoghmar nior cheangal me/ ariamh,
Sa' gabha/il na mo/na ni/ h-eol domh, no/ capaill do thriall."

Is deas a mholfainn i/ da/ geodladh si/ aon oidhche liom,
Re/alt a' tsoluis ba shocraighe is ba che/illidhe, dar liom.
Nunir a ghabha si/ a brollach mar an aoil ar a cuim,
Nach bocht m'obair-se is me/ ag moladh mo che/ad gra/dh uaim?

"Bhe/arfainn geallach dhuit, a ainnir dheas ab' o/r-buidhe ciabh,
Da/ gcastaidhe dhom ar bealach thu/ no/ gaghail thri/ shliabh.
Ach o/ chrapuigh siad fada a geo/tai/ 'niar,
Beannacht leat, is gainimh i ngad a/r nglo/rthai 'riamh!"

Here's O'Sullivan's translated version:

"Fair maid, I would vow, if you would believe me,
That I am long oppressed and in pain for great love of you.
Give me your promise, pretty girl of the smooth ringlets,
Or I shall never be seen in this town again!"

I dreamed a little dream in my slumber last night,
That there came toward me the prettiest demurest maid.
Though I followed her to the roadway, close on her footsteps,
I greatly fear that I lost my darling.

"Beloved, which would you rather- the world's love,
Or the love-of-all-loves who is in love with you?
If the world's love, such were a love without reason
And the beloved who loves you most is sick and sorry.

Lovely lady, whom I honour at morn before God,
*    *    *    *
That which is hidden and which I have not yet seen ever,
If I have my will, Liam will soon behold it!"

"I will not marry the young man whose name is Liam
On any condition, I swear it, unless I lose my senses.
I never yet bound a sheaf of barley in harvest,
And I know not how to walk the bog, or drive horses."

Well could I praise her if she would sleep one night with me,
Most constant star of light, and most wise, as I ween.
*   *   *  (?)
Sorry my task, praising my dearest love, and losing her!

I would pledge myself to you, pretty girl of the golden tresses,
If I met you on the roadway or crossing the mountains.
*   *   * (?)
So fare you well, and as a withy binds sand did our vows bind us
JFSS II (#6), 1905. Song collected in Apr. 1904.

A Cornish young man he dreamed a dream 
Of the beautif'llest girl in the nation;
No counsel will he make, but some journeys he'll take
Through England to seek this fair creation.

"I never didn't saw you, but once in my life
And that was a dream, love, lie by me;
But now I've found you, with tears in my eyes
So  I hope, love, you'll never deny me.

"What is your desire, I ask you, kind sir,
That you are afraid of denial?
Although you are poor, no scorn I'll endure,
So put me not under trial."

"No scorns wil I offer, nor any such thing
"I'll give you a kiss, love, as a token;
So take you up this ring and this guinea in gold
And between us never let it be broken.

For love, is, my dear, like a stone in the sling
And it's hard to believe all that's spoken:
So take you up this ring and this guinea in gold
And between us never let it be broken.
For sometimes related tunes see also "Ned of the Hill"

A fragmentary version is "The Knight's Dream; or, The Labouring Man's Daughter", JFSS 9, p. 273, 1906.

The following poem was a very popular piece in manuscripts of c 1625-50. [previously printed from MS copies in Roxburghe Ballads, VIII cxli*; J. Wardroper, Love and Drollery, #330; Bannatyne MS (incomplete).] Also in Folger Shakespeare Library MSS V.a. 345 and V.a. 162; Bodleian MSS Rawl poet. 160, Eng. poet. f. 25, Ashmole 38. Variant copies also commence, "As I lay slumbering" and "Once slumbering"]

The Maiden's Dream.

[From BL MS Egerton 2725]

Slumbering I lay all night upon my bed,
No creature with me but my maidenhead,
And as I lay alone as maidens cannot choose.
And as I dreamed, I thought it much wrong
So fair a maid should lie alone so long.
Methought one wooed me, and methought he sped.
Methought we married were, and went to bed.
He turned to me, and my lips he parted.
He kissed me sweetly, saying, 'Be kindhearted,'
And so got up,; with that for fear I quaked.
Trembling I lay, cried out, and so waked.
Oh! 'Twould have vext a saint! My blood did burn
To be so near, and miss so sweet a turn.

This was later expanded into a broadside ballad. First verse only here from The Pepys Ballads, II, 80. 1987.

The Damsels Dream: Or, Her Sorrowful Lamentation for her most unhappy Disappointment.

[Printed by Brooksby, Deacon, Blare and Back, 1689-95] To the tune of "I often for my Jenny strove." [Ebsworth, Roxburghe Ballads, VIIII cxl*, gave version from Constant Nancy's Garland, c 1745, as well as the earlier poem version from an unspecified MS.]

I once lay sleeping on my Bed
  in a most joyfull Criasie,
No Creature but my Maidenhead
  all night to bear me company: 
There I dream't of Golden Pleasures,
  which did most delightfull seam;
My Friends believe me, it did grieve me,
When I found it but a Dream.

She lay all naked in her bed.

Broadside expansion of song in NLS MS Adv. 19.3.4, f. 25v. Ten verses of four lines. This seems to be of c 1652-4. Four verses of eight lines in BL MS 22582, apparently of c 1620-25. The song is substantially the same, but in five verses of eight lines, in Wit and Drollery, 1656, and Merry Drollery, 1661 (reprinted in J. S. Farmer's Merry Songs and Ballads, I, p. 116). Text here is from the broadside ballad, apparently unique, Wood E 25, #88. This adds five new verses. Printed by F. Coles, T. Vere, and J. Wright, 1665-74. Not entered until 1675.

Loves Fancy, Or, The Young-mans Dream.

Being a Cavest for all Young men and Maids.
To make Hay in Sun-shine and often in shades,
For Maiden-heads ripe, like corn in their prime,
Ungathered, will shed after Harvest-time.
To a pleasant new Tune, or Hay-makers march.

She lay naked in her Bed
  and I my self lay by,
No Veil nor Curtain there was spread
  no Covering but I;
Her Hair upon both shoulders streak,
  to bear on carelesse wise;
And full of blushes were her cheeks
  her wishes were her eyes.

The blood still flushing in her face,
  as on a Message came,
To shew that in some other place
  it meant some other Game.
Her neather lip most plump and fair,
  millions of kises crown,
Which ripe and uncropt dangle there,
  And weigh the branches down [missing line supplied.]

Her golden hair of Cupids wire, [not in original
  had caught my heart in snare;
Like Phaebus in her best attire
  adorn'd her body fair;
Had I then seen the Marygold,
  seal'd up by drowsy night,
At her bright beams I would unfold,
  my stalk would stand upright.

Her pretty dimple in her chin; [not in original
  where Cupid sleeping lay,
As if it had Loves valley been,
  for to repose the Boy:
Her Lilly Neck to Pearl more white,
  rich Carkenets desie, [?]
As if it did my Armes invite,
[line shorn off at bot. of 2nd col.] 

The Rivolet between her breasts,    [not in original
  Heavens Nectar did distil,
Where Venus Doves do build their Nests
  and do each other bill.
I took it for the Milky Way
  that leads unto all bliss,
But that the Muses well, some say,
  below it placed is.

Her Breasts that were full swell'd and high 
  bred pleasant pain in me,
For all the world I did defie
  to that Felicity;
Her thighs and belly soft and plump,
  to me was only shown,
T'ave seen such meat and not to eat
  would have anger'd any stone.

Her knees lay ope and gently bent
  and all lay hollow under,
As if on easie terms they meant,
  if toucht to fall asunder,
Just so the Cyprian Queen did stay,
  expecting in her Bower,
Which so long time had kept the Boy
  beyond his promised hour.

Thus in a trance long time I stood, [not in original
  cantin'd to her desi[r]e
Loves Feaver kindled in my blood,
  which from her eyes took fire:
Just so the Phaenix when she dies
  wrapt in her Spicy bed,
Her self with her own ashes lyes
  by which her young ones bred.

Then streight I was resolv'd to try, [not in original
  the power of my Love,
A second thought gets victory,
  and doth my reason move;
Thus as I stood 'twixt hope and fear,
  not knowing what to do,
As if in Cupid's Net I were,
  thus she began to wooe.

Dull Clown, quoth she, dost thou delay
  this profer'd bliss to taste,
Can't thou finde out some other way,
  simulitudes to make;
Mad with delight I thundered in,
  and threw my Arms about her.
But when I wake'd it was but a dream,
  and so I lay without her.
But when I wake'd it was but a dream,
  and so I lay without her.
Play: She lay all naked in her bed, BM4.HTM, B425

Related, and to this same tune is "The dainty Damsel's Dream, Or, Cupid's Visions" given in the file on Laurence Price. Go to Index

[Sean Buidhe/Bui = Yellow (fair) John]


As Damon stray'd through yonder grove,
  In pensive mood a musing,
He there beheld the queen of love,
  Her favourite theme perusing;
Her breasts they swell'd with heaving sighs,
  And deep oppress'd as can be;
And ever and anon she cries, 
 I die to taste of Shawnbee.

'Oft Chloe with her darling swain
  Retreats to shady bowers,
There quenching love's fierce raging pain,
  With bliss beguiles her hours;
And Slvia too does joys possess,
  And pleasure great as can be;
For Strephon does her passion bless,
  And has her will of Shawnbee.

'O Cupid! god of pleasing love,
  And so thou art, befriend me,
O kindly now my prayer approve,
  And to my aid now send me
Some sprightly youth that's made to charm
  A maiden warm as can be,
With rapture every sense alarm,
  And let me taste of Shawnbee.

He personated then the boy,
  And faith sincere presented,
But with excess of swelling joy,
  Upon the ground she fainted;
Resolved to yield, what would betide,
  Her legs were wide as can be;
Then Damon slipp'd between the stride,
  And let her taste of Shawnbee.

With eager grasp each other press'd,
  Their melting souls dissolving;
Whilst twining th--s the hams embraced,
  In circling folds revolving --
With closer squeeze she murmuring cries,
  'Push further, if it can be;'
Then sighing deep again she dies --
  Such pleasure is in Shawnbee.
The song here is from Encyclopedia of Comic Songs, London, 1819. The tune is one of the two cited for singing Captain Morris's bawdy song "The Great Plenipotentiary" in The Festival of Anacreon, 1789, Songs of Captain Morris, 1793, and reprinted from a late edition of The Merry Muses of Caledonia by Ferguson, Barke and Goodsir Smith in their edition, New York, 1964. "The terrible Law" cited as the other tune for Morris's song, is very similar to "Shawnbuye" an was possibly considered by Morris as the same tune. It is from the first line of a song in the ballad opera Flora, 1729, where the tune is given and named "She got Money by the Bargain." With the same title this tune is given identically in The Lover his own Rival, 1736.

C. M. Simpson, The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music, 1966, gives the tune from Flora, his #424, which he said was a more singable version than the dance versions, first called "The Jockey," then "Four pence Half-penny Farthing, or, The Jockey." (But he doesn't mention the song in Flora. The tune in Flora, however, is not arranged to fit the song there, which commences "The terrible law, when it fastens its paw." Simpson also cites two Scottish manuscript versions earlier than the copies in the ballad operas. The first he cited from a transcript of the Leyden MS, "Money in both yr pockets" (not related to a late 19th century Irish tune of this title) the original of which has been relocated as Newcastle Univ. MS White, #42. The second of the Scottish copies is "She gote money by it" in the Agnes Hume MS (MLS MS Adv. 5.2.17). Neither of these, to the best of my knowledge, has been reprinted.

The tune fits the song much better with the note splitting and slight alteratiosns made in Songs in Flora's Opera, [May, 1730] and the independent (pirated?) publication Songs in Flora, 1737, where the words of "The terrible Law" are printed right below the melody line, but even here the tune does not have an exact correspondence between notes and syllables. "Shawnbuee/ Over the Water to Charlie"

The tune copy here, is the earliest I have seen with the title "Shambuy", Rutherford's Collection of sixty of the most celebrated Country Dances, p. 1, n.d. [1754]. It appeared about two years later in the Thompson's first volume of 200 Country Dances as "Shamboy."

Modern commentators equate the tune with others of different title. Earliest is that first found as "Pot Stick" in Johnson's 200 Country Dances, IV, [c 1748], and has been reprinted from this by Frank Kidson in Old English Country Dances, p. 9. A Scots version was given as "Over the water to Charlie," about 1752 in J. Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, book 4, p. 7, in Bremner's Reels, p. 16, 1757, and was much later printed with the song of the same title in The Scots Musical Museum, #187. [The "Pot Stick" title was also used for other tunes. "Pot Stick" in book 9 of Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion is the tune also called "The Irish Footman," which Oswald had already given in a different key in book 4. Oswald's "Irish Pot Stick," also in book 9, is the tune later known as "Sheela na Giggg" or "Shilling a Jig." These in Irish Tune Index.]

About 1759 Oswald gave our tune in book 11, p. 21, as "Shambuy." G. A. Stevens wrote a song to the tune, "The Marquis of Granby," with the tune direction "Shanbuy," in Songs, Comic and Satyrical, p. 188, 1772, and another in the same work, "The Toper," p. 73 has the same tune direction. "The Marquis of Granby" appeared as an anonymous single sheet song with music issue in 1762, but I have not located a copy. The song appeared without tune direction in The Humours of London, c 1770. "Marquis of Granby" is reprinted without title or attribution in The Convivial Songster, p. 330, 1782, with directions to the tune on previous page 172, where the tune "Shaunbuy" is given for Stevens' "The Topper," commencing "Ye lads of true spirit, pay courtship to good claret." The tune appears under the "Marquis" and "Shawnbuy" titles in Aird's Airs, I, #98 [1778], and soon after in two sets in the American Gibbs MS c 1777 [Edited by Kate Van Keller Winkle, 1974].

Modern commentators also equate "Ligrum Cus" to those above, but both "Shambuy" and "Lacrum Cus" were used in Kane O'Hara's Midas, 1764, and this shows that the two were not considered to be the exactly the same tune at that time. "Ligrum Cus" is in Hime's Collection of Forty Eight Original Irish Country Dances, part 2, #20, c 1800, as "Lacrum Cosh" in a collection by Smolett Holden, (c 1806, not seen), and as 'Lacrum Cush" in Riley's Flute Melodies, I, #62, New York, c 1815. In a later section of this latter volume, 1816, Riley gave "Over the water to Charlie" as #341:

A variant of the tune is "Kinlock of Kinlock," which appears in The Scots Musical Museum, #559, [1803-4] as a setting for a song said there to be by Robert Burns. John Glen, Early Scottish Melodies, p. 231, 1900, said the tune first appeared in Watlen's Circus Tunes, (2nd edit) 1798, and greatly doubted the attribution of the song to Burns, since the song is an altered version of a much older one. James Dick did not include the song in The Songs of Robert Burns, but James Kinsley included it and the tune in The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, II, #598, 1968.

Play: S1, SHAMBUY1, Shawnbuy, Rutherford's Dances, 1754?
S1, SHAMBUY2, Pot Stick, Kidson
S1, SHAMBUY3, the Jockey, Dancing Master
She got money by the bargain B424
S1, SHAMBUY5, She got money by the bargain, Songs in Flora's Opera

The Plenipotentiary.

Air - The terrible Law, or Shawnbue.

The Dey of Algiers, when afraid of his ears,
A Messenger sent to our Court, Sir,
As he knew in our State that women had weight,
He chuse one well hung for good sport, Sir.
He search'd the Divan, till he found out a man,
Whose b---s were heavy and hairy,
And he lately came o'er from the Barbary shore
As the Great Plenipotentiary.

When to England he came, with his p---k in a flame,
He shew'd it his hostess at landing,
Who spread its renown thro' all parts of the town,
As a pintle past all understanding:
So much there was said of its snout and its head,
That they called it the great Janissary;
Not a lady could sleep till she got a sly peep
At the Great Plenipotentiary.

As he rode in his coach, how the whores did approach,
And star'd as if stretch'd on a tenter;
He drew every eye of the dames that pass'd by,
Like the sun to its wonderful centre:
As he pass'd thro' the town, not a window was down,
And the maids hurry'd out to the area;
The children cried, "Lock, there's the man with the Cock,
That's the Great Plenipotentiary."

When he came to the Court, oh! what giggle and sport;
Such squinting and squeezing to view him:
What envy and spleen in the women were seen,
All happy and pleas'd to get to him.
They vow'd from their hearts, if men of such parts
Were found on the coast of Barbary,
'Tis a shame not to bring a whole guard for the King,
Like the Great Plenipotentiary.

The dames of intrigue formed their c--- in a league,
To take him in turns like good folks, Sir;
The young misses' plan was to catch as catch can,
And all were resolv'd on a stroke, Sir:
The cards to invite flew by thousands each night,
With bribes to the old Secretary,
And the famous Eclipse was not lett for more leaps
Than the Great Plenipotentiary.

When his name was announc'd, how the women all bounc'd,
And their blood hurry'd up in their faces:
He made them all itch, from the nave to the breech,
And their bubbies burst out of their laces:
There was such damn'd work to be f---d by the Turk,
That nothing their passions could vary:
All the nation fell sick for the Tripoli p---
Of the Great Plenipotentiary.

A Duchess, whose Duke made her ready to puke,
With fumbling and f--ging all night, Sir;
Being first for the prize, was so pleas'd with its size,
That she begg'd to examine it plight, Sir:
Good God! cries her Grace, its head's like a mace,
'Tis as high as the Corsican Fairy;
I'll make up, please the pigs, for dry bods and f--gs,
With the Great Plenipotentiary.

And now to be bor'd by this Ottoman Lord
Came a virgin far gone in the wane, Sir,
She resolv'd for to try, tho' her c--- was so dry,
That she knew it must split like a cane, Sir:
True it was as she spoke, it gave way at each stroke!
But oh! what a woeful quandary!
With one terrible thrust, her whole piss-bladder burst
On the Great Plenipotentiary

The next to be tried was an Alderman's bride,
With a c--- that would swallow a turtle,
She had horn'd the dull brows of her worshipful spouse,
Till they sprouted like Venus' myrtle.
Thro' thick and thro' thin, bowel deep he dashed in,
Till her cunt frothed like cream in a dairy,
And express by loud farts she was strain'd in all parts
By the Great Plenipotentiary.

The next to be kiss'd, on the Plenipo's list,
Was a delicate maiden of honour:
She scream'd at the sight of his p---, in a fright,
Tho' she'd had the whole palace upon her:
Christ Jesus! she said, what a p--- for a maid!
Do, pray, come look at it Cary!
But I will have one drive, if I'm ripped up alive,
By the Great Plenipotentiary.

Two sisters next came, Peg and Molly by name,
(Two ladies of very high breeding);
Resolv'd one should try, while the other stood by,
And assist in the bloody proceeding:
Peg swore by the Gods, that the Mussulman's c--s
Were as big as both buttocks of Mary!
Pol cri'd with a grunt, "He has ruined my c--t,
With his Great Plenipotentiary."

The next for this plan was an old Harridan,
Who had swallow'd huge p--- from each nation,
With over much use she had broke up the sluice
'Twixt her c--t and its lower relation.
He had stuck her so full, that she roar'd like a bull,
Crying out she was bursting and weary,
So tight was she stuck by this wonderful f--k
Of the Great Plenipotentiary.

All heads were bewitch'd and long'd to be stitch'd,
Even babbies would languish and linger,
And the boarding-school Miss, as she sat down to piss,
Drew a Turk on the floor with her finger.
For fanci'd delight, now they clubb'd for a shite,
To f--g in the school necessary!
And the Teachers from France fucked a la distance
With the Great Plenipotentiary.

Each sluice-c---d bawd, who was r---'d abroad
Till her premises gap'd like a grave, Sir,
Hop'd luck was so thick, she could feel the Turk's p---,
As' all others were lost in her cave, Sir:
The nymphs of the stage his fine parts did engage;
Made him free of their gay seminary;
And the gentle Signors open'd all their back-doors
To the Great Plenipotentiary.

Then of Love's sweet reward, measur'd out by the yard,
The Turk was most blest of mankind, Sir;
For his powerful dart went up home to the heart,
Whether stuck in before or behind, Sir:
But no pencil can draw this huge three-tail'd Bashaw,
Then let each c--t loving contemporary,
As cocks of the game, let's drink to the name
Of the Great Plenipotentiary.

Later verse, added to copy in late editions of The Merry Muses of Caledonia.

The next for a shag came the new Yankee flag;
Tho' lanky and scraggy in figure,
She was fond of the quid, for she had been well rid
From Washington down to a nigger.
On my! such a size! I guess its's first prize,
It's a wonder, quite next Ni-a-gary;
W-a-ll, now I'm in luck, strange, let's fuck,
Bully for the great Plenipotentiary.

The True Englishman.

To the tune of Shawnbree, in The Humours of London, n.d. (c 1770) [This seems to immitate "Larry Grogan", qv.]

Ye Rakehells so jolly, Who hate melancholy
   And love a full flask and a doxy;
Who ne'er from love's feats, Like a coward retreats,
   Afraid that the harlot should pox you;
While we live till we die, to the Shakespeare let's fly,
   When we shall find both in great plenty;
With the juice of the wine, Our senses refine,
   And drink till the hogshead is empty.
Here Tompkins, more liquor; Zounds man! bring it quicker;
   Champaigne, by all true topers courted;
Without these damn'd tricks, French brandy to mix,
   But genuine neat as transported:
While thus cherry merry, Let Harris and Derry
   With faces uncommon supply us;
Poll French, and Bet Weemyms, And such batter'd old brims,
   Ye pimps, let them never come nigh us.
Now each joyous fellow, while thus we are mellow,
   And the fumes of the grape does inspire,
While that's to be had, Let's be damnably mad,
   And sling all our wigs in the fire;
Break bottles and and glasses, Bilk landlord and lasses,
   What rascal our humour dare hinder?
If any presume to come into the room,
   We'll throw the dog out at the window.

Like Quixote of old, As we have been told,
   Let's sally in search of adventures;
Mother Dowglass we'll rout, Kick her bullies about,
   And knock down the watch if he enters.
Drink and whore all our lives, Lie with other men's wives,
   Debauch ev'ry damsel we hit on;
Swear and curse, and tell lies, Our religion despise,
   And this is the life of a Briton.
Go to Index

The Night Before Larry Was Stretched

The night before Larry was stretched,
  The boys they all paid him a visit;
And bit in their sacks, too, they fetched,
  They sweated their dads till they riz it:
For Larry was always the lad,
  When a friend was condemned to the squeezer,
But he'd fence all the togs that he had
  To help a poor friend to the sneezer.
    And moisten his gab 'fore he died.

I'm sorry, now, Larry, says I,
  To see you in this situation;
'Pon my conscience, my lad, I don't lie,
  I'd rather it had been my own station!
Och hone! it's all over says he.
  For the neckcloth I'm forced to put on,
And by the this time tomorrow you'll see
  Your Larry will be dead as mutton
    Bekays why, my dear, my courage was good.

The boys they came crowding in fast,
  They drew all their stools around him;
Six glims round his trap-case were placed,
  He couldn't be well waked without them!
I axed if he was fit for to die,
  Without having duly repented?
Says Larry, that's all in my eye,
  It's only what gownsmen invented
    To get a fat bit for themselves.

The cards being called for they played,
  Till Larry found one of them cheated;
He made a smart stroke at his head,
  (The boy being easily heated,)
Oh, by the holy, you teef,
  I'll skuttle your nob with my daddle;
You cheat me because I'm in grief,
  But soon I'll demolish your noddle
    And leave you your claret to drink.

Then in came the priest with his book,
  He spoke him so smooth and so civil;
Larry tipped him a Kilmainham look,
  And pitched his wig to the devil;
Then stooping a little his head,
  To get a sweat drop of the bottle,
And, pitiful sighing, he said,
  Oh, he hemp will be soon round my throttle,
    And choke my poor windpipe to death.

So moving these last words he spoke,
  We all vented our tears in a shower;
For my part, I thought my heart broke,
  To see him cut down like a flower.
On his travels we watched him next day,
  Oh, the hangman, I thought I could kill him;
Not one word poor Larry did say,
  Nor changed till he came to King William,
   Then, my dear, his colour turned white.

When he came to the nubbing chit,
  He was tucked up, so neat and so pretty;
The rumbler jogged off from his feet,    
  And he died with his face to the city!
He kicked, too, but that was all pride,
  For soon you might see 'twas all over;
Soon after the noose was untied,
  And at darkee we waked him in clover,
    And sent him to take a ground sweat.
The song seems to have first appeared with music in Walker's Hibernian Magazine in 1787. It is also is in The Festival of Anacreon, 7th ed., (Part 2) p. 177, 1789 (and a later undated edition of 1790 or 1791), with tune direction "To the hundreds of Drury I write." [The publishers imprints and edition numbers of the very few issues of this work are fictitious. This '7th' edition is probably actually the 2nd. The c 1790-91 edition is also styled the '7th' edition, but is probably the 3rd, which contains some new songs not in the earlier '7th' edition. The true publisher is found to be William Holland, by noting the frontispiece of the 1789 edition, and comparison with Paddy Whack's Bottle Companion, 1791, which has the same typography and many of the same songs.] The song bears no attribution in Festival but is attributed to a 'Curren' in The Universal Songster, II, 140, 1828. [probably J. Philpot Curran, or possibly J. W. Curren.]

The "Hundreds" tune is not an Irish one, but stems from the first line of an English song "The Bowman Prigg's Farewell." BUCEM lists four single sheet copies with music, all tentatively dated c 1740. There is also a copy in the Marshal collection, Harvard. However, the tune "To the Hundreds of Drury I write" is in the ballad opera The Devil of a Duke, 1732, Air #4. 'Bowman Prig' is mentioned in song #22 of the ballad opera The Fashionable Lady, 1730, but this may not be a reference to the song. 'Bowman Prigg' is cant for a pick-purse. I give the tunes "To the hundreds of Drury I write" from the single sheet song and "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched" from Levy's The Dance Music of Ireland, First Series, n.d. (1858). A slightly variant copy of the latter is in O'Neill's Music of Ireland, #39.

Play: S1, NTLRYST1, To the hundreds of Drury I write, single sheet
S1, NTLRYST2, Walker's Hibernain Magazine, 1787 S1, NTLRYST3, The night before Larry.., O'Neill's Music of Ire.

From 'The Universal Songster', III, p. 77, 1828, reprinted from Sidney Owenson's book of c 1805. I think Lady Morgan was still Sidney Owenson when the following was written. Her father, the Irish singer Robert Owenson (Mac Eoghain), had sung the Gaelic version, "Emhun uh Chnuick", in a Dublin concert in 1778. Song is on Edmund Ryan, who is said to have been killed in 1724.

Edmund of the Hills
[Translated from the Irish.]
(Lady Morgan.)

Ah! who is that whose thrilling tones
  Still put my tranquil sleep astray;
More plaintive than the wood-dove's moans,
  And send my airy dreams away?
'Tis I! 'tis Edmund of the hills,
  Who puts thy tranquil sleep astray,
Whose plaintive song of sorrow thrills,
  And sends thy airy dreams away.

Here, nightly, through the long, long year,
  My heart, with many a love-pang wrung,
Beneath thy casement, ever dear,
  My sorrow and thy charms I've sung;
Thine eye is like the moon's soft ray,
  Tinted with the evening's faded blue;
Its first glance stole my heart away,
  And gave its every wish to you.

Like a soft gloomy cloud thine hair,
  Tinged with the setting sun's warm rays,
And lightly o'er thy forehead fair
  In many a spiry ringlet plays.
O, come, then, rich in all thy charms,
  For Eva I'm as rich in love,
And, panting, in my circling arms,
  I'll bear thee to old Thuar's grove.
There are two traditional tunes with short texts of "Eamon a Chnuic" (Ned of the Hill) in JFSS VI (#25), 1921. In a footnote, p. 284: 'As several of the variants of "Eamonn na Chnuic" are distinctly like the latter [The Young Man's Dream"] (notably Stanford- Petrie #1150)), one supposes that the "Young Man's Dream" may have told the same story as this Somerset song (Cornish song "A Cornish young man had a dream"-JFSS ii, p. 53, above). See Moffat's copious notes on "'Tis the last rose of Summer" in 'Minstrelsy of Ireland'.'

Some versions of the tune are close to "The Young Man's Dream", qv.

Play: S1, NEDHILL from Oswald's CPC

See "The Stuttering Lovers" (BRDSFLW) for another 'Irish' song.

A Sup of Good Whiskey

Patrick Galvin on a phono-record 'A Sup of Good Whiskey', Offbeat Records, OLP 4022 (Riverside reissue?), sang the title song to "The Irish Washerwoman", and it fits well (almost). This song is that rarity, a good bacchanalian. The song and its original tune are apparently of 1795 (Walker's Hibernian Magazine), but I don't have that. Song and tune are also in 'The Yorkshire Musical Miscellany', p. 219, Halifax, 1800 (not copied). Galvin's tune is apparently not the original one for the song. A late text without tune is in 'The Universal Songster', II, p. 254, 1826, and that version is given below.
The tune below, which takes its title from the burden, seems to me to bear some resemblance to "The Irish Washerwoman" ("The washwoman", Henry Mountain, Dublin, c 1785-B. Breathnach. The descriptive tag 'Irish' was quickly taken to be part of the title).

A Sup of Good Whiskey

A sup of good whiskey will make you glad;
Too much of the creature will set you mad; [craythur
If you take it in reason 'twill make you wise
If you drink to excess it will close your eyes;
    Yet father and mother,
    And sister and brother,
   They all take a sup in their turn.

Some preachers will tell you, to drink is bad;
I think so too - if there's none to be had:
The swaddler will bid you drink none at all
But, while I can geet it, a fig for them all;
    Both layman and brother,
    In spite of this pother,
   Will all take a sup in their turn.

Some doctors will tell you 'twill hurt your health,
And Justice will say 'twill reduce your wealth;
Physicians and lawyers both do agree,
When your money's all gone, they can get no fee;
    Yet surgeon and doctor,
    And lawyer and proctor,
   Will all take a sup in their turn.

If a soldier is drunk on his duty found,
He to the three-legged horse is bound,
In the face of his regiment obliged to strip;
But a noggin will soften the nine-tailed whip!
    For serjeant and drummer,
    And likewise his honour,
   Will all take a sup in their turn.

The Turks who arrived from the Porte Sublime.
All told us that drinking was held a great crime;
Yet, after their dinner, away they slunk,
And tippled their wine till they got quite drunk:
    The sultan and Crommet,
    And even Mahomet,
   They all take a sup in their turn.

The Quakers will bid you from drink abstain,
By yea and nay, 'tis a fault in the vain,
Yet some of the broad-brims wil get to the stuff,
And tipple away till they've tippled enough;
    For Stiff-rump and Steady,
    And Soloman's lady,
   Will all take a sup in their turn.

The Germans do say they can drink the most,
The French and Italians also do boast;
Hibernia's the country (for all their noise) 
For generous drinking and hearty boys;
    There each jovial fellow
    Will drink till he's mellow,
   And take off his glass in his turn

Larry O'Gaff

Unfortunately I've only the begining of the song from a broadside in Lucy Broadwood's collection. Other copies listed in Harvard's Catalogue of English and American Chapbooks -- . Probably not as good as the great Canadian epic, "Squaring up time on the squid-jigging ground". [L. Shepard, 'John Pitts', p. 136, notes a Pitts copy pt'd. 1819-44. Addendum: One verse, with tune, is in Mary Eddy's 'Songs and Ballads of Ohio', entitled "We Fought Like the Devil".]

Near a bog in sweet Ireland
I'm told it's there I was born

[The song may now be seen at the Bodley Ballads website, but it's dreadful, and I decline to add it here.]


Derry's /Monaghan Fair

[One editor wanted everything changed, and another couldn't decide if he wanted this. I gave up on editors, and here it is.]

"Derry's Fair", a 16th century Irish song that is still around.

Robert Armin's Foole Upon Foole, 1600, and 1605, and A Nest of Ninnies, 1608, contains a fragment of a song sung by Jack Miller, the 'stuttering clean fool,' as Armin terms him. Armin twice mentions Jack Miller's singing of the song "Derry's Fair" before he comes to the actual scene where Miller sings it. Armin there, however, quotes only three lines of the song, as follows:

As I went to Derries faire, there was I ware of a jolly beggar,
Mistress Annis, Master Thomas under a tree mending of shoon,
Mistress Annis, Master Thomas hight brave beggars every one. 
Armin continues: 'And so forward. But the jest was to hear him pronounce "brave Beggars".' Jack Miller was, Armin tells us, a stutterer, and could pronounce neither 'b' nor 'p.' A remnant of the stuttering remains in some versions of the song noted below. Armin's book is a set of anecdotes about six 'fools,' all of whom were mentally retarded, and seems to be drawn from personal acquaintance and current anecdotes about them, or from old accounts he had found for some of his characters long since deceased. J. O. Halliwell-Phillips, The Fool [Jack Miller] and the Ice, 1863, largely verified Armin's description of the local geography, in Evesham, Herefordshire, where one of the incidents concerning Jack Miller is described, and in this Armin himself was seemingly involved under the name 'Grumbal'. Armin appears to have made the acquaintance of Miller on a tour of the acting company he was with sometime around 1597-1599. Until evidence to the contrary is produced, I will take Armin's description of Jack Miller and his song of "Derries Fair" as completely factual. Note that Derry did not become Londonderry until 1613. This title implies that the song was Irish, because 'derry' is Gaelic 'daire', oak.

I have found no such song, "Derry Fair," among songbooks, plays, or broadside ballads, but believe it was a song known at the time on the basis of comparison of Jack Miller's lines with those of a traditional song known in a number of extremely variant versions and titles.

The earliest version known to have been printed is "The Beggars of Coldingham Fair" in Robert Chambers' Popular Rhymes of Scotland. Chambers noted his source as Tait's Magazine, X, 121, (Jan., 1833?) but gives no further information about the song.

The first time I gaed to Coudingham fair,
I fell in with a jolly beggare;
The beggar's name, O, it was Harry,
And he had a wife, and they ca'd her Mary;
   O Mary and Harry, and Harry and Mary,
   And Janet and John;
   That's the beggars one by one;
   But now I will gie you them pair by pair,
   All the brave beggars of Coudingham Fair.

The next time that I went to Coudingham fair,
There I met with another beggare;
The beggar's name, O, it was Willie,
And he had a wife, and they ca'ed her Lillie;
      And Harry and Mary, and Willie and Lillie,
      And Janet and John;
      That's the beggars one by one;
      And now I will gie you them pair by pair,
      All the brave beggars of Coudingham Fair.

The next time I gaed to Coudingham fair,
I fell in with another beggare;
The beggar's, name, O, it was Wilkin,
And he had a wife, and they ca'd her Gilkin;
     And Harry and Mary, and Willie and Lillie,
     And Wilkin and Gilkin, and Janet and John;
     That's the beggars all one by one;
     Now I will gie you them pair by pair,
     All the brave beggars of Coudingham Fair. 
Other traditional versions are known as: Crebilly, Donnybrook, Maligan, and Monaghan Fair, most of which are Irish, and these have lines very similar to those quoted by Armin, and I believe we have in tham traditional versions of the song sung by Jack Miller.

The sole version that I have heard sung is "Monaghan Fair," sung by the late Francis McPeake, Sr., of Belfast on a phonograph record, and later, that of an earlier recording of McPeake's song made by Peter Kennedy. Peter Kennedy published text and tune of a somewhat modernized version of the song he obtained from Harry Cox (The Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, #289). In his notes he gives the first two verses of that he recorded from Francis McPeake, nearly the same as on his Folktracks cassette recording, and gives, further, the repetition pattern for five more verses as sung by McPeake. Mr. Kennedy has generously supplied me with his commercially available recording of two verses of the song of McPeake on Folktracks FSA-60-176 A4. The connection with Armin's song seems obvious when listening to McPeake's singing, since he pronounces 'beggar' in the second line of each verse as a stutterer does, when he wishes to pronounce a word carefully. He momentarily stops, pushes lips tightly together, and partially filling mouth with air, builds up pressure, and then opens lips to give the first syllable with considerable force. Indeed, it is almost impossible to distinguish between 'b' or 'p' pronounced in this manner. This emphasized pronunciation cannot be captured well in either printed text, or music, and one must actually hear the song sung to appreciate the connection to Jack Miller's song. The song is a cumulative one, given in a rather free style, as evidenced by differences in Francis McPeake's singing, and even the tune is somewhat variable. The names vary in the choruses, and the pronunciation of 'and' in the chorus varies by verse as to 'and' or 'an' or 'n'. The leading part of the tune is seems somewhat atypical for the first verse on the song on Peter Kennedy's taped version, so the tune here is given for the second verse, as transcribed by Jennifer Cutting.

          Monaghan Fair

   As I was going to Monaghan fair,
   Who did I meet but an old beggar there.
   Well this beggar's name it was Nott,   
   And his old wife's name, it was old Molly Dopperdot.     
   Well there was Nott, and old Molly Dopperdot,
   And there was Lillie and Billy and Fonny and Sally,
   And Donny and Monny, and Rottie and Motty
   and Rosie and Mosey, and Ginny and Joe,
   And aw, but they were a jolly crowd all in a row. 

   And I went again to Monaghan Fair,   
   And who did I meet but an old beggar there.
   Well this beggar's name it was Neil,
   Aye, and his old wife's name, it was old Molly Switchertail.
   So there was Neil, and old Molly Switchertail tail,
   And there was Nott, and old Molly Dopperdot,
   And there was Lillie and Billy, and Fonny and Sally,
   And Donny and Monny, and Rosie and Mosey,
   And Notty and Motty, and Jinny and Joe,
   And aw, but they were a jolly crowd all in a row.

   Add in succeding verses after the previous pair
   3: Shake and Old Molly Shake-a-leg
   4: Stick and Old Molly Fiddle-sticks
   5: Wax and Old Molly Ball-o'-wax
   6: Cock and Old Molly Suttle-cock
   7: Nut and Old Molly Funny-nuts

   Add'l. verse for F. McPeake's version, from later phono
record, Prestige/ International 13018, not among the seven
recorded by Kennedy.

     So the last time I went to Monaghan Fair,
     Who did I meet but another beggar there.
     Well this beggar's name it was Cone,
     And his old wife's name it was old Sarah Slipper-Swan.
     So there was Cone and old Sarah Slipper-Swan,
     And there was Nott and old Molly Dopper-Dot,
     And there was Neil and old Molly Sweatshirt-tail,
     And (3-7)
     And there was Lillie and Billy and Franny and Sally,
     And Donny and Monny and Rosie and Mosey,
     And Notty and Motty and Nancie and Francie,
     And Ginny and Joe,
     And aw shure they were the jolly boys,
     But thats all I know.
In the notes to "Donnybrook Fair," another version of this song given by Thomas Wood in 1929 (Journal of the Folk-Song Society), Wood noted the emphasis his singer made on the punning surnames of the beggar's wife. That and the emphasis on the 'b' in 'beggar's' in Francis McPeake's version may indicate a holdover from Jack Miller's song, or rather, an existing song may well have had the stuttering in it and proved an ideal song for Jack Miller to sing. A version entitled "Craigbilly Fair" is in H. R. Hayward's Ulster Songs and Ballads, 1925. Another, "Malligan Fair," in JEFDSS, 1941, is another English version of the song, in seven verses and with the tune. Added comments note that the singer used gestures while singing the song, but there is no comment on pronunciation of the words.

J. O. Halliwell-Phillips (Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales, p. 272, 1849) made no comment upon a version of the song that he printed without a tune, and I suspect he had not heard it sung, since he did not connect it to Jack Miller in his later publication cited above. The version he gave is entitled the "Beggars of Ratcliffe Fair." Almost all the beggars' names given in this version are Welsh. H. F. Lippincott (A Shakespeare Jestbook, Elizabethan Studies #20, Salzburg, 1973) summarized earlier comments on the three lines of Jack Miller's song, but none of these seem to have lead to even a tentative identification with any known song. I have now made one which I hope will stand. This is as far as I can carry the subject at present.

I would like to thank Peter Kennedy for the tape recording of Francis McPeake's song and McPeake's grandaughter, Kathleen McPeake, for her aid. I also extend thanks to Jennifer Cutting of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. for transcription of the tune.

[Sorry, I don't have persission to put the tune here. In structure it's somewhat like "Bragandary", B541, and "Derry's Fair" was contempoary with the 1st mention if it, but we don't really have enough of "Derry's Fair" to more than suggest a possible relationship.]

Section 2, mostly Scots

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Bonny Nick the Currier

Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.a. 399

Ridg was shee first, then Filders she grew to be
Now is she Gindin graft on hornisburis tree

Full mickell was my greefe, & much more was my paine [John of
nere had Joyful time, yt same for truth ile saye [Fields later
untill it was ye first of this same blessed Maye
Hay thou runt & millmar
howe thou runt & millmar
thou't forsake ym all
for bonny Nicke the Couryare
till Death in verie truth, old gronting ffilde had slaine [ffilde = John of

What foull ill should I doe wt on so auld as he [foull-fool,on-1
ays rather have ye ffeilde to grafe upon ye tree [pun on husband
whoz branches yong & tender beinge full of sappe
he is my onely Joye, ays lull him in my lappe
Hay thou runt, &c

Ays gange to Shuckeshill my dapper Nicke & I
& buss this defte yonge lad, o who shall it deny
ays hugg him in my armes, as my great Joye & life
nay meare then this ille doe, for ayes become his wife
Hay thou runt, &c

Believe me bonnye Nick yt ile not thee forsake
because whilst ffieldes did live, thou mickle paines didst take
to currie my buskins well, & neatly trim my shewe
therefore I must confess, thou art a louer true
Hay thou runt, &c

Ays give thee clothes most trim, to make thee fine & gay
& we will gange to kirke, ye xxth of this same May
where we in face of those, yt there will us behoulde
Wees wed & knit ye knot, of this thou mayst be boulde
Hay thou runt, &c

When I have done this much, ays hie to thee in bedd
for ay live by ye quicke, & care not for ye dead
be blithe therefore my lad, & corage take to thee
for non but one at once shall welcome be to me [one, ane?]
Hay thou runt

Thie face doth me alure thie tonge doth me intice
of this thou mayst be sure, for thou hast made me nice
ays kisse & clench wt thee, my owne sweet bonny lad
thous make ye bed cry Jigg, & ays make thee full glad
Hay thou runt, &c

Nowe let us gange from kirke, to feast o chifest frend
then merrily daunce a rounde, to bringe ye day to ende
Wes froliks & be meary, & then at uptails playe
What foule ill shoulde [?] wel doe upon owr Wedding daye [corret. blotched
Hey thou runt, &c [in ms, just wide vert. bar after 'shoulde'

A posset then weell eate, eauen in a nut browne boule
where we will soundly drinke, unto John of Fildes his soule
fare well I am glad hees gone, come thou defte Nick to me thou arte ye bonniest lad, ays blinke on wt my eye
Hay thou runt, &c

Now in despite of those, yt doe this match denye
lets put ye candle out, for thou wt me shall lye
Come now my life & Joye, whom ay loue wt my harte
ays loue thee, doe thy worke, & ays play my parte
Hay thou runt, &c

Scottish Song: From an English manuscript of about 1605, Folger Shapespeare Library MS V.a. 399, unfortunately without music. The designation 'Scottish Song' is in the left margin and probably added by a later hand.

Play: No tune known

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[Bonny Jean of Aberdeen]

Jockey's fond conceit of Bonny Jean

My bonny Jean where hast thou been
I've been seeking the from morn to e'en
Thy bonny face's so full of grace
  the lik is not in Aberdeen

I was as brisk as any lad
when first thy bonny face I saw
come sit the down my bonny maid
  and give to me a kiss or two

A kiss or two if I should give
I ken na how it may be tane
F]or suddenly ye would me beguile
  It] is better for to ly alone.

Fir]st you must seek, and I'll say nay
You know a wonderous modesty
C]ome sleide your hand around my neck 
  When I cry cease let me not bee

Wh]at I would give to tell the truth
for one sweet kiss of my dear
for all the pleasures on the earth
  there's nothing with thee can compare

Thy cherry cheek and coal black hair
a brisker lass was never seen
There's none with the that can compare
  in edinburgh or Aberdeen

?]ll yen first thy bonny face of sav
Such charming eyes were never seen
Thou can't[?] the true gives geat[?] of grace
  Thy likes is not in Aberdeen

?]ll Beauty fair doth me ensnare
Since ever I saw thy bony face
Therefore my dear you need my fear
  to grant to me that charming Bliss

Since I have house and land enough
to portion me with any man
if ye should take your word and fav[or sar or?]
  wheat would be come of Jean my th[obscured by binding]
If you have lands, at your command
a good house wife I then, will be 
I think then for the grvices[?] & we'll se[obs., thank-thee?
  and then my dear we'll married b[e]

But my minny set me to the well [see "Whistle o'er the lave" 
the night was dark I could not see  [in Herd's Scot Songs 
my fit did slip and then I fell  [for variant of this verse,
  and Jockey fel a top of me          [also in KNDROBN

Beat if he be cunning I'll be craf[ty
and if he be crafty I'll be Like
tho' he were the bonniest lad in 'a' the [land
  he is never get another Bairn wi gm[? then obscured]
BL Roxburge Collection, III, 577 is "An excellant New Song, entituled Bonny Jean of Aberdeen". This I have not seen. Here is a copy from NLS MS 6299, (microfilm copy) with left and right edges at times obscured. Copied into manuscript c 1740-50. Except for that next to last verse, this seems to me to be a rewritten 'parlor song' version of an earlier song, like those in The Tea Table Miscellany and Orpheus Caldeonius. Tune is obviously "Bonny Jean of Aberdeen," used for the "The Ball of Kirriemuir," Ballantyne's "Castles in the Air" and for the 'Irish' "The Stuttering Lovers."(BRDSFLW) The tune was printed at least 13 times in Scots song and tune books from 1725 to 1790, and is probably the "Bonny Jean" in the Scots Guthrie MS, c 1675, in viola da braccio tablature. The tune is in Orpheus Caledonius, 1725 and 1733; Music for Allan Ramsay's Collection of Scots Songs, c 1726, Adam Craig's A Collection of the Choicest Scots Tunes, 1730; and Aria de Camera, c 1732, and many later Scots music collections. The tune is also given in three English ballad operas that print the music, The Village Opera, 1729, Air #25: The Chambermaid, Air #12, 1730: The Female Parson, Act III, Air #7, 1730. I give here the rather elaborate version in The Village Opera.

Play: S1, BNYJEAN1, Bonny Jean, Village Opera, 1729
S1, BNYJEAN2, " , Scots Musical Museum
S1, BNYJEAN3, tune on Stuttering Lovers sheet, 1906

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Father Grumble's Ancestors

Ballad of A Tyrannical Husband. MS of time of Henry VII, Chetham Lib., Manchester.

Jhesu that arte jentylle, ffor joye off thy dame,
As thu wrought thys wyde worlde, in hevyn is thi home,
Save alle thys compeny and sheld them from schame,
That wylle lysten to me and tende to thys game.

God kepe all women that to thys towne longe,
Maydens, wedows, and wyvys amonge;
For moche the ar blamyd and sometyme with wronge,
I take wyttenes of alle ffolke the herythe thys song.

Listen, good serrys, bothe yong and olde,
By a good howsbande thys tale shalbe tolde;
He weddyd a womane that was ffayre and bolde,
And hade good i-now to wende as they wolde, [enough

She was a good huswyfe, curteys and heynd,
And he was an angry man, and sone wold be tenyd,
Chydyng and brawlynge, and farde leyke a feynd,
As they that oftyn wylbe wrothe with ther best frend.

Tylle itt befelle uppon a day, shortt talle to make,
The goodman wold to the plow, his horse gan he take;
He calyd forthe hys oxsyn, the whyt and the blake,
And he seyd, "dame, dyght our denner betyme, for Godes sake."

The goodman an hys lade to the plow be gone,
The goodwyf hade meche to doo, and servant had se none,
Many smale chyldren to kepe besyd hyrselfe alone,
She dyde mor then she myght withyn her owne wone.

Home com the goodman be tyme off the day,
To loke that al thing wer acordyng to hes pay,
"Dame, " he sed, "is owr dyner dyght!" "Syr," sche sayd, "naye;
How wold yow have me doo mor then I cane?"

Than he began to chide and seyd, "Evelle mott thou the!
I wolde thou shuldes alle day go to plowe with me,
To walke in the clottes that be wette and mere, [mire-y]
Than sholdes thou wytt what it were a plowman to bee."

Than sware the goodwyff, and thus gane she say,
"I have mor to doo then I doo may;
And ye shuld folowe me ffoly on day,
Ye wold be wery off your part, my hede dar I lay."

"Wery! yn the devylles nam!" seyd the goodman,
"What hast thou to doo, but syttes her at home?
Thou goyst to thi neybores howse, be on and be one,
And syttes ther janglynge with Jake an with John."

Than sayd the goodwyffe, "feyr mot yow ffaylle!
I have mor ro do, who so wyst alle;
Whyn I lye in my bede, my slepe is butt smale,
Yett eyrly in the morneng ye wylle me up calle.

Whan I lye al nyght wakyng with our cheylde,
I ryse up at morow and fynde owr howse wylde;
Then I melk owre kene and torne them on the felde,
Whylle yow slepe ffulle stylle, also Cryst me schelde!

"Than make I buter ferther on the day;
After make I chese, -- thes holde yow a play;
They wylle owre cheldren wepe and upemost they,
Yett wylle yow blame me for owr good, and any be awey.

"Whan I have so done, yet ther comys more eene,
I geve our chekyns met, or elles the wylbe leyne:
Our hennes, our capons, and owr dokkes be-dene,
Yet tend I to owr goslyngs that gothe on the grene.

"I bake, I brew, yt wylle not elles be welle;
I bete and swyngylle flex, as ever have I heylle,
I hekylle the towe, I kave and I keylle,
I toose owlle and card het and spyn het on the wheylle."

"Dame," sed the goodman, "the develle have thy bones!
Thou nedyst not bake nor brew in fortynght past onys;
I sey no good that thou dost within thes wyd wonys,
But ever thow excusyst the with grontes and gronys."

"Yefe a pece off lenyn and wolen I make onys a yere,
For to clothe owre self and owr cheldren in fere;
Elles we shold go to the market, and by het ful deer,
I ame as bessy as I may in every yere."

"Whan I have so donne, I loke on the sonne,
I ordene met for owr bestes agen that yow come home,
And met ffor owr selfe agen het be none,
Yet I have not a ffeyr word whan I have done.

"Soo I loke to owr good withowt and withyn,
That ther be none awey noder mor nor myn,
Glade to ples yow to pay, lest any bate begyn,
And fort to chid thus with me, i-feyght yow be in synne."

Then sed the goodman in a sory tymem,
"Alle thys wold a good howsewyf do long ar het wer prime;
And sene the good that we have is halfe dele thyn,
Thow shalt laber for thy part as I doo for myne.

"Therffor, dame, make the redy, I warne the, anone,
To morow with my lade to the plowe thou shalt gone;
And I wylbe howsewyfe and kype owr howse at home,
And take myn ese as thou hast done, by God and Seint John!"

"I graunt," quod the goodwyfe, "as I wnderstonde,
To morow in the mornyng I wylbe walkande:
Yet wylle I ryse whylle ye be slepande,
And see that alle theng be redy led to your hand."

Soo it past alle to the morow that het was dayleyght,
The goodwyfe thoght on her ded and upe whe rose ryght;
"Dame," seid the goodman, "I swere be Godes myght!
I wylle fette hom owr bestes, and helpe that wer deght."

The goodman to the feeld hyed hy, fulle yarne;
The goodwyfe made butter, her dedes war full derne,
She toke ayen the butter-melke and put het in the cheyrne,
And seid yet off on pynt owr syer shalbe to lerne.

Home come the goodman and toke good kype,
How the wyfe had layd her flesche for to stepe:
She sayd, "Sir, al thes day ye ned not to slepe,
Kype wylle owr chelderne and let them not wepe.

"Yff yow goo to the kelme malt for to make,
Put smal feyr ondernethe, sir, for Godes sake;
The kelme is lowe and dry, good tend that ye take,
For and het fastyn on a feyr it wylbe eville to blake.

"Her sitt ij. gese abrode, kype them wylle from woo,
And thei may com to good, that wylle wesk sorow i-now."
"Dame," seid the goodmane, "hy the to the plow,
Teche me no more howsewyfre, for I can i-nowe."

Forthe went the goodwyff, curtes and hende,
Sche callyd to her lade, and to the plowe they wend;
They wer bese al day, a fytte here I fynde,
And I had dronke ones, ye shalle heyre the best behynd."

A fytte.

Here begenethe a noder fytte, the sothe for to sey,
* * * *
[But it's never been found!]

We go to Scotland and find in the Bannatyne MS, c 1567:

In Auchtermuchty thair dwelt ane man,
  An husband, as I hard it tauld,
Quha weil could tippil out a can;
  And naithair luvit hunger nor cauld.
Quhill anis it fell upon a day
  He yokkit his pleuch upon the plain,
Gif it be trew, as I heard say,
  The day was fowll for wind and rain.

He lowsit the pleuch at the landis en,
  And draise his oxen hame at ene,
Quhen he came in he lukit ben,
  And saw the wife baith dry and clene.
Suittand at any fyre beik and bauld,
  With ane fat soup, as I heard say;
The man being very weit and cauld,
  Between thay twa it was na play.

Quoth he, "Quhair is my horisis corn?
  My ox hes naithir hay nor stray:
Dame ye maun to the pleuch the morn;
  I sall be hussy gif I may."
"Husband, " quoth scho, "content am I
  To tak the pleuch my day about;
Sa ye will rewll baith kavis and ky,
  And all the house baith in and out.

"But sen that ye will hussyskep ken,
  First ye sall sift, and syne sall kned;
And sa as ye gang but and ben
  Luk that ye bairnis fyle not the bed.
Yeis lay ane soft wisp to the kill;
  (We haif ane deir ferme on our heid)
And as ye gang furth and till,
  Keip weill the gaislings fra the gled."  [hawk

The wyfe was up richt late at ene,
  I pray God gife her weil to fair!
Scho kirn'd the kirn, and skum'd it clene,
  Left the gudman bot blecoch bair.
Than in the morning up scho gat,
  And on her hairt laid her disjune;
And pat als meikle in her lap
  As micht haif serd them baith at nunne.

Say, "Jok, be thou maister of wark,
  And thou sall had, and I sall ka,
I'se promise thee ane gude new sark,
  Outhir of round dlaith or of sma."
Scho lousit the oxin aught or nine,
  And hynt ane gad-staff in her hand. --
Up the gudeman faise after syne,
  And saw the wyfe had done command.

He caw'd the gaislings furth to feid,
  Thair were but sevensume of, them a',
And by thair cumis the gredy gled,
  And likkit up five, left him but twa:
Than out he ran, in all hsi mane,
  How sune he hard the gaislings cry,
But than or he cam in agane
  The calvis brak louse and suckit the ky.

The calvis and ky met in the lone,
  The man ran with ane rung to red;
Than thair cumis an illwilly cow,
  And brodit his buttock quhill that it bled.
Than hame ran to a rok of tow,
  And he satt doun to say the spinning;
I trow he lowtit our neir the low --
  Quoth he, "This wark has ill beginning."

Hynd to the kirn than did he stoure,
  And jumlit at it quhill he swat;
Quhen he had fumlit a full lang hour,
  The sorrow a scrape of butter he gat;
Albeit na butter he could get,
  Yit he was cummerit with the kirne.
And syne he het th milk our het,
  And sorrow a spark of it wald yirne.

Than ban thair cam ane griedy sow,
  I trow he cund her little thank,
Fon in scho shot hir mekle mow,
  And ay scho winkit and scho drank:
He eleikit up an cruked club,
  And thocht to hit the sow a rout;
The twa gaislings the gled had left
  That straik dang baith their harnis out.

Than he bare kindling to the kill,
  But scho stert up all in ane low;
Quhatevir he hard, quhatevir he saw,
  That day he had na will to wow.
Than he gied to tak up the bairnis,
  Thocht to haif fand thame fair and clene;
The first that he gat in his armis
  Was a' bedirtin to the ene. [one of the greatest lines ever 
The first it smelt sa sappelie,
  To touche the lave he did nocht greine:
"The devil cut off thair hands," quoth he,
  "That fill'd ye a' sa fow yestrene!"
He trailit the fowll sheits down the gait,
  Thocht to haif waschet thame on a stane;
The burne was risen, grit of spait,
  Away fra him the sheitis has tane,

Then up he gat on ane know heid,
  On hir to cry, on hir to schout;
Scho har him, and scho hard him not,
  Bot stoutly steirid th stottis about.
Scho draif all the day unto the nicht;
  Scho lousit th pleuch, and syne came hame:
Scho fand all wrang that sould ben richt;
  I trow the man thocht richt grit schame.

Quoth he, "My office I forsaik
  For all the dayis of my lyfe;
For I wald put ane house to wraik,
  Had I bene twenty dayis gudwife."
Quoth scho, "Weil meit ye bruke your place,
  For trewlie I will nevir accep it:"
Quothe he, "Feind fall the lyaris face,
  Bot yit ye may be blyth to git it."

Then up scho gate ane mekle rung,
  And the gudman maid to the doir:
Quoth he, "Deme I sall hald my tung,
  For an we fecht I'll get the woir."  [worst
Quoth he, "Quhen I forsuik my pleuch,
  I trow I but forsuik my self:
And I will to my pleuch agane,
  For I and this hous will neir do weil."
This was first printed by Allan Ramsay in The Evergreen, 1723, and it soon appeared as a broadside ballad, the tune cited being "Pultring Poverty". The song from which the tune take its title is "The Banishment of Poverty, by J. D. of Albany (later, James II)" in part I of Watson's Choice Collection, 1706, and Part I, 2nd. ed., 1713. This commences, "Pox fa that poultring Poverty". This is to the tune "the Last Good-night" and C. M. Simpson, BBBM suggests that this is "Essex' Last Good-night". Simpson also gives the tune, #132, from Elizabeth Rogers' Virginal Book (MS). The whole manuscript has been more recently published in toto. (Dover original)

James II probably wrote "The Banishment of Poverty" during one of his exiles to Scotland, and his use in the song of Scots vernacular leads one to suspect that he might also have used a Scots tune. There is thus the reasonable possibility that 'the Last Good-night" is "Johnny Armstrong's Last Good-night" from Thomas Robbins' ballad, Child #169 B. This was entered in the Stationers' Register on March 26, 1658, so is of the same date as Child's A text. Copies in Wood 401 and 402 are early issues by F. Grove, both bearing Robbins initials as author. Both Child's A and B texts must have been based upon the unknown earlier ballad mentioned in Walton's The Compleat Angler, 1653, but we do not have a text of it, unless Child's A text is it. But for it we have no tune direction.

In short it is possible, but far from proven, that "the Last Good-night" is named from Thomas Robbins' ballad, Child #169 B, or an earlier version of the song. The earliest copy of a tune that can be associated with the ballad is "Armstrong's Farewell" in Oswald's CPC, bk 9, c 1758. The tune has been pointed out by John Glen and others to be but one member of a large family. The tune is repeated in a different key in The Scots Musical Museum, #356, where the first strain is repeated and the second added in order to fit 8 line verses, as our ballad has. It seems to fit our song here as well as it fits the text of "Johnnie Armstrong" in SMM.

Play: Essex' Last Good-night. in BM1.HTM, B132

Also by Robbins are three of Child's Robin Hood ballads:
(1) Robin Hood and the Butcher, Child #122 B. There is an earlier version in the Percy Folio MS.
(2) Robin Hood and the Stranger, Child #133, Child discusses possible antecedents.
(3) Robin Hoods' Chase, Child #146. The beginning summarizes Renown Robin Hood, Child's #145 (Child's title, Robin Hood and Queen Katherine).

The next version we find is an English broadside ballad, "The Woman to the Plow and the Man to the Hen-Roost." This is by Martin Parker, and was entered in the Stationers' Register on June 22, 1629. Euing Collection, #397, is an early issue with Parker's initials as author. However, this is not one of Parker's better efforts, and traditional versions owe nothing to this version of the tale.

I've seen it stated that traditional versions of "Father Grumble" all descend from Alan Cunningham's version in Songs of Scotland, but I have never seen Cunningham's original text.

Go to Index

Scotch Moggy's Misfortune:

Together with her cheerful Hopes, that Shakum Guie will bury his Wife, and then make Moggy a happy Mother.

To an excellent new tune [Robin Cushie, (quo she) or Kind Robin loves me]

Shakum Guie has gotten a Wife,
And he is weary of his life:
The day will come that she will dye,
And Shakum Guie will marry me:
    Ha, ha, Robin quoth she,
    Ha, ha, Robin quoth she,
    Ha, ha, ha, Robin quoth she,
    Kind Robin loves me.

My father left me a good stock,
Full forty Weathers in a flock,
With geese, ducks, hens, and a fighting cock
Kind Robin for thee:
    Ha, ha, Robin quoth she,
    Ha, ha, Robin quoth she,
    Ha, ha, ha, Robin quoth she,
    Kind Robin loves me.

My mother sent me to the well
Better she had gone her sell,
Robin gard my belly swell,
Kind Robin he loves me.
    Ha, ha, ha, &c.

Robin he chased me about the stack,
Robin laid me on my back,
Robin he made my rump to crack,
Kind Robin loves me.
    Ha, ha, ha, &c.

Robin took me by the tale,
Over the ditch he made me fall;
Robin ruffled my falale,
Kind Robin loves me.
    Ha, ha, ha, &c.

My mammy she gave unto me
Forty marks, as thou shalt see,
And I will give them aw to thee,
Kind Robin quoth she,
    Ha, ha, ha, &c.

Ginn I was married to a Laird,
I should neither spin nor card,
But fill the cup, serve to lard,
The day that I was married;
    Ha, ha, ha, &c.

Robin, Robin let me be,
Till I have got my nurses fee,
And I will drink it as with thee,
In geud Scotch Yale and brandy;
    Ha, ha, ha, &c.

Robin is o'er the water gane,
It will be long ere he come home;
On Saturday we'll give our names,
And Sunday we'll be married,
    Ha, ha, Robin quoth she,
    Ha, ha, Robin quoth she,
    Ha, ha, Robin quoth she,
    Kind Robin I am for thee.

Printed for Brooksby, Deacon, Blare, and Back.

[Evidence points to a date of 1690-92 for this. This is one of the 'malignant' songs mentioned in Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence Displayed, 1692.] There is an 'Answer' to this ballad in Roxburghe Ballads, III, p. 348.

Next from NLS MS 6299, f. 173v, of the 1740's. This is rather disjointed (and nearly unreadable). Close variant is in Herd's Scots Songs, I, 1776, from which a few corrections are taken. Paty here should be Patie, a male. The song was apparently a duet.

Kind Robin loo'se me

When I alone your soul possest [Robin
and more loo'd your Bosom prest
Ye go]ds what king like me was blest
Since] kind Jeany loud me
Och] he[y] Jeanny quoth hee
Och] he[y] Jeanny quoth hee
Ki]nd Robin loos me [Jenny sings?

Whilst you adored no other fair [Jeanny?
Nor] kate with me your heart did share
Wha]t queen with Jeanny could compare
Whe]n kinde robin loos me
Och &c

Katy now commands my heart [Robin
s]he who sings with so much art
Wh]ose life to Love with mine I'd part
Fo]r kind Katy loos me
Och hey Jeanny &c

Katy now delights mine Eyes [Robin
He] with Equal ardour dies
Wh]ose kindness to save I'd perish twice
--]p've kinde kinde Paty loos me
och hey Robin &c [who sings?

What if I kate for [thee] disdaine [Robin
And] former love return again
a]nd link us in the firmest Chain
for kind Robin loos me [Jeanny sings
hey Robin

Tho Paty's kind as kind can be [Robin sings?
and thou more stormy than the sea
I'd Choise to live and die with the
Since kind Robin loos me [Jeanny?
& fin[is]

The tune is not in Simpson's BBBM, as "Robin Cushe/ Cushie (quoth she)" it is called for on other broadside ballads. John Glen, Early Scottish Melodies, p. 208, gives the tune "Kind Robin" from the Blaikie MS, c 1692. [This old date is known to be too early by 8 or so years, but is still used to identify the MS.] The tune, a poor version, was first printed in McGibbon's Collection of Scots Tunes, 1742, as "Robin Cushie". It appears in the Scots Musical Museum as #478, with a polite replacement for our older song here. I believe that song is from Tea Table Miscellany, 1723/4. [McGibbon was a composer and a great admirer of contemporary Italians, but Scots did not much care for his 'Italianate' settings of Scots tunes.]

Play: B542 (17th century), B543(18th c.) in BM5.HTM

Another of the large number of broadsides ballads on the theme of the impatient maid is also to this tune:

The Virgin's Complaint For want of a HUSBAND

To the Tune of, Robin Cushee.

  I'm a Lass both brisk and Fair,
  Sparkling Eye, and Coal-black Hair;
  Fine lac'd Shoes and Top knots rare,
  Yet no man comes to wooe me.
      Come, come, come away;
      Marry me without delay;
      My Heart will break if long you stay,
      My Maiden-head will undoe me.

I have Twenty Pound in Gold,         
That as good as e'er was told,          
And I'm but Fifteen Years old,          
Yet no Man comes to wooe me, come, &c.  

I am plump, and I am Fat,
I can talk, and I can chat,
I have something, you know what,
Yet no Man comes to wooe me, come, &c.  

I am neither Rich nor Poor,
I was never Miss nor Whore,
I had ne'er my Plackets tore,
Yet no Man comes to wooe me, come, &c.

Tho I be pretty, Brisk and Fair,
Grave as are the clouds of Air,
I am now at my last Pray'r,
For no Man comes to wooe me, come, &c.

Robin came upon the Sham,
Told me many Lye and Flam,
But away he went, and no more came,
And no Man comes to wooe me, come, &c.

Richard took me in the Nick,
Told me that he was Love-sick,
Yet did intend to do the Trick,
But never came to wooe me, come, &c.

I sometimes laugh, and sometimes Sing,
Me in Favour for to bring,
But a Taylor now or any thing,
For no Man comes to wooe me, come &c.

Dolly, Molly, Susan, Bess,
Pretty Maids in civil Dress,
All Night do lye Succourless,
For no Man comes to wooe them, come, &c.

I protest, if you stay long,
You will do us more than wrong,
And thus I do conclude my Song,
In hopes of one to wooe me, come, &c.

Come, come, come away;
Marry me without delay;
My heart will break if long you stay,
My Maiden-head will undoe me.
Play: B542, 543

Go to Index

Kissing goes by Favour:

Or, A new composed Ditty, shewing how kissing began when the world began, and is like to continue till the worlds end: Here is also contained may pretty conceited passages concerning kissing, which cannot chuse but make all the people merry that will stay to heare it.

The tune is, I marry and thank you too.

To complement and kisse,
  some hold to be a sin,        
But I can tell you first of all,
  how kissing did begin:
First Adam he kist Eve,
  and so be got a sonne,
Tis above five thousand years agoe
  since kissing first begun:     
Since kissing first begun, brave boyes,   [Chorus   
  since kissing first begun,
'Tis above five thousand years agoe,                          
  since kissing first begun.
And after in a short pace,
  the world began to increase,
Of men and women plentiously,
  and then they kist a pace:
And ever since that time,
  the trade come on amaine,
And she that hath been kissed once,
  must needs be kist againe.
Must needs be kist again brave boys,
  must needs be kist again, &c.

And now kissing is us'd,
  I think all the world over,
In London, Gloster, Bristow and
  in Cicest and Dover:
And in every place beside,
  this kissing it is us'd.
I hold it for a practice good,
  if it be not abus'd:
If it be not abus'd brave boys,  [Chorus
  if it be not abus'e.
I hold it for a practice good,
  if it be not abus'd:

And now by consequence,
  to you I can approve,
That kissing is the readest way,
  and nearest step to love:
Suppose a brave young-man
  should meet a handsome maid,
To kisse her over and over againe,
  he will not be afraid:
He will not be afraid brave boys,  [Cho.
  he would not be afraid,
To kisse her over and over againe,
  he will not be afraid:

At wakes and revills when
  young people they doe meet,
They'l send for fidlers for to dance
  and shake their nimble feet:
At every dances end,
  the brave young blades will kisse,
Their lasses round, whose joys are crownd
  what harm can come of this?
What harm can come of this brave boys
  no harm can come of this.

Kissing is of such vertue,
  'tis never out of date,
Both morning, evening, noon & night
  it never comes too late:
Nor can it be refrained,
  by any man or woman,
From highest to the lowest degree,
  'tis every where so common:
Tis every where so common brave boys,
  'tis every where so common.
The rich can doe no more Sir,
  the poore will doe no lesse,
but when they with their sweethearts meet,
  they'l clip, cole, hugge and kisse:
It hath so sweet a smack,
  that none can it refraine,
From the Tamberlaine,
  unto the weakest swaine:
Even to the weakest swaine brave boys,
  unto the weakest swaine, &c.
If kissing comes in kind,
  it sweet content doth bring,
'Tis as lawfull for a begger,
  as it is for a king,
For if it were not lawfull,
  then lawyers would deny it,
And if it were costly,
  their clyants could not buy it:
Their clyants could not buy it brave boys,
  their clyants could not buy it:
Let kissing be never so costly
  some lawyers clarks will buy it.

And if it were not plenty,
  young wenches could not have it,
And if it were not dainty,
  old widows would not crave it:
And if it were not wholsome,
  brave gallants would not use it,
And if it were not toothsome,
  faire ladies would refuse it.
Gay ladies would refuse it brave boys
  faire ladies would refuse it.
And many of their waiting maids
  would not so often use it.

If kissing were out of fashion,
  it would soone be laid aside,
By merchants wivs in the Exchange
  and also in Cheap-side:
Kissing's like Hampshire honey,
  'tis wondrous rare and sweet,
Else country John would not kiss Jone
  so oft when they doe meet.
So oft when they doe meet brave boys,
  so oft when they doe meet.
Jack will kisse Gill, & Ned kisse Nell
  when they together meet.

And now for to conclude,
  and end my kissing song,
In which I meane no honest man
  nor woman any wrong:
But faithfull friend-ship may abound
  when folks together kisse:
When folks together kisse brave boys,
  when youngmen maids do kisse,
And maidens then kisse them again
  not harme can come of this.
Printed for Thomas Vere, at the signe of the Angel, without Newgate.

This ballad is taken from H. E. Rollins', Cavalier and Puritan, #70. I have seen the original, and catalogued the collection, but did not copy this ballad. It is the first ballad in the 'Book of Fortune' collection of ballads in the British Library. The latest ballad of the 32 in the collection appears to be one of mid-July, 1655.

The tune is a puzzle. "I marry and thank you too", here, is far earlier than the "Aye, marry and thank you too" ballad. See Simpson's BBBM. Simpson obviously realized this, and didn't mention the above as being sung to the later tune.

Let us go on to a very similar song in Herd's Scots Songs. II, 15, 1776.

Auld Sir Simon the King [i.e., tune, not song]

Some say that kissing's a sin,
  But I say that winna stand:
It is a most innocent thing,
  And allowed by the laws of the land.

It it were a transgression,
  The ministers it would reprove;
But they, their elders and session,
  Can do it as weel as the lave.

Its lang since it came into fashion,
  I'm sure it will never be done,
As lang as there's in the nation,
  A lad, lass, wife or a lown.

What can I say more to commend it,
  Tho' I should speak all my life?
Yet this will I say in the end o't,
  Let ev'ry man kiss his ain wife.

Let him kiss her, clap her, and dawt her,
  And gie her benevolence due,
And that will a thrifty wife mak her,
  And sae I'll bid farewell to you.
Depending on how one does note divisions the tune "Old Simon the King" can fit several verse forms. One needs the note divisions in Scottish versions of the tune for our song above, although that given by Simpson, #348, in BBBM from a broadside is close. Simpson says copy in Dancing Master, 1679, differs from that in Musicks Recreation, 1652, but fails to point out that the first half of the Dancing Master copy differs little from that which he gives from the broadside. The constant is the ground bass of "Old Simon the King", which John Ward gave in JAMS, XX, p. 64, (Spring) 1967, from The Division Violin, 1685.

The third tune here is from Scots Musical Museum, but there are older Scots copies of the tune. Oswald printed it about 1755 in CPC, and Bremner did in A Curious Collection ..., 1759, and in the 4th part of his (expanded) edition of McGibbon's tunes, 1768.

Play: B347, Musicks Recr., 1652
B348 (almost Dancing Master copy)
S1, OLDSIMN3, Scots Musical Museum, #344.

Go to Index

[Broadside expansion of a song in 'Sportive Wit', 1656. Printed by Thackeray, Passinger, and Whitwood. An earlier copy, c 1660, was printed by Charles Tyus.]

The Ladies Delight:


Narcissus his Love-Flower.

A pleasant and delightful new Ditty.
Made by a Lover, for Ladies so Witty;
When to Venus Sports they please to resort,
To pull sweet Flowers, that yeilds the best Sport.

To the Tune of, Narcissus come kisse us, &c.

As I was a walking I cannot tell when
  nor I cannot tell whither,
I met with a crew of I cannot tell who,
  nor cannot tell what they were:
But Virgins I think; for they cry'd
  Narcissus come kisse us, and love us beside.

They sang a fine song of I cannot tell what,
  nor whether in Verse or in Prose:
Nor knew I their meaning although they all sate,
  even as it were under my Nose:
But ever and anon they all cry'd,
  Narcissus come kisse us, and love us beside.

There came in a Lad from I cannot tell whence,
  with I cannot tell what in his hand;
It was a live thing that had little sense,
  but yet it could lustily stand;
When lowder these Ladies they cry'd,
  Narcissus come kisse us, and love us beside.

Some shak'd it, some stroak'd it, some kist it, 'tis said,
  it looked so loving indeed;
All hug'd it as boney, and none were afraid,
  because of their bodily need:
And lowder these Ladies they cry'd,
  Narcissus come kisse us, and love us beside.

The second Part, to the Same Tune

At length he did put this pretty fine toy
  in I cannot tell where below,
Into one of these Ladies; but I cannot tell why,
  nor wherefore it should be so:
But in the mean time they cry'd,
  Narcissus come kisse us, and love us beside.

But when that these ladies had sported all night,
  and rifled Dame Natures store,
And raised themselves in Venus delight,
  that they could hardly do more:
Yet lowder these Ladies they cry'd,
  Narcissus come kisse us, and love us beside.

This Lad being tired then, began to retreat,
  and hang down his head like a flower;
The Ladies they more did desire the feat,
  but alas 'twas out of his Power:
Then lowder and lowder they cry'd,
  Narcissus come kisse us, and love us beside.

When full forty weeks were almost expir'd,
  a pitiful story to tell,
These Ladies did hate what most they desir'd,
  their Bellies began for to swell:
Then with a woful Tune thay all cry'd
  Narcissus won't kisse us, nor love us beside.

Lucina in pity then lent them her aid,
  to ease them of their sorrow;
But when that these Ladies were gently laid,
  they had the same mind to morrow:
And dandling their Bantlings they cry'd,
  Narcissus shan't kisse us, and lye by our side.

But as I was minding these pretty fine toys,
  how Venus with Cupid did play:
What pleasure those Ladies did take in their boys,
  did lead my fancy astray;
To hear how they lull'd them, and cry'd,
  Narcissus come kisse us, and love us beside.

I then return'd, I cannot tell how,
  nor what was in my mind;
Nor what else I heard, I know not I vow,
  nor saw, for Cupid is blind:
But these Ladies still cry'd
  Narcissus come kisse us, and love us beside.

But now to conclude, I cannot tell what,
  nor when, nor how nor where;
Nor found I the Sense of their Song or their Chat,
  for Ladies are fickle as Air:
Therefore I did laugh, still they cry'd,
  Narcissus come kisse us, and love us beside.

Older Scots knew what kissing meant, too. Bannatyne MS, c 1567

In somer quhen floris will smell |
As I fure our fair feildis and fell | On weddinsday
Allone I wanderit by ane well |
I met a cleir vndir kell
a weilfaird may

Scho had ane hatt vpoun hir heid |
Off slaver cleir bayth quhyt & reid | and fynkill grene
Wt catclukis strynklit in that steid |
Wit ye weill to weir that weid
wald weill hir sene

Ane pair of beides abowt her thrott |
Ane Agnus day wt nobill nott | War hingand down
Iyngland weill wt mony Ioitt |
It wes full ill to fynd ane moit
Vpoun hir goun

Als sone As I that schene cowt se |
I halsit hir wt hairt maist fre | Wald ye me lane
I luve yow leill an not to le |
Out hay q scho my Ioy latt be
Ye speik in vane

Quhat is the thing that ye wald haif |
Na thing bot a kiss I craif | Wald ye me trow
As I that luvis yow our the laif |
Gif that yow may of sorrow saif
cum tak it now

Than kissit I hir ance or twyiss |
and scho to gruntill as a gryiss | That is so meik
alace q scho I am vnwyiss |
Itss lyk that ye had eitin pyiss
Ye are so sweit

My hatt is youris of proper dett |
And on my heid scho cowth it sett | and scho to thraw
Than in my armes I cowth hir plett |
Allace q scho ye gar me swett
Ye werk so slaw

Then doun we fell bayth in feir |
Alace q scho that I come heir | Thot I be thing
I trow this labour I may yow leir |
Yet I feir I sall by full deir
Your sweit kissing

Quhen I was grathit in hir geir |
Scho said scho comptit me not a peir | do furt at anis
Sen ye haif wonnyn me on weir |
Thairwt I schot be neth hir scheir
deip to the stanis

Than to ly still scho wald not blin |
allace said scho my ain sweit thing | Y werk so weill
Your courtly fukking gars me fling |
I sall yow cuver quhen that ye cling
so haif I seill

Sen ye stummer not for my skippis |
bot hald yor taikill by my hippis | Thot be mirk
I byd a quasill of your quhippis |
Bot and ye will schrew the lippis
that first sall irk

Als sone as we our deid had done |
scho reiss sone vp and askit hir schone | To yow I say
Als tyrd as scho had weschin a spone |
This aventur anis to me come
on weddinsday

Play: no tune known

Go to Index

Another Scots kiss

We're a' kist sleeping,
We're a' kist sleeping!
Na fint a word o' that was true,
For I was wide waking.

From David Herd's MSS, c 1776, via Hecht's Songs from David Herd's Manucdripts, #64. Hecht pointed out tune for this fragment in the McFarlane MSS, and Oswald's CPC.

Play: S1, KISTSLP, Oswald's CPC

Go to Index

Scots standard measure, 17th century, from Bannatyne MS.

[Dainty and Dortie]

     Dantie & dortie to all manis eyes
     I wish I had bord thee, dantie & dortie
     And given thee fourtie betwixt the thighs
          Dantie and dortie to all men's eyes.

     Whyt as the egg, rid as the skarlet
     Sweet as the fegg, whyt as the egg
     Lay over your legg, tak in a varlet,
          Whyt as the egg, rid as the skarlet.     
A lost ballad entered in the Stationer' Register in 1638 was "I kist her forty times." Could this be part of it?

Play: no tune known

The Bannatyne MS also introduces the proverbial cowardly taylor, (and non-standard measure).

"A Taylor was no man" was proverbial, and they were said to be a match only for a louse. Here are two pieces from the Bannatyne MS.

The sowtar Inveyand aganis the telteor Sayis

Quhen I come by yone telyeoris stall
I saw a Lowiss ceripand vp his wall
snop q the telyeor sanp q the sheiris
Cokkis bownis q the lowiss I haif lost myne Eiris [God's bones

Betuix twa foxis / a crawing cok
Betuix twa freiris / a maid in hir smok
Betuix twa cattis / A Mowiss
Betuix twa telyeoris / A Lowiss
schaw me gud ser not as a stranger
quhilk of thais four is grittest in denger.

ffoxis ar fell At crawing cokkis
ffreiris are ferss At maidis in thair smokkis
Cattis ar cawtelus in taking of myss
Telyeoris ar tyrranis in kelling of Lyis
Cf. the ballads in the 17th century, John Taylors' "A dreadful Battle between a Taylor and a Louse" and "The War-like Taylor", and a later 18th century reworking as "A Bloody Battle between a Taylor and a Louse". I have heard a traditional version of the latter with the louse changed to a mouse. Taylors took it on the chin in many other ballads also.

A Pleasant New Ballad; Being a Merry Discourse between a Country Lass and a young Taylor;

How the Taylor lost his plight and pleasure,
His yard not being of Standard Measure.
To a Pleasant New Tune; or, Kester [Chester] Crab.

In harvest-time I walked
  hard by a corn-close side;
I hearing people talk,
  I look'd about and spy'd

A young man and a maid,
  together they did lye;
When you hear it told,
  you'l laugh full heartily.

She was as buxsome a lass
  as any in our town;
She will not let you pass
  but she'l call you to sit down.

A taylor passing by,
  she hit him on the heele:
"You are very welcome, Sir,
  to sit you down and feele:

"What money's in my purse
  at your command shall be,
If you will go along
  to Marson Wake with me."

He hearing her say so,
  and seeing her to smile,
Was charned with her, so
  he sate him down a while.

And having groped her purse,
  and taken all her money,
He grop'd again, and mist
  and caught her by the coney.

"Where am I now?" quoth he,
  "another I have found;
Its not the same," quoth he,
  for this is tufted round."

"If it be tufted round," quoth she,
  "there is good reason for't,
There in such treasure lyes
  will make a taylor sport."

He hearing her say so,
  being a frolicksome lad,
Was willing for to know
  more of the fringed bag.

With that he eagerly
  to feel put forth his hand.
"Nay, hold, good Sir," said she,
  "go not before you stand:

"Except you take your yard,
  the depth of it to measure,
You'l find the purse so deep,
  you'l hardly come to th' treasure."

He hearing her say so,
  it put him to a stand;
She seeing him dismaid,
  she took his yard in hand:

"is this your yard ?" quoth she,
  "is this your taylor's measure?
It is too short for me,
  it is no Standard-Measure."

The taylor being abashed,
  she told him that it was
More fitter for a man,
  than such a penny ass.

She bids him now be gone,
  since he could make no sport,
And said, 'thou are too dull
  to enter such a fort."

Then looking fiercely at him,
  she said, "Thou sneaking fool,
Go straight away to Vulcan,
  and let him mend thy tool.
"And tell him that Dame Venus
  at him is almost mad,
For sending to her school,
  such an unfit lad."

You taylors that attempt
  fringed bags to measure,
Be sure your yard be sealed,
  and full Standard Measure.
Printed for P. Brooksby, at the Golden-Ball in West-Smithfield. (1672-84)

Play: tune unknown

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[A rare relative of "As I came in by Fisherraw"]

Bogi-Don a sang to the tune of Jeny Beguild the Webster

O had my Apron biden doun
  The Kirk had near a kend it
But now the words gane throu the Town
  alake hou can we mend it
Now ye maun face the Minister
  and I maun Mount the Pillar
And that's the gate a' that poor Fowk gae
  for Poor fowk have nae siller

But what needs either Jock or I
  Care for the parish Taunting
Since a' we did was but to try
  the thing that we were Wanting
Nane Buys a Chease afore they pale
  and prive gin they were Twenty
The man that has a wife to wale
  why should he be less Tenty

Come Jock lets Joyn afore the Priest
  since that's the thing we maun do
That's done fa frankly to the feast
   And laugh at a' they can do
its Marriage Make amends for a[']
  and smass the Skaith of Anti-
Then lets gae sowder ilka flaw
  Syn ca the Cutty Canty

Let silly wooers sigh & souk
  that fear to Make a Tryal
I like the Lad with Laughing Look
  that will take nae denyal
But Round about the Hay Stack
  and in amang the thistle
A Lad shoud gie a Lass a smack
  to gar her Tocher Tinkle.
Unpublished text of "Bogi-Don" from NLS MS 9749, which does not contain the music. The manuscript is a single sheet containing only this song, and I see no way of guessing a date for it. A rather different song, commencing, "O mother dear, I greatly fear", with some overlapping lines, is given to the tune, labeled "Jenny beguil'd the Webster" in Orpheus Caledonius, 2nd ed. II, p. 83, 1733. [A copy of this is in NLS MS 6299, but preceded by a variant of the 4th verse of the 1st song below, and with tune direction "Jenny Beguild the Weaver".]

The latter verses and tune are repeated in SMM, #127, but the tune there is called "Jenny dang the Weaver". The tune under the latter title had appeared in Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, II (1736), Rutherford's 200 Country Dances, c 1756, and Bremner's Reels, 1759. There is also a copy of about 1760, "Jenny dang ye weaver" in Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.b.410.

With the latter tune title as heading, the song is in Herd's Scots Songs, II, p. 58, 1776. Later in the same volume, p. 181, Herd gave another song with the same heading, and that contains the first verse of our "Bogi-don" as the 2nd and 3rd of the song.

Herd's song is as follows [Ewan MacColl sang this on a recording, Folkways FW 8760]

As I came in by Fisherraw,
  Musselburgh was near me;
I threw aff my muscle pock,
  And courted wi' my deary.

O had her apron bidden down
  The kirk wad ne'er a kend it;
But since the word's gane thro' the town,
  My dear I canna mend it.

But ye maun mount the cutty-stool,
  And I maun mount the pillar;
And that's the way that poor folk's do,
  Because they hae nae siller.

Up stairs, down stairs,
  Timber stairs flears me.
I thought it lang to ly my lane,
  When I'm sae near my dearie. [MS-And Johnny's bed sae near me] 
Play: S1, JNDNGWV, Jenny dang the weaver, Orpheus Caledonius

Go to Index

[Oh ono chrio - Border Widow's Lament]

On the murder of Glencoe Febr 1692

Was not I a weary May ohon ochie ho ohno ochie ho
A widow on my bridle day ohon &c
That on that dark and fatal night ['ohon--' interlaced throughout]
They brake my bower & slew my Knight
Just in my soft & Longing arms
Where I believ'd him safe from harms
They perced his senser[?] gentle breast
And Left me with sad grief opprest
And was but I a Weary wight
A Maid, wife, widow all in a night
And after that my knight was slain
I could no longer there remain
With a fair suit of his yellow hair
Which bound my heart for ever mare
I cut my hair & chang'd my name
From fair Alice to sweet William
No soft tongued youth nor flattering swain
Shall e're unloose that knot again
But through this wood or world I'le roam
To seek the joyes I lost at home O hon &c.

This earliest (unpublished) text here is from NLS MS 23.3.24. The manuscript, c 1715, is entitled "A Choice Collection of Several Scots Miscellanie POEMS and songs," and appears to be a manuscript for a work never published. The whole manuscript was carefully printed by hand, but there as are still letters here and there that are difficult to decipher.

F. J. Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, #106, prints three later versions of our song here, including SMM, #89, in his prefactory comments to "The Famous Flower of Serving Men." The latter is Laurence Price's ballad entered in the Stationers' Register on July 14, 1656. (Euing, #111, is original issue with Price's initials.) Price's ballad was undoubtably based on an even earlier tale, but not, as has been speculated, on that above. The heading of the text here confirms the note by Robert Burns (in the interleaved SMM of the statement by Dr. Blacklock that the song was on the Glencoe massacre (James Dick, Notes on Scottish Song by Robert Burns, 1908, reprint, 1962)

The tune in the SMM was given earlier as "Oh Onochie O", in J. Oswald's A Curious Collection of Scots Tunes, #19, Edinburgh, 1740. Same, "Oh Onochie O," is in J. Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, book 9, p. 4 (c 1758). Apparently the first time a verse of the song was set to music was in Vol. I, page 22, of D. Corri's A New and Complete Collection of the most Favourite Scots Songs, Edinburgh, n.d. (1783). The tune and the single verse given there is here annexed. Corri's statement is that his tune is Irish. [The tune "Glencoe" in Complete Petrie Collection, #677 is for "McDonald's Return to Glencoe".

Cf. also SMM #498, "The Highland widow's lament"

Play: S1, BRDRWDO1, Oswald's CPC
S1, BRDRWDO2, Corri's 'Irish' tune

Go to Index

The Flowers of the Forest (Autograph)

I have heard them lilting at the Ewe milking
Lasses a lilting before dawn of Day
But now they are moaning, on the glen louning
  The Flowers of the Forist are weded away

At bughts in the Morning na blith lads are scorning
Lasses are lonely and dowie and wa
Na dafling nae gabbing but sighing and sobing
Ilk ane lifts her leglen & hies hir away
In hairst at the shearing, nae youth now are jeering
Bansters are runkled and lyart or gray
At fair or at preaching, na wooing na fleeching
The Flowers of the forest are weded awa

At E'en in the gloaming nae younkers are roaming
Bout stacks with the lasses, at Bogle to play
But ilk maid sits dreary, lamenting her Deary
The flower of the forest that weded away

Dool and wae for the bider sent our lads to the Border
The English for ance by Guile wan the Day
The flowers of the forest that fought aye the foremaist
The Prime of our Land are cau'd in the clay.

We'll hear na mair lilting at the Ewe harding
Women and bairns are heartless and wae
Sighing and moaning in ilka spick Loaning
The flowers of the forest are weded awa. 

                                   J[ane]. E[lliot]. 
From NLS MS 12826. Small volume with no identification, front or back. It is Jane Elliot's songs and poems, about a dozen, and evidently in her own handwriting, which is none too good in places (and her spelling is attrocious). This may account for the many minor differences in printed copies. Each piece in the MS is signed in script, J. E. At the back of his autograph, NLS MS 12823, Gilbert Elliot, a noted songwriter himself, gave the song in three verses of eight lines, with the note that it was by his Aunt, Miss Elt. Following this he also gave a song she sang, giving her name there in full.

I don't have any very precise date for the song. The earliest printed copy that I am aware of is in a chapbook collected by James Maidment. The chapbook, 'Four Excellent New Songs', has had the imprint shorn. Maidment placed this before chapbooks of 1746 and 1747. Even this very early copy has many small differences from Miss Elliot's autograph copy. The last song in the chapbook is:

The fattal battle of Flowdenhill, fought anno 1514. Tune, Flowers of the Forest

I've heard of a lilting at our Ewes milkin,
Lasses are lilting before the break of day,
But now there's a moaning on ilka green loaning
That our bra Forresters are a' wede away.

At boughts in the morning, nae blyth lads are scorning,
The lasses are lonely, dowie and wae:
Nae daffin, nae gabbin, but sighing and sabbing
Ilke ane lifts her leglen and hies her away.

At e'en at the gloming, nae swankies are roaming,
'Mong stacks with the lasses at bogle to play,
But ilka ane fits dreary, lamenting her dearie,
The Flowers of the Forest that are wede away.

At har'st at the shearing, nae youngsters are jearing
The Bansters are runkled, lyart and grey.
At a fair or preaching, nae wooing nae fleeching
Since our brave Foresters are a' wede away.

O dool for the order sent our lads to the border,
The English for ance by guile gat the day,
The Flowers of the Forest that ay shone the foremost
The prime of our Land lies cauld in the clay.

We'll hear nae mair lilting at our Ewes milking,
The women and bairns are dowie and wae,
Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning,
Since our bra Foresters are a' wede away.

The tune is a bit puzzling. The old one in the Skene MS seems to have been unknown at the time of composition of the three songs called "The Flowers of the Forest". Anne Home's (Mrs. John Hunter since 1771) in SMM #63, was printed in the London Magazine, Feb. 1772. I don't know when Mrs. Rutherford's first appeared. It's strung together with the others in Herd's Scots Songs, 1776. The newer tune (that in SMM) seems to have first appeared in bk. 9 of Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, c 1758.

Play: S1, FLWRER1, SMM #63
S1, FLWRER2, Skene MS

The Edinburgh Ramble.

[NLS MS 6299, c 1740-50. The song here appears to be two versions strung together, and I've added labels 'A' and 'B' accordingly. A later version close to 'A' is in a Scots MS at Harvard, 'Secret Songs of Silence', as "Hay of Ranna's Lament". (Thanks to Abby Sale and Murray Shoolbraid for copies of the latter.)]

You] lovers of sporting                   [1B
  gal]lanting and courting
  and drinking and ranting
  attend to my tale
It's of my Rambles
  and how I have Gamb'ld
  and what sad misfortunes
  unto me befell
Fr]om the north I came
  to see that brave place
  in Edinburgh of fame
  I lost all my grace 
I m]et with Companions
  Moll nelly and Peg
  who made me pay dearly 
  for bobing in bed

Having plenty of Gold                      [2B
  I did Court young and old
  &] learn'd soon to swear bold
  & Court Ladys of pleasure
Te'll[?] Cheat by their Cullies
  and beat by their Bullys
  at length I was noddle stript
  of all my treasure
Their Pranking and prating
  ?] all the night long
  with drinking & sparking
  was all my delight
Te'll[?] beat by the Ladies
  though very well bred
  who made me pay dearly
  for Bobing in Bed

In Gold lace and Scarlet[s]                [3B
  I met with three Harlots
  attended by Varlets
  A low bow I made
Be]lieving their faces
  The]ir Cloths and there [sic] laces
  Al]l high Blood I thought thee [them, but where is rhyme?]
  All] Cursed Damn'd Jades
She] smiled in my face
  Wi]th her bright eyes
  he]r heart in a pause
  H]ow sighing she dies
I] fell in a swoon
  a]nd tosst up her leg
  Qui]ck was invitation
  for Bobing in bed

I flew to relieve her                    [4B
  Caress'd her with pleasure
  so soon as I squeez'd her
  she felt my pulse move
In Sighing Cry'd Stranger
  now] you are my Danger
  my wounds are incurable
  I am in love
So] smart was her tongue
  her hair and her gate
  with beauty arround
  she made my heart ake
She invited me with her
  Away she me led
  rais'd my inclination
  for Bobing in bed

She plac'd me a Chair                     [5B
  all pleasure was there
  while close sat my dear
  and my finger she press'd
She] Desired me to dine
  Call'd Boldly for wine
  with all Delicacies
  that were of the best
Then dancing and drinking
  was all our delight
  and Boxing of monkies
  through out the long night
With Cannon gate breeches
  and bees in my head
  which made me pay dearly
  for bobing in bed

W]hile sweet sleep did please me             [6B
  'Twas] then she did Ceause[?] me
  and] of Gold they did rob me
  and] of watch ring and Box
Wit]hout Cloths or Shirt
  they laid me in dirt
  with an old nasty Blanket
  all lined with Pox
Ag]ainst the whores I swoore
  but all was in vain
  for every young whore
  near knew me by name
In] mean Cloths I walked 
  and Begging my bread
  but Curs'd the Deam'd Britches [bitches?
  for Bobing in bed

Y]ou Gallants so pretty                    [1A
  in Countrey and City
  attend to my ditty
  which to you I tell
It is of my Rambles
  and how I have gambeld
  and what sad misfortunes
  unto me befell
I set out for Edinburgh
  with money great score
  I never was in that
  brave city before
I met with Companions
  Moll, Nelly and Peg
  who made me pay dearly
  for Bobing in bed

While my money lasted                   [2A
  I plenteously wasted
  I wanted no pleasure
  that e'er could [be had?]
Of dancing and pinking
  Carousing and Drinking
  with many a turn
  at Bobing in bed
Like Molly and nancy
  I] did pleasure my fancy'
  &] they hurried me round
  to Balls and to play
They Confused my Brains
  and fired my head
  and Constantly led me
  for bobing in bed

A]s I walked thro the city             [3A
  a wench that was pretty
  came kindly unto me
  I]t being in the night
She ask'd me to treat her
  I thought I could eat her
  She being so neatly dress'd
  ?]ys all in white
S]he hurried me into
  a Close that was nigh
  and unto an Ale house
  So Cunning and Sly
The shape of her body
  and hair of her head
  did give me great fancy
  for bobing in bed

A bed and a chamber                     [4A
  Cause I was I Stranger
  She made them believe
  that whe was my wife
Great Store of good liquor
  around we did Bikker [1st letter may not be 'B', but else?]
  I never was so blunder'd
  before in my life
The Drabs of the house
  Our host and his spouse
  went spunging about us
  our liquor to Swill
When I drunk they did make me     [drank, take]
  they laid me in bed
  I said in the morning
  I'd pay the bill

My Punk she came to me             [5A
  and laid her down by me
  I gave her a Guinea
  so] our Bargain was made
To] fill my Desire
  she gave me the fire
  to punish me fairly
  for bobing in bed
But while I did sleep
  away she did creep
  She took away breeches
  my money and Cloths
M]y apparrel and treasure
  to spend at her pleasure
  which made me look Blunt like
  among the town Beaus

I was in such slumber                  [6A
  they thought a great wonder
  the hostler came to me
  by nine in the day
He ask'd for my Britches    [Riches?]
  or where are my Breeches
  my money and Cloths
  bing all taken away
Then I scratch'd my eyes
  in a sudden surprize
  I suddenly found
  the Jade she was fled
And thirty brave pounds
  she had for a prize
  which seemingly pai'd her
  for Bobing in bed

I was brought to the Justice           [7A
  without shoes or Breeches
  but wrap't in a Sheet
  for to pay for my Sins
There was five pound of lawing [court costs or fine?]
  which made me to starve
  I wish'd myself down
  in the Country again
They demanded my note
  which to them I wrote
  And Courteously told them
  that all should be paid
The] landlord discharg'd me
  the Justice enlarg'd me
  but bad me keep distance
  from Bobing in bed

In] town I'd a friend                 [8A
  who to me did lend
  A Suit of Aparrel
  and money again
I] being relieved
  and my losses return'd
  Then home I return'd
  with a heart full of pain
I d]eign to take care
  my money to Spare
  A]nd ramble no more
  a]mong the young maids
Th]ough both brisk and jolly
  I've paid for my folly
  a]t having adversion
  for Bobing in bed
A tune "Bob in the bed" is in Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, book 4, c 1744, and in Johnson's A Choice Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, III, 1744. BL MS Add'l 23971 (c 1770) has a "Bob in ye Bed". "Bob in the bed" is also in Rutherford's 200 Country Dances, c 1756. It proves to be another name for "Planxty Connor". "Planks of Connaught," in B. Thumoth's Twelve English and Twelve Irish Airs, n.d. (c 1744). In 6/8 is a copy entitled "The Belfast Almanach" in Gow's Strathspey Reels, Book 4. The tune is O'Carolan's "John O'Connor" (O'Sullivan's title), but is simply called "Jigg" in the incomplete collection of Carolan's tunes in NLI. O'Sullivan took this collection to be by the Neals, c 1721, but the recent 'Sources of Irish Traditional Music' puts it at 1742 or later. After all this, unfortunately, I have not figured out quite how to set this song to that tune. Perhaps others can be more imaginative.

Play: S1, BOBINBED- Bob in Bed. Johnson's 200 CD's, III, 1744

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Fit for any man.

[From NLS MS 6299 f. 48, 1740-50. No tune indication]

Im a pretty maid and I swear by my life
what ever he is that will make me his wife
what ever his calling be, as I am a maid
I'll do my endeavour to work at his trade
   With a fal al &c

If] he be a baker I vow and protest
I'll dress his flower, and kneed his paste
so neatly and finely I'l Clip his foll
while he sweeps my oven with his rusaling pole
  With my fall al &c

If he be a joyner or any of them
I'll neatly guide his smoothing plane
with my lilly whit hand I'll quide his p[ole
while he with his mell does drive it in [hole
  with my fall al &C

If he be a Butcher a jolly young man
I'll stand in his shop while he kills his l[amb
While he whites his knife, I'll hold the stee[l
and guid his pipes while he blows his veal
  With my fall al &C

If he be a weaver when in bed
with my soft brush I'll bush his web
while he on my loom so neat and trim
I'll open the shu[?]de where the shuttle goes in
   with my fal la &C

If he be a shoemaker poor or rich
his hinde quarters I'll neatly stich
I'll wax his thread so fine with all
while he opens my bore with giggling A[wl
  with my fal al &C

If he be a brick layer so they say
that makes his mortar of lime and Clays
I'll mind his business abroad and at hom[e
and I'll clear the places where he lays [? 
   with my fal, &c

If he be a Brazier when in bed
Into my laddle I'll melt his lead
and close in my arms I will him hold
while he cast his metal in my mo[ld
  with &C

I]f he be a Barber spruce and brave
That] deals in hair as well as shave
---]ist learn to leather then never fear [corrupt]
I'll set his razors to a hair
   Wit]h my &C

If he] be a soldier
He] shall steer my fort and enter my hold
To] him I have such enticeing Charms
All] to exercise his body while he handles his arms
  With] &c

If] he be a Taylor neat and fine
Wi]th his yard I'll gard[?] this cloth of mine
I'll] work on my shop Board without Controul
I'll draw his Buttons to my Button hole
  W]ith &c

Ba]ker horner or any of them
A] lawyer, Miller or husband man
Just] say but the word and I'll lay my life
t]hat I am the Girl that will make a Careful wife. &c
[This is more bawdy, but rather similar to "The more Haste, the worst Speed," Roxburghe Ballads, VII, 141. Text there is a late issue of a ballad of 1635, somewhat similar to Martin Parker's "Wooing Maid" of the following year.]

Compare also the very similar "Morag Inghean Ghiberlain" in the Scarce Songs 2 file. Play: tune unknown

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There was a old widow in Westmoreland,
  And she never had a child but ane;
And she prayed, aye, baith nicht and day,
  She micht keep her maidenhead lang.

"O haud your tongue, my mither dear,
  And say na mair to me
For a jolly young man o' the king's life-guard,
  My maidenhead's tane frae me."

"Awa, awa, yr ill woman,
  Some ill deathy mat ye dee!
If a jolly young man o' the king's life-guard,
  Your maidenhead's tane frae thee."

But she is on to her true-love gane,
  As fast as gang cou'd she;
Says, "Gie me back my maidenhead,
  For my mammy sair dings me."

He's buskit her, and he deckit her,
  And he's laid her on her bed;
He laid her head where her feet was afore,
  Gied back her maidenhead.
He buskit her, and he deckit her,
  Wi' a rose in ilka han';
And bade her come to Saint Mary's kirk,
  To see his rich weddan.

Now she is on to her mither gane,
  As fast as gang cou'd she;
Say, "I'm as leal a maiden, mither dear,
  As that night ye bore me."

He's buskit me, and he deckit me,
  And he laid me on his bed;
He laid my head where my feet war afore,
  Gaed me back my maidenhead."

He buskit me, and he deckit me,
  Wi' a rose in ilka han';
Syne bade me come to Saint Mary's kirk,
  To see his rich wedden."

"O never on fit," her mither said,
  "But on hie horse ye sal ride;
And four-and-twenty gay ladies,
  Sal a' wak by your side."

"O wha is this," the bride she cried,
   That comes sae hie to me?
Is this the widow's dochter o' Westmoreland
  Wha gaed hame and told her mammie?

How could she do't, how did she do't,
  How could she do't? - for shame!
Eleven lang nichts I lat wi' a man,
  But never told that to ane."

"If eleven lang nichts ye've lain wi' a man,
  My bed-fellow ye'se never be;
I'll tak the Widow's dochter o' Westmoreland,
  Wha gaed hame and told her mammie."
From Kinloch's The Ballad Book. This song was sung by A. L Loyd, and by Fairport Convention, but I don't know where the tune came from. Further copies without tunes are in Emily Lyle's Andrew Crawfurd's Collection of Ballads and Songs, I, #76, 1975, II, #105, 1996, The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, VII, #1439, 1997, and a good recent version with the tune is in Hugh Shields' Shamrock, Rose and Thistle, #73.

This novel way of restoring a maiden head is missing in a tale version, #8 in R. H. Robbins' The Hundred Tales (Les Cent Nouvelles, Nouvellas), where the young woman is already pregnant. Robbins' notes point out one earlier and several later versions of the tale, and mostly later yet are those pointed out in Aarne-Thompson's Types of the Folktale, where this is #886. Neither of these points to the English version, #73 in Tales and quicke answers c 1535.

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The Glasgow Lasses Garland

To the tune of The London Prentice

In Glasgow I hear a great Breaking
     The like hath nott been for some Years,
How the Lasses are all gone a packing
     Along with the Scots Fuziliers.
       Fal, lal, lal, lal, &c.

Soon after they came to Glasgow
     Their Colths all to them was made new,
The Lasses did fancy the livery,
     The bonny bright Red and the Blue.
       Fal, lal, &c.

They went through the Streets of the City
     Their Cloths being new they did Shine,
They kissed and clapped so neatly
     Made all the young Lasses incline.
          Fal, &c.

Mens Daughters of good Reputation
     Whose Money was sure every Year,
Have left off their Schools and their Leaving
     And follow'd the Scots Fuzaliers.
          Fal, &c.

The Stocking-worker and the Twilter,
     And her that was learned to sew,
Cries out no Colour are fitting
     To her but the Red and the Blue.
          Fal, &c.

The Lasses that was at Shop keeping,
     They keep'd their Eyes on the Street,
Thinking that they would get the Serjeant,
     But the Soldier hath gievn [sic] them the Chear. [?] 
          Fal, &c.

The Lasses that did Serve the Provost,
     The Baillies and Gentles in Town,
With House-keeping they are so weary,
     They have chosen to march up and down.
          Fal, &c.

The Minister's Lass and her Sister
     Cries out that their Ears are put deaf,
With hearing of Reading and Praying
     But now sing O! blest Relief.
          Fal, &c.

The Lass that serv'd with the Tradesman
     Cries out my Heart it will break,
Before I will work at such Slavery,
     I'll rather go bear the knap-sack.
          Fal, &c.
The Lass that did serve with the Black-smith,
     Complain'd that the Study made noise,
And for to be free of that Evil,
     The Red Coat they made their Choice.
          Fal, &c

The Lass that did Serve with the Taylor
     She could not complain of her Toil,
But when she was ask'd this she answered,
     Her maidenhead began for to Spoil.
          Fal, &c.

The Lass that did Serve with the weaver,
     Complain'd that the Looms did her Harm,
But now they are gone with a soldier,
     They had better been winding their Yarn.
          Fal, &c.

The Lass that did serve with the Souter
     Complain'd that the Leather did smell,
But now they are gone with the Red-coats,
     They'll soon make their Belly to Swell.
          Fal, &c.

The Wrights, the Mason, the Coopers
     Their Lasses, as I understand,
Was cri'd for for to Shew they were married,
     altho' on another Wife's Man.
          Fal, &c.

The Baxters, the Barbers and Fleshers
     Their Lasses went out in the Dark,
And there they were clandestinely married,
     With out either Parson or Clark.
          Fal, &c.

The Lass that abode with her Mother,
     I hear for something she did green;
A thing which they had not to give her
     I'll warrant you ken what I mean.
          Fal, &c.

The Lass that did Serve with the Gardner
     And she that the Milk Stoup did bear,
With feeding of Hawkey she's weary,
     She's followed the Scots Fuzilier.
          Fal, &c.

Now I have made it my Endeavor,
     To shew how the Lasses do go
Alongst with the Soldiers from Glasgow
     So that every Body may know.
          Fal, &c.
Play: All you that love good fellows (London Prentice) BM0.HTM, B10
All you that love good fellows (London Prentice) BM0.HTM, B11

The song here is the title song from The Glasgow Lasses Garland --Two New Songs. This is A Scottish chapbook bearing the date, 1747, but no printer or place of publication. The tune cited for the song is "The London prentice." We do not know for certain what tune was meant by that title in 1747, but the probability is that it was the one in Pills to Purge Melancholy, VI, p. 342, 1720, where a song is headed "The London Prentice," and is now better known as "Blow the Candle Out," but that title is from 1800 or later. C. M. Simpson in BBBM, p. 13-16, 1966, shows the tune was known from the beginning of the seventeenth century, and probably was known in the late 16th century. It appeared in the early 17th century with a variety of names. The other ballad of "The London Prentice", "The Hounour of a London Prentice", which appears in the 1714 edition of Pills is evidently a late 16th century ballad, but the earliest extant copy seems to be one in a Bodleian broadside collection, Wood 401, with a Coles, Vere and Gilbertson imprint, 1658-63.

The song in the 1714, and 1719-20 edition of Pills, now called "Blow the Candle Out," seems to have been rarely reprinted in the 18th century, but as late as 1799 appeared in a chapbook as "The London Prentice." "Blow the Candle Out" is the title of a tune in Petrie's Ancient Music of Ireland said to have been collected about 1805.

Also in the chapbook is "The Lasses Reply; or a Sudden Return when they were disbanded" to "Boar the Gemlet."' This second song is a hodge-podge, attempting to connect verses of other songs into a reply, but is a disordered jumble, in which one cannot keep track of who is singing which verses, and it makes little sense. "Boring the Gimlet" is a tune I have seen only in Michael Raven's One Thousand English Country Dance Tunes, p. 129, 1984. There is also an unpublished "Boring the Gimblet" in British Library MS Add'l. 23791. "The Gimblet" in Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, later called "The Old Lea Rigg" does not fit the verses. Here are the opening verses of nineteen.

Its O! my Comrade Kate What makes you now so mad To leave fair Glasgow Town, And follow a Soldier Lad? For soon will ye rue, rue, for soon will you rue your running. If thou won over the Seas, I think it a wonder When every Man has a wife And two to serve the Drummer, Then soon will ye rue, &c. No. I love my Soldier Lad As dear a I love my life, There's none can call me, Whore, For now I am his Wife. And will ye na-go, &c And will ye na-go to Holland? O! There's many a famous Girl That's going along with me, 'Tis better than tarry in Town, With Loss of your Love to die. And will ye na-go, &c. Then I will tarry at home; Go you the world aroun': And chose another sweet-heart, they'll nae come to the Town, Then soon will ye rue, &c. The song in Pills to Purge Melancholy, Volume VI, p. 342, 1720.

The London Prentice

A worthy London Prentice,
Came to his Love by Night;
The Candles were lighted,
The moon did shine so bright:
He knocked at the door,
To ease him of his pain;
She rose and let him in Love,
And went to bed again.

He went into the chamber,
Where his true love did lye;
She quickly gave consent
For to have his company:
She quickly gave consent,
The Neighbours peeping out;
So take away your head, Love
Let's blow the candle out.

I would not for a Crown, Love,
My Mistress should it know;
I'll in my Smock step down, Love,
And I'll out the Candle blow;
The streets they are so nigh,
And the people walk about
Some may peep in and spy, Love,
Let's blow the candle out.

My Master and my Mistress,
Upon the bed do lye;
Injoying one another,
Why should not you and I:
My Master kiss'd my Mistress,
Without any fear or doubt;
And we'll kiss one another,
Let's blow the candle out.

I prithee speak more softly,
Of what we have to do
Lest that our noise of Talking,
Should make our pleasure rue:
For kissing one another,
Will make no evil rout;
Then let us now be silent
And blow the Candle out.

But yet he must be going,
He could no longer stay;
She strove to blow the candle out,
And push'd his hand away:
The young man was so hasty,
To lay his arms about;
But she cryed I pray Love,
Let's blow the candle out.

As this young couple sported,
The maiden she did blow;
But how the Candle went out,
Alas I do not know:
She said I fear not now, Sir,
My Master or my Dame;
And what this Couple did, Sir,
Alas I dare not name.

Play: All you that love good fellows (London Prentice) B10, BM0.HTM
All you that love good fellows (London Prentice, Pills) B11, BM0.HTM

S1, BLWCNDL1, Blow the candle out, Haverty's Irish Airs, 1858. = Stanford-Petrie #634

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Deplorable news from Southwark; Or, the loving Lasses Lamentations for the loss of their Sweet-hearts.

They sigh, they sob, they sorow and complain,
Fearing their Loves will never come again;
It is the lusty Souldiers as they say,
Have stoln from them their pretty hearts away.

The tune is St. Gyleses. [Lost, Merry Man's Resolution]

The Lasses now of Southwark
  lament and make great moan,
Because from them their sweet-hearts
  departed are and gone.
Thare's Peggy, Alce, and Bridget,
  and many others more
With howling and with weeping,
  have made their eye-sight sore.
    The gallant,
  Souldiers as they say
Have stolen from them their pretty hearts away.

The Souldiers which in Southwark
  did quarter here and there,
Each one of them that had sweet-hearts
  was constant to his deare;
Both civill in their actions,
  and constant in their carriage,
And yet some of the Lasses now
  Complain for lack of marrriage.
    The gallant,
  Souldiers as they say
Have stolen from them their pretty hearts away.

To speake of their proceedings,
  I hope none will me blame,
The better for to know them,
  I will them to you name.
Fair Maudlin she lov'd Martin,
  and Joan she loved John,
Winnifred lov'd William,
  and Ned was love of Nan.
    The gallant,
  Souldiers as they say
Have stolen from them their pretty hearts away.

Betty she lov'd Robert,
  and Dick lov'd Dorothy
Rowland he lov'd Rachael,
  and Kate lov'd Anthony;
Sweet Rose she lov'd bold Stephon,
  and Hester she lov'd Walter,
And more news of their passages
  I mean to speak hereafter.
    The gallant,
  Souldiers as they say
Have stolen the maiden hearts from them away.

Rebeca she lov'd John well,
  and George lov'd Margery,
Kester he lov'd Jany:
  and Nell lov'd Humphrey
Francis lov'd fair Phyllis,
  And Samuel he lov'd Sary,
Debora she lov'd Daniel,
  and Thomas he lov'd Mary.   
    The gallant,
  Souldiers as they say
Have stolen the damsels hearts from them away.

The bonny brave yound Souldiers are
  of late from Southwarke gone,
To quarter in the Countrey,
  and left their loves alone:
Who now in dolefull mnanner
  doth bitterly complain,
Much fearing that their sweet-hearts
  will never come again.
    The gallant,
  Souldiers as they say
Have stole their pretty hearts from them away.

The next news of these Damsels
  that I have here to tell ye,
Poore Kate hath got a griping
  and rumbling in her belly;
And pretty Nancies Apron
  is grown too short before,
And so is Nans and Sarah's,
  and many others more.
  The valiant
  Souldiers as they say,
Hath stoln both their loves and hearts away. 

Poor Maries nose looks picked,
  and so doth bonny Nell;
And Betties under Peticoat,
  Strange tales of her doth tell.
Mary is half deceived,
  And Debro quite beguiled,
She hath lost her Maiden-head,
  and Susan's great with Child
    The gallant
    Souldiers as they say,
Hath stolen from them their Maiden-heads away.

Rose sayes though she hath gotten
  no Livings nor no Lands,
Yet if she had her Love again
  she would labour with her hands
To keep and to maintain him,
  all the dayes of her life,
So he would be contented
  to take her to his Wife.
    The valiant,
  Souldier she doth say,
Hath stoln both her heart and love away.

The rest that hath been named,
  are all of Roses mind,
And would unto their Sweet-hearts be
  both loyal, true, and kind,
So they might have their company,
  by day and eke by night,
O that's the thing they wish for,
  to have them in their sight.
    But the valiant,
  Souldiers as they say,
Hath stoln their bonny hearts from them away.

To draw to a conclusion,
  I wish all Damsels mild,
Both them that have flat bellyes,
  and them that are with child:
To beare all things with prudence,
  and suffer patiently,
And buy each one a Hand-kercher
  to wipe her wet eyes dry.
    And when your
  Come to you again, 
They'l use a means to cure you of your pain.

Be not too heavy-minded,
  but thus I'd have you pray,
That those which stole your hearts from you
  and carryed them away,
May come again with safety,
  and make you all amends,
To marry you and love you,
  and so my Ditty ends.
    The valiant,
  Hath stoln your hearts away,
They'l bring them home again another day.
Printed for Tho. Vere, at the Angel, without Newgate.

H. E. Rollins gave an expurgated copy of this in Cavalier and Puritan. Verses 7 and 8 are here given. Combining Scots souldiers and Southwark lasses is a ballad entered in June of 1685. The heading from its reprint in Roxburghe Ballads, VIII, p. 472, follows: The Scotch Souldiers' Kindness:
It being the Sorrowful Ditty of Fifty Young Damsels of Southwark, who lately lost their Maiden-heads with those Valiant Souldiers lately Quartered in that place.

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Go to the kie with me Jonny

Well met my charming creature               [Jonny 
  thy face I have longed to see
I request it of thy favour
  to go to the kie with me
Go to the kie my jonny  [incomplete chorus, see end of     
and I will be merry with thee [last verse 

Had I a chest of Gold                      [Jonny 
  and another of wheat money
Had I a pocket of Guinneas
  my dearest should carry the key
Go to the kie &c

I have a house to build   [Jonny. This in Herd/SMM text
  and another thats like to fal
I have a lass now with bairn
  that grieves me worst of all
Go to &c

And] if she be with bairn   [Jonny sings, ending Herd/ SMM  
A]s I trow she be                  [version
I have an old wife at home
w]ill deandle it on her knee
go the the kie &c

I am a messenger peggy          [Captain Ogle singing?,
and I'm sent from John Sim      [see 2nd verse following 
and if you'll not send me ten pound
to morpeth Goal I will send him
go to &c

I]t fills my heart with sorrow            [Peggy>
to hear such news from him
She presently fetched ten pounds          [Narrative 
which got liberty from John Sim
go to &c

--]t when she came to Hexam               [Narrative
a]nd walking down the town
She waited on Captain Ogle
to loose jonny from the Dragoon
go to &c

W]ill not you let him go free Captain         [Peggy sings
will you not let him go free
will you not let him go free Captain
here are ten pounds for thee
go to &c

If you go [in]to the Dragoon[s] jonny [Peggy, but verse out of 
I'll go along with thee               [place. Johnny already 
and if I be not with bairn             [in Dragoons 
I'll fight for the manfully
go to &c

Have I not kissed thee jonny              [Peggy
have I not been free with thee
have I not kissed thee jonny
th'wert always welcome to me
go to &c

Thou hast a dimple in thy cheek            [Peggy   
and another upon thy chin
thou hast a black rowling eye
but thy heart is hollow within
go to &c

Was I not kind to thee Jonny                [Peggy
and was I not kind to thee
have I not pawned my cloaths
and spent all my money with thee
go to &c

The Cow is but a stranger          [Peggy, but what a 
the calf it shall go free          [curious verse!
we'll drive the cow to a corner
she'll suckle the calf for thee
go to &c

I] have waded the water                     [Peggy
and I have swim'd the sea
and I have done more for jonny
than Jonny can do for me
go to &c

Why may not I love may love                 [Peggy  
why may not he love me
why may not I love my love
but his friends and I'll never agree
go to &c

--]ld chikens shall be for Jonny             [Peggy
and butter and eggs for me
and I will kiss my dear Jonny
Who is always welcome to me
go to &c

Jo]nny has a wife and bairns                [Peggy
who're coming over the main
and I would gladely be forsaken
if I had my money again
go to &c

W]ho cares for her now laddie and            [Narrative
who can care for her now
The lassie that was forsaken
has gotten sweet hearts anew
go to &c

Now here's the ten pound for peggy          [Jonny 
now heres the ten pound for thee
I never did promise to marry
nor never intended with thee
go to &c

Young man pray leave of[f] your flattery [Peggy, but non seq.
Your compliments will not agree          [It would fit better 
yo[u] slight me by praising my beauty    [following the 1st v.
I'll not go to the kie with thee
Go to the kie with me jonny
and go to the kie with me
go to the kie with me jonny
and I will be merry with thee.
The above is an unpublished text from NLS MS 6299, compiled between 1740 and 1750. Three verses with tune are in SMM, #135, with text very slightly altered from that in Herd's Scottish Songs, II, 203 (1776 and reprint). The first verse there is not in this version. SMM expurgates a line, having an old mither, not an old wife at home, who will dandle Jonny's and Peggy's baby.

The tune is first found in Daniel Dow's A Collection of Ancient Scots Music, p. 42, c 1775, as "G,iomain na ngauna__Gae to the kye wi me johnnie". I can't find this tune listed in A. Gore's Scottish Fiddle Music Index, 1994, although Gore supposedly indexed both SMM (Gore's source code, J3) and Dow's work (Gore's souce code, D14v2). Gore lists a single later appearance of the tune, c 1825, slightly altered, "Gae to the kie wi me Jamie."

Make what you can of this. The first and last verse here look like a later attempt at patchwork. All the other eighteen verses seem to be quite popular in style, a few being real gems, but we are certainly missing some important verses.

Another fragmentary version is a text of about 1825 in D. Harker's Songs from the Manuscript Collections of John Bell, #121, 1985. This has a verse found in our old version, but not found in the Herd/ SMM text. Bell's version goes:

Gang to the Kie wi me Hinney, Gang to the Kie wi me
Gang to the Koe wi me Hinney, gang to the Kie wi me
For why may I not love my Love, why may no she Love me [Not Scots
Why may I not love my Love as weel as another body [version
Why tho I've a house to build, another that's like to faa,
What tho' Ive a Lass wi bairn, that pleases me warst of au
What if she proves wi bairn, as I do trou She be.
I hae an auld Wife I ken, that will dandle it upon her knee
Then gang to the Kie, &c as above.

Compare verse 15 with the lyric fragment "Came you not from Newcastle" in Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript, I, p. 253-4. This is partially reprinted in Wm. Chappell's PMOT, I, 339-40, with the tune, which does not seem to be related to that in SMM. Note that our song is set only a little west of Newcastle. [Both PMOT and Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript include notes that seem to take the song in the Percy Folio MS back to 1592. The Percy Folio MS itself seems to have been compiled between c 1625 and c 1645.]

Came you not from Newcastle? [Percy Folio MS]

Came you not from Newcastle?
  Came yee not there away?
met yee not my true love
  ryding on a bony bay?
why shold not I love my love?
  why shold not my love love me?
why shold not I love my love,
  gallant hound sedelee? 

An I have Land att Newcastle
  will buy both hose & shoone,
and I have Land att durham
  will feitch my hart to boone;
and why shold not I love my love
  why shold not my love love me?
why shold not I love my love
  gallant hound sedelee?
[I've no explaination to offer for the meaning of "gallant hound sedelee," and I've not seen anyone else offer one. I seem to remember seeing these last four lines elswhere, but with the last given as "Since love to all is free."]

Play: S1, GOTOKIE, from SMM

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[My Heart's in the Highlands]

The Highlander's farewell to bonny port more

My heart's in the Highlands
   my heart is not here
   my heart's in the Highlands
   a chasing the deer
   and following the doe
   my heart's in the Highlands where [ever I go
Oh bonny portmore
thous shines where thou stands
the more I look on thee
the more my heart warms
but when I look from thee
  my heart is full sore
--]think on the lilly I left in port more

There's many word spoken    [Older verse, see note below
 and few is the best
  and he that speaks fewest
  lies longest at rest
  I speak by experience
my mind serves me so
and the far side out and I know what I know    

When I was in Scotland
--]and plaids of the New
--]but now I'm between
--]to the Irish shore
--]Adieu Londonderry and pleasant portmore
--]bonny port more
--] thou shines where thou stands
--]the more my heart warms
  but when I look from thee
  my heart is full sore
--]think on the lilly I left in port more

--]Bilb is magarby [?]
--] down by merry glen
--]in ly Temple Patrick
   and led by the train
   I led by the train
   and Down by the shore
So] adieu Londonderry and pleasant port more
Bonny port more
  thou shines where thou stands
  the more I look on thee 
  the more my heart warms
but when I look on thee
  My heart is full sore
  to think on the lilly on pleasant port more

You Scotsman always
  you may be sad
  port more was the freest hold
  that ever you had
  that ever you had
  but now it is sold
  and alace therefor
and adieu Londonderry and bonny port more

As I came in by
  the bonny belfast
  the tears in my eyes
  they did run down fast
  they did run down fast
  with sorrow and woe
my heart's in the highlands where ever I go

O Donally Donally
  where has thou been?
a hunting, a hawking
  gar make my bed soon
  gar make my bed soon
  and stir up the stro
My heart's in the highlands wher[e ever I go]

As I cam by
  the bonny big Bam kan [?]
my hat on my head
and my Kain in my hand
if I had but money
  as I had before
--]Thousand pound should not buy bonny port[more
O] plesant port more
 thou shines where thou stands
 the more I look on thee
  the more my heart warms 
but when I look on thee
my heart is full sore
I] think on the lilly I left in port more

H]ere's a health to my truelove
 farewell to my dear
Here's a health to my truelove
  farewell to my dear
Here's a health to my trulove
  farewell to my dear
and a bunch of green Ribbons my deary shou[--
The song here, whether Scots or Irish, is from a Scots manuscript collection of English, Irish and mostly Scots songs, c 1740-50 (binding obscures some text). The selling of Portmore in verse five, with some historical research, should serve to date the song closely. A song to the tune of "My Heart's in the Highlands" in a Scots chapbook of 1747 serves to establish a terminal date for our song here.

Sir Walter Scot was enthralled by the first of two verses in SMM, #259, commencing "My heart's in the highlands." The chorus and other verse was claimed by Robert Burns. The tune there is "'Failte na misoq" from Oswald, A Collection of Curious Scots Tunes, #39 (1740) and Caledonian Pocket Companion, book 1, p. 22 (c 1743). Included here is the tune "Bonny Portmore" from Edw. Bunting's The Ancient Music of Ireland, p. 80, 1840. [O'Neill, The Music of Ireland, "Margaret Lavin", #140, is a copy of Bunting's melody with a new title.]

Subsequent discovery! Conformation of "Bonny Portmore" as the proper tune is found in a three verse song to "Bonny Portmore" in Sean O Boyle's The Irish Song Tradition, p. 50, 1976. The first verse of his song is the chorus of "My heart's in the highlands".]

In Additional Illustrations to The Scots Musical Museum, #259, C. K. Sharpe printed from a stall copy "The Strong Walls of Derry," a slightly reworked shorter version of our song here. Sharpe thought his song was the original "My heart's in the Highlands," but now we see it is not, and we can see the stall copy is somewhat corrupt.

The Strong Walls of Derry

The first day I landed, it was on Irish ground
The tidings came to me from fair Derry town,
That my love was married, and to my sad woe;
And I lost my first love by courting too slow.

Let us drink and go hame, drink and go hame,
If we stay any longer, we'll get a bad name;
We'll get a bad name, and we'll fill ourselves fou,
And the strong walls of Derry it's ill to go through.

When I was in the Highlands it was my due,
To wear a blue bonnet, the plaid, and the trews,
Bur now since I'm come to the fair Irish shore,
Adieu Valendary and bonny Portmore.
Let us, &c.

O, bonny Portmore, thou shines where thou stands,
The more I look on thee, the more my heart warms,
But when I look from thee, my heart is full sore,
When I think on the lily I lost at Portmore.
Let us, &c.

O, Donald, O, Donald! where have you been?
A hawking and hunting; gar make my bed clean,
Go make my bed clean, and stir up the straw,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.
Let us, &c.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands, a chasing the deer,
A chasing the deer, and following the doe;
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.
Let us, &c.

There is many a word spoken, but few of the best,
And he that speaks fairest lives longest at rest;
I speak by experience - my mind serves me so,
But my heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.

Let us drink and go hame, drink and go hame,
If we stay any longer, we'll get a bad name;
We'll get a bad name, and we'll fill ourselves fou,
And the strong walls of Derry it's ill to go through.

Note 1, (verse two): This verse is from an an old English broadside ballad, "Few Words are best". Euing Collection, #123, is a late edition by Wm. Gilbrtson, c 1655. Entered in the Stationer's Register June 20, 1629, under this short title. Roxburghe and Manchester Collection copies, both printed by the assigns of Thomas Symcocke (before July, 1629) are entitled "Come, buy this new Ballad, before you do goe: If you raile at the Author, I know what I know." (Rox. copy in Roxburghe Ballads, I, p. 116.) These all commence "It is an old saying that few words are best," the burden being "I know what I know." The tune for this is unknown.

See "Pleasures of Sunderland" and some subsequent songs above for some related verses.

Play: S1, HARTHGH1, Failte na misoq (Musket's salute)
S1, HARTHGH2, Bonny Portmore, from Bunting, edited, but less than usually necessary.

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The West-Country Jig,

to the tune of Up with Aley, Aley.

[The song here, published sometime between 1672 and 1685, although supposedly set in the West-Country, uses Scots dialect, and some of the names mentioned are Scots, and its merry Scotch tune must have be connected with some earlier Scots song. Two versions of the tune are known, the first above from A Choice Collection of 180 Loyal Songs, 3rd ed., p. 117, 1685 (carelessly engraved), and the second from The Dancing Master, Vol. I, 12th ed., 1703, and subsequent editions. The latter is also in The Compleat Country Dancing Master, I, p. 31, 1718. There seems to be no direct record of the tune in Scotland, but it has been suggested that the tune may be the progenitor of a family of (originally) pipe tunes, all found later, which include "Mad Moll," "The Virgin Queen," "Yellow Stockings," "The Dusty Miller," "Drops/Dribbles of Brandy," "Hey my Nancy," "Brose and Butter," "Ride a Mile," "The Faraway Wedding," "Cumilium," and a few others.

The setting of the song here, and a few of the verses, may have supplied the inspiration of the Scots ditty known as "The Ball of Kirriemuir," although the tune of the latter is not "Up with Aley, Aley," but another seemingly as old, "Bonny Jean of Aberdeen." And for another version of the tune see here "We're gayly yet," part of which may be from the 17th century.]

The West-Country Jigg:

Or, A Trenchmore Galliard

See how the Lads and Lasses flock together,
A Merry makeing, like Birds of a feather;
Here's Sam, and Sawney, gentle James and jonny,
With Moll and Moggy, and those Girls so bonny:
Where they had store of Mirth, and mickle laughter:
Therefore observe it for the best comes after.

To a Merry Scotch Tune, Or, Up with Aley, Aley, &c.

Jack's a naughty Boy
  for calling his Mother Wh...
I'le tell you the reason why,
  because she was one before:
Then up with Aley, Aley,
  up with Frank so free,
In came wanton Willy,
  and smuggl'd them hansomely.

Four and twenty Lasses
  went over Trenchmore Lee,
And all of them were Mow'd,
  unless it were two or three
The up with Aley, Aley,
  up with jumping Joan,
In came wanton Willy,
  and then the game went on.

Jonny he plaid with Jenny,
  and Jenny she plaid with Jock;
And he pull'd out a Guinney,
  to buy her a Holland Smock:
The up with Aley, Aley,
  up with Sue, and Siss,
And in came wanton Willy,
  and then they Mump and Kiss.

Willy he teuk up Moggy,
  and askt if she would Dance,
But oh! how she did Simper,
  with many a wink, and glance:
The up with Aley, Aley,
  up with Bess so Brown;
In came wanton Willy,
  and tumbl'd them upside down.

The piper he struck up,
  and merrily he did play,
The shaking of the sheets and eke the Irish hay:
Then up with Aley, Aley,
  up with Priss and Prue;
In came wanton Willy,
  amongst the Jovial crew.

The Awd wife she came up,
  and she began to Mutter,
I think you're all grown
  you make so great a clutter:
The up with Aley, Aley,
  up with Doll, and Jane.
In came wanton Willy,
  and Kist them over again.

The Coague of Ale went round,
  and each one drank a Health,
Their sorrows for to drown'd,
  they took no care for wealth:
The up with Aley, Aley,
  up with mincing Nan:
In came wanton Willy,
  and prov'd himself a man.

The Parson of the Parish,
  he left the Kirk in haste,
For at this merry meeting,
  he would not be the last:
Then up with Aley, Aley,
  up with Kate, and Joyce:
In came wanton Willy,
  and there he took his choice.

And thus with nappy Liquor,
  their senses they did warm,
It made their wits the quicker,
  they thought not any harm;
Then up with Aley, Aley,
  with bonny Bridget too;
In came wanton willy,
  and he began to Wooe.

Deale faw my lugs, quo Jammy,
   My Friends I pray now hark
Let us conclude a Wedding,
  to make the Parson wark:
Then up with Aley, Aley,
  up with Sarah, and pegg:
In came wanton Willy,
  and there he danc't a Jigg.

The bargain was agreed,
  that Billy, he should have Bess,
And so they sent out Harry,
  for to invite the Guess:
The up with Aley, Aley,
  up with Gillian fair:
In came wanton willy,
  and them twa made a pair.

Now with this jovial Wedding,
  I do conclude my Song,
And wish that Trenchmore Lasses,
  they may live merry and long:
The up with Aley, Aley,
  up with the merry train:
We will all be merry,
  if e're we meet again.
Play: B480, 481

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We're gayly yet

Sung by Mr. Beard

[Chorus 1st, to first part of tune]

We're gayly yet, & we're gayly yet 
& we's not very fow but we're gayly yet,
then sit ye a while and tipple a bit
for we's not very fow but we're gayly yet

There was a Lad and they cau'd him Dickey
He ga' me a Kiss and I bit his Lippy
Then under my Apron he shaw'd me a Trick
And we's no very fow but we're gayly yet
       And we're gayly yet &c

There were three Lads and they were clad
There were three Lasses and them they had
Three Tree in the Orchard are newly sprung
And we's a git geer enough we're but young
       And we're gayly yet &c.

[to 2nd part of tune]

Then up went Ailey Ailey up went Ailey now
Then up with Aily Quo Crumma, we's a get Roaring fow
And one kiss'd in the Barn, another was kiss'd on the Green,
And t'other behind the Pease Stack, 
 'till the Mow flew up to her Ey'en.
Then up went Ailey, &c.

Now fye John Thompson run
Gin ever ye run in your life
De'el gat ye but hye my dear Jack
There's a Mon got to Bed with your Wife
       Then up went Ailey &c.

Then away John Thompson run
And Agad he ran with Speed
But before he had run his length
The false Loon had done the deed
       Then up went Ailey &c.

End with the first Verse [to 1st part of tune]
Play: GAYLYYT1, 1st part from single sheet copy
GAYLYYT2, 2nd part from single sheet copy

This is from a single sheet song with music, c 1745, in the Library of Congress. ('Jack') Beard sang the song in (or between acts of) The Careless Husband, 1745 and also the next year in The Country Lasses and A Bold Stroke for a Wife (Arthur H. Scouten, The London Stage). The song was later printed in several books, mostly without the tune, but with it in The Musical Miscellany, p. 288, Perth, 1786, and Calliope, or The Vocal Enchantress, p. 466-7, London and Edinburgh, 1788. The tune also appeared in a few country dance music collections. The tune is a version of "Up with Aley, &c," in A Choice Collection of 180 Loyal Songs, 3rd edit., p. 117, 1685. The song is obviously two short songs strung together, and there is perhaps some early evidence for one of them. The cuckolding of John Thompson mentioned is the second part seems to have been known in 1694. A manuscript of about 1715, NLS MS Adv. 23.3.24, contains an epitaph mentioning his cuckold's horns:

Ane Satyrick Epitaph to Daniel Nicolson who was hang'd for makeing use of a forged paper And for adultrie with Mistress Pringle on the 14. febr. 1694. Mistress Pringle being beheaded the same day in the Grassmarket.

The Lords of Justice by a Trick
Have Lately hang'd the ablest prick
               Was ever born
Had he been Left alive they fear'd
That on there heads he might have rear'd
               John Thomsons horn
Now Pluto tye thy garters fast
Else thou mast wear the horns at last
               If Daniel mingle
With Proserpine And Let her know
But half the vigour he did show
               To Mistress Pringle

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[Moggy Lawder]

There liv'd a Lass in our Town,
   Her name was Moggy Lawder,
And She would fain have plaid the Loon,
   But durst not tell her father;
Now She's forgot her Father's fear,
   And on the same did venture,
And afterwards as you shall hear
   A Lad did oft frequent her.

Now Moggy Lawder on a Day,
   A Barber Lad did meet her,
Both Joy and Heart to her did say,
   And kindly he did greet her:
My dear let me get thee with Bearn,
   And Ise shall be it's Father,
And you'll be Mother of the same,
   My bonny Moggy Lawder.

Sweet-heart to him she says indeed,
   And so did fall a weeping,
I'm wearied with my Maidenhead
   While I have it in keeping:
But if thou'lt true and trusty be,
   As I am Moggie Lawder,
Ise then will give it unto thee,
   But do not tell my Father.

For if my Father hear he same,
   Right fore he will abuse me,
But I think long to try the Game,
   Therefore I'll not refuse thee:
But first protest to marry me,
   To be my Baby's Father,
And be a Husband unto me,
   Bonny Moggy Lawder.

My Dear says he indeed I am,
  Unto my Trade a Shaver,
And there is not a living Man,
  Can call me a Deceiver;
Yea surely I will marry thee,
   And be thy Baby's Father,
And thou shalt be a Wife to me,
   My bonny Moggie Lawder.

And then to her he gave a Kiss,
   Saying, Dear, how shall I please thee,
Be sure I will do more than this,
   And of thy troubles ease thee:
And all along upon her Back,
  He laid poor Moggy Lawder,
Gave her a Scope upon her dope,
  She durst not tell her Father.

With Kisses and Embraces then,
   In Peace and Love they parted,
And did appoint another time,
   To meet there loving hearted:
And with a merry Heart's content,
   With what the Lad had gave her,
Rejoycing homeward as she went
   She sung the jolly Shaver.

But now the Seed that late was sown,
   Is become a springing,
And she is melancholly grown,
   And has left off her singing:
And often in her Heart could wish,
   That she had been a Callder,
For Edinburgh is filled with
   The talk of Moggie Lawder.
"Maggie Lauder" is a familiar Scots song. Less familiar is the earlier "The Scotch Lass's Lamentation for the Loss of her Maiden Head" in A Collection of Old Ballads, II, p. 258-60, 1723, the source of the text here. The tune is given as "Moggy Lawther" in The Quaker's Opera, 1729, (where all but the leading and last two notes are dotted eighth and sixteenth pairs) and "Moggy Lawther on a day" in The Begger's Wedding, 1729. This last title is from the second verse of the song, and shows what song was known to Londoners by that title. In 1730 the tune appeared in the ballad opera Patie and Peggie, and in A. Craig's A Collection of Scots Tunes. The tune also appeared in four later ballad operas, The Highland Fair, 1731; Achilles, 1733; The Decoy, 1733; and The Whim, 1734. It is subsequently found in several Scottish tune collections.

Play: S1, MGYLWDR1, Moggy Lauther, Neals' Country Dances, Dublin, c 1726
S1, MGYLWDR2, Moggy Lowther, Quaker's Opera, 1728
S1, MGYLWDR3, Moggy Lawther on a day, Beggar's Wedding, 1729
Note, compare the last here with ALYCRKR2, above

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The Patriarch.

Tune - The auld cripple Dow.

As honest Jacob on a night, 
Wi' his beloved beauty,
Was duly laid on wedlock's bed,
And noddin' at his duty.
      Tal de dal, &c.

How lang, she says, ye fumblin' wretch
  Will ye be f-----g at it?    
My eldest wean might die of age,
  Before that ye could get it.

Ye pegh, and garne, and groazle there
  And mak an unco splutter,
And I maun ly and thole you here,
  And fient a hair the better.

The he, in wrath, put up his graith,
  The deevil's in the hizzie!
I m-w you as I m-w the lave,
  And night and day I'm bisy.

I've bairn'd the servant gypsies baith,
  Forgive your titty Leah;
Ye barren jad, ye put me mad,
  What mair can I do wi' you.

There's ne'er a m-w I've gi'en the lave,
  But you h'ae got a dizzen;
And d--n'd a ane ye'se get again,
  Altho' your c--t should gizzen.

The Rachel calm, as ony lamb,
  She claps him on the waulies,
Quo' she, ne'er fasha woman's clash,
  In trowth, ye m-w me braulies.

My dear 'tis true, for mony a m-w,
  I'm your ungratefu' debtor;
But ance again, I dinna ken,
  We'll aiblens happen better.

Then honest man! wi' little wark,
  He soon forgat his ire;
The patriarch, he coost the sark,
  And up an till't like fire!!!
The song is by Robert Burns from The Merry Muses of Caledonia. The chorus is not given in full in the Merry Muses. The tune does not seem to have been previously identified. The tune here, "The Auld Criple Dow," given complete, is from D[avid] Rutherfoord's Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1758, p. 11 [1757-58]. Such collections were usually published a few months before the start of the year named in the title. With the possible exception of a tune "Fair and Lucky," Rutherfoord's collection, although published in London, consists entirly of Scots tunes. Many Scots tunes that were never published in Scotland may be found in collections of English country dance tunes. The Thompson and Rutherford families and Wm. Campbell, (and some of the Gows), all country dance music publishers, were of Scots extraction.

Play: S1, PATRARK, Auld Criple Dow, Rutherford, 1758

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[Shy Scots Wooers. From Bannatynes MS]

I saw me thot this hindir nycht
A squyar and ane madin bricht
Vn till a chalmer fast thame sped
But ony vthir erdly wicht
allone to mak the lairdis bed

Quhen that the bed was reddy maid
he braist hir in his armes & said
Wald ye your schankis lat me sched
Ye suld by myne & thairin laid
and we durst [not] spill the lairdis bed [spoil

he put his hand at hir spair
and graipit dounwart ye wait quhair [ye know where
Qot he this mowth wald fane be fed
he sicht and his hart was sair [sighed
& durst not spill the lairdis bed

To spill the bed It war a pane
Qot he the laird will not be fane [quoth
To fynd it towit and ourtred
q scho I sall mak it agane [quothe she]
and ye wald spill ye lairdis bed

And I had yow in sum vther place
That I micht speik & no thing spair
q scho ye ma haif me vlned
Suppoiss it war ane myill and mair
Wt yow to spill the lairdis bed.

Yot I wald draw yow doun he sayis
Wer not for fyling of your clayis [defiling clothes
quhat rek q scho I am weill cled
Ye ar our red for windil strayis
That dar not spill the lairdis bed

Thair wes na bowk in till his breik
his doinges wes not wirth a leik
ffy on him fowmart now is he fled
and left the madin swownying seik
and durst not spill the lairdis bed

Play: no tune known

Pretty Peggy Benson

There lived not far from our town
     Slow Willie Stenson
And he would fain a plaid the loon
     with pretty Peggy Benson.

It happen'd on a summers' day
     That slow Willie Stenson
As he was abroad a cocking of hay
     With pretty Peggy Benson.

'My dear, I fain would lay thee down,'
     Says Slow Willie Stenson
'But I fear I shall spoil your holyday gown,
     My pretty Peggy Benson.'

'Then lay me down, and spare me not,
     Thou slow Willie Stenson.
My holyday gown cost thee not a groat'
     Says pretty Peggy Benson.

I'll straight step home and fetch my cloak'
     Says slow Willie Senson.
Meantime came another and plaid the joke
     With pretty Peggy Benson.

'I wish my cloak had been in the fire'
     Says slow Willie Stenson
'E'er I had lost my heart's desire,
     In pretty Peggy Benson.'

"Then come again some another day,
     Thou slow Willie Stenson
I'll skim off the curd and give thee the whey,'
     Says pretty Peggy Benson.
Text above from The Encyclopedia of Comic Songs, London, 1819. There are many other copies dating from "Oppertunity Lost" of the 17th century. [Reprinted in Leslie Shepard's The History of Street Literature, p. 160, 1973. Two single sheet editions with music appeared in the 18th century.

Play: BM3.HTM, B376, Pretty Beggy Benson, from single sheet

[NLS MS 17799, c 1715?]

Damon faintly askt once & I briskly reply'd
The next time you ask me in Conscience I'll try't
Upon which he ran off & come near me no more
What the Devil is the puppy afraid of a whore

However I'll not vex for I'm fully ensured
He's been poxed to the teeth & is not fully cur'd
Tho' he's hand some & young I'll venture to say
he's a bad woman's man yt will take the first nay

I'll not cry with the Psalmist but old Castlemain
he yt wins me must do it again & again
Then Adieu let him go for I never will vex
O'm sure to be askt for there's more of the sex

Play: No tune known

Go to Index

[From NLS MS 6299, f 10]

The Holland Smock

As I went forth to take the air
  and in the month of May
  beside the pleasant chrystal stream
  the woods being green and gay
Beneath a pleasant myrtle tree
  a comely Damsel I did see-- with ah[-
  and her coat above her knee

her stockins was of the finest silk
  and of a lovely green
  and tho' the same her shin did l[?--
  most pleasant to be seen
I] stood amazed at the sight
  to see my charming maid so bright wtal
  it did my soul Delight

H]er Garters was of Ribbend Red
  and lie'd above her knee
  and as she lay on her mossie bed
--] most pleasant for to see
  the] blustering winds blew up her cloths
  and all her secrets did disclose, it ahape[?] 
  and there I spy'd a rose

I] was full loath to wake this maid
  out of her tender sleep
  I stood amaz'd at the sight
but still my flesh did creep
  I [at] length said I fair maid comply
  and let me down by you to ly, it aha[?]
  it will increase my joy 

--]h'd the Dial of her clock
  and well I did it like
  but it wanted a hammer and a cock
before that it could strike
  then underneith her Holland Smoke [sic]
  I] in her Dial fixt my cock, its aha[?
  and the hammer went nick nack

In setting of her clock in tune
  I wakened this fair maid
  and blushing like the rose in June
  these words to me she said
O! treacherous man what brought you he[re
  your instrument have she[?]d my hair, w[--
  you have ruin'd me I fear

Fair maid said I be not affraid
  for I know thy clock goes right
  I am a clock maker to my trade
  and I've set your Dail right
O then said she if you'll go with me
  five hundred pound shall be you[r fee, ---
  and so they both agree'd
Go to Index

Supper is na Ready

Roseberry to his lady says,
  "My hinnie and my succour.
"O shall we do the thing you ken,
  "Or shall we take our supper.
      Fal lal, &c.

Wi' modest face, sae fu' o' grace,
  Replied the bonny lady;
"My noble lord do as ye please,
  "But supper is na ready.
      Fal lal, &c.

A version of the song, "Roseberry to his lady says", is in the Merry Muses of Caledonia with the tune direction "Clout the Cauldron." There are several much earlier versions of this short song/ poem, which is probably older than the tune, which is first found in the second volume of Orpheus Caledonius, 1733. However, there is no early evidence that it was a song, other than the catch noted below.

'Sir John to his Lady.' This is a late addition to an early 17th century manuscript and of very uncertain date, perhaps c 1660, but here printed from copy of 1744 in The Merry Medley, Or a Christmas-Box for Gay Gallants and Good Companions.

Says Sir John to my Lady, as together they sat,
My dear shall we sup first, or do you know what?
With an innocent smile, reply'd the good Lady,
Sr John as you please, - but Supper's not ready.

An extended version, set as a catch, is on a single sheet song with music, c 1735.

Said Sr to his Lady as kissing, as kissing they sate,
shall we now go to Dinner or to you know, to you know what,
with a Languishing look reply'd, reply'd the good Lady
Sr John what you please, for your Dinner, your Dinners not ready.
but Sweet good Sr John, Sr John bent thus given to wallow
if you Stir but up Stairs, I protest, I protest I must follow

The Comic Miscellany, II, p. 145, 1756, contains a close relative. Note 'kissing' was a common euphemism for sexual intercourse, but in only a very few cases is it unambiguous.

Come, Meg, be quick and make the bed;
Now tuck the Feet, now place the Head;
I'll Kiss you, if you don't bestir ye:
Quoth Meg, I can't abide to hurry.

Go to Index


[Clout the Caldron, from NLS MS 6299 f. 144.]

The]re was a lady fair and she so loo'd a gentleman
--]f she could not get him when she would but took him now and then
WI]th a fa dadree &c

She] wrote to him a letter & seal'd it with a ring
--]s bad him become a tinkler before any other thing
with a fa &c

W]hen this merry gentleman this letter he did read
He] got his budget on his back his apron on with speed
with a fa &c

Wit]h bag and baggage on his back & buget in his apron
Lon]g pyk staff into his hand like to his occupation
Wit'h a faa____&C

His] bonny face was smother black that he shew'd not be known
A] leatheron wallet on his back his breeches rent & torn
W]ith a fa &c

T[?]he maners and his pi[??]ers so well's they did agree
So] he like a lusty tinkler came louping over the lea
wit]h a fa &c

Till] he came to the ladys gate to knock he did not speare
The] porter he cam to the gate who knocks so rudly [there
With] a fa &c

I am] a tinkler to my trade I work for meat & fee
If] you['ve] any broken pots of pans pray bring ym down to me
Wit]h a fa &C

When she beheld his countenance then she began to w[ink
rise up my lusty butler and give my tinkler drin[k
with a fa &c

I']le give him drink as we do drink & meat as we do [use
I never saw a tinkler good offers to refuse
with a fa &C

When he had eat & drunk his fill the truth of it w[as so--
She took the tinkler by the hand his work to him to [show
with a fa &C

She took him by the hand & led him in the dark
but he would not ca' a nail to her down of a hundred [mark
with a fa &C

She took the hammer in her hand & she began to stri[ke
to let her weded lord to know the tinkler was at work
with a fa &c

Strike on strike on tinkler she says strike on & dinna s[lack
for there is not a tinkler in all the land has such a stiddy [cock
with a fa

it is [*]y steddy struk madam I must need confess [*oblit.
I never did get such a heat upon a ca'drons arse
With a fa &c

She went into the room her husband for to t[ell
but did not tell him any thing yt in ye dark befell
With a fa ---

He's] a gallant tinkler but he is wonder dear
He] takes ha'f a mark for every nail the truth if you will hear
Wit]h a fa &C

Ha]lf a mark for every nail, & fourty for the ca'ing
B]y faith then says the lord I'd better buy a new ane
Wit]h a fa &C

In he went into the room his money for to fetch
befor]e that he came back again she got the other touch
Wi]th a fa &c

But] when the tinkler took his leave she bad him not n[?]eed son[or u?]ding
For] there's not a month in all the year but our ca'dron will need mending
Wi]th a fa &c

A polite song of this title has long been familiar from the copy in Allan Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany, 1724, first printed with music in Orpheus Caledonius, II, 58, 1733. The tune is also given in Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, book 7. In McGibbon's Collection of Scots Tunes, 1755, #31, it is called "The Tinkar's Occupation," and it is back to "Clout the Cauldron" in Bremner's re-edition of McGibbon, 1768.

The song was probably inspired by "The London gentlewoman", which is apparently in Christ Church College, Oxford, MS CCC 328, but not reprinted. See Simpson, BBBM the tune, but not song, "The London Gentlewoman, Or, The Hemp-Dresser," with title order reversed.

The text here is very similar to that on an English broadside ballad, "Room for a Jovial Tinker, Old Brass to mend," to the lost tune of "Behold the man (with a glass/can in his hand) of c 1655. (Facsimile copy, The Pepys Ballads, III, 31, 1987, an issue of 1681-2.) The ballad was belatedly entered in 1675, Rollins' A.I. #2323. Another entry, A. I. #1350, of 1639, might possibly be for this ballad, but I've not seen tune direction "Behold the man" that early, and A. I. #1309 is certainly for an earlier 'Jolly Tinker' song, probably that first suggested by Rollins. A copy of the broadside is reprinted in Roxburghe Ballads, VII, 74, and I agree with Ebsworth's estimate of date there, c 1656, for the broadside version.

The text here should also be compared to the copy in Merry Drollery, I, 134, 1661 (in Ebsworth's Choyce Drollery, p. 233, 1876), and Farmer's Merry Songs, I, 142, with the broadside version on p. 41 of latter. Also in Common Muse,#157)) J. McBain, The Scottish Musical Magazine, V, 216, 1924, notes similarity of "Clout the Caldron" = "The Tinklar's Occupation" with "Three sheepskins" from the Skene MS (Dancing Master from 10th ed, and ballad operas Polly, Devil to pay, Jealous Clown) without concluding they are same tune.

McGibbon in his third book of Scots tunes gave a version. "The Tinker's Occupation" with a different first strain. That version is also found as, "The Tinkler's ocupation", in the 18th century Knox MS in the Library of Congress. In 2/4 time, this version of tune is "Clout the Caldron" in C. V. Stanford's Complete Petrie Collection of Ancient Irish Music, I, #430, 1902.

Robert Burns, though sometimes mis-informed, is just possibly right that this is on one of the Kenmure family in Cavalier times. The date, at least, checks out right. See Davidson Cook's article in Burns Chronicle, 1922, reprinted with Dick's Songs of Robert Burns, p. 18, 1962.

Play: S1, CLTCLDN, from Orpheus Caledonius

Go to Index

A much enfeebled version, lots of bawdy language, but not much story line, is the modern "The Highland Tinker", one version of which goes: The Highland Tinker

The Lady of the Manor was dressing for the ball
When she saw a highland tinker p--g up against the wall
With his dirty great kidney-wiper and b--s the size of three
And half a yard of parkin hanging down below his knee.

The lady wrote a leter, and in it she did say
She rather would be f--d by a tinker than her husband any day,
With his &c.

The tinker got the letter, and when it he did read
His p--k began to fester and his b--s began to bleed,
With his &c.

The Tinker mounts his charger, and into town he rides
With his p--k flung over his shoulder and his B--ks by his side,
With his &c.

He f--d her in the pantry, he f--d her in the hall
God save us, said the butler, he has come to f--k us all.
With his &c.

ffolowis the ballet maid vpoun Margaret fleming callit the flemyng bark in Endinburt.

[by Robt. Sempill. Bannatyne MS, 1567]

I had a littil flemyng berge [bark
Off clenkett work but scho is wicht
Quhat pylett takis my schip in chairge
Mon hald hir Clynlie trym & tickt [Must hold her clean, trim, &
Se that hir hatches be handlit richt
Wt steirburd baburd luf & lee
scho will sale all the wintir nicht
And nevir tak a telyevie.

With evin keill befoir the wind
Scho is richt fairdy wt a sail
Bot at ane lufe shoe lyis behind
Gar heiss hir quhill hir howbandis skaill [heis?]
Draw weill the takill to hir taill
Scho will not miss to lay yor mast [mast - penis]
To pomp als oft as ye may Haill
Yeill nevir hald hir watterfast

To calfet hir oft can do non ill
And talloun quhair the flud mark flowis
Bot gif sho lekkis gett men of skill
To stop hir hoilis laich in ye howiss [hole laich ? in house]
ffor falt of hemp Tak hary towis
Wt stane ballest wtowttin vder
In moneless nichtis It is na mowis
Except and stowte man hir ruder

A fair vesschell abone ye watter
And is bot laitly reiket to
Quhairto till deif yow wt tome clatter
Ar nane sic in the floit as scho [in the flight as she]
Plvm weill the grund quhat evir ye doo [Plumb well the ground..]
Haillon the suksheit and the blind
Scho will take in at cap and keo
Wtowt scho ballast be behind

Na pedderis pak scho will ressaif [pedler's pack..receive]
Althocht his travell scho sowld tyne
Na coukeald karle nor carllingis pet [No cuckold carle(man)..]
that dois thair corne and caitell cryne [or farmer..]
Bot quhair scho findis a fallow fyne.
He wilbe frawcht fre for a souss [bought for a sou]
Scho kareis nocht bot [for] men & wyne
And bulyoun to ye counye houss [Coney, rabbit; slang, vagina]

([She] to Ioh[n] carmichell:)

ffor merchandmen I may haif mony
Bot nane sic as I wald desyre
And I am layth to mell wt ony
To leif my mater in the myre [leave my mother in the mud, mire]
That man that wirkis best for his hyre
Syne he salbe my mariner [Then he shall be...]
Bot nycht & day mon he nocht tyre [...must he not tire]
That sailis my bony ballinger


ffor ankerhald nane can be fund
I pray you cast the leidlyne owt [leadline]
And gif ye can nocht get the grund [touch the bottom]
Steir be the compas and keip hir rowt
Syne treveiss still and lay a bowt
And gar hir top twiche wind and wave [twixt wind and wave/water]
Quhair aker dryvis thair is na dowt [ anker, anchor; -penis]

Now is my pretty pynnege reddy
Abydand on sum merchand blok
Bot be scho Emptie be our leddy [by our Lady/ Virgin Mary]
scho will be kittill of hir dok [careful of her - dok - dock?]
scho will ressaif na landwart Iok [receive no ladlubber Jock]
Thocht he wald frawcht hir for a pound [would pay her a pound]
Thus fair ye weill, sayis god Iohine cok [tailor of Edinburgh
Ane nobil telyour in this town [Johnny Cock, or Coke]

ffinis q Sempill

Play: no tune known

Go to Index

Untitled pinnace: Added to the Bannatyne Manuscript later, c 1600- 30, is the piece as follows:

Now gossop I must neiedis begon
And leive my pretty pinnage to yor guyde [pinnace]
Look wele about yow lippen hir to none
But to your selfe and be ay streight besyd

Som rakless roige may hasard her to ryde
And namlie at ane anker in the night
Bot quhen ye wey rekin wele yor tyd [reckon well your tide]
And qn ye shoot alongis the shoar keip syt

Stand to yor takill and main top tie
Heis[t] vp your foirsaill to the hivins on hie
In with your bot and boldlie bound for sie

Beir vp hir beugh albeit she sould ly over
Hald vp hir helme hardlie to the wind
And stand not for a glass, steir three or four
Rather then ony vther enter in
Bot fra ye feill yor bowling once begin
To mak forfalded flapping on the mast
Cast lous the fuksheit, the bonnet, and the blind
Let hir ly by, ye must abyd the blast
And qn ye feill yt all the perill is past
And yt the wind is rowine let her stryk to
Beir vp of new wt courage yet avast
Surmount no farder yn your courss can do
If she be laik it may be soon espyed
The pompstaff and the maner holls will tryit.

Play: no tune known

There is a song somewhat along the same lines called "The Pinnace" in Bagford Ballads, I, p. *515, the commences "A Pinnace rigg'd with silken sales". The editor was taken in. This is a forgery by John Payne Collier, c 1747. Collier got the title from a list of songs in Samuel Rowlands' Crew of Kind Gossips, 1613, as he noted in a footnote, p. xix, 'A Book of Roxburghe Ballads, 1847. Another piece that Collier mentioned from Rowlands' list is "Bess for Abuses", which was one of the original pieces in the manuscript that Collier completed with his forgeries. Collier failed to recognize it. It is given below.

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Andro's Cutty Gun.

The spirited tune of the following Scots ditty was published c 1754. The song was printed in the 1740 editon of Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany, and was copied into NLS MS 6299 before 1750 as "Andro's Cutty Gun". (tune well known)

Blythe, blythe, and merry was she,
     Blythe was she but and ben, [in and out]
An' weel she lo'ed it in her nieve,
     But better when it slippit in.

When a' the lave gaed to their bed,
     And I sat up to clean the shoon,
O wha think ye cam jumpin ben,
     But Andrew and his cuttie gun?

Or e'er I wist he laid me back,
     And up my gamon to my chin;
And ne'er a word to me he spak,
     But liltit out his cuttie gun.

The bawsent bitch she left the whalps
     And hunted round us at the fun,
And Andrew fodgel'd with his arse,
     And fir'd at me the cuttie gun.
          Blyth, blyth, &c.

O some delights in cuttie stoup,
     And some delights in cuttie-mun,
But my delights an a--elins coup,
     Wi' Andrew an' his cuttie gun.
          Blyth, blythe, blyth was she,
          Blythe was she but and ben;
          An' weel she loed it in her nieve,
          But better when it slippit in.
Go to Index

Young Roger's Conquest.

[From NLS MS 6299, f. 165v. c 1745.]

Tune: My mammys coming.

Down Roger laid me & raised my duds & all
fumbled in hast & bedevill'd my city wall
all my best play was to brace fast or scratche
But my hands did fail me & shame would not let me [last
   O the deep tragical comical pretty game
   O the sweet engine that gallantly acts the same
   O the soft prolific tub[e] that I will not name
   & the Catholicon that Cures each sickly Dame

The engine fell playing & razzing my Rampa[rt
hand grander yearing & coasting my little F[ort
But all in vain I made him with losses sur[--
and in front sneak away from my garrison
  O the deep

He rally'd I play'd, we both panted strove & fou[ght
to force, and I to defend the fort
I] grown impatient unable to stand his shot
o]pend wide my gates an pray who would have t[hought
   O the deep

I fr]om the bold Hero received my passage free
He] enter'd the breach with an air of barbarity
-]nunag'd and rag'd & most eagerly plunder'd me
Wh]ile I lay quacking thrust up as frog should be
  O the deep

O] the Dear traytor repeated each lusty hit
He] cannonaded the pleace would have hindered it 
H]it is so fairly the Bakers round Dozzen trip
Wh]ile I falter'd lay seiz'd with a sobbing [--?
   O the deep
He-]inch'd it so fairly so squarely so cleverly
--]nk'd the foundation so fairly so shockingly
--]t could say was I swear you will murder me
--]tch wund Bowl easy pose[?] take you, ye'll smother me
  O the deep

--]when the seige rais'd & he was quite spent & gone
--]lled of ease thee, my frame did then thrill oun
I regaleed it & feasted on lovely man
in the end of the fray I have the battle won
  O] sweet tragical comical pretty
The tune "Kiss me quick my mother's coming," Merry Medley, 1744, doesn't seem to fit this. A variant version is in Kane O'Hara's Midas, 1764. A different tune, "Kiss me fast my Minnie's coming", in book 2 of the Gow's Complete Repository doesn't seem to fit either.

Go to Index

The Young Maid's Resolution.

[From NLS MS 6299, f. 49v. c 1745.]

A young man on a day, as he was walk[ing
down by a river side, he spie'd a servant
a young maid he did meet none would persw[ade her
but she would go along with him forever

A soldiers wife I'll be, I love it dearly
I'll wait upon my dear both late & [early
and this was all her song, none would persw[ade her
but she would go along with him forever

Here stands your right hand me[?]n to [--
here stands your left hand man front as you [?
pull out your scouring stick tho' it be lar[ge?
and use your motions quick come dainty [--

Then she pull'd up her smock stood ready l[ike
at her he match'd his cock & then he di[d strike
and she did slow her pace at his desire
He] like a valiant man strok and gave fire

It']s bravely done she said do not Degrade me
Hav]e at me once again I do intreat ye
He] took her by the hand & thus he spoken
M]y cock it will not stand the spring is broken

I]f it be broken girle our game is ended
Th]en we can play no more till it be mended
Tha]t by this unhappy shot I greatly fear sir
I'l]e have a young son got a volunteer Sir

Play: no tune known

Go to Index

Moss and his Mare

The last line of Act III of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream reads, "The man shall have his mare again and all shall go well." The tune "The man shall have his mare again" is in J. Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 12, c 1760.

Text here is from J. O. Halliwell. J. W. Ebsworth repeated it in his 1876 reprint of Merry Drollery. The tune is "The man shall have his mare again." This text is, I assume, a condensation of a lost original of much earlier date, or perhaps a parody of it. A broadside ballad entry of 1569/70 is 'taken nappynge as Mosse toke his meare,' but no earlier copy, broadside or manuscript, than that above, seems to be known, other than a revised Scottish copy. Later allusions to the song abound, some mentions of it are the following:

F. J. Furnival, gave a song from a manuscript of c 1620-30, BM C. 39.a. The song is also in BL MS Add'l. 24,665, c 1625, and there are several other copies in MSS. An early one, Bodleian MS Rawl. 26, c 1620, heads it 'Mr. Lawson of St. Albon's Colledge his verses to his mistresse'. The song was later printed. Verse three of the song, beginning "O love, whose power and mighte," concludes:

     Your tresses finely wrought,
     Like to a golden snare,
     My lovinge harte has caught--
     As Mosse did catch his mare.

A broadside ballad, "The Praise of a Pretty Lass," c 1620-30,
gives us Moss's trade and the mare's name: 
     I am caught as the miller did catch his mare Brock. 

In "The old Ballet of shepheard Tom," we find:
     Say on a tree she may see her Tom rid from all care,
     Where she may take him napping, as Mosse took his mare.
A poem in RUMP, 1662, commencing, "Britain's a lovely Orchard," ends:

     Be wise then in your Ale, bold youths, for fear
     The Gardner catch us as Mosse caught his mare.

In a broadside ballad, "The Young-Man's Ramble," c 1682, part of
verse 9 goes:
     And Cupid catch'd young Sarah napping, 
       as Moss by chance did catch his Mare:

In another, "A New Merry Medley," printed by P. Brooksby,
1688-1695, is a further allusion. In verse 5 we find the line:
     Pritty Sue was catcht Naping, as Moss catcht his Mare. 

There are others not quoted here. In addition, several Scottish
versions of the song are known from as far back as 1825.   
Moss and his Mare.

Moss was a little man, and a little mare did buy,
For kicking and for sprawling, none could her come nigh;
She could trot, she could amble, and could canter here and there,
But one night whe strayed away - so Moss lost his mare.

Moss got up next morning to catch her fast asleep,
And round about the frosty fields so nimbly he did creep,
Dead in a ditch he found her, and glad to find her there,
So I'll tell you by and by, how Moss caught his mare.

Rise! stupid, rise! he thus to her did say;
Arise you beast, you drowsy beast, get up without delay,
For I must ride you to the town, so don't lie sleeping there;
He put the halter round her neck -- so Moss caught his mare.

In Cobold's 'New Fashions', BL MS 18937, we find an apparent parody:

I have a mare they call her brook,
but if th'wilt have me love tell me now,
thou'st have ye skin to make ye a frook,
cloute leather never so deare, I cannot come every day to wooe.

Play: S1, MSSMARE, The man shall have his mare again, Oswald's CPC

Go to Index


The last words of James Mackpherson, Murderer.

I spent my time in rioting,
  Debauched my health and strength;
I pillag'd plundered, murdered,
  But now, alas! at length
I'm brought to punishment condign,
  Pale death draws near to me:
The end I never did expect
  To hang upon a tree.
To hang upon a tree, a tree,
  That curs'd unhappy death!
Like to a wolf to worried be,
  And chocked in the breath.
It makes my very heart to break
  When this I think upon,
Did not my courage singular
  Bid pensive thoughts begone.
No man on earth that draweth breath
  More courage had than I,
I dar'd my foes unto the face,
  Knew not what 'twas to fly.
A grandeur stout I did keep out
  Like Hector manfullie.
Then wonder all that such a spark
  Should hang upon a tree.
The Egyptian band I did command  [Gypsies]
  With greater sway by far
Than ever did a general
  His soldiers in the war.
Being fear'd by all, and spar'd by all,
  I liv'd most joyfullie,
But ay pox take this fate of mine
  Must hang upon a tree.
No grief at all I will take up,
  If justice will take place,
And bring my fellow plunderers
  Into the same disgrace.
For Peter Brown, that nottour lown,
  Escap'd and was made free;
But ay pox take that fate of mine
  Must hang upon a tree.
All laws and justice buried are,
  Force, fraud, and guile succeed,
The guilty pass unpunished,
  If money interceed.
The Laird of Grant, that Highland Saint,
  That mighty Majesty,
Did plead the cause for Peter Brown,
  And let Macpherson dye.
The Destinies my death contriv'd,
  Men whom I did oblige,
Rewarded my much ill for good,
  And left me no refuge;
Fro Braco Duff, in rage enuff,
  At length laid hands on me,
The which if death do not prevent,
  Revenged I shall be.
As for pale death I do not care,
  More courage ne'er had none;
But yet Hell's torments I do not fear
  When once my life is gone:
Therefore, good people, all take heed,
  This warning take by me,
According to the life you lead
  Rewarded you shall be.
As for my death I'll not lament,
  Such things I do abhorre,
To part with life I'm well content
  As any heretofore.
Therefore, my counsel to you all
  Is to repent and turn,
Lest afterwards it may befall
  You in hell's fire to burn.
For neither death nor devil's power
  This rage of mine shall break,
For in the place to which I go
  Some office I expect.
I'll muster all the powers of hell,
  I'll cross the Stygian lake,
Upon the heads of those my foes
  Sad vengence I shall take.
Then be content, and not relent,
  My silly soul until
The time may come wherin thou may'st
  Perform thy latter will.
In hopes whereof I poured forth
  This with a dying breath;
As joyfully as man could do
  Who hath in sight his death.
Then wantonly and rantingly
  I am resolved to die,
And with undaunted courage I
  Shall mount the fatal tree.
Wm. Motherwell printed the above from a broadside in The Paisley Magazine, p. 618, Nov. 1828. The broadside was probably that at Harvard, because that in the Crawford collection (#613) seems to have had its top trimmed off and only has the subtitle as heading. John Glen, ESM, p. 95, noted the tune in the Sinkler MS, 1710, as "M'farsance's testament." It is in Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, I, (c 1734) as "Mac Fosset's Farewell", and in a collection of Dan. Wright without title page, c 1735, as "Mac Foset's Farewell". As "McPherson's Rant" it is in a MS compiled by D. Young, 1734, Bodleian. It was widely printed later.

The fiddle McPherson broke across his knee on the scaffold is preserved. Both of it is in museums in Edinburgh and Newtonmore, Invernesshire. That in Edinburgh was pictured in National Geographic, sometime around 1970-75.

Play: S1, MCPHRSN, from Scots Musical Museum

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[Songs here related in text, but not necessarily in tune.]

From SMM, #213

Ay waukin, O,

Simmer's a pleasant time,
Flowers of ev'ry colour;
The water rins o'er the haugh.
An I long for my true lover!
     Ay waukin, O,
     Waukin still and weary:
     Sleep I can get nane,
     For thinking on my Dearie.

When I sleep I dream,
  When I wauk I'm irie;
Sleep I can get nane
  For thinking on my Dearie.
     Ay waukin &c.

Lanely night comes on,
  A' the lave are sleepin:
I think on my bony lad
  And I bleer my een wi' greetin.
     Ay waukin &c.
Play: S1, AYWAKIN1, SMM #213
S1, AYWAKIN2, Stenhouse tune in Illustrations

[Sung by Ewan MacColl, Songs of Robert Burns. Folkways FW 8758]

Wm. Stenhouse gives what he says are all that remained of the original verses as well as what he said was the original tune is in his llustrations to the Scots Musical Museum, Song #213. Stenhouse didn't say where he found the tune.

Next from Hecht's Songs from David Herd's Manuscripts, p. 240, 1904. B version of "The Day Begins to peep", p. 238.

O wat,-- O wat and weary!
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my deary.
A' the night I wak,
A' the day I weary,
Sleep I can get nane
For thinking on my dearie

Slightly before SMM text with tune appeared, the same tune was in Wm. Napier's A Selection of the most favouite Scots Songs, for following song. Here from a songbook of 1828. [Napier's three volume collection is supposedly in the Library of Congress, but they have never been able to locate it for me.]

Jess Macpharlane

When first she came to town,
  They called her Jess Macpharlane;
But now she's come and gone,
  They call her the wandering darling.
     Oh ! this love, this love!
       Of this love I'm weary, O!
     Sleep I can geet none
       For thinking of my deary, O!

Her father loves her well,
  Her mither loves her better,
And I like the girl mysel,
  But, alas! I canna get her.
     Oh! this love, this love &c.

I took it in my head
  To write my love a letter;
But, alas! she canna read,
  And I like her aw'the better.
     Oh! this love, this love &c.

Then, since I canna rest,
  For thinking of my darling;
I'll wander, too, in quest
  Of lovely Jess Macpharlane.
     Oh! this love, this love &c.
Play: S1, AYWAKIN1

"Jess Macfarlane." BUCEM II, p. 1073, lists a single sheet edition printed at Edinburgh (J. Watlen, misspelled Walten in BUCEM), and a 3 and a 4 page issue in London, where it was sung at a concert, all undated, about 1790. John Glen, in his commments on SMM #213 in Early Scottish Melodies, p. 130, 1900, says "Jess Macfarlane" was published by Wm. Napier shortly before Vol. III of SMM appeared, whih he says came out in July, 1790. He dated an edition of 'Jess Macfarlane' by J. Watlen as 1793, but doesn't give the source (which may be the single sheet issue, as it is not in Watlen's Circus Tunes). The tune was used in 1793 in a short opera, The Children in the Wood, with music partly composed and partly selected by Samuel Arnold.

Not seen is "Nancy Newel" commencing "First when I came to town" in Peter Buchan's MSS, in British Library, c 1828 (with an answer).

"Salmon Fishers," second version, sixteen lines without tune, from Fochabers, in Alice B. Gome's The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland, IIp. 180, 1898 (reprint, Dover, 1964).

Northumberland: "The Hexamshire Lass," seven verses plus chorus with music, Bruce and Stokoe, Northumbrian Minstrelsy , Soc. of Antiquaries, Newcastle, p. 102-3, 1882. Verse six is related to the chorus of "Katy Cruel" (next below) There is an early 19th century copy of this reprinted in D. I. Harker's Songs from the Manuscript Collection of John Bell, #147, 1985. For a different tune with a title quite similar to the title here, see "The Buff and Blue", Gale Huntington, Wm. Litten's Fiddle Tunes, 1977.

  Hey for the buff and blue,
    Hey for the cap and feather,
  Hey for the bony lass true,
    That lives in Hexamshire.
      Through by the Saiby Syke,
        And over the moss and the mire,
      I'll go see my lass,
        Who lives in Hexamshire.

  Her father loved her well,
    Her mother loved her better,
  I love the lass mysel'
   But, alas! I cannot get her.
      Through by, &c.
  O, this love, this love,
    Of this love I'm weary,
  Sleep I can get none,
    For thinking of my deary,
       Through by, &c.
  My heart is like to break,
    My bosom is on fire,
  So well I love the lass,
    That lives in Hexamshire.
       Through by, &c. 
  Her peticoat is silk,
    And plated round with siller,
  Her shoes are tied with tape,
    She'll wait till I go till her.
       Through by, &c.
  Were I where I would be,
   I would be beside her;
  But here a while I must be,
    Whatever may betide her.
       Through by, &c.
Hey for the thick and thin,
    Hey for the mud and mire,
  And hey for the bonny lass,
    The lives in Hexamshire.
       Through by, &c.
Play: S1, HEXMLSS, from Northumbrian Minstrelsy

American: "Katy Cruel," said to date from before the Revolutionary War, and to be 'native' American in The American Heritage Songbook, p. 14-15, 1969, with a tune. Text only and citation of original source. Rosa S. Allen's Family Songs, (1899) in Flanders and Brown, Vermont Folk-songs and Ballads, pp. 123-4, 1939 (reprinted 1969). I am grateful to Lani Herrmann for information about the book and note of its present location at The Jackson Homestead, Newton, Mass. Is Katy a prostitute? See "Fancy Lad" following.

Katy Cruel

          When I first came to town
          They called me the "Roving Jewel,"             
          Now they've changed their tune,
          And call me "Katy Cruel"
              Oh, diddle lully day,
              Oh, de little li-o-day,
              Oh, that I was where I would be,
              Then should I be where I am not;
              Here I am where I must be,
              Where I would be I cannot.
              Oh, diddle lully day,
              Oh, de little li-o-day,
          When I first came to town,
          They brought me bottles plenty,
          Now they've changed their tune,
          And bring the bottles empty.

          I know whom I love,
          I know who does love me;
          I know where I'll go,
          And I know who'll go with me.

          Through the woods I'll go,
          Through the boggy mire,
          Straightway on the road,
          Till I come to my heart's desire.
          Oh, that I was where I would be,
          Then should I be where I am not:
          Here I am where I must be,
          Where I would be, I cannot.

          Eyes as bright as coal,
          Lips as red as cherry;
          And 'tis her delight
          To make the young folks merry.

For the chorus see the Opie's Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, p. 231. [A poetical piece commencing identically is in Bodleian MS Malone 19, p. 119, but unfortunately it is not available on microfilm.]

English: "Fancy Lad," eight verse broadside, c 1800?, text given below. Copy sent to me about 1969 by Frank Purslow, from Bodleian 2806 c 17 (123), formerly Douce 10. Nancy here evidently works as prostitute while her own fancy lad is in Quod (gaol).


When first I came to town,
They call'd me lovely Nancy,
But now they've chang'd my name,
And call me the soldier's fancy.
Go along, Go along, Bob,
Go along, Bob's a-dying,
Go along, Go along, Bob,
Your fancy girl's a-crying.

I will buy my love a coat,
Silver buttons on it,
I will let them see
I am the girl can do it.
Now when my love comes home,
I will roll in riches,
And I will buy my love
A pair of buckskin breeches.

I for beef and pork,
You for peas and pudding,
Put a clean pair of sheets on the bed,
For the fancy lads are coming.

When first I came to town,
I had not a gown to wear O,
But now I have nine or ten,
For the fancy lads to tear O.

O once I had a bed,
But now I am forc'd to plank it,
Hang and take the jade,
She stole my bed and blanket.

Then in came merry Peggy,
Hang her ragged fortune,
She pawn'd her best blue brat, (sic)
To raise her lad a quartern.

My fancy lad's in Quod,
I am free and willing,
To work by night or day,
And get an honest shilling.

Swindells, Manchester.

Irish?: "A New Song, Called Harry Newell." Eight verse broadside, c 1800-30? No music or tune citation. Printed in Holloway and Black's Later English Broadside Ballads, I, #88, 1975. (This volume has been reprinted in the U.S.) Lament for absent female lover, who lived by the 'Ropery,' for which see "Salmon Fishers," above.

When I came to this town,
They called me Harry Newell,
Now they've chang'd my name,
And they call me the raking Jewel,
Fal lal, etc. [no more of chorus given]

They put me to bed,
Thinking I was weary:
Sleep I could get none,
For thinking of my deary.

All the night awake,
All the day am weary:
Sleep I can get none,
When I think of my deary.

Her cheeks are ruby-red,
Her lips are like a cherry;
Her eyes as black as a sloe,
And her hair as brown as a berry.

She is a lovely lass,
She has my heart in keeping:
When I go to bed,
She hinders me from sleeping.

I'll send my love a letter,
And I will entreat her:
In Belfast-town with speed,
I will be sure to meet her.

Down by the Ropery,
All thro' mud and mire;
Down by Hampster-Place,
There liv'd my heart's desire.

She was a beauty bright,
There's no one can excell her;
She was my heart's delight,
I know not what befel her.

"The Leaboy's/ Licht Bob's Lassie." Greig-Duncan Folksong Collection, IV, #725, 1990. There are two versions of seven verses without music and six much shorter ones with tunes. The two longer version overlap with almost all the songs given here.

English traditional: "Aye For Saturday Night", Roy Palmer, Songs of the English Midlands, p. 33, 1972. Five verses sung by Cecilia Costello, Birmingham, 1971, and by her on a phono-record, and by Palmer on another. The editor points out relationship to "Hexamshire Lass". Most interesting verses are 1st and last:

   Aye for Saturday night, Sunday is a-coming
   I'll go up the town and meet my love a coming
      Oh for some rum rum rum, O for some gin and brandy.
      O for some rum rum rum, For my young man's a dandy.

  As I lay in my bed and you know who lay with me
  I know what I said but you don't know what he give me.     
    Oh, etc.
'I know where I'm goin',' Herbert Hughes, Irish Country Songs, I, p. 22, 1909, and often reprinted. This well-known Irish lyric piece is a another relative to its own tune.

Go to Index

[BL MS Ashmole 48. By John Wallis, c 1565.]

Our Jockye sale have our Jenny, hope I;
  Our Jocky sale have our Jenny;
I am well able for to cry,
  Our Jocky sal have our Jenny;

This indars day, as I cane pas,
  I spyede besyde a spynny
Jockye laykynge with a las,
  I hope it was our Jenny.

Ons or twys a wycke or mar
  I have farly the wyll note lynnye,
I taykte on my sale, I hope full year
  Our Jocky sale have our Jennye.

Ther leakys of love the cannote lean,
  Nor yete neythinge denye,
But Jenny of Jockye toakene hath tayn
  Mar then ens or twyne.
Mare then ens or tway, no dowbte,
   Yf it be as I wynnye,
I thinge it sal be brought abowte,  [think
  That our Jocky sall have our Jennye.

A goodly belte abowte here Jocky dyd wrythe,
  Walde sarve a lady full fytlye;
I have sene then alone full often sythe
  Smyland together full swettlye.

I merkyde yea thing, say Criste me save,
  Set fortye at on meale                   [one
And I hawde xx, Jocky sal have   [20 pounds?
  The greatste mes a keyle.

The greatiste disshe Jocky can gete
  Among all the meanye             [many
To quarttes of porrage Jocky wyll eat, [two
  The which sale have our Jennye.

Jennye hathe a smyland cowtinance,
  Ever twynklande with here I     [her eye
He God it wald bryde great disspleasance,  [?
  Yf her dame or syar shuld spye.

For Jennye commythe of the Tomsons in dede,
  Ho so wyll understande,
I thinkte be an of the beste lede  [one of the best lady 
  Even in all the northe londe.

And Jockye commythe of the Hoodsons,
  Whilke never man dyd defyle;
The hardiste and bawddiste blude that wonnes
  Within x. hondrithe myll.

But if Jockye have Jeny till his wyffe,
  As the voice gangges every where;
Leve Lord, ther be ney bat nor striffe,
  For then wyl be mickle skare.

Then wyl be muckle skare, perdye,
  Yf the tak parte in kynnye;
Our Jocky sal have our Jenny, hope I,
  Our Jocky sal have our Jennye.

A tale I hard not lange agane,
  Whilke tale may noutht be hydden;
Jocky and Jenny, the say full plean,
  At the kirk ther baynnis war bydden.  [bans

The ale was brewed uppon Monday,
  Whaye so wyll gange, sal se;
And uppone Sonday cum Sonday  [Sunday after next
  This great weddyn sal be.

Nowe goys Jocky every whear,
  God knowes he takys no reste,
To byd his gestis both fare and near
  To cum to the weddene feaste.

Nowe Jockys gestes ar geddryde togethare,
  And blyth as byrde on brear; [bird on briar
And Jocky and Jenny, as lyght as fethar,
  To the kyrk ar commyn in fear.

Ther wear the weddyd on Cristis name,
  And ich to other made spowse;  [each
When the hade done, agayn the cam hame,
  To ther owen weddyn howse.

Then Jenny was at the table sete,
  And all the gestes on a rowe;
Jocky cryede, bryng forthe meat,
  And sarve bothe he and lowe. [high

What sal we set them beforne,
  To Jocky thus dyde the crye;   [she
Gyve them some sardar and sodden corne,
  Tyll thear ballys stand awrye [bellies

Of swynes flesshe ther was great plenttie,
  Whilk ys a pleasant meate;
And garlyk, a sawce that ys full deyntye
  For any that sall it eate.

Then Jocky, when dynner was done,
  Begane hyme selffe to advance,
And sayd, "let pypar pype up sone,  [soon
  For, be our Lord, I wyll go dance.

Jocky took Jenny faste be the hand;
  Then pypar lafte the trace;
He playd so myryly the cold not stand [they could
  But the dansyd all apace.

The pyper pypte tyll his bally grypte,
  And the rowte began to revell;
With that lowde myrth he browth many forth,
  Then upstart carll and kevel.

           Dance [earliest description of hornpipe?]

"Now play us a horn pype," Jacky can say;
 Then todle lowdle the pyper dyd playe.

Harry Sprig, Harry Spryg, Mawde my doughtare,
Thomas my sone, and Jone cum after.

Wylkyn and Malkyn and Marryon be nam,
Lettes all kepe the strock in the peane of shame.

Torn about, Robyn; let Besse stand asyde;
"Now smyt up, mynstrell," the women cryde.

The pyper playd with his fynggars and thommes;
Play thick and short, mynstrell; my mothar commis.

"I wyl dance,' said one "and I for the wars;
Dance we, dance we, dance we!"
"Heighe!" quoth Hogkyne, "gyrd byth ars,
Letts dance all for compayne."

"Halfe torne, Jone, haffe nowe, Jock!
Well dansyde, be sent Dennye!   [St. Dennis
And he that breakys the firste strocke,
  Sall gyve the pypar a pennye.

In with fut, Robsone! owt with fut, Byllynge!
  Here wyll be good daunsyng belyve;
Daunsyng hath cost me forty good shyllynge,
  Ye forti shillynge and fyve.

Torn rownde, Robyne! kepe trace, Wylkyne!
  Mak churchye pege behynde,"
"Set fut to fut a pas," quod Pylkyne;
  "Abowt with howghe let us wynde."

"No, Tybe, war, Tom well," sayd Cate;
  "Kepe in Sandar, hold owte, Syme.
Nowe, Gaff, hear gome abowt me mat;
  Nyccoll, well dansyde and tryme."

"A gambole," quod Jocky, "stand asyde;
  Let ylke man play his parte.
Mak rom, my mastars; stande mor wyde;
  I pray youe with all my harte."

Hear ys for me wightly whipte,
  And it wear even for the nons;
Now for the lyghtly skypte,
  Well staggeryde on the stonnys.

"Be sweat sent Tandrowe, I am weary." quoth Jennye,
  "Good pypar, holde thy peace;
And thaw salt have thy bryddes penny."
  Then the pyper began to seas.

I swar by God, twyst this and France,
  Ye sal all undarstande,
Ther was not seen syck anothar dance,
  I trowe, in all the northe lande.

In all the northe land, my Jocky,
  As it pleanly doth apear,
Was not syk anothar weddyne
  This fyve and forty year.
      Finys, quothe Wallys.
Play: no tune known

Go to Index

[From Bannatyne MS, c 1567]

Robyens Iok come to wow our Iynny
On our feist day quhen we wer fow
Scho brankit fast and maid hir bony
And said Iok come ye for to wow
Scho birneist her baith breist & brow
and maid hir cleir as ony clok
Than spak hir deme and said I trow
Ye come to wow our Iynny Iok

Iok said forsuth I yern full fane
To luk my heid and sit doun by yow
Than spak hir modir and said agane
My bairne hes tocher gud annwch to ge yow
Te he q Iynny keik keik I se yow
Muder yone man makis yow a mok
I schro the lyar full leis me yow
I come to wow your Iynny q Iok

My berne scho sayis hes of hir awin
Ane guss ane gryce ane cock ane hen
Ane calf ane hog ane futebraid sawin
Ane kirn ane pin that ye weill ken
Ane pig ane pot ane raip thair ben
Ane fork ane flaik ane reill ane rok
Dischis and dublaris nyne or ten
Come ye to wow our Iynny Iok

Ane blanket and ane wecht also
Ane schule ane scheit and ane lang flail
Ane ark ane almry and laidillis two
Ane milk syth wt ane swyne tail
Ane rowsty quhittill to scheir the kail
Ane quheill anne mell the beir to knok
Ane coig and caird wantand ane naill
Come ye etc

Ane furme an furlet ane pott ane pek
Ane tub ane barrow wt ane quheilband
Ane turf an troch wnd ane meil sek
Ane spurtill braid and ane elwand
Iok tuk Iynny be the hand
and cryd anr feist and slew a cok
And maid a brydell vp alland
Now haif I gottin your Iynny q Iok

Now deme I haif your bairne mareit
Suppoiss ye mak it nevir sa twche
I latt yow wit schoss no miskariet
It is weill kend I haif annwch
Ane crukit gloyd fell our ane huch
Ane spaid ane speit ane spur ane sok
Wtoutten oxin I haif a pluche
To gang to gidder Iynny & Iok

I haif ane helter and eik ane hek
Ane cord ane creill and als ane cradill
fyve fidder of raggis to stuff ane Iak
Ane auld pannell of ane laid sadill
Ane pepper polk maid of a padill
Ane spounge ane spindill wantand ane nok
Twa lusty lippis to lik ane laidill
To gang to gidder Iynny & Iok

Ane brechame and twa brochis fyne
Weill buklit wt a brydill renye
Ane sark maid of the linksome twyne
Ane gay grene cloke that will not steyne
and yit for mister I will not fenye
ffyive hendret fleis now in a flok
Call ye not that ane joly menye
To go to &

Ane trene truncheour ane ramehorne spone
Twa buttis of barkit blasnit ledder
All graith that ganis to hobill schone
Ane thrawcruk to twyne ane tedder
Ane brydill ane girth and ane fetterit lok
Ane scheip weill keipit fra ill weder
To &

Tak thair for my pairte of the feist
It is well knawin I am weill bodin
Ye may not say my pairte is leist
The wyfe said speid the kaill ar soddin
And als the laverok is fust & loddin
Quhen ye haif done tak home the brok
The rost wes Twche sa wer thay bodin
Syne said to giddir bayth Iynny & Iok

This song was modernized in spelling and extended by adding a dance as in Wallis' ballad above, as "The country Wedding" in Herd's Scots Songs, II, p. 88, 1776.

But said to be based on the Bannatyne MS song is "Hey, Jenny come down to Jock", Herd II, p. 55 and SMM #167, commencing "Jocky he came here to woo". Why is that on p. 88 of Herd ignored, it is more directly the old song?

Tune for latter, according to John Glen, Early Scottish Melodies, is first found in McGibbon's 3rd collection, 1755. What then is "O Jenny come down to Jock" in Oswald's CPC, bk 2, c 1445? I failed to copy this for comparison. Glen also suggests "Jocky wod a wooing go" in Blaikie MS, 1692, as the original tune (also in later Waterson MS, but neither tune printed), since it fits the verses well.

Go to Index

The Scottish Contract, or, A Marriage agreement betwixt wanton Willy and mincing Meggy.

All pleasant humours this will fit,
For a merrier song was never writ.

To a delightful Scoth [sic] Tune, or I am a silly old man.

Now welcome Meggy, my dear,
Thy beauty my senses Charm;
Come sit down bonnily here,
For Willy means thee no harm:
And freely be for we part
A happu conclusion make,
That Willy's poore tender heart
No longer for Meggy doe ake.
  Then let us provide for bedding [Chorus starts
  And all that is bonny and gay,
  For weele have a jovial wedding
  The piper shall sweetly play.

O wanton Willy tis long
Since I lay in thy arms,
Thou dost thy Meggy wrong
To say that her beauty charms,
But if it be thy desire
And honestly thou art bent,
What ever thou shalt require,
Poore Meggy will give consent.   
  Then let us provide for the bedding, &c.

Now Meggy our hearts are knit,
And summer is in the prime:
My dear lets dally a bit
A little before the time:
O Willy we never were wedded
Before either priest of clark,
To part with my maiden head,
I will not for twenty mark:
   Then let, &c.

My honey thou needs not feare,
So faithful I will remain,
Then doe not refuse my dear
A little to ease the pain:
O Willy untill we are wed,
I never will yeeld that's flat,
I rather will lose my head,
Then tell me no more of that.
  Then let us provide for the bedding, &c.

Dear Meggy my fault forgive,
To try thee was my intent,
What needs thou at all to grieve,
My folly I doe repent;
O Willy my onely dear,
Had you such a minde to trap,
Thy Meggy which is so clear,
As baby that sucks the pap.
  Then let us provide, &c.

Now Meggy we are together,
I think it not labour waste,
If we do in time consider
Our business how to cast;
Dear Willy thou speakest right,
And since we are both agreed,
Our friends we will invite,
The better that we may speed.
  Then let us provide for bedding [New Chorus
  And all that is bonny and gay,
  For weele have a jovial wedding,
  The piper shall merrily play.

Then Meggy I hold it fit,
The vicar be our chief guest,
That he with his learned wit,
The better to grace our feast:
Faith Willy thou art no lyer,
A dinner it is his due,
And saxteen pence his hyre
For wedding both me and you.
  Then let us provide for bedding
  And all that is bonny and gay,
  For weele have a jovial wedding,
  The piper shall merrily play.

Weele not spare for bidding
Although we be somewhat poore
Weele keep such a wedding
As never was kept before:
Weele have Jocky my cozen
And Jenny his lass with him,
Bonny lads by the dozen,
And lasses that are so trim.
  Then let us provide, &c.

Now Meggy I think it best
The piper be prepar'd,
For he must be our guest,
Or else our mirth is marr'd;
O hony what ere do chance
Weele have that lad so brisk,
Then Willy shall se me dance,
With many a wanton frisk,
  Then let us provide for bedding, &c

Then since we are gone so far,
That Meggy must be my bride,
I think we had best take care
What victuals we provide;
Faith Willy my lad so free,
Thy Meggy can please her guesse, [guests
And thou shalt plainly see,
How I my dinner will dresse.
  Then let us provide, &c

First, weel have lang-cale pottage,
And puddings of barley meale,
Salt-beef and cabbadge
To relish a coage of ale;
Oate cakes steep't for brewis,
And bannacks that are so brown;
Curds and whay, and sowings,
And liquor the best in town.
  Then let us provide, &c

Troth Meggy it were but fit,
That we had a shank of roast,
My Willy we want a spit,
And weele we may spare the cost:
But if thy money recruit
Against our wedding day,
Go buy a good griexe suit
Home spun of country gray.
  Then let us provide for bedding, &c

My honny thou wilt be glad
To see thy Willy so brave,
But when I am neatly clad
What shall my bonny lass have,
Faith Willy I'le buy twa coats
That shall be spanking nes,
For sax and twenty groats,
Weele blended boath with blew.
  Then let us provide, &c

A bridgroome stalk to bring,
My hony doe not forget,
And i'le provide a ring
For Meggy to wear of jeat:
And now adieu to my dear,
Next holidy weele be wed,
My Willy thou needs not feare,
Thou shalt have my maiden-head.
  Then let us provide for bedding,
  And all that is bonny and gay,
  For weele have a jovial wedding
  The piper shall sweetly play.  Finis.

London, Printed for Richard Burton at the Horshoe in Smithfield.
[Burton, always at this address, but usually called West-
Smithfield, published c 1645 to c 1676.]

Play: BM4: B413, The Scotch Wedding, c 1710. S1: SLYLDMN1, An the Kirk was let me be, 1731. = Wully Honey, 1735 S1: SLYLDMN2, Blythsome Bridal, Orpheus Caledonius, 1733 S1: SLYLDMN3, Silly Old Man, Walsh's CCD's, c 1734-5

C. M. Simpson in BBBM, under the English title "The Scotch Wedding" discusses the tune, but never discovered that "I am a silly old man" was another old Scots name for the tune, and missed the above broadside. In Herd's Scots Songs, II, p. 224, we have the fragment:

I am a poor silly auld man.
  And hirpling o'er a tree;
Yet fain, fain kiss wad I,
  Gin the kirk wad let me be.

Gin a' my duds were aff,
  And a' hail claes on,
O I could kiss a young lass
  As weel as ony man.
This shows that the tune title "An the kirk wad let me be" was derived from the same song. The tune is found as "Silly Old Man" in Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, I, c 1734. From that it was copied into some English dance tune MSS. In the ballad opera citations, Simpson overlooked the tune as "An the kirk wad lat me be" in Mitchell's Highland Fair, 1731, and it also appears under the curious title "Wully Honey" in the ballad opera An Old Man Taught Wisdom, 1735. A copy of the tune under the "Silly Old Man" title is printed from the Vickers' MS, c 1772, in Mat. Seattle's The Great Northern Tune Book, II, #394, 1987.

It is obvious that the later "Blythsome Bridal/ Scotch Wedding" was around in some form in the 17th century, as much of the song is in our broadside above. The printer, Richard Burton, printed some other broadsides obviously based upon real Scots songs, not London Anglo-Scots songs.

Did our broadside descend from John Wallis's song above? There is certainly a great similarity.

Go to Index

Now some fragments from David Herd

[Earlier than Herd's text]

On the Lord Melvill his wife and three sons

Three sheeps skins the wrong side outmost
Three sheeps skins the wrong side outmost
He is a thiefe & she's a whore that call my wife a drunkard
She's not a Drunkerd but she's a pretty dancer
She's not a Drunkerd but she's a pretty dancer
She lyes all Day & eats all night & gives nobody answer
Three long skins as all men may see sir &c [repeat?
Ther's huffie[?] thin & music thin & chin of Gravity sir [ff/ss?
It that your chin be not in mode
Then borrow one from me sir
There's three brave sons & all of them statsmen &c [repeat?
My wicked son, my crook'd son, my 3d son a peatsman[?]
If that you bring a heavy purse that ends all debates then
Ther's three brave Laws if they be well keed[?] gd &c[?heed good
The assurances Law, perjurance Law & all your sweeped chimnies
Ther was a duke so high in pride [Different song starts here
That non might him come near a
Ther came a monky out of fife
And dang him Tapsetiria
And if we had another drink
We's all be blyth & mirria]

[Last six lines are obviously from a different song. Rob. Burns quoted them slightly differently.]

Text from NLS MS 23.3.24, c 1715. A shorter fragment of this song is in H. Hecht's Songs from David Herd's Manuscripts #62.

"Three sheepskins" is an old tune. Skene MS, Dancing Master from 10th ed (1698), Compleat Country Dancing Master, I, 1718, and for verses in the ballad operas; Polly, The Devil to Pay, and The Jealous Clown. Also in Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, book 7, p. 10.

Play: S1, THRSPSK1, Thrie sheip skinns, Skene MS
S1, THRSPSK2, Three sheep skins, Dancing Master.

Go to Index

There came a fiddler out of France,
I wat nae giff ye kend him,
And he did you wi' our good wife:
Geld him lasses, geld him!

From H. Hecht's Songs from David Herd's Manuscripts, #63. Hecht notes the tune in the MacFarlane MSS, c 1740, and in Oswald's CPC.

The fiddler, here, is possibly Jacky Latten/ Latin. I have not yet gotten a hold of a single sheet song with music, "Jacky Latten's Courtship", c 1730. This commences "There was a lad just come from France". Jacky Latin was said to have been an incomparable fiddler, and is known to have played in Ireland with the gentlman piper Larry Grogan around 1730, but I have been able to find out nothing else about him. [On Grogan, see Larry Grogan and Ally Croker] The popular tune "Jack Latin" is undoubtable named for him, and is probably from the single sheet song.

Play: S1, GELDHIM, Oswald's CPC bk. 6
S1, JACKLTN, Oswald's CPC bk. 12

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[From: The Battle of Falkirk Garland 'printed in the year 1746']

An Excellent new Song on the Jacobites, and the Opression of the Rebels.

To the Tune of, Captain Kid.

You Jacobites by Name, now give Ear, now give Ear,
You Jacobites by Name, now give Ear;
You Jacobites by Name, your Praise I will proclaim,
Some says you are to blame for this Wear.

With the Pope you covenant, as they say, as they say,
With the Pope you covenant, as they say,
With the Pope you covenant, and Letters there you sent,
Which made your Prince present to array.

Your Prince and Duke o'Perth, where they go, where they go,
Your Prince and Duke o'Perth, where they go,
Your Prince and Duke o'Perth, they're Cumb'rers o' the Earth,
Causing great Hunger and Dearth where they go.

He is the King of Reef, I'll declare, I'll declare,
He is the King of Reef, I'll declare,
He is the King of Reef, of a Robber and o' Thief,
To rest void of Relief when he's near.

They marched thro' our Land cruelly, cruelly,
They marched thro' our Land cruelly,
They marched thro' our Land with a bloody thievish Band
To Edinburgh then they wan Treachery.

To Preston then they came, in a Rout, in a Rout,
To Preston then they came, in a Rout;
To Preston then they came, brave Gard'ner murd'red then.
A Traitor did command, as we doubt.

To England then they went, as bold, as bold,
To England then they went, as bold;
To England then they went, and Carlisle they ta'en't,
The Crown they fain would ha'en't, but behold.

To London as they went, on the Way, on the Way,
To London as they went, on the way,
To London as they went, in a Trap did there present,
No battle they will stent, for to die.

They turned from that Place, and they ran, and they ran,
They turned from that Place, and they ran;
They turned from that Place as the Fox, when Hounds do chace.
They tremble at the Name, CUMBERLAN'.

To Scotland then they came, when they fly, when they fly,
To Scotland then they came, when they fly,
To Scotland then they came, and they robb'd on every Hand,
By Jacobites Command, where they ly.

When Duke William does command, you must go, you must go;
When Duke William does command, you must go;
When Duke William does command, then you must leave the Land,
Your Conscience in your Hand like a Crow.

Tho' Carlisle ye took by the Way, by the Way;
Tho' Carlisle ye took by the Way;
Tho' Carlisle ye took, short Space ye did it Brook,
These Rebels got a Rope on a Day.

The Pope and Prelacy, where they came, where they came,
The Pope and Prelacy, where they came;
The Pope and Prelacy, they rul'd with Cruelty,
They ought to hing on high for the same.

Robert Burns familiar song only borrow the first verse.

The tune is discussed in Simpson's BBBM. To sum this up, there is no concrete evidence to equate any two of: (1) "Sound a Charge"; (2) "Put in All"; and (3) "Comming Down/ Captian Kidd."

"Sound a Charge" was used earlier than Simpson notes for "A Spiritual Song" in A small Mite, 1654. It was probably that for G. Winstanley's? "The Digger's Carol". "Put in all" is slightly earlier than he notes; it is in Walsh, Hare, and Randle's 24 Country Dances for 1708. We have no direct connection, either, of any of the above three tunes to that for "Admiral Benbow", commencing "Come all you sailors bold, lend and ear, lend an ear". This is printed with music in The Vocal Enchantress, 1783. For what its worth, I give the tune there.

Play: S1, YEJACOB, Ye jacobites by name, SMM #371
S1, BENBOW, from Vocal Enchantress
B438-9, Put In All

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The Bob-Tail'd Lass

On Wednesday in the afternoon
  I took a walk in the field,
It was to bring my curage dwon,
  But still I was forced to yield:
For there I met with a bobtail'd lass,
  But I should have passed her by,
And I kindly took her by the hand,
  An I lead her into the kye.

The pettycoat that she had on
  Was made of the blanket blue,
The smock was as black as charcole,
  Believe me this was true;
But tempting words, will tempt young birds,
  That from their nest do fly,
And I'll never believ't was the first time
  That she had been caught in the kye.

Good council, good man, I give,
  To you, young man, I give,
Never take with a bob-tail'd lass
  As long as you've an hour to live.
You had beter take one that is proper and tall,
  Although she be never so poor,
For I never was so disgraced in my life
  As I was by this bob-tail'd whoore.
From Farmer's 'Merry Songs', and there from James Maidment's 'Ane Pleasant Garland of Sweet Scented Flowers', 1835, from what is now NLS MS Adv. 19.1.13 f. 42.

Play: S1.ABC, BOBTAIL, Tune from Achilles, 1733.

Section 3, English Songs

[BL MS Cotton Vesp. A.25.]

A mery Ballat of the Hathorne tre,
to be songe after Donkin Dargeson

It was a maide of my countre
As she came by a hathorne-tre
As full of flowers, as might be seen,
She merveld to se the tre so grene

At last she asked of this tre:
"Howe came this freshnes unto the?
And every braunche so faire & cleane?
I mervaile that thou growe so grene.

The tre maid answere by and by:
"I have good causse to growe triumphantly;
The swetest dew that ever be sene
Doth fall on me and kepe my grene.

"Yea ," quothe the maid, "but where thou growe,
Thou stande at hande for every blowe,
Of every man for to be seen;
I mervaile that thou growe so grene."

"Though many one take flowers from me,
& manye a branche out of my tre,
I have such store, they wyll not be sene,
For more & my tredges growe grene."

"But how, and they chaunce to cut the downe
And carry thie braunches in to the towne?
Then will they never no more be sene
To grow againe so freshe & grene."

"Thoughe that you do, yt ys no boote,
Withoute they cut me to the roote;
Next yere againe I will be sene
To bude my branches freshe and grene."

"And you, fair maide, canne not do so;
For yf you let youre maidhode goe,
Then will yt never no more be sene
As I with my braunches can growe grene."

The maide with that begane to blushe,
And turned her from the hathorne bushe.
She thought herdelffe so faire & clene,
Her bewtie styll would ever growe grene."

What with she harde this marvelous dowbte,
She wandered styll then all aboute;
Suspecting still what she would wene,
Her maidheade lost would never be seen.

With many a sighe she went her waye,
To se howe she maide her self so gay,
To walke, to se, and to be sene,
An so out-faced the hathorne grene.

Besides all that yt put her in feare
To talke with companye anye where,
For feare to lose the thing that shuld be sene
To grow as were the hathorn grene.

But after this never I could here
Of this faire mayden any where,
That ever she was in forest sene,
To talke againe of the hathorne grene.
G. Poete [Peele?]

The date of this is about the same as L. Lloyd's song mentioned below. Text from BL MS Cotton Vesp. A.25, via K. Boeddeker's article 'Englische Lieder und Balladen aus dem 16. Jahrhundert', Jahrbuch fur romanische und englische Sprache, N. F. II, 1875. Expurgated and incomplete in Chappell's PMOT. The date of this ballad is probably several months earlier than L. Lloyd's song above. A traditional version collected without tune, about 1825, is "The Hawthorn Green", p. 4 in E. B. Lyle's Andrew Crafurd's Collection of Ballads and Songs 1975. A poor traditional veresion that I suspect was learned from Chappell's PMOT, is "The Hawthorn Bush", p. 15 in Fred Hammer's Garners Gay, EFDSS, 1968.

Also to the tune "Dargeson" or "Sedany" is Lodowick Lloyd's song entered in the Stationers' Register on Aug. 13, 1579. I cannot decide which of two versions represents the broadside entry. The shorter version is that printed from a MS in The British Bibliographer, I, p. 338, 1810 (this MS is now Folger Shakespeare Lib. MS V.a. 189). A longer version was copied about 1604 into Folger Lib. MS V.a. 399. This is headed simply "Made by Lodovicke LLoyd", with no title or tune direction.

A Dittie to the tune of Welshe Syddanen, made to the Queenes maj. Eliz. by Lodov. Lloyd

Flee stately Juno Samos fro, from Delos straight Diana go;
Minerva Athens must for sake, Sydanen Queen your seat must take;

    Sidanen conquers kinges with quil;
    Sidanen governs states at wil;
    Sidanen feares her foes with pen;
    With pens Sidanen conquers men.

Sibill must from Cuma flee; in Egipt Isis may not be;
Thy Trojan seat Caesa shun; thy fame from Greece Penelope is
    With Judithes swords with delores mace,
    Sidanen sittes in sacred place;
    With Graces three, with Muses nine,
    Sydanen doth like Phebus shine.

Lett Lucrece lurke, lett Helene blushe; Atlanta kneel on knee to
Lett Sapho serve, lett Dido yelde; Sidanen wynes the same in
    In Rome Cornelia bare the belle,
    Sidanen doth Cornelia excelle;
    In Ethiope floorisht Sabaes, fame,
    Sidanen farr surmountes th same.

Through Afrike spredd Zenobias name; all Asia Semiramis fame;
In Seitha soile by bluddy blade, Tomris queen great conquest
     Sidanen, crwell Centaurs kilde;
     Sidanen, Syrens sleight hath spilde;
     Sidanen, clensde Augeas stall
     Sidanen, wrought Stymphalides all.

On seas doth Neptune serve her beck; on earth doth Folus tend her
In field doth Mars her fame defend, in skies doth Jove her state
      The Sone, the moone, the starres conteste
      Sidanen must the skies posesse;
      Earth, water, fire, and also aire
      With Echo, sownde Sidanen faire.

In woodes the Dryades dawnce for ioye; on hilles the Oriades
skippes xxx ?
In fieldes the Fawnes and Satyrs plaie; on fludds the Nayades
thus do fine
       Sidanen fedd on Pailes papp;
       Sidanen lulde in Junos lapp;
       Sidanen taught in Vestas towre;
       Sidanen nurst in Venus bowre.

With godis Pandora is her name, with men Pamphila is the
Yet when she is Pansophia staild?, in Bryttain she Sidanen
       From Brutus steme, from Dardass line
       Sidanen is a Phoenix fine;
       From Cambers sede, from Hector's deed 
       Sidanen princely doth exceed.
The Eagles youth I wish this Queen, Acanthus like to flourish
As Serpents do ease their skin, so she being old may young
      In ioyful days? with Nestors yeres,
      I wishe to her and to her peeres,
      That when Sidanen dieth I crave
      Mausolus tombe she maye have.  
Play: B104, Dargeson, or Sednay

Go to Index

[By Thomas Nash, sometimes playwright for Lord Stranges's Men. This copy made apparently in 1604 in Folger Shakespeare Lbrary MS V.a. 399. J. S. Farmer printed a collation two incomplete ms versions, Rawlinson 216, and Petyt 538, and wrongly identified Lord S. as Soughampton, in Merrie Songs and Ballads, I, p. 13, 1897. None of the manuscript contains a perfect text, but readings from the following are most often, but not always, preferable to Farmer's. One may wonder whether the 'stately rhymes' of 'loves plaints and panges' mentioned by Nash might be an allusion to Shakespeare's "Venus and Adonis," 1593, as well as to others. They appear to be in different acting companies at that time, with Christopher Marlowe the best known in Lord Strange's Men.]

To ye right Holl: ye Lorde Strainge

Pardon sweet flowre of matchlesse poetrie
ye fairest budd yt redrose euer bore
although my muse deuouste from greater care [Farmer - divert]
presentt thee wt a wanton Elegie
ne blame my verse of loose unchastitie
for paintinge forthe ye thinges yt hidden are
Sine all men are what I in speeche declare
onely indused by varietie
loues plaints & praises euerie one can write
& passinge out panges in stately rimes
but of loues pleasures non did ere indite
yt hathe suceeded in these later times
accept of it deare Lo: in gentle gree
[and better farr, ere large, shall honor thee - Farmer]

The matter beginnes heare: Nashes Dilldo:

It was in ye merry monthe of Februarie
when yongemen in there Jollye Rogerie
rose earlye in ye morne ere breake of daye
to choose ym Valentines bothe freshe & gaye
wt whome they may consorte wt for shrine [shine? Farmer- in Somers shene]
& daunce ye hey de gaye on owre towne greene [Hay de Guyse? Hay: French dance
or else att Easter or at Pentecoste
perambulate ye feeldes yt florishe moste
or else go to some Village borderinge neere
to taste ye cakes & creame, & suche good cheere
or see a playe of strainge moralitye
[danced by bachelours of magnamity - Farmer]
wherto ye countrey Franklinges flockmeal swarme
& John, & Joan come marchinge arme in arme
euen on ye hollowes of oure blessed Sainte
yt dothe true louers wt these joyes acquainte
I went poore pilgrime to my Ladies shrine
to see if she woulde be my Valentine
but woe alasse shee was not to be found
for shee was shifted to ye upper roome
good Justice Digen haste wt ye crabtree face
wt billes & staues, had scarde her from yt place
& now shee was compelled for Sanctuarye
to flye unto a house of Venerye
thither went I & bouldely did enquire
whether they had hacneys to lett oute to hire
& what they craued by order of there trade
to let me ride a jurmey on a jade
heren stepte forthe a Loggin -[gap]- dame [Farmer - with that foggy three chinde dame]
yt usethe to take yonge wenches for to tame
& askte me yf I mente as I preste
or onely made a question but in jeste
in jest (quoth I) yt tearme it as you will
I come for game therfore geue me my gill
why sir quoth shee yf yt be youre demaunde
come laye me downe a gods pennye in my hande
for in oure oretarye sickerlye
none enters heare to do his drudgerye
but he must paye his offertarye firste
[and then perhaps Ile ease him of his thirst - Farmer]
I hearinge her so earneste for yt boxe
gaue her her due & she ye dore unlockes
In am I entred Venus be my speede
but wheres ye female yt must must doe this deede
by blinde meanders, & by crooked waies
shee leades me outewardes as my storey sayes
untill shee came unto a shadie lofte
where Venus bouncinge Vestales skirmisht ofte
& there shee sett mee in a lether Cheare
& brought to me of wenches forthe a peare
to chouse of ym wch coulde contente mine eye
but her I soughte I coulde no where espie
I spake ym faire & wishte ym well to fare
yet soe it is I must haue fresher ware
wherfore dame Baude as daintie as you be
fetch gentle Mris. Frances here to me
by Holy dame (quoth shee) & godes owne mother
I will perceaue you are a wilye brother
for if there be a morcell of more prise
youle smell it oute though I be neare so nise
as you desire so shall you swiue wt her
but thinke youre pursestringes shall abide it deare
for he yt will haue Quailes must lauishe crownes
& Mris. Frances in her velvet gounes
& muffes & periwiges & as freshe as Maye
cannot be kepte for halfe a crowne a daye
of prise good Ostes we will not debate
thoughe you apprase me at ye highest rate
onely conducte me to this bonye bell
& tenne good poundes unto thee will I tell
of goolde or siluer wch yt you like beste
so muche doe I her companie requeste
awaye shee wente soe sweete a thinge is goulde
wch [may] invade ye strongest houlde
soe heare she comes yt hathe my harte in keepe
singe lullabie my joyes & saull asleepe
sweepinge shee comes as shee woulde brushe ye grounde
her ratlinge silkes my sences dothe confounde
oh I am ravisht voyde ye chamber straight
for I must needes upon her wt my waighte
my Tomalin (quoth shee) & then shee smilde
I[,] I[,] (quoth I) so more men are beguilede
wt smiles wt flatteringe wordes wt faigned cheare
wherin there deedes there falschoode dothe appeare
as how my Lambkins blushinge shee replyde
because I in this Dauncing scoole abyde
yf it be all yt breedes thy discontente
we will remoue ye campe incontinente
for shelter onely sweete harte came I hether
& to auoyde ye troublous stormye wether
but now ye coaste is cleare we will be gone
since but thy selfe trew=loue have I none
wt yt shee skippes full lightlye one my lippes
& faste a boute ye necke me culls and clippes
she wanton faintes & falls upon ye bede
& often tosseth to & forwe her hedd
shee shootes her eyes, and waggles wt her tonge
ah whoe is able to abstaine so longe
I come I come sweete lady by thy leaue
softly my fingers up ye curtens heaue
& makes me happie stealinge by degrees
firste bare her legges then crepte up to ye knees
from thence ascended up to her manlye thighe
a poxe on lingeringe when I am so nighe
Smock clime apace yt I may see my joyes
Elizium & Tempe are but toyes
compared to ye sighte yt I behoulde
which well might keepe a man from beinge oulde
& pretty risinge wombe wtoute a wenne
wch shone as brighte as anie siluer streame
& bore oute like ye bendinge of a hill
at whose declininge a fountaine dwelleth still
yt hathe his mouthe besett wt ugly briers
resemblinge much a duskie nest of wires
a lustie buttock led by wt azured aeins [text - armes]
whose comelye swellinge when my hande distranes [Farmer - restraines]
for wanton checketh wt a harmelesse stripe
makes ye frutes of loue efsoones be ripe
& pleasure pluckt so timely from ye steme [not in Farmer's version]
to dye ere he hathe seen Jerusalem [not in Farmer's
o god yt euer anie thinge so sweete
so sodainly shoulde fade and fleete
Her armes and legges are spread & I am all unarmed
Like one yt Ouid's cursed hemlocke chained
so are my lines unweldie for ye fighte
yt spende their aimes in thoughts of suche delighte
What shoulde I doe to shew my selfe a man
it will not doe for ought yt bewtie can
I clippe, I kisse I uew I feele at will [Farmer - wink, view?]
yet dead he lyes not thinkinge good nor ill
unhappie me (quoth shee) & wilte not stande
come let me rubbe and chafe it in my hande
perhaps yt silly worme is lubber sore [Farmer - has laboured sore]
& weried so yt it can doe no more
wch if it be as I am in greate dreede
I wish a thousand times yt I weare deade
howeaure it be no meenes shall want in me
yt maye availe for his recoverie
wch sayde she roulde it on her thighe
& when shee lookt shee oft woulde sighe
shee dandled it & daunct it up & doune
non ceasinge till shee raised it from his sound [swoon]
& then shee flewe on her as it were wood
& on her breeche did thacke & fome a good
he flange he prauncte, he pearste her to ye bones
diginge as deepe as he could do for stones
now highe now low now shorte now thicke
now divinge deepe to touche her to ye quicke
now wt gued he would his course rebate
& straight woulde take him to a stately gate
pray while he liste, or thrust he neare so harde
poor patient Grissell lyeth at her warde
& geues & takes as blythe & free as may
& eare more meetes him in ye middle waye.
on him her eyes continually are fixte
wt her eie beames meltinge lookes were mixt
then like to sunne yt twixte two glasses playes
from theon theother caste radiatinge rayes
be like a starre yt to reguilde his beames
such is ye influence of Phebus stremes
imbathes the lines of his descending highte
in ye bright fountaines of her cleerest lighte
soe faire as fairest plannett in ye skye
her pruetye to no man doth denye
ye verie chamber yt includes her shrine
lookes like ye Pallas of ye gods deuine
who leades yt waye aboute ye Zodiacke
& euerie even defendes ye Ocean Lake
so fearce so feruent is her radiance
such fine stroakes shee [dartes] at euerie glance [text - prtes]
as mighte inflame ye Joy lines of age
& make pale death his siryquedrie asswage [Farmer - suddenly]
to stande & gase upon the Orient lampes
wher Cupid all his cheefest joyes encampes
& sit & playes at little attomy
yt in her sunnebeames swarmes aboundantlye
thus gazinge & thus striuinge we perseuer
but what is firme as may continue euer
& not so fast my ravisht Mris cryes
but my contente yt one thy life relyes [on]
be brought to soone from her desirefull feate
& me unwares of happie life defeate
to gether lett one equal motions stere [Farmer - our]
to gether lett us liue & dye my deere
to gether lett us martche unto contente
& be consumed wt one languishmente
as shee prerscribde so kepte shee crotchett time
& euer stroakt in order as a chime
whilst shee yt persevrd me wt her pittye
unto our musicke framed a groninge dittye
alasss alass yt loue shouldst be a sinne
euen now my blisse & solace doth beginne
houlde wide thy lapp my louely Danae
& entertaine yt goulden shower so free
hot Aprill droppes one halfe so pleasant be
yt trillinge fawlles into thy treasurie
nor Nilus ouerflowes ye Egipte playnes
a sweete streame yt all all her joyntes inbalmes
ah ah & ah shee itchinge moues her hippes
& to & frowe full lightly startes & skippes
shee ierkes her legges & trampleth wt her heeles
nothinge may tell ye solace yt shee feeles
I fainte I yealde desire rock me asleepe
sleepe sleepe I liue entomed in the deepe
not so my deare my dearest sainte replide
for from us yet yt sprite may not glide
untill ye sinew channells of our blood
wt hould there force form this imprised flood
& will we yt, then will it come to soone
dissouled end as if our dayes were done
yt whilst I speake my soule is fletinge hence
& life forsakes his earthly residence
stay stay sweete Joy & leaue me not forlorne [Not in Farmer's version]
why shouldst I thou voide at arte so newly borne [ " ]
stay but an houre an houre is not so much
but half an hour if yt thy hast be suche
nay but on[e] quarter I will aske no more
yt thy departure yt tormente me sore
may be enlightened wt a little pause
& take away ye passion suden cause
he heares me not harde harted as he is
he is ye sonne of time & hates my blisse
time nere lookes backe & riuers ner returne
a second springe will helpe me ere I burne
no no ye well is drye yt shoulde refreshe me
ye glasse is runne of all my destiny
nature of winter learnath ingradice [Farmer - nigardize]
who as shee ouerflowes ye streames wt Ice
yt man nor beaste may of his pleasure taste
so shutes he up yt Cundite all in haste [conduit]
& will not lett her Nectar euer flowe
lest mortal man immortall ioys might knowe
adue unconstante loue to thy disporte
adue false mirth & melody too shorte
adue false harted instrumente of luste
yt falsely haste bewraide our equall truste
henceforth will I no more imploye thy ayde
or thee or men of Cowardice bewmaide [persuade?]
my little dilldo shall supply your kinde
I know [it] moues as lighte as any winde [text - I]
his plackett pinne oh how pleasante is to feele
& standes as stiffe as it was weare made of steele
& playes ye buttockes twixte my leggs & thighes
& geues me all he hath besides my comon fees [not in Farmer]
he lowes my pasture wt his purest seede [ " " ]
& doth me ticklinge seruice at my neede [ " " ]
now by my truthe he doth refreshe me well
& neuer makes my slender belly swell
poore Priamus thy triuph now must fall [error in ms, Farmer - kingdome]
excepte thou thrust yt welkinge to ye well
behoulde how he usurpes at bedd & bowre
& undermines thy kingdome euerye houre
how sley he breakes betwixte ye barke & tree [Farmer- creepes]
& sucke ye sappe while sleepe detaineth thee
hees my Mris page at euerye sounde
& soone will tente a deepe entrenched wounde
he waites on courtelike Nimphs as yt be so coye [text - in]
& bades ym scorne yt blinde alluringe boye
he geues yonge girles ther shamefull sustenance
& euerie gapinge mouthe his full suffisance
he wt his cominge & his forraigne artes
deludes poor women yt haue louinge hartes
if anie wighte a cruell Mris serues
or in dispaire unhappie pyne & starues
curst is this Dilldo sencles counterfett
who still may fill but neuer can beget
but if reuenge enraged by dispaire
yt such a dwarfe his wellfare shoulde impaire
he yt woulde faine this womans secretarye knowe
lett him attende ye markes yt I will showe
he is a youth almost two handfull bige
straight round & plump having but one eie
wherin ye Ram so feruently doth raigne [Farmer - rheum]
yt Stigian gulfes can scarse ye teares containe
attired he is wt veluet or wt silke [Farmer - this couplet 4 lines later]
& nourisht wt hott water or wt milke
& other while in thicke congealed glasse
when he more glibb belowe to hell woulde passe
upon a chariott of fine wheeles he rides
yt which an arme stronge driuer stidfast guides
& often alters pase as ways growe deepe
& scates ye hill though it be nere so steepe
some times he smoothly slydeth doune yt hill
an other while ye stones his feete doth kill
in cloinye wayes he treadeth by & by [Farmer - clayey]
dasheth & spirreth all yt come him nye [not in Farmer]
soe fares this Jolly rider in hs race
plunginge & sausinge forewardes in like case
he dasht he spraulde & he ploddeth foule
god geue thee shame thou fonle misshapen owle
Hye for greife a ladyes chamberline
& canst not thou thy telltale tonge refraine
I reade thou beardless blabb beware of stripes
& be advised what thou vainly pipes
thou wilt be whipte wt nettles for this grare
yf Cissly she but of this brauery heere [Farmer - Illian queen]
St Dennis sheelde me from such female sprightes
regarde not dames what Cupides poets writes
I pende this storey onely for my slefe
who geueinge suche unto an Eraas elfe
am quite discouraged in my nursery [Farmer - musery]
since all my stor in her seemes penury
I am not as was Hercules ye stoute
yt to ye 18th can houlde out
I want those hearbes & rootes of Indian soyle
yt strengthen wearied members in there toyle
Drugges & Electuaries of new aduice
doe shunne my purse yt I trembles at ye price
let yt I have suffise I yealde her whole [Farmer's couplet later]
wch for a poore man is a princely dole
I paye oure ostes scott & lott wt moste
& looke as leane and lank as any goste
what can be added more to my renowne
[she lyeth breathlesse; I am taken downe - Farmer]
ye waues ye tide climes ovr ye bankes
iudge gentlemen if this deserues not thanks
& soe goodnight unto you euery one
for now oure threed is spunne, our daye is gone [Farmer- our playes is done]

Thus hath my pen presumed to please my friends
o mighest thou likewise please Apollos eye
no honor brookes not such melodye
yet Ouides wanton muse did not offende
This is ye fountaine whence my streames doe flowe
[Forgive me if I speak as I was taught - Farmer]
or else like women utter all I knowe
as longinge to unlade soe bad a fraught
my minde once purged of this lascivious witt
wt purified wordes, & hallowed verse
yt better may the grauer will be fitt
The endlesse prayers large poems shall reherse
meanewhile if you but smile at what I write
or for persumeinge banish me your sight

Jerusalem, my happy home

[Jerusalem, my happy home from Rollins' Old Engish Ballads, taken from BL MS Addl. 15,225. Rollins also, in PMLA, gave another version as "The Queristers song of yorke in praise of heaven" from the Shane MS, c 1615-26, BL MS Addl. 38,559. There is another version in Shirburn Ballads . There is a also late unreprinted broadside copy in the Rawlinson collection at the Bodleian.]


Hierusalem, my happie home,
  when shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrowes have an end?
  thy ioyes when shall I see?

Oh happie harbour of the saintes,
  O sweet and pleasant soyle,
In thee noe sorrow may be founde,
  noe greefe, noe care, noe toyle.

In thee noe sicknesse may be seene,
  Noe hurt, noe ache, noe sore:
There is noe death nor vglie devill,
  there is life for euermore.

Noe dampish mist is sene in thee,
  noe could nor darksome night;
There everie soule shines as the sunne,
  there god himselfe giues light.

There lust and lukar cannot dwell,
  there envie beares noe sway;
There is noe hunger, heate, nor coulde,
  but pleasure everie way.

Hierusalem, Hierusalem,
  god grant I once may see
Thy endlesse ioyes, and of the same
  partaker aye to bee.

Thy wales are made of precious stones; 
  thy bulwarkes, diamondes square;
Thy gates are of right Orient pearle,
  exceeding rich and rare.

Thy terrettes and thy Pinacles
  with Carbuncles doe shine;
Thy verie streetes are paued with gould,
  surpassinge cleare and fine

Thy houses are of Ivorie,          
  thy windows Cristale cleare;  
Thy tyles are made of beaten gould,-
  O god, that I were there!

Within thy gates noethinge doeth come
  that is not passinge cleane;
Noe spider's web, noe durt, noe dust,
  noe filthe may there be seene,

Ay my sweete home, hierusaleme,
  would god I were in thee;
Would god my woes were at an end,
  thy ioyes that I might see!

Thy saintes are crown'd with glorie great,
  they see god face to face;
They triumph still, they still reioyce,
  most happie is their case.

Wee that are heere in banishment,
  continuallie doe mourne;
We sighe and sobbe, we weepe and weale,
  perpetually we groane.

Our sweete is mixt with bitter gaule,
  our pleasure is but paine,
Our ioyes scarce last the lookeing on,
  our sorrows still remaine:

But there they liue in such delight,
  such pleasure, and such play,
As that to them a thouand years
  doth seeme as yester-day.

Thy Viniardes and thy Orchardes are
  most beutifull and faire,
Full furnished with trees and fruites,
  most wonderfull and rare.

Thy gardens and thy gallant walkes
  continually are greene;
There grows such sweete and plesant flowers
  as noe where eles are sene.
There is nector and Ambrosia made,
  there is muske and Civette sweete;
There is manie a faire and dainte drugge
  are troden vnder feete.
There Cinomon, there sugar, growes;
  there narde and balme abound.
What tounge can tell or hart conceive,
 the ioyes that there are found?

[Thy happy Saints (Ierusalem)   
  doe bathe in endlesse blisse:
None but those blessed soules can tell
  how great thy glory is.]

Quyt through the streetes with siluer sound
  the flood of life doe flowe;
Vpon whose bankes, on everie syde,
  the wood of life doth growe.

There trees for euermore beare fruite,
  and evermore doe springe;
There euermore the Angels sit,
  and evermore doe singe.

There David standes, with harpe in hand,
  as maister of the Queere.    [Choir
Ten thousand times that man were blest
  that might his musique heare.

Our Ladie sings magnificat,
  with tune surpassinge sweete,
And all the virginns beare their partes,
  sittinge aboue her feete.

Te Deum doth sant Ambrose singe,
  saint Augustine dothe the like;
Ould Simeon and Zacharie
  haue not their songes to seeke.

There Magdalene hath left her mone,
  and cheerefullie doth singe,
With blessed saintes whose harmonie
  in everie streete doth ringe.

Hierusalem, my happie home
  would god I were in thee;
Would god my woes were at an end,
  thy ioyes that I might see!
                           F B P
Shorter versions of this song may still be found in many hymnals, and Helen Schneyer sings a version on a phono-record. There are four extant copies of this. One is signed F. B. P. and several ridiculous suggestions have been made as to who this might be (that assumes there is a name represented). I've not gotten far in tracing the modern tunes for this. Jackson, White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands, #67, notes one tune. The song was originally sung to "O man in desparation" which may or may not be the tune given in Simpson's BBBM, #340. Note: John Ward has pointed out relationship of Simpson's tune and "In the Wanton Season" to "Mall Sims". [H. E. Rollins published "In the Wanton Season", with tune, in PMLA, 38, pp. 147-9 (March, 1923). An earlier copy of "In the wanton season", somewhat disordered, is in Folger Shakespeare Lib. MS V.a. 399, c 1605, without tune direction.]

Play: B340, O man in desperation? Also B544, B545

Four verses of this song were copied into a book in the Folger Shakespeare Library, with notes saying this was writtin by a I[J]. Leighe, in 1587, and that he was born in 1567, and died in 1629. This puts the song in the middle of the period when the tune was popular, and this seems to be the best evidence yet as to the author.

Why has no one pointed out the obvious; that this is a transformation of the monks abbey in "The Land of Cockagyne" to Jerusalem/ Heaven? However, the monks don't fornicate with the nuns of the grey abbey in this one

Cockagyne extract

The yung monkes that hi seeth
Hi doth ham up and forth hi fleeth,
And commith to the nunns anon
And euch monke him taketh on, [one
And snellich berith forth har prei [quickly.. prey
To the mochil grei abbei, [great grey abbey
And techith the nunnes an oreisun
With jambleve up and dun [figuratively dancing *
The monke that wol be stalun gode [stallion
An kan set aright is hode
He schal hab withoute danger
xij. wives euch yere, [12 wives each year
Teaching the orieson was equivalant to learning the criss-cross row in WILLWVR, "The fair maids desire to learn her ABC". Not too infrequently it resulted in pregnancy.

"Sing dance danderlie, distaffe (or bischop), & danderlie, Ye virgins all come learn of me" - song of "Patient Griselda"' Later dance- "The shaking of the sheets".

[Chambers and Sidgwick, #36]

Who shall have my fair lady?
Who shall have my fair lady?
Who but I, Who but I, Who but I, 
  Under the leaves green!

The fairest man
That best love can
Dandirly, dandirly, dandirly dan,
  Under the leaves green!
Go to Index

[Bannatyne MS, c 1567. Dancing the Dirrydan. Also in Braye MS = Yale/ Beinecke/ Osborn, Music MS 13, without the tune.]

In secreit place this hinder nycht
I hard ane bern say till a bricht
My hunny my houp my hairt my heill
I haif bene lang your lufar leill [lover long
And can of yow gett confort nane [comfort none
How lang will ye wt denger deill
Ye brek my hart my bony ane

His bony berd was kemd and croppit
bot all wt kaill it was bedroppit
And he wes to mich fulich and grukkit
He clappit fast he kist he chukkit
As wt the glaikkis he wer ourgane
Yit be his feiris he wald haif fukkit
Ye brek my hairt my bony ane

Qod he my hairt sweit as the hunny
Sen that I born wes of my mynny
I wowit nevir ane vder bot yow
My wame is of your lufe so fow
That as ane gaist I glour and grane
I trymmill sa ye will not trow
Ye brek my hairt my bony ane

To hie q scho And gaif ane gawf [quoth she
Be still my cowffyne and my cawf
My new spaind howphra fra the sowk
And be the blythnes of my bowk
My sweit swanky saif yow allane
Na leid I livit all this owk
fow leiss me that graceles gane

Qot he my claver my curledoddy
My hony soppis my sweit possoddy
Be not our bustious to yor billie
Be warme hartit and not illwillie
Your halfs quhyt As quhalis bane [white as whale's bone
garss ryss on loft my quhillylillie
Y brek my hairt my bony ane

Qot scho my clip my vnspaynd jyane
Wt mvderis milk that in your michaine
My belly huddroun my sweit hurle bawsy
My honygukkis my slasy gawsy
Your mvsing wald perss and hart of stane [pierce
Sa tak gud confort my gritheidit gawsy
fow leis me that graceles gane

Qot he my kid my capircalyeane
My bony bab wt the ruch brilyeane
My tendir girdill my wally gowdy
My tirly mirly My towdy mowdy
quhen that our mowthis dois meit at ane
My stang dois torkin wt yor towdy
Ye brek etc.

Qot scho Tak me by the hand
Welcum my golk of maryland
My chirry and my maikles mynyeoun
My suker sweit as ony vnyeon [onion?
My stumill stick yit new to spane
I am Appluid to your opinyioun ffow etc.

He gaif till hir an appill ruby
gramercy q scho my sweit cowhuby
Syne tha twa till ane play began
quhilk that they call the dirrydan
Quhill bayth thair bewis did meit in ane
ffow wo q scho will ye be man
full leis me that graceles ane.
ffinis q. Clerk

Jolly Jankin demonstrated the kyrieleyson in piece #27 in Robbins' Secular Lyrics, and the girl closes the song with "alas, I go with schylde". (See also #28, following it, "The Midsummer Day Dance".) Robbins, later, discovered the following piece about the monks music lesson.

Go to Index

The Friar and the Nun

[c 1500. From Cambridge Univ. Lib. MS Add 7350]

 Inducas Inducas
in temptacionibus

Ther was a frier of order gray
which loued a Nunne meny a day
  In temptacionibus
This fryer was lusty proper and yong
he offerd the Nunne to lerne her syng
  In temptacionibus

Othe re me fa the frier her tawaght
Sol la this nunne he kyst full oft
  In temptacionibus

By proper chaunt and Segnory
This Nunne he groped with flattery
  in temptacionibus

The fryers first lesson was Veni ad me
& ponam tollum meum ad te
  in temptacionibus

The frier sang all by bemoll
Of the Nunne he begate a cristenyd sowle
  in temptacionibus

The Nunne was tawyght to syng depe
lapides expungnauerunt me>
  in temptacionibus

Thus the fryer lyke a prety man
Ofte rokkyd the Nunnys Quoniam
  in temptacionibus
       ffinis short & swete.
A shortened version was later printed in Richard Kele's Christmas carroles newely Imprynted. c 1550? [Christmas carols now aren't what they used to be!]

Play: B149, The Friar and the Nun

In the following, UTOPIA2, a man is allowed to borrow his neighbour's wife. [After lots of research and typing, I was later told about this in Hal Rammel's Nowhere in American; The Big Rock Candy Mountain and Other Comic Utopias, 1990, with many examples and commentary.]

Go to Index

An Invitation to Lubberland

An Account of the great Plenty of that Fruitful Country

There is all sorts of Fowl and Fish, 
                    With Wine and store of Brandy;
Ye have there what your hearts can wish:
                    The Hills are Sugar-Candy

To the tune of: Billy and Molly [lost] or, The Journey-man 
     Shoemaker [Daniel Cooper].

    This may be Printed: R[ichard]. P[ocock]. [1685-1688]

There is a ship, we understand,
  Now riding in the river;
'Tis newly come from Lubberland, [Rumbelo?]
  The like I think was never;
You that a lazy life do love.
  I'd have you now go over,
They say the land is not above
  Two thousand leagues from Dover.

The captain and the master too,
  Do's give us this relation,
And so do's all the whole ship's crew,
  Concerning this strange nation:
"The streets are pav'd with pudding-pies,
  nay, powder'd-beef and bacon,
They say they scorn to tell you lies:'
  Who thinks it is mistaken.

The king of Knaves, and Queen of Sluts
  Reign there in peace and quiet;
You need not fear to starve your guts,
  There is such store of dyet:
There may you live free from all care,
  Like hogs set up a fat'ning;
The garments which the people wear
  Is silver, silk and satin.

The lofty buildings of this place
  For many years have lasted;
With nutmegs, pepper, cloves, and mace,
  The walls are there rough-casted,
In curious hasty-pudding boil'd,
  And most ingenious carving;
Likewise they are with pancakes ty'd,
  Sure, here's no fear of starving.

The captain says, "In every town,
  Hot roasted pigs will meet ye,
They in the streets run up and down,
  Still crying out, Come eat me",
Likewise, he says, "At every feast,
  The very fowls and fishes,
Nay from the biggest to the least,
  Comes tumbling to the dishes.

"The rivers run with claret fine,
  The brooks with rich canary,
The ponds with other sorts of wine,
  To make your hearts full merry:
Nay, more than this, you may behold,
  The fountains flow with brandy,
The rocks are like refined gold,
  The hills are sugar candy.

"Rose-water is the rain they have,
   Which comes in pleasant showers,
All places are adorned brave,
  With sweet and fragrant flowers.
Hot custards grows on ev'ry tree,
  Each ditch affords rich jellies;
Now if you will be ruled by me,
  Go ther and fill your bellies.

"There's nothing there but holy-days
  With music out of measure;
Who can forbear to speak the praise
  Of such a land of pleasure?
There may you lead a lazy life
  Free from all kind of labours:
And he that is without a wife,
  May borrow of his neighbour.

"There is no law nor lawyer's fees
  All men are free from fury,
For ev'ry one do's what he please,
  Without a judge or jury:
The summer-time is warm they say,
  The winter's ne'er the colder,
They have no landlords' rent to pay
  Each man is a free-holder."

You that are free to cross the seas
  Make no more disputation:
In Lubber-land you'll live at ease,
  With pleasant recreation:
The Captain waits but for a gale
  Of prosperous wind and weather,
And then they soon will hoist up sail,
  Make haste saway together.
Printed for J. Deacon, at the Angel in Gilt-spur-street [1685-1701]

Play: B102, Daniel Cooper

Here we have direct imitation from the middle-English "The Land of Cokaygne".

Fur in see bi west Spaynge [Spain
Is a lond ihote Cokaygne [called
Ther nis lond under hevenriche
Of wel, of godnis, hit iliche [like it
Thogh Paradis be miri and bright
Cokaygne is of fairir sight.

The gees irostid on the spitte [geese roasted
Fless to the abbai, God hit wot [fly
And gredith, "Gees, al hote, al hot!" [cry out
That ye mote that lond ise [might .. see
And nevermore turne aye,
Prey we God so mote hit be [might it
Ame, pur seint charite.

This is obviously the original from which "The Big Rock Cady Mountain" draws. Similar is "Oleana".

Go to Index
[Several night visit songs are familiar, but here's one with a different twist than usual.

Rap at the Door

The last time I came o'er the muir,
It was to see my love to be sure,
It was to see my love to be sure,
And she bade me rap at the door, door,
And she bade me rap at the door, door,
It was to see my love to be sure,
And she bade me rap at the door, door,
And she bade me rap at the door.

"Open the door and let me come in,
Coming to see you, I've broken my shin,
Coming to see you, I've broken my chin,
And the pain it feels wonderous sore, sore,
And the pain it feels wonderous sore, sore.
"Broken your chin! how sorry am I,
I can't find out the way for to cry,
But I will find out the way by and by,
And I'll tease you ten times more, more,
And I'll tease you ten times more."

"Tell your father and mother too,
That I'm your lover come to court you,
That I'm your lover come to court you,
And I pray you open the dooe, door,
And I pray you open the dooe, door."
"If I were to open the door to you,
It would only be for a minute or two
It would only be for a minute or two
My father and mother they'd you endure,
And they'd beat me wonderous sore, sore,
And they'd beat me wonderous sore."

"O my lad, I'm up to your tricks,
For you have beguiled five or six,
For you have beguiled five or six,
And I myself will not be the next,
You may stand and rap at the door, door,
You may stand and rap at the door, door."
"If I've beguiled six of seven,
Eight, or nine, ten, or eleven,
Eight, or nine, ten, or eleven,
You yourself will make a round dozen,
So I'll rap no more at your door, door,
So I'll rap no more at your door.

"The trees are high, the leaves are green,
The days are past that we have seen,
The days are past that we have seen,
There's another in the place where you should have been
So you may stand and rap at the door, door So you may stand and rap at the door, door."
"If the trees are high the leaves are not shaken,
Although I'm slighted, I'm not heart-broken,
Although I'm slighted, I'm not heart-broken,
As long's there another true love to be gotten,
I'll rap no more at your door, door,
I'll rap no more at your door."

O young man, I value you not,
Although the hangman had your coat,
Although the hangman had your coat,
And yourself in a bottomless boat,
With the devil to row you ashore, ashore,
With the devil to row you ashore."

Song from Logan's Pedlar's Pack, reprinted in Greig's FSNE. Greig and Duncan recovered some tunes, but not much in the line of text, Greig-Duncan Collection, #780.

Go to Index

Here is a much earlier version.

The Repulsive Maid,

Once took a young-man, but now cannot win
To open the door, and let him come in.

To a pleasant New Tune,: or, Open the door, and let me come
Sweet, open the door, and let me come in,
For to be a Wooer I now bgin,
And say thy Lover I yet have been,
  I'le Love thee and no more.

To open the door, Love, that could I do,
And if it were for an hour or two;
But if that my father and mother should know,
  I should be beaten sore.

O be beaten for me, Love, that were a sin!
Sweet, open the door, and let me come in;
Thy father or mother, nor none of thy kin,
  Shall never beat thee more again.

To open the door, Love I have been bold.
And many false tales I have been told;
But another man hath my heart in hold.
  I cannot Love thee, therefore.
Thou know'st, before when the time that been, 
Thou hast open'd the door and let me come in;
But now, my love is not worth a pin?
  I prethee, Love, tell me wherefore!

I am not disposed to tell thee now,
Go walk, a Knave! as thou knowest how;
For I can no entrance to thee allow;
  Adieu for evermore.

To knock and to call I will never lin,
Till thou open the door and let me come in;
With coming I fell, and I broke my shin,
  Which grieves me very sore.

If thou hast broken thy shin my love sorry am I
Yet cannot I find in my heart for to cry,
I'le give thee a plaster for it by and by,
  Shall pain thee ten times more.

I prethee, Love, do not to jeer begin,
But open the door and let me come in!
I'le be more kind then ever I have been;
   I prethee, Love, open the door.

Two wors to a bargain, my small friend,
To open the door I do not intend;
My Father and Mother I oft did offend:
  I'le never offend them more.

Of father and Mother do not tell me,
For I am come alone to visit thee,
And if my face thou wilt not see,
  Then shew me a reason wherefore.
A reason just I can thee tell;
To do it now doth not like me well,
I hate thee as much as the Devil of Hell:
  The adieu for evermore!

How comes it to pass, my Love, thou art curst,
And wert so kind to me at first?
Of all men living my luck is the worst,
  To be hated and know not wherefore.

Alasse, Sir! I have found out your Tricks,
You love do crave fo five or six;
Yet take who you will, it shall never me vex,
  Adieu for evermore!

What though I have choice of six or seven,
Nay, what if I had nine, ten, or eleven?
Yet thou may'st make the dozen even,
  And do as thou hast done before.

I am not the first that has done amiss,
Nor shall be the last that a Knave will kiss:
I pray pick English out of this!
  You never shall kiss me more.

The Rose is red, and the Leaves are green,
And the daies are past which I have seen;
Another man may be where I have been,
  For now I am thrust out of door.

Walk Knave! in a Parrot's note,
And if the Hang-man don't get your coat,
I'le meet you at Holborn-hill in a Boat,
  If ever I love you more.
Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and W. Gilbertson. (1658-64)

This was entered in the Stationers' Register on July 17, 1640 to Mrs. Griffin, widow of Ed. A few years later she sold her business to Richard Burton, who never entered any ballads in the Stationers' Register, but he had rights to this from his purchase of the Griffin business and stock, and transfered the rights of our ballad above to the printers of the above on July 26, 1658. Lost is a ballad entered on Aug. 1, 1586, "Open the dore &c begynninge you maidens &c"

Go to Index

Fortune my Foe.

[From copy in Bagford Ballads. Original poems below]

A Sweet Sonnet wherein the Lover doth exclaim against Fortune,
for the loss of his Ladies favour, almost past hope to get it
again, and in the end receives a comfortable Answer, and
attains his desire, as may here appear.

The Tune is, Fortune my Foe

Fortune my Foe, why dost thou frown on me?
And wilt thy favours never better be?
Wilt thous, I say, for ever breed my pain?
And wilt thou not restore my joys again?

Fortune hath wrought my grief and great annoy,
Fotune hath falsly stolen my Love away,
My love, an joy, whose sight did make me glad;
Such great misfortunes never young man had.

Had Fortune took my treasure and my store,
Fortune had never griev'd me half so sore,
But taking her whereon my heart did stay,
Fortune thereby hath took my life away.

Far worse than death, my life I lead in woe,
With bitter thoughts still tossed to and fro,
O cruel Chance, thou breeder of my pain,
Take life, or else restore my love again.

In vain I sigh, in vain I wail and weep,
In vain mine eyes refrain from quiet sleep:
In vain I shed my tears both night and day,
In vain my love my Sorrows do bewray.

My love doth not my piteous plaint espy.
Nor feels my love what griping grief I try:
Full well may I false Fortunes deeds reprove,
Fortune that so unkindly keeps my love.

Where should I seek or search my love to find,
When Fortune fleets and wavers as the wind;
Sometimes alot, sometimes again below.
Thus tottering Fortune tottereth to and fro.

Then will I leave my love in Fortunes hands,
My dearest love, in most unconstant bands,
And only serve the sorrows due to me,
Sorrow hereafter thou shalt my Mistress be.

And only joy, that sometimes conquers Kings,
Fortune that rules on earth, and earthly things,
So that alone I live not in this wo,
For many more harh Fortune served so.

No man alive can Fortunes spight withstand,
With wisdom, skill, or mighty strength of hand;
In midst of mirth she bringeth bitter moan,
And woe to me that hath her hatred known.

If wisdoms eyes blind Fortune had been but seen,
Then had my Love, my Love for ever been:
Then, love, farewel, though Fortune favour thee,
No Fortune frail shall ever conquer me.

The Ladies comfortable and pleasant Answer.

Ah, silly Soul art thou so sore afraid?
Mourn not, my dear, nor be not so dismaid.
Fortune cannot, with all her power and skill,
Enforce my heart to think thee any ill.

Blame not thy chance, nor envy at thy choice,
No cause thou hast to curse, but to rejoyce,
Fortune shall not thy joy and love deprive,
If by my love it may remain alive.

Receive therefore thy life again to thee,
Thy life and love shall not be lost by me;
And while thy heart upon thy life do stay,
Fortune shall never steal the same away.

Live thou in bliss, and banish death to Hell,
All careful thoughts see thou from thee expel:
As thou doth wish, thy love agrees to be,
For proof whereof behold I come to thee.

In vain therefore do neither wail nor weep,
In vain therefore break not thy quiet sleep;
Waste not in vain thy time in sorrow so,
For why, thy love delights to ease thy woe.

Full well thy love thy privy pangs doth see,
And soon thy love will send th succor thee.
Tho well thou mayest false Fortunes deeds reprove,
Yet cannot Fortune keep thee from thy love.

Nor will thy love on Fortunes back abide,
Whose fickle wheel doth often slip aside,
And never think that Fortunee beareth sway,
If Vertue watch, and will not her obey.

Pluck up thy heart, supprest with brinish tears;
Torment me not, but take away thy fears:
Thy Mistress mind brooks no unconstant bands,
Much less to live in ruling Fortunes hands.

Though mighty Kings by Fortune get the foil,
Loosing thereby their travel snd their toyl;
Though Fortune be to them a cruel foe,
Fortune shall not make me to serve thee so.

For Fortunes spight thou needst not care a pin,
For thou thereby shall never lose nor win;
If faithful love and favour I do find,
My recompense shall not remain behind.

Die not in fear, nor live in discontent,
Be thou not slain, where never blood was meant,
Revive again, to faint thou hast no need,
The less afraid, the better thou shalt speed.

[From L. G. Black's "A Lost Poem by Queen Elizabeth?", Times Literary Supplement, p. 535, May 23, 1968. Sir Walter Ralegh's original poem from Marsh Library, Dublin.]

Fortune hath taken thee away my love
my liues soule and my soules heaven above
fortune hath taken the away my pinces
my only light and my true fancies mistres

Fortune hath taken all awaie frome me
fortune hath taken all by taking thee
deade to all ioy I only liue to woe
So fortune now becomes my mortal foe

In vaine you eyes you eyes do wast your teares
In vaine you sighes do smoke forth my dispears
In vaine you search the earth and heaven above
In vaine you search for fortune rules in love

Thus now I leave my love in fortunes handes
Thus now I leave my love in fortunes bandes
and onlie love the sorowes due to me
sorowe henceforth it shal my princes be

I ioy in this that fortune conquers kinges
fortune that rules on earth and earthly thinges
hath taken my loue in spight of Cupids might
so blinde a dame did never cupid right

With wisdomes eyes had but blind Cupid seene
then had my love for ever bene
but love farewell though fortune conquer thee
no fortune base shal ever alter me.

[Queen Elizabeth's Reply]

Ah silly pugge wert thou so sore afraid,
mourne not (my Wat) nor be thou so dismaid,
it passeth fickle fortunes powere and skill,
to force my harte to think thee any ill.

No fortune base thou saist shall alter thee,
no no my pugg, thoughe fortune were not blinde,
and may so blinde a Witche so conquer me?
assure thy selfe she could not rule my mynde.

fortune I know sometimes doth conquere kinges
and rules & raignes on earth & earthly thinges
But neuer thinke fortune can beare the sway,
if vertue watche & will her not obay

ne chose I thee by fickle fortunes rede,
ne she shall force me alter with such spede
But if to try this mistres iest with thee

Pull vp thy harte supress thy brakishe teares,
torment thee not, but put away thy feares;

Dead to all ioyes & livinge vnto woe,
Slaine quite by her that nere gaue wiseman blowe
Revive againe & live without all drede,
the less afraid the better thou shalt spede.
per Reginam

Raleigh's piece was entered in Stationers' Register, June 13, 1590, as "ffortune hath taken thee awaye my love, beinge the true dittie thereof". My quotation of this entry in TLS, Sept., 1968, put an end to the many letters in favor of the speculation that Raleigh and Elizabeth had imitated the ballad.

Play: B144

Go to Index

Dabbling in the Dew Makes Milkmaids Fair

(out of mother's watchfull eye).

The conventional early name for a milkmaid was Mawken or Malkin, and for the shepherd, Robin. Robert Henryson's "Robene and Makyne" (also called 'Malkyne' in one verse) gives the Scottish equivalents. Here's a fragment of the 14th or 15th century, from R. H. Robbins' Secular Lyrics [In brackets are my conjectural additions for missing words.]

Joly cheperte of Aschell downe
Can more on love than al this towne [kens/knows more about love
lord wy wy &c lord where gozth
a....... estr thou schoperte for al thy fray
[My mother watches, I must to] my... ke away
for ryzt here of getest thou notz
[Do, do] go thy way good boy go
[Good Robyn go away] woult thou
[For I must go and milk] oure cow
Be on] thy way good rowunde robyn
[Please good Robyn, be on thy] wey go

A song estimated to be about 1540, contains more famila verses. This is from Chambers and Sidgwick, Early English Lyrics, #28, where it is restored from disordered copy in BL MS Addl. 31922. [Original printed by Flugel, Anglia, xii, with 52 lines, but many repeated ones.]

Hey, troly loly lo, maid, whither go you?
I go to the meadow to milk my cow.
Then at the meadow I will you meet,
To gather the flowers both fair and sweet
Nay, God forbid, that may not be!
I wis my mother then shall us see.

Now in this meadow fair and Green
We may us sport and not be seen
And if ye will, I shall consent
How say ye, maid? be ye content?
Nay, in good faith, I'll not mell with you!
I pray you, sir, let me go milk my cow

Why will ye not give me no comfort,
That now in these fields we may us sport?
Nay, God forbid, that may not be!
I wis my mother then shall us see.

Ye be so nice and so meet of age
That ye greatly move my courage
Sith I love you, love me again.
Let us make one, though we be twain
I pray you, sir, let me go milk my cow.

Ye have my heart, say what ye will,
Wherefore ye must my mind fulfill,
And grant me here your maidenhead,
Or elles I shall for you be dead.
I pray you, sir, let me go milk my cow

Then for this once I shall you spare,
But the next time ye must beware,
How in the meadow ye milk your cow
Adieu, farewell, and kiss me now!
I pray you, sir, let me go milk my cow.

We are obviously missing an early 17th century version of "Dabbling in the Dew". Our missing song may have been a version of the lost broadside entered in 1656, "The Merry milkmaid and the bonny shephard" (Rollins' Analytical Index, #1738) What may be a mock of our missing song is to the tune of "Strawberry leaves makes maidens fair" (music in Simpson's BBBM, 1966). This is a dialogue song "A merry new Iigge, or the pleasant wooing between Kit and Pegge" printed for H. Gosson (1605-40) in Baskervill's The Elizabethan Jig and Related Song Drama (reprinting copy now published in The Pepys Ballads, I. 258, 1987) and in Roxburghe Ballads, II, p. 100. His lines, the odd numbered ones, are much as in other versions past and yet to be met, but she is not a naive milk-maid in this, and scorns him.

Well met faire maid, my chiefest joy.
Alas blinde fool, deceiu'd art thou
I prethee sweet Peg be not so coy
I scorn to fancy such a cow

Thy beauty sweet Peg, hath won my heart
For shame leaue off thy flattery
From thee I neuer meane to part
Good lacke how thou canst cog and lie!

For Peggies loue poore Kit will dye.
In faith what colour then shall it be?
In time my constant heart will try
Then pluck it out, that I may see

My life I will spend to doe thee good
Alas good sir, that shall not need
For thee I will not spare my blood
God send your Goslings well to speed

Yet faine would I be thy wedded mate.
Alas good sir I am slready sped
What luck had I to come so late?
Because thou broughtest a calfe from bed

O pitty me, sweet Peg I pray
So I haue done long time God wot.
Why dost thou then my loue deny?
Because I see thou art a sot.

[A further 2nd part, no better, omitted here]

We do have some echoes of our missing 17th century song in an otherwise dreary broadside ballad of c 1664-70, in the Wood collection, E25 #36. Our shepherd has attained knighthood, but no longer pipes. [I seem to remember that this was reprinted in recent years somewhere in the British Isles.]

A Merry new Dialogue Between a Courteous young Knight, and a gallant Milk-Maid

to Adams fall, or Jockey and Jenny, or where are you going my pritty Maid.

As I walked forth one Summers day
     By a green Meadow I took my way,
I met with a bonny lass fresh and gay  
     with a fa la la la la le ro.
This bonny Lass was a handsome girl
I asked her questions above two or three
Word for word she answered me.
     With a fa &.

Where art thou going my pritty Maid
     A milking good sir she said.
Shall I go with thee my pritty maid?
     with a fa
What will you do to with me sir she said
Talk of old stories my pritty Maid
You're kindly welcome sir she said.
     with a fa &.

But what if I kiss thee my pritty Maid?
     I hope you'll not hurt me sir she said.
 I of a man yet ne're was afraid
     with a fa &
Now if I get the with child my pritty maid
I'll give you the bearing on't sir she said
Thou art to be commended my pritty maid.
     with a fa &.

But what if I unto the wars do go?
     My pritty Maiden then what wilt thou do?
I'll put on Arms, and travel with you
     with a fa &.
Alas pritty Maiden that must be not be
The bloody wars is not fitting for thee
Yet I commend the for thy constancy
     with a fa &.

Hast thou any Parents my pritty maid?
     Yes I have some good sir she said
My fathers a Black-smith by his trade
     with a fa
Has he any means or Lands by the year?
O what portion can he give thee my dear
My portion good sir is my forehead I bear
     with a fa &.

But what if I marry thee my pritty maid
     What you will good sir she said
Thy wit and thy beauty my heart hath betrayed
     with a fa &.
I'll make thee a Lady of high degree
If thou my Love and my wife will be
Lo yonder fine Bower is mine thou dost see
     with a fa &.

Then let us walk to it my dearest quoth he
     Nay pray you stay sir that must not be
My father and Mother first let us go see
     with a fa &.
But when they came there this courteous young Knight
The old couple in him did take such delight
They made him so welcome he tarried all night 
     with a fa &

And in their discourse the Knight was so kind
     Unto this old couple he told his mind
Where he much love and respect did find 
     with a fa
The old man replyed sir Knight quoth he
My daughters not fitting your bride to be
Yet the wait of her in Gold I'll give to thee
     with a fa &.

Then wed her and bed her and take her away
And if you can love her by night and by day
Three thousand more i'le be bound you to pay
     with a fa &,
The courteous knight then strait he replyed
Your pritty Milk-Maid shall be my bride
She'll ne're carry pale more what e're betide
     with a fa &.

The Black-smith his daughter he cloated in Gold
The Knight was most rich and brave to behold
They seemed like two satuts cut out of one mould
     with a fa &,
Then unto the church they strait took their way
And join'd both their loves in one night and day
     with a fa &.

So farewell to Mary, to Peg and to Sue
And all pritty Maidens that dabbles i'th dew
See that in your Loves you ever prove true
     with a fa &.
As credit you'll get if constant you be
For this pritty Milk-Maid did humble you see
Which made this young Knight & her to agree.
     With a fa &.
Printed for W. Thackeray at the Golden Sugar-loaf in Duck-lane.

The Opies in The Oxford Book of Nursery Rhymes, #317, 1951, give a version said to have been sung in 1698 at Cardew. This seems to connect the tune titles "Strawberry leaves made maidens fair," and "Where are you going my pretty fair maid."

Whither are you going my pretty fair maid, said he,
with your white face and your yellow hair?

I am going to the well, sweet sir, she said,
For Strawberry leaves make maidens fair.

Shall I go with thee pretty fair maid, he said, &c
Do if you will, sweet sir, she said, &c.

What if I lay you down on the ground, &c.
I will rise up again, sweet Sir, she said, &c.
What if I do bring you with child, &c.
I will bear it, sweet Sir she said, &c.
Who will you have for father for your child, &c.
You shall be his father, sweet Sir, she said, &c.
What will you dor for whittles for your child, &c.
His father shall be a taylor, sweet Sir, she said, &c.

The Opies mention several subsequent versions, giving a few in their condensed notes.

A four verse version was sung at the Tuesday Club in Annapolis, Maryland in 1747. Tune was not recorded but text was, and is given in Talley, Secular Music in Colonial Annapolis, p. 80, 1988. We have later traditional versions such as "Rolling in the Dew," Frank Purslow, The Constant Lovers, p. 80, EFDSS, London, 1972, and N. Cazden, The Abelard Folk Song Book, II, page 3, "Rolling in the Dew (makes milk-maid fair)," and page 35, "My pretty little maid," both from unspecified sources. "Where are you going?" (from Ireland), JFSS 25, p. 332, 1921. Many more versions, traditional and broadside, are cited in Steve Roud's folksong index-Roud #298. I've also run across a version, "The milkmaid" of a mere two verses on an American broadside of the mid 19th century in a collection called 'Ballads of the Civil War', Vol. II, p. 198, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Earlier and fuller versions are "The milk maid" on the Bodley Ballads website

Here is a version collected by Robert Burns, given in Davidson Cook's article, Burns Chronicle, 1922, and Stenhouse's Illustrations to Scots Musical Museum, #373. The tune for it is "The Posie", SMM #373.

There was a pretty May, and a-milkin' she went,
Wi' her red, rosy cheeks and her coal-black hair:
And she has met a young man a-coming o'er the bent;
With a double and adieu to thee fair May.

O whare are ye goin', may ain pretty May,
Wi' thy red, rosy cheeks and thy coal-black hair;
Unto the yowes a-milkin, kind Sir, she says,
With a double and adieu to thee fair May.

What if I gang alang wi' thee, my ain pretty May,
Wi' they red, rosey cheeks and thy coal black hair;
Wad I be ought the warre o'thet, kind Sir, she says,
With a double and adieu to thee fair May. &c.


Some possible sequels lead us into another category, Nay pish, any fie.

Go to Index

[Bodleian MS Eng. poet. f. 25, fol. 67v. Cf. Pepys Ballads, I, 326]

Tee hee, nay fye love, Lord wt do you meane
Some body will spye us, in faith we are seen
Now Love will yow kisse me, fye fye Love away
The aire is a telltale, and it will us betray
Nay fie Love, away Love, I pray you be gone
My mother knows nothing, but that I'me alone.

Heigh, heigh, my harte, a kisse for feare of ye worst
I pray you be quiet, I thinke yow're abrust
With nothing content, such ran yow not rest
Nay looke now, hold off, or in faith yow had best
Harke some bodye calls me, I pray you begone,
My mother knows nothing, but that I'me alone.

So so for shame leave, thy's lost yowr owen guise
Truth next time I meet you, I sel be more prise
yow shall not come neer me, well since it is past
I'le never more meet yow, this shall be the last
Reply not, be silent, I pray yow begone,
My mother knows nothing, but that I'me alone.

[From Percy Folio MS: Loose and Humorous Songs]

O Iolly Robin, hold thy hande!
I am not tyde in Cupids bande;
I pray thee leave thy foolinge, heyda!
by my faith & troth I cannot: heyda, fie!
what? doe you meane to be soe bold?
I must cry out! I cannot holde: heyda, fie!
what a deale of doe is here, is here, is here!
I begin to fainta!
heyda, fye! on! oh! oh! oh
what was that yoy sayd?
heyda! heyda! heyda! heyda!
you will neuer leaue till I be paide.

O Iolly Robin, doe thy worst!
thou canst not make my belly burst.
I pray thee leaue thy fooling: heyda, fie!
what? doe you mean to vse me soe?
I pray thee Robin let me goe: heyda, fie!
what a deale of doe is here, is here, is here!
I begin to fainta. &c.

[From a manuscript of about 1605]

o quickely, o quickly, o quickly sweete boye a done
a done, o quickly, a done, o quickly, o quickly dispatch
the devel tis pittie yt my prettie bum shoulde want
this sport in feare
ay ay nay pishe nay fie you are to longe
my mother comes in faith yo doe me wronge
ah ah o now a then holyday, holy day, holy day
o now o then I never saw ye like
what will you have me strike
if anie bodye knowe, alacke I die for woe

A song in Pills, V. 304-5, 1719, has words attributed to Mr. Clossold, with a tune by John Wilford. It is very similar to one later found as 'An Answer' for various songs of seduction. [Version twice as long in Bodleian MS Eng. poet. e.25]

Nay pish, nay pish, nay pish Sir, what ails you;
Lord! What is't you do?
I ne'er met with one so uncivil as you;
I wou'd have you to know, you're mistaken in me.
You Men now so rude, so boisterous are grown,
A Woman can't trust her self with you alone:
I cannot but wonder what 'tis that shou'd move ye;
If you do so again, I swear, I swear, I swear, I swear,
I swear I won't love ye.

Another in Vol VI, p. 108, is entitled 'The Lascivious Lover and the coy Lass.' This goes:

Pish fye, you're so rude Sir,
I never saw such idle fooling;
You've grown so lewd Sir,
So debauch'd I hate your ways;
Leave, what are you doing?
I see you seek my ruin,
I'll cry out, pray make no delay,
But take your hand away;
Ah! good Sir, pray Sir, don't you do so,
Never was I thus abus'd so,
By any Man, but you alone,
Therefore Sir, pray begone.

This Answer goes:

Be quiet, Sir! begone I say!
Lord bless us! how you romp and tear!
   I swear!
Now you have laid my bosom bare!
I do not like such boisterous play,
So take that saucy hand away -
Why, now, you're ruder than before!
   I'll cry!
Oh - I can't bear it - I shall die! -
I vow I'll never see you more!
But -  are you sure you closed the door?
Farmer's Merry Songs, V, p. 9, contains one from Bod. MS Rawl. 214. Farmer read the attribution as 'Mr. Mark P' but I read it as 'Mr Mark D', not that I can identify him. Bracketed lines supplied from a variant in Merrie Drollery, 1661, which commences "Nay out upon this fooling for shame".

Nay pish, nay fy, nay out afont!
for shame! nay, take away your hand!
in faith, you are to blame.
[Nay come, this fooling must not be;
Nay pish, nay fie; you tickle mee.]

[Nay out upon't in faith I dare not do't
I'll bite, I'll scratch, I'll squeak, I'll cry out;]
nay come, this fooling must not be;
nay pish, nay fy; you tickle mee.

Your buttons scratch me, you crumple my band,
You hurt my thighs, pray take away your hand;
the dore stands open, that all may see;
nay pish, nay fy; you tickle mee.

When you and I shall meet in place,
both togeather, face to face,
Ile not cry out; then you, then you shall see:
nay pish, nay fi; you tickle mee.

But now I see my wordes are but in vaine,
for I have don't, why should I complane?
the way is open, & all is free;
since tis noe more, pray tickle mee.

For another Nay Pish see card games file

Go to Index

[Late addition, c 1630-40, to Bannatyne MS, and maybe English]

"Go, sweet lynes, loue will not take them
sche will not fansie althouge my selfe do make them"
but will say "fy away, I pray thee come not neere me."
To whome I did reply, and say " I pray the sweet to heere me"

"Tuch, tuch, wanton, I cannot byd your talking
Words are but winde, I gladly would see thee walking
But to say more by the waye, louers must be talking
"go to, good Sr, you ar ane foole, you dull me with yor pratling.

"No, loue, yes lou're, what doethe that avayle yow [lover?
No sweet, yes sowre, wat a deuels name als yow
it is a little prettie thing, it is of estimatioun
to take it in, it is no blot vnto yor reputatioun

"O, sweet sir, I thinck yow meane to hearme me
what doeth yor hand ther, swet, it doeth but warme me
tuch, away, let me be I pray, in faith sweet hert I will not
gif such ane oathe cannot be broke, weill then come to & kill not

he ane in hould close, "good sir yow prik me
What, ar yow desparate, are yow meand to st[r]ike me"
"no sweet hert, that Ame I not, I thinck to vse the kyndly
And houps to liue the saife and sound & so shall vse the friendly

"hout, hout, it is in, or els trust me never,
fy, fy, faith sr, I ame vndone for ever,
No sweet hert, &

Go to Index

[Similar to that above and slightly earlier.]

Doe you mean to overthrow me?
  out! alas! I am betraid!
what! is this the louve you show me?
  to vndo a sillye Maide.
Alas! I dye! my hart doth breake!
I dare not cry, I cannot speake!
what! all alone? nay then I finde
men are to strong for women kind.

out vpon the maid that put me
  in this roome to be alone!
yett she was noe foole to shut mee
  where I shold be seen of None.
harke! harke! alac! what Noyce is that?
o, now I see it is the Catt.
come gentle pus, thow wilt not tell;
if all doe soe thou shalt not tell.

Seely foole! why doubts thou tellinge
  where thou didst not doubt to trust?
if thy belly fall a swellinge,
  theres noe helpe, but out itt must.
alas the spite! alas the shame!
for then I quite Loose my good name;
but yett the worst of Maids disgract,
I am not the first nor shalbe last.
This is in the Percy Folio MS: Loose and Humorous Songs, and tacked onto "Dulcina" in the Giles Earl MS.

Enough, on let us proceed.

Go to Index

   A ditty delightfull of Mother Watkins ale,
   A warning wel wayed, though counted a tale.

There was a maid this other day,
And she would needs go forth to play;
And as she walked she sighd and said,
I am afraid to die a mayd.
  With that, behard a lad
  What talke this maiden had,
  Whereof he was full glad,
    And did not spare
  To say, faire mayd, I pray,
  Whether goe you to play?
  Good sir, then did she say,
    What do you care?
For I will, without faile,
Mayden, give you Watkins ale;
Watkins ale, good sir, quoth she,
What is that I pray you tel me?

Tis sweeter farre then suger fine,
And pleasanter than muskadine;
And if you please, faire mayd, to stay
A little while, with me to play,
  I will giue you the same,
  Watkins ale cald by name,
  Or els I were to blame,
    In truth, faire mayd.
  Good sir, quoth she againe,
  Yf you will take the paine,
  I will it not refraine,
    Nor be dismayd.
He toke this mayden then aside,
And led her where she was not spyde,
And told her many a prety tale,
And gaue her well of Watkins ale.

Good sir, quoth she, in smiling sort,
What doe you call this prety sport?
Or what is this you do to me?
Tis called Watkins ale, quoth he,
  Wherein, faire mayd, you may
  Report another day,
  When you go forth to play,
    How you did speed.
  Indeed, good sir, quoth she,
  It is a prety glee,
  And well it pleasth me,
    No doubt indeed.
Thus they sported and they playd,
This yong man and this prety mayd,
Vnder a banke whereas they,
Not long agoe this other day.

When he had done to her his will,
They talkt, but what it shall not skill;
At last, quoth she, sauing your tale,
Giue me some more of Watkins ale,
  Or else I will not stay,
  For I must needs away, -
  My mother bad me play, -
    The time is past;
  Therfore, good sir, quoth she,
  If you haue done with me.
  Nay, soft, faire maid, quoth he,
    Againe at last
Let vs talke a little while.
With that the mayd began to smile,
And saide, good sir, full well I know,
'Your ale, I see, runs very low.

This yong man then, being so blamd,
Did blush as one being ashamde;
He tooke her by the midle small,
And gaue her more of Watkins ale;
  And saide, faire maid, I pray,
  When you goe forth to play,
  Remember what I say,
    Walke not alone.
  Good sir, quoth she againe,
  I thank you for your paine,
  For fear of further staine,
    I will be gone.
Farewell, mayden, then quoth he;
Adue, good sir, again quoth she.
Thus they parted at last,
Till thrice three months were gone and past.

This mayden then fell very sicke,
He maydenhead began to kicke,
Her colour waxed wan and pale
With taking much of Watkins ale.
  I wish all maydens coy,
  That heare this prety toy,
  Wherein most women ioy,
    How they doe sport;
  For surely Watkins ale,
  And if it be not stale,
  Will turne them to some bale,
    As hath report.
New ale will make their bellies bowne,
As trial by this same is knowne
This prouerbe hath bin taught in schools,
It is no iesting with edge tooles.
Thrise scarcely changed hath the moon
Since first this pretty tricke was done,
Which being harde of one by chance,
He made thereof a country dance;
  And, as I heard the tale,
  He cald it Watkins ale,
  Which neuer will be stale,
    I doe beleeue;
  This dance is now in prime,
  And chiefly vsde this time,
  And lately put in rime.
    Let no man greeue
To heare this merry iesting tale,
The which is called Watkins ale;
It is not long since it was made, -
The finest flower will soonest fade.

Good maydes and wiues, I pardon craue,
And lack not that which you would haue;
To blush it is a womans grace,
An well becometh a maydens face,
  For women will refuse
  The thing that they would chuse,
  Cause men should them excuse
    Of thinking ill;
  Cat will after kind,
  All winkers are not blind, -
  Faire maydes, you know my mind, 
    Say what you will.
When you drinke ale beware the toast,
For therein lay the danger most.
If any heere offended be,
Then blame the author, blame not me.
This broadside ballad, c 1590, is from A Collection of Seventy-Nine Black- Letter Ballads and Broadsides, 1867 and 1870. [In a postcard now in the Folger Shakespeare Library, in reply to a query, J. O. Halliwell stated that Thomas Wright had written the introduction to this work, and that he, Halliwell, had written the notes. The publication is anonymous and usually attributed to George Daniels, who at that time, owned the collection, or to Lilly, who published the book.] This is the ballad usually identified with the tune "Watkins Ale," in the Fizwilliam Virginal Book, but this is a broadside expansion, the original song being given below.

[Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 185]

A new Ballad of Mother Watkins ale.

As Watkine walked by the way,
he met a las, and made her stay.
faire maide, quoth he, go you with me,
and Watkins ale I will give the.
  She did not him denie,
  but went forth merely,
  and thanked him hartely,
  for his good merry tale.
  Watkin perceaving than,
  that she did love a man,
  with pleasant talk began
  to walke along the dale
They slipped aside cleane out of sight;
what they did more, let Venus wright;
but as it seemed by poettes tale,
he gave her well of Watkins ale.

She said to Watkin lovingly:
what ale is this which comes soe free? -
tys Watkings ale, doe you not know,
tys now abroach, and layd full low. -
  yf Watkings ale be such,
  I cannot drinke too much,
  I like so well the touch.
  It is worthy of good sale:
  Suger and claret wine,
  malmesey and musketdine,
  there tast is not so fine
  as my sweet Watkings ale.
Watking, give me more of the same,
I like so well of this same game:
Ambroso with his fine flood,
nor Nextus drinke seeme halfe so good.

The mylkemayde went home merely,
and sunge for ioy with mirth and gle,
that she had sped of Watkings ale;
but marke the sequall of my tale:
  ere fortye weekes was past,
  this maide she went vnlaste;
  she sweld beneath the waste,
  her kirtll grew to shorte.
  she sighed and sayde: alas!
  how comes this geare to pas?
  I am not as I was,
  all spoyld is our sporte,
So lonng he fishe snaps at the baite,
she taken is by subtell sleyght,
Watkins ale and pleasant sporte,
that brought one in fooles paradice.

Where got you this? her mother saide. -
at Watkings ale, whereas I stayde. -
Is watkins ale of such force,
my daughter must goe seeke a nurce.
  Watkins ale was so stronng,
  I think it went not wronnge;
  well spiced with pech lonnge,
  Beaten in morter well,
  hys ale most pleasant is;
  with many a loving kisse,
  he strikes to hit or miss,
  my Watkings did excell.
Of Watking ale I tooke a pull,
that I have drunke my belly full;
the proverbe old, as I do thinke:
such ale I brew, such must I drinke.

Hath Watkings ale thus me betrayde,
I can no longer be a maide;
our maides and younge men storm at me,
as though the like could never be.
  take heed, you silly fooles,
  deale not in Venus scholes,
  nor yet with Watkins tooles;
  his ale full strong will rise.
  buy not, before you cheape;
  looke in tyme, before you leape.
  Argoes was slayne a sleape
  with all his hundred eyes.
My frend Watking hath such a lure,
he will your hartes to love procure,
and tell you many a faire tale,
tyll he hath given you of his ale.

Watking, my love from me is gone;
now for his sake I will trust none.
I may bewaile my great mishapp,
I have to shew within my lapp.
  when my sweete babie crye,
  I may singe lullabye.
  she therefor hath this; why,
  you lassis, consider,
  make you no scorne at me;
  you doe not know, perdie,
  what chaunce maye fortune thee,
  when you playe to gether.
my Watkinge was a livelie lade,
I was my owne that Watkinge had;
thus have you hard my merye talle.
I thanke Watkinge for his good ale.
Play: B494

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Shakespeare's song "An old hare hoare" in Romeo and Juliet, 1597, is in the same meter as "The Crab of the Wood", and could well have been suggested by "The Crab of the Wood," or, vice versa. Shakespeare puns on hare or conney (common metaphor for cunny) and hoare (whore).

  An old hare hoare,   
   and an old hoare hare
  is very good meate in lent

 But a hare that is hoare,
   is to much for a score
 when it hores ere it be spent
A song in Westiminster Drollery, 1672, begins "There's none so pretty as my sweet Betty" and is directed to be sung to the tune "The Crab of the Wood." In Pills to Purge Melancholy, VI, page 222, 1720, we find the latter song set to music, which by default becomes "The Crab of the Wood." I have not found another tune with better evidence as that for Shakespeare's song, and tentatively advance this one, even though in printing old songs the original tune is sometimes not the one given in Pills. This will do until we have a better candidate.

The song "The Crab of the Wood" is in Witt's Recreation, 1640, and earlier in Bodleian MS Eng. poet. f. 10, MS Eng. poet. d. 152, and MS Malone 19; BL MS Sloane 1489.

  The crab of the wood 
    is a sauce very good
  For the crab of the foaming sea
  But the wood of the crab
    is sauce for a drab
  That will not her husband obey

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Most are I suppose familiar with "In good old colony times"

About 1600 a ballad came out on "The Noble Acts, newly found, Of Arthur of the Table Round," commencing "When Arthur first in court began, and was approved King". This was parodied in the 17th century. A 17th & 18th century version goes:

When Arthur first in court began
  To wear long hanging sleeves
He entertained three serving men,
  And all of them were thieves.

The first he was an Irishman
  The second he was a Scot
The third he was a Welshman
  And all were knaves, good wot.

The Irishman loved usquebaugh,
  The Scot loved ale called blue-cap,
The Welshman loved toasted cheese,
  And made his mouth like a mouse-trap.

Usequebaugh burnt the Irishman's throat,
  The Scot was drowned in ale,
The Welshman had like to be choked by a mouse,
  But he pulled it out by the tail.
But a version printed in 1781 commences "In days when good King Stephen reigned". Somewhat later we find in 'The Universal Songster', III, p. 430, 1828 (attributed to T. Dibdin):

A Parody Glee Air- "When Arthur first in court began"

When Richard Lion ruled, why, then
  The Saxons wore long robes,
He entertained three serving-men,
  And all of them were rogues.
The first he was a miller bold;
  The next he was a weaver;
The third he was a tailor, good lack;
  And they were rogues together.

The miller he stole grist from the mill;
  The weaver he stole yarn;
The tailor he stole broadcloth,
  To keep the other rogues warm.
But the miller he got drowned in his mill-dam;
  The weaver got hung up in his yarn;
And tailor Dick went plump to Old Nick,
  With the broadcloth under his arm.
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[From MS of c 1605]

A perfect president of a deede of Intayle:

To all treue xcian people wch [true Christian
this deed shall read or use
I Richard Ambler greetinge send
from harte unfainedly
Knowe ye yt I for five pence paid
to me in my distress
By Edmond Loyde of Wattlesburighe
a gentleman doubtlesse
Haue geven, granted, bargained
confirmed, lett, & soulde
Vnto ye foresaid Edward Loyde
a plott more worthe than goulde
A meadow grounde yt has below
cauled Elnors close cunnerigh
Which boundeth upon buttocks dale
adioyinnge to the thighe
In lengthe extendinge westwarde
& northward enoughe
From Clifton to a pleasant plaine
alonge a goodly roughe
Vpon ye forrest side therof
two little hillocks are
Which for my pleasure manie times
I have uncovered bare
Within ye countie of Cuntington
neare to Navill doune
In midst wher of ther springes a well
yt cost me manie a crowne
To have and houlde to him & his
whiles yt ye winde doth blowe
Whiles Sone doth shine & trees doe grow
her water runnes belowe
With all apptenances are [aperturtances
Intayle & not in fee
For ye reversion of ye haunch
I still reserve in me
Yeldinge & payinge quarterly
two nutmegs faire & rounde
Joynd wt a race of ginger
must waye at least a pounde
And if ye rest shall chance to be
by him unpayd behinde
Wherby my Nell for want of right
with him a faulte shall finde
Then by this deede I doe provide
yt it shall lawful be
For me to enter into her
& straigne her secretly
And ye distresse wt him to keepe
until ye rent be payde
For yt which is both right & due
I will not have delayde
And I ye foresayde plott of grounde
which still I must command
Unto ye foresayde Edmond Loyde
against all men will defende
Some such yt have good right therto
by evidence fayre
Whose lawfull wise therunto
I mean not to impayre
Gainst me & mine I am content
In specyall warrantye
Warrantia Charta otherwise
against me shall not lye
I witness call to this my deede
Sr Willaim Clearke devine
Whose stalion ofte hath fed wtin
yt meadowe plott of myne
He was a ready neighboure sure
& headed well ye grounde
And used still to stopp ye gapp
when he it open founde
He hath a pasture of his owne
which is both faire & sounde
Yet he delights as manie doe
to grase his neighbours grounde
This deed is sealed & delivered
yet all not worth a figge
Untill there be possession had
by turfe upon his twigge

Fearful consequences could ensue from occupation of property not clear and with a valid deed, as we see next.

Go to Index

The Cricket and Crab-Louse.

TUNE - Derry, Down, Down. [King John and the Abbot of Canterbury]

As a crab-louse and flea went a hunting yogether,
They took shade in a rose from the heat of the weather;
This rose being fairer by far than the rest,
Was pluck'd by a lady and stuck in her breast.

These hunters, perceiving a fair, open track,
'Twixt two hills white as snow, took the road to her back;
Then descending all day, reach'd the valley by night,
Oh ho! says the flea, here's an inn, I'll alight.

And I, says the crab-louse, will pass through this gap,
And, without the expense of an inn, take my nap;
I see a small hovel, and at it I'll stay,
So onward he jogged, to go sleep in the hay.

Thus possess'd of the settlements, back and frontier,
They hoped from encroachments to keep themselves clear;
But both climate and foe had combin'd to annoy,
Nor would grant them a day their domains to enjoy.

For scarce had the taken one sip at his claret
When the tenement shook from cellar to garret;
Then a strange rumbling noise thro' the passage did roar,
Which drove the poor tippler behind the street door.

A sultry shower succeeded this storm,
Which drove him all drenched, like a hare from its form,
Thro' the smoking wet grass he was glad for to run,
And swore, while he liv'd, that damned inn he would shun.

In the morning he meets with the crab-louse, his friend,
And relates his adventure, and soon makes an end;
Now, with me, says the crab, still worse fortune took place;
When I tell you my sufferings you'll pity my case.

In the midst of my hay I discover'd a cave,
As deep as a coal-pit, as dark as a grave;
With black thorns, and brambles all growing about;
So I feared to go in, lest I should not get out.

Soon a giant approach'd me, a Cyclops, I ween,
For only one eye in his forehead was seen,
Who drove me from brier to bramble, full sore;
Then entering himself, he thrust me in before.

Tho' wide was the cave, he could hardly get in,
So in forcing the passage, he rubb'd off the skin;
Then he strain'd and he swell'd, and still bigger he grew,
Till forth from his forehead his brains at me flew.

Now the fray at an end, like a half-drowned mole,
I crept to the top, to peep out my hole;
And there I perceiv'd all at once with surprise,
This giant was sunk to a pigmean size.

So I slily slipt by, overjoy'd to escape,
For I dreaded him still, tho' so alter'd in shape;
And here I am come in the pickle you see,
And the devil himself may go lodge there for me.

Tho' if I might advise it, these borders he'll shun,
Where he'll meet with a giant, as sure as a gun,
Who vaulting our blades, nor of bullets a ---
Like the Romans, attacks with a huge battering-ram.

For just as I passed him, I saw at his back,
Two large ponderous paving-stones tied in a sack;
Ay, ay, cried the flea, that same sack did I see,
For oftimes with great vengeance he bang'd it at me.

But I manag'd so well that I kept out of reach
Of this terrible engine that batters in breach;
And now that these perils are over our heads,
I hope that we may peaceably die in our beds.

Play: B109-11

This song appeared in the Festival of Anacreon, 1789, and The Charms of Chearfullness the same year, and appeared in the 1825, Dublin, edition of The Merry Muses. I suspect it was inspired by "The Lowse's Peregrination" in the first of the drolleries, Musarum Deliciae, 1655.

The Lowse's Peregrination.

Discoveries of late have been made by adventure,
Where many a pate hath been set on Tenter,
And many a Tale hath been told more then true is,
How Whales have been serv'd whole, to Saylors in Brewis.
But here's a poor lowse, by these presents defies
The Catalogue of old Mandevils Lyes:
And this I report of a certaine.

My Father and Mother, when first they joyn'd paunches,
Begot me between an old Pedlars haunches;
Where grown to a Creeper, I know how a pox I
Got to suck by chance of the bloud of his doxie.
Where finding the sweetnesse of this my new pasture,
I left the bones of my pockified Master,
And there I struck in for a fortune.

A Lord of this Land that lov'd a Bum well,
Did lie with this Mort one night in the Strummel,
I cling'd me fast to him. and left my companions,
I scorn'd to converse more with Tatterdemalians;
But sued to Sir Giles, to promise in a Patent,
That my Heires might enjoy clean Linnen and Sattin;
But the Parliment cross'd my Intention.

This Lord that I follow'd delighted in Tennis,
He sweat out my fat with going to Venice,
Where with a brave Donna, in single Duello,
He left me behinde him within the Burdello;
Where lecherous passages I did discover,
Betwixt Bonna Roba, and Diego her Lover,
You'l wonder to heare the discourse of't.

The use of the Dildo they had without measure,
Behind and before, they have it at pleasure;
All Aretines wayes, they practice with labour,
An Eunuch they hate like Bethlem Gabor;
Counting the English man but as a Stallion,
Leaving the Goat unto the Italian:
And this is the truth that I tell you.

Thus living with wonder, escaping the talent,
Of Citizen, Clown, Whore, Lawyer, and Gallant,
At last came a Soldier, I nimbly did ferk him,
Up the greazy skirts of's robustuous Buff Jerkin;
Where finding companions, without any harm I
Was brought before Breda, to Spinola's Army:
And there I remaine of a certain.

Go to Index

[From MS Rawl. poet. 185, c 1590]

A pleasante new sonnge,
called the carmans whistle:
to the tune of neighbor Roberte.

In a pleasant morninge,
in the merrie month of may,
Amounge the frutefull meadowes,
a youngman tooke his way;
and gazinge rounde aboute him
what pleasures he could see,
he spied a proper maidden
vnder an oaken tree.

Comely was her countenaunce,
and lovely was her lookes;
seeminge that wanton Venus
had write her in her bookes;
many a smirking smile she lente
amidst those meaddoes greene;
the which he well perceaved,
yet was of her vnseene.

At length she changed her smilinge
into a sighing sonnge,
bewailing her bad fortune
that she was a maide so lonnge;
for many one more yonger,
quoth she, hath lonnge bene wed;
yet do I feare that I shall die,
and keepe my maidenhed.

My fathers rich and welthie
and hath no child but I;
yet want I still a husband
to keepe me companie.
my yeares are younge and tender;
and I am fair withall;
yet is there nere a youngman
will comfort me at all.

This youngman which listned
and marked her greevous mone,
was sorrie for to see her
sit musing all alone
he nimblie lepte vnto her
which made the maide to start;
But when he did embbrace her,
it ioyed her wofull harte.

Fair maide, quoth he, whie mourn you?
what meanes your heavie chere?
Be ruld by me, I pray you,
and to my wordes give care:
a pleasante note ile tell you
your sadnes to expell.
good sir, how do you call it?
the truth unto me tell.

Tis called the carmans whistell,
a note so sweete and good,
It will turne a womans sadnes
into a merrie moode.
good sir, then let me hear it,
if so it be no harme.
Doute not, quoth he, faire maiden,
ile kepe you in my arme.

But first let me intreate you
with patience to attende,
till I have brought my musike
unto a perfect end.
If I may heare you whistle,
quoth she, I will be still.
and think, so I molest you
tis sore against my will.

When he to her had whistled
a merrie note or two,
she was so blith and pleasant
she knew not what to doe.
Quoth she: of all the musike
that I ever know,
the carmans plesant whistle
shall for my monie go.

Good sir, quoth she, I pray you
who made this pleasante game?
Quoth he, a gentle carman
did make it for his dame.
And she was well contented
with him to beare a parte,
godes blessinge, quoth the maiden,
light one the carmans harte.

For never was I pleased
more better in my life
then with the carmans whistle
which pleaseth maide and wiffe.
and, sir, I do beseech you,
however I do speed,
to let me hear you whistle,
when I do stand in need.

Quoth he: farewell, faire maiden,
and as you like this sporte,
so of the carmans whistle
I pray you give reporte.
good sir, quoth she, I thanke you
for this your taken paine;
but when shall we, I pray you,
meete in this place againe?

Quoth he at any season,
by day or els by night,
commend the carmans whistle
for pleasure and delight;
and counte me slack and slothfull,
if twice you send for me.
I faith then, quoth the maiden,
ile give thee kisses three.

[The tune, "Oh, neighbour Robert", is equivalent to "Lord Willoughby"]
Play: B293, 294

The later broadside ballad edition, one of 2 in Bodleian Douce collection- Click

The Combers Whistle,
or, The Sports of the Spring.
Tune of, The Carmans Whistle

All in a pleasant Morning
in the Merry Month of May;
Walking the fragrant Meadows
where the Comber took his way:
And viewing round about him
whereas he did remain
At length he spied a fair Maid
upon the flowery Plain.

So cheerful was her countenance
and lovely to behold
She seem'd as if that Venus fair
was of the selfsame Mold
And many a smirk and smile she gave
all in the Meadows green;
I could compare her unto none
but unto Love's fair Queen.

At length she turned her smiling
into a love-sick song.
Lamenting of her woful chance
she staid a Maid so long:
There's many that are younger
then I, that have been wed;
Yet still I fear that I shall dye,
and keep my Maiden-head.

My father's rich and wealthy,
and hath no Child but I;
But still I want a Husband
to keep me company.
My years are young and tender
and I am fair and tall,
Yet there is never a young man
will comfort me at all.

The blossoms of my beauty,
I think, may well invite
Some Batchelor of fortune good
to take me for his right:
For why I dare presume it,
there's few doth me excell,
As it is manifest and plain
to all that know me well.

How happy are those Virgins all
that in the City throng.
For they have Sweet-hearts plenty,
and ne'r live single long;
Which makes me grieve so sadly
that yet I am not sped;
For in plain terms, to tell you true,
I long for to be wed.

This Comber he stood listening
to hear her make such moan,
His heart was sorely grieved
to see her all alone:
He quickly stept unto her,
and with a joyfull cheer,
Quoth he fair maid, I chanced
your mournful Song to hear.

And now I'm come to ease you
of all your grief and pain;
For why, I well can please you,
by Whistling of a strain.
Quoth shee I long to hear it
so well that you can play;
Then prithee go about it straight,
because I hate delay.

Then he pull'd forth his Whistle
and plaid a note or two;
The Maid she was so over-joy'd,
she knew not what to do.
and well she was contented
with him to bear a part:
A blessing said this Maiden fair,
light on this Combers heart.

Quoth she, I prithee tell me,
where did'st thou learn this game.
It was a young brisk Journey-man
that make it for his Dame,
With which he oft did please her,
and shee to him did say
And charg'd him that he should not see
the Whistle made away.

Then she did him desire
one other Tune to play
Which made her so admire,
she thus to him did say:
Of all the pleasant Musick
that ever I did know
The Comber's merry Whistle
shall for my money go.

O when shall we two meet again
for pleasure and delight,
At any time or season,
by day, or eke by night:
Then count me very slothful,
if that you send for me,
When as I fail to meet my Dear:
so take these Kisses three.

With Allowance, Ro. L'Estrange.

F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright, and J. Clarke [1674-1679]

Play: B056

Go to Index

Love's Riddle Resolved

Down in a garden sate my dearest love,
Her skin more soft than down of Swan,
More tender hearted, than the Turtle-doue,
And far more kind than the bleeding Pelican.

I courted her; she rose, and blushing said,
"Why was I born to live and die a maid?"
With that I pluck'd a Marygold,
Whose dewie leaves shut up when day is done.

"Sweeting," (I said), "arise; look and behold!
A pretty riddle I'le to the unfold:
These leaves, shut in as close as cloyster'd Nun,
Yet will they open when they see the Sun."

"What mean you by this riddle, Sir?" she said;
"I pray expound it." Then I thus began:
"Are not men made for maids, and maids for man?"
With that she chang'd her coulor and grew wan.

"Since that this riddle you so well unfold,
Be you the Sun; I'le be the Marygold"

Printed in Wits Interpreter, 1656, and New Academy of Compliments, 1669. With music in NLS MS 5.2.14, (Leyden MS, 1639), with music (text but not tune printed by N. Diem, Beitrage.., 1919); Folger Lib. MS V.a. 345, c 1625-30. Expanded into a broadside ballad, "The Maid's Comfort" before 1630. [Roxburghe Ballads, Furnival's special supplement to vol. II, and repeated by Ebsworth, Vol 8, cxxix*.]

[Tune not yet copied from microfilm of Leyden MS]

Go to Index

The two Kinde Lovers; Or,
The Maiden's resolution and will
To be like her true Lover still.

To a Dainty New Tune.

Two lovely lovers walking all alone,
The female to the male was making pittious mone,
Saying, "If thou wilt goe, love, let me go with thee,
Because I cannot live without thy company.

"Be thou my master, Ile be thy trusty page
To waite upon thee in thy weary pilgrimage;
So shall I still enjoy thy lovely prescence.
In which alone consists my earthly essence.

"Be thou the sunne, Ile be the beames so bright;
Be thou the moone, Ile be the lightest night;
Be thou Aurora, the usher of the day,
I will be the pearly dew upon the flowers gay.

"Be thou the rose, thy smell I will assume,
And yeeld a sweet odoriferous perfume;
Be thou the rain-bow, Ile be the colours many;
Be thou the cloud, Ile be the weather rainy.

"Be thou the lyon, Ile be the lioness;
Be thou the servant, Ile be the mistress;
Be thou the porpentine, and Ile be the quill, [porcupine
That wheresoever thou goest, I may be with thee still.

"Be thou the turtle, and I will be thy mate,
And if thou dye, my life Ile ever hate;
Be tho the nimble fairy, that trips upon the ground,
And I wil be the circle where thou maist dance around.

"Be thou the swan, Ile be the bubling river;
Be thou the gift, and I will be the giver;
Be thou chast Diana, and I will be as chast;
Be thou mine, Ile be the houres past.

"Be thou the ship, Ile be the surging seas,
That shall transport my love wher he doeth please;
Be thou the Neptune, Ile be the triple mace; [trident
Be thou the jocund hunter, Ile be the deere in chase.

"Be thou the shepherd, Ile be the shepherdese,
To sport with thee in joy and happinesse;
I will be the marigold, if thou wilt be the sunne; [See previous
Be thou the fryer, and I will be the nun.

I will be the pelican, and thou shalt be the yong;
Ile spend my blood to succour thee from wrong;
Be thou the gardner, and I will be the flowers,
That thou maist make grow with fruitful showeres.

"Be thou the falconer, the falcon I will be,
To yeeld delight and pleasure unto thee;
Be thou the lanthorn, I will be the light,
To lead thee to thy fancy every darkesome night.

"Be thou the captaine, Ile be the souldier stout,
And helpe in danger still to bear thee out;
Be thou the lovely elme, and I will be the vine,
In sweeet concordance to sympathize and twine.

Be thou the pilot, Ile be the sea-man's card;
Ile be the the taylor, and thou shalt be my yard:
Be thou the weaver, and Ile the shuttle be;
Be thou the fruterer, and I will be the tree.

"Be thou the black-smith, I will be the forge;
Be thou the waterman, I will be the barge;
Be thou the broker, and I will be the pasne;
Be thou the parasite, and I will learne to fawne.

These lovely lovers being thus combin'd,
Most equally agreed in heart and mind.
Acursed may they be who seeke to part these twaine,
Whom love and nature did to love ordaine.

I wish all yong men, that constant are in love,
To find out a woman that will so loyall prove;
And to all honest maidens in heart I wish the same,
That Cupid's lawes may be devoyed of blame.

Printed at London by the Assignes of Thomas Symcocke. [before 1630]

It wouldn't take too much to rework this into Child #44, "The Twa Magicians", known in England as the traditional song "The Coal- blac Smith". Compare the Tale of the 2nd Kalandar, night 14 of Shahrazad's 1001, where the two magicians are a sorceress princess and an Ifrit.

Go to Index

The prototype for the song of lies seems to be the one that Taliesin sang to the sixth century Welsh king, Maelgwn Gwynedd, d. c 543-5 CE of the plague (and by one account, probably wrong, killed his uncle, King Arthur, c 517 CE) in 'The Tale of Taliesin', Patrick K. Ford, The Mabiongi and other Welsh Tales, p. 172, 1977. This is one of the other Welsh tales.

I was with my lord
in the heavens
When Lucifer fell
into the depths of hell:
I carried a banner
before Aexander;
I know the star' names
from the North to the South
I was in the fort of Gwydion,
in the Tetragramaton;
I was in the canon
when Absalon was killed;
I brought seed down
to the vale of Hebron;
I was in the court of Don
before the birth of Gwydion;
I was patriarch
to Elijah and Enoch
I was the head keeper
on the work of Nimrod's tower;
I upheld Moses
through the water of Jordan;
I was in the sky
with Mary Magdalen;
I got poetic inspiration
from the cauldron of Cynfelyn;
In stocks and fetters
a day and a year.

The tale sets the song about 40 years after the beginning of King Arthur's time, and even the narator questioned this. However, Taliesin, Chief of Bards, is definitely put in King Arthur's time in the story of 'Culhwch and Olwen'. [There were almost as many Taliesins in Wales as Rory Dalls in Ireland and Scotland, but the piece is probably earlier than the 15th century. Our song is a free translation from Welsh.]

A Whetstone for Lyers.

A Song of strange wonders. beleeve them if you will,
As true as some stories that Travelers tell.
To the tune of With a trick that I have.

From Barwick to Dover,
Ten thousand times over,
I truely have traveled
ten times in a day:
From the top of Pauls steeple,
In the sight of all people,
To throw myselfe headlong
I hold but a toy.
From the top of Westminster,
To the middest at Cheape, [Cheapside
I skipt or'e the houses
at one standing Leape:
From thence unto Greenwitch,
In the fight of many,
I boust o're the Barges,
yet never toucht any.

From off Richmond Castle,
Nine miles into Scotland,
Ile run in a morning
at one breathing course:
Ile march in a minute
From Norway to Gothland,
And ne'r be beholding
to th' helpe of a horse:
Ile dine at Duke Humphreyes [ meaning 'to go hungry'
To day at high noone,
And the next night at supper
Ile meete you at Roome: [Rome
Ile travel the world,
To what place you can name,
And never crosse river
till I come at the same.

Ile walk upon Thames
As well as on dry land,
Without being carry'd
in barge, ship, or boat:
Ile goe at a high tide
"Twixt London and Gravesend;
As swift as a wherry
I finely can flote:
And then without danger
Ile pass Yarmouth sand,
And bravely and safely
at Plimouth Ile land:
Ile goe on a Message
Unto the great Turke,
Ith' morne; and at night
Ile be heere hard at worke.

All naked in winter,
Ile swim hence to Green-land,
To Russia, Polony, to Denmark or Freeze [Friesland
And oft in a humour
To Holland that fine Land.
I run, and came backe,
yet no man me sees.
I have on a sudden
Swum over to Spaine,
At midnight, and heere,
in the morning againe.
All this have I done
As for truth may appeare,
And more then all this,
as you after shall heare.

I likewise have studied
The learned vocation, [sic]
To see how the starres
and the planets doe move:
I know in a minute
What's sone in all nations,
And for seven yeeres after,
what events still shall prove.
If French, Turke or Spaniard
Against us conspire,
Ile burne their whole armies
with balls of wild-fire: [Greek fire?
The shot of a cannon
I hold but a toy:
I kill'd thirty thousand
when I was but a boy.

The victuals that would
Gargantua sustaine
The space of a yeere
I doe hold but a bit:
For bring the ten thousands
Of Waynes strongly laden,
And I in a day
will devour every whit.
Of hogsheads the biggest
That's in any house,
Ile drink off twice twenty
at a mornings Carowse;
And blow thorow my nostrils
Such a blusterous gale,
'Twill make thirty thousand
tall ships for to sayle.

Although I have travel'd
Through sword and through fire,
And past adventures
as never did wane,
Of all sort sof people,
I hate a base Lyer,
What talkes of adventures,
yet never saw none;
If you meete with a fellow
That will prate, brag and lye,
Tell him of my Travels,
he'l cease by and by.
Thus wishing true Souldiers
Thus honours increase,
A fig for base Lyers,
and so I will cease.

Printed for F. Grove, dwelling on Snow-hill.

The original of this is probably "From Berwick to Dover, tern thousand times over" in BL MS Sloane 1489, f. 26, and probably by George Whetstone.

Play: tune unknown

A few years later we find:

The Joviall Broome man:

A Rent Street Souldier's exact relation
Of all his Travels in Every Nation.
His famous acts are all shewne here,
As in this story doth appeare.

To the tune of Slow men of London.

Roome for a lad that's come from seas,
Hey jolly Broome-man,
That gladly now would take his ease,
And therefore make me roome, man.

To France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spaine,
I crost the seas, and backe againe.

Yet in these countries lived I,
Saw many a valiant souldier dye.

Ah hundred gallants there I kill'd,
And beside, a world of blood I spild.

In Germany I tooke a towne,
I threw the walls there upside downe.

And when that I the same had done,
I made the people all to run.

And when the people all ere gone,
I held the towne myselfe alone.

When valiant Ajax fought with Hector,
I made them friends with a bowle of Nectar.

The Second Part. To the same tune.

When Saturn warr'd against the Sun,
Then through my helpe the field was won.

With Hercules I tost the Club,
I rol'd Diogenes in a tub.

When Tamerlaine overcame the Turk,
I blew up thousands in a worke.

When Caesar's pompe I overthrew,
Then many a Roman lord I slew.

When the Ammorites beseig'd Rome's wals,
I drove them backe with fiery balls.

And when the Greeks beseig'd Troy,
I rescued off dame Hellen's joy.

And when that I had won this fame,
I was honor'd of all men for the same.

At Tilbury Campe with Captain Drake,
I made the Spanish Fleet to quake.

At Holland's Leaguer there I fought,
But there the service prov'd too hot. **

Then from the League returned I,
Naked, hungry, cold, and dry.

But here I have now compast the Globe,
I am backe return'd, as poore as Job.

And now I am safe returned backe.
Here's to you a cup of Canary Sacke.

And now I am safe returned here,
Here's to you in a cup of English Beere.

And if my travels you desire to see,
Hey jolly Broome-man,

You may buy't for a peny heere of mee.
And therefore make me roome, man.
Finis. R. C.

London, Printed for Richard Harper, in Smithfield.

[Not entered. Harper first appears in 1643 and Climsell seems to have disappeared by 1640.]

Tune is evidently that from the play With Without Money, but not printed until much later. It's that for the song on the "Widdow Brown/ Slow Men of London" set to the wrong tune in Pills to Purge Melancholy. Correct tune is "The Disappointed Widow" in the 2nd volume of The Dancing Master and Gay's Polly. Curiously the tune was also known by an Irish title as "The Humours of Dublin" and was oft printed under this title, and as early as c 1726 in Dublin in the Neals' A Choice Collection of Country Dances.

** 'Hollanders' League' was not 'Holland's Leaguer'. The latter was a slang term for Mrs. Holland's brothel, c 1625-32. For Lawrence Price's 'tongue in cheek' description of it, see his "News from Holland's Leaguer' in Vol. I of The Pepys Ballads (with a woodcut of the brothel). Elizabeth Holland was carted in Feb. 1598, and put in Newgate until her fine of 40 pounds was paid, for keeping a brothel at Pickthatch.

Play: B547-8

Tune is from song, "Slow Men of London", in Beaumont and Fletcher's play With Without Money, but tune seems not to have been printed until the 18th century. Song (below) and tune in The Musical Miscellany, II, p. 74, 1729. Tune in Vol. III of Dancing Master and in John Gay's Polly, 1729, as "The Disappointed Widow". Curiously, the tune had appeared earlier, and reappears later, as "The Humours of Dublin". Song with wrong tune, "Jamaica", is Pills.

Sung in the Play call'd With without Money 

There was three Lads in our Town,
  Slow Men of London!
They courted a Widow was bonny and Brown,
  And yet they left her undone.
They went to work without their Tools;
  Slow Men of London!
The Widow she sent them away like Fools,
  Because they left her undone.

They often tasted this Widow's Chear;
  Slow Men of London!
But yet the Widow wan never the near,
  For still they left her undone.

Blow, ye Winds; and come down, Rain;
  Slow Men of London!
They never shall wooe this Widow again,
  Because they left her undone.
Play: B 547B

For other lies, marvels, see Tom Tell=Truth, Gossip Joan, Derby Ram and Teague's Ramble.

Go to Index

[Untitled song from MS of c 1605]

My love is like a hive of bees, placed in a flowrie garden
Where they come in wt loaded theyghes, to ease ym of their burden
Under ye bee hive lies ye waxe, under ye waxe ye honey
Under her waste her belly is plaste, & under yt her cunney

My love is like a morne in Maye, yt dewey dropes downe stilleth
& when she liste to sporte, & playe, her sluetie[?] dropes downe trilleth
Under ye sunne ye miste doth melte, under ye miste ye sunnye
Under her waste her belly is felte, & under yt her cunnye

My love is like a myne of goold, would it weare her pleasure
yt I might fall wtin her moulde, & dive wtin her treasure
Under ye moulde ye maske doth lye, under ye maske ye money
Under her waste her belly is full, & under yt her cunnye

My love is like a Nightingale, yt makes most pleasant musicke
& when she list to steale a napp, she leanes [on] a huge pricke
Under ye pricke ye stones doe lye, under ye stones ye hearrye
Under her waste her belly is placed, & a spann below her cunnye

My love is like an eveninge deare, god grante yt long she liveth
yt sweete content shele not refuse, yt Mares to Ven[us] giveth
most sweete she is to sporte, & playe, she is my love so bonnye
Under her waste her belly is placed, & ~t far of[f] her cunnye

My love is like a Laundrese lasse yt ser[v]e a light to guyde him
& then she brought him to her streame, & thus his Lady tride him
Under ye waves fain woulde I swime, upon his love so bonnye
Under her wast her belly is placed, ye master vaine her cunnye

My love is like a yonge flige birde, & up & doune she flieth
hopinge some man will her feede, or she for hunger dyeth
Under her wings faine would I lye, wt meate to feed my Nannye
Under her waste her belly is placed, her buttocks, & arse & cunnye

This is from a Folger MS V.a. 399 of about 1603-10. Compare shorter version of the song, "The Bee-Hive" in Pills to Purge Melancholy, IV, p. 73, 1719-20. [J. S. Farmer, Merry Songs and Ballads, I, p. 206, gives a text purportedly from Pills, II, p. 73, 1707. He is not always reliable.]


My Mistress is a Hive of Bees in yonder flowry Garden
To her they come with loaden Thighs, to ease them of their Burden.
As under the Bee-Hive lieth the Wax, and under the Wax is Honey
So under her Waste her Belly is plac'd, and under that her C_ny.

My Mistress is a Mine of Gold, would that it were her Pleasure
To let me dig within her Mould and roll among her Treasure.
As under th Moss the Mould doth lye, and under the Mould is Mony
So under her Waste, &c.

My Mistress is a Morn in May, which drops of Dew down stilleth,
Where e'er she goes to sport and play, the Dew down sweetly trilleth.
As under the Sun the Mist doth lye, so under the Mist it is Sunny,
So under, &c.

My Mistress is a pleasant Spring, that yieldeth store of Water sweet
That doth refresh each wither'd thing lies trodden under feet.
Her Belly is both white and soft, and downy as any Bunny
That many Gallants wish full oft to play but with her C_ny.

My Mistress has the Magick Sprays, of late she takes such wondrous pain
That she can pleasing Spirits raise, and also lay them down again.
Such power hath my tripping Doe, My little pretty Bunny
That many would their Lives forego to play but with her C_ny.

The last 2 verses in Pills, which dispense with the common burden of preceeding verses, are a late replacement of the last 4 verses of the earlier version. The tune in Pills fits only 3 of the 4 long lines, and I suspect the first four measures are to be repeated for the 2nd line.

Compare the above with "My Mistress is a shuttlecock" (Wardroper, Love and Drollery, #347, cites 3 early MS copies and printed copies from 1650. Another MS copy, c 1630-40, is in Folger Shakespeare Lib. MS V.a. 339, f. 195v). Simpson, BBBM, p. 648, doesn't connect this song with the tune of "Shackle-Hay" but notes several which seem to imitate it that were sung to that tune, and the fa la la la chorus is common in songs to that tune.

Somewhat similar is "My Mistress is in music passing skilful", in Merry Drollery, 1661, and with music in BL MS Addl. 29481. (Wardroper #315).
Go to Index

Whoop, Jenny come down to me.

Wm. Chappell, Popular Music of the Olden Time, II, p. 774 pointed out a copy of the song following in Westminster Drollery, II, p. 72, 1672, and suggested the tune for it was "Whoop do me no harm good man." The following copy is much earlier, and is from a MS of c 608. C. M. Simpson, The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music, pp. 777-80, considerably expands Chappell's account of the tune, adding other early copies. The tune first appeared in 1610. Simpson also suggested the song in Westminster Drollery was for the tune. Simpson pointed out that the burden line "Whoop do me no harm" is twice quoted in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.

It now seems quite possible that the tune came from our song here, and that the lost song "Whoop, do me no harm" was written to it. Comparison with the Westminster Drollery text shows some slight corruptions in the MS text, but the ending of the latter is better than that of the drollery.

[Untitled song from Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.a. 399, c 1608]

The pretty sweet Jenny she sat on a hill
where Jemmy ye swain her see
he tuned his quill & he sang to her schrill
Whoop Jenny com doune to me

Shoo Jemmy ye valley, & Jenny ye hill
sat far above her dearee
he have her good will, & he sange to her shrill
Whoop Jenny com:---

But high was she seated, & so she was minded
his harte was as humble as he
her pride had he blinded, his love had him blinded
to sing whoop:---

The mountaine is bare, & subject to care
Heare meadows, & pleasures all be
heare shineth the Sunne, heare rivers do runne

All pleasures doe grace, ye valleys green a face
ye mountaine hath none but thee
Why wilt thou be there, & all ye rest here

Narcissus his rose, Adonis heare growes
yt may thy examples be
Since they became slayne, for pride & disdayne

When Jenny feeds sheep, ther Jemmy will keepe
his flocks ye nearest to thee
yf Jemmy be worthie to feede his flockes by thee

But pretty sweet Jenny was loved of so many
yt little delite had she
to think upon Jemmy yt thought her so bonny

Though Jenny thought ill of Jemmys good will
yet Jemmy to Jenny was free
he framed well his quill, & he sange to her still

Play: B519, Whoop, do me no harm.

Go to Index

A good medesyn yff a mayd have lost her madened to make her a mayd ageyn.

Yff a yong woman had a c. men take, [c. one hundred
I can her ageyne a mayd make
With a lytylle medesyne.
That ys wertow frely fyne,
So that she wylle yt take.
She must be wondyrly ffed.
And leyd in an esy bed,
In a hot hows;
She must be wondyrly fed and welle
Wythe good chekenys and grewell,
And wythe good fat, swynys and sowse;
She must have i...ed and a lowse, (?)
Wyth the sownd of a belle
She must have the neyghyng of a mere,
And ix. li' of gnattys smere,
And do as I yow telle.
She must have allso
The oyll of a mytys too, [mite's toe
With the kreke of a henne,
And the lyghthe of a glaweworme in the derke,
With ix. skyppys of a larke,
She must have of the wyntyrs nyghte
vij. myle of the mone-lycht
Fast knyt in a bladder;
Ye must medyl ther among
vij. Wellsshemens song, [7 Welshmens' songs
And hang it on a lader;
She must have the left fot of an ele
Wyth the kerkynge of a cart-whele
Wele hoylyd on a herdyll;
Ye must cast ther upon
The mary of a whetstone,
And the lenthe of Judas gerdylle.

Above copied, in 1520, into a book of 1481 in BL.

A maruellous Medicine to cure a great paine,
If a Mayden-head be lost to get it againe.
To a pleasant new tune.

One busie in study betwixt night and day,
to get by good order their Mayden-head again
* * * * *
The first day, give her the slime of an Eele
blown through a bag-pipe with the wind of a bladder,
With two or three turnings of a spinning-wheele,
boyld in an egg-shell, and streined through a ladder:
The tongue of and urchin, the sting of an adder,
boyld in a blanket in a showre of rain,
With seven notes of musicke to make her the gladder,
and it will replace her Mayden-head again.

[10 total verses] Printed at London for H[enry] G[osson] later copies in Roxburghe and Rawlinson collections.

Go to Index

"A maiden of late whose name was sweet Kate", New Academy of Compliments, p. 212, 1669, and Merry Drollery Compleat, 1671 The Academy of Compliments, 1671. This appears, with tune "Packington's Pound", as "The Longing Maid" in Pills to Purge Melancholy, IV, p. 22, 1719. [Late MS copy in Folger MS V.a. 308, c 1670.]

A Maiden of late,
Whose name was sweet Kate,
She dwelt in London near Aldgate;
Now list to my Ditty, declare it I can,
She would have a Child, without help of a Man.

To a Doctor she came,
A Man of Great Fame,
Whose deep Skill in Physic Report did proclaim,
Quoth she, Mr. Doctor shew me if you can,
How I may Conceive without help of a Man.

The listen, quoth he,
Since so it must be,
This wonderous strange Med'cine I'll shew presently;
Take Nine Pound of Thunder, Six Legs of a Swan,
And you shall Conceive without help of a Man.

The Wool of a Frog,
The Juice of a log,
Well Parboil'd together in the Skin of a Hog,
With the Egg of a Moon Calf, if get it you can,
And you shall Conceive without help of a man.

The Love of false Harlots,
The Faith of false Varlots,
With the Truth of Decoys that walk in their Scarlets,
And the Feathers of a Lobster well fry'd in a Pan,
And you shall Conceive without help of a man.

Nine drops of rain,
Brought hither from Spain,
With the Blast of a Bellows quite over the Main,
With eight Quarts of Brimstone Brew'd in a Beer-Cann,
And you shall Conceive without help of a man.

Six Pottles of Lard,
Squeez'd from a Rock hard,
With Nine Turkey Eggs, each as long as a Yard,
With a Pudding of Hail-stones well bak'd in a Pan,
And you shall Conceive without help of a man.

These Med'cines are good,
And approved have stood,
Well temper'd together with a Pottle of Blood,
Squeez'd from a Grasshopper and the Nail of a Swan,
To make Maids Conceive without help of a Man.

Play: B362-4

[There was another way to get a child without lying with a man, but I haven't seen the broadside "You'll Never Get Her Up, Or Love in a Tree, Being a pleasant new Song, shewing how a Maid was got by Child without lying with a Man." Crawford, Harvard, BL C.22.f.6]

Go to Index

I'll never love thee more, and The Blazing Torch.

Folger MS V.a. 339, c 1625?

I'll never love thee more.

My deare & only love take heed
how thou thy selfe expose
& let thy longing lovers feed
upon such lookes as those
A marble wall may round about
be built wtout a dore
but if thy heart shall once breake out
Ile never love thee more

You lete not thine oathes like volly shott
make any breache at all
nor suffer to soe lignir plot
wt wrong to seal thie wake
nor bales of wild fire to consume
thy shrine yt I do adore
for if some smoke about it fume
Ile never love thee more

I know thy virtue are too strong
to suffer by surprise
Crirford[?] by thy love so longe
the siedge at last must rise
yet leave ye rulor in love, yt health
Ye state it was before
But if yu prove a rym worthy
Ile neaver love thee more

Now if by fraud or by consent
myselfe to ruine ronne
Ile sound no trumpet when I wend
nor march by sound of Drum
But holde mine arms like patient up
thy fallshood so deplore
& after sing or killer cup
Ile neaver love thee more

But doe by thee as Nero did
When Rome was set on fire
nor only so all helpe forbid
But to a hill retire
I scorn to shed a teare so loine
a sperit growne so poore
but smile & singe & go to thy grave
And neaver love the more.

This text has some differences from the late broadside copy, as is invariablly the case with early manuscript and later printed copies of a piece. These differences were usually not conscious attempts at improvement, just difficulty reading MS copy. [For late fragment see Sam Henry's Songs of the People, "Martyrs", p. 3 Robb MS, c 1729]

The Blazing Torch

[Folger MS V.a. 345, f. 162. Also in BL MS Add. 30982, f. 150v]

The blazing torch is soon burn't out
The diamond light abides
The one his glory shines all out
The next his vertue hides
That spark if any shall be mine
That els give light to none
But if to every one she shine
I'le rather lie alone

No woman shall deceive my thoughts
With colours not in graine
Nor put a robe into my hands
So lightly wrought again
Ile pay no more so dear for it
Ile live upon my owne
Nor shall affection hinder it
I'de rather ly alone

But all in vaine I must confess
My loving labour lost
I'le be no more so rarely blest
Nor yet so stangely crost
The lonely Phonix sure doth die
The turtle loves but one
They chuse no mate no more will I
Ile rather lie alone

Yet bootless I must needs complain
My fancy is gone to extreemes
I lov'd and was belov'd againe
And al was but a dreame
For as that love was quickly got
So twas as quickly gone
Ile trust no more to love so hot
I'le rather ly alone

No creature be she ne're so fair
Shal ever now beguile
My fancys with a fained teare
or tempt me with a smile
Such fond affections shal not cause
My grieved hart to grone
Ile keepe me saffely from their clawes
And rather ly alone

Should then she like god conspire
Againe to entrap my minde
ot think to set my hart on fire
Alas the boy is blinde
Ile never venture sighes for smiles
Nor change my mirth for moane
Nor yet regard a womans teares
Ile rather ly alone.

The first six verses of "The faithful Lovers Resolution", The Pepys Ballads, I, 256, to the tune of "My deere and only love take heed", is very close to the text above except for the order of verses. The broadside has verses four to six, followed by verses one to three. With this revised order of verses, and commencing slightly differently, "Tho' bootless I must needs complain", the song is in Pills to Purge Melancholy, IV, p. 59, 1719, under the title "A Woman once found out".

The first five verses, following, of "A Good Wife, or none," to "A Pleasant New Tune", Roxburghe Ballads, I, p. 418, are almost the same as those in Wit and Drollery, 1661 (reprinted in Bagford Ballads, II, p. 1018. See BB p. 578 for source.) This starts with the same first verse.

The blazing Torch is soon burnt out
The Diamond's light abides
The one in glory shines about
The other its vertue hides
That spark (if any) should be mine
That else gives light to none
For if to every one she shine
I had rather lie alone

The Glow-worm in the dark gives light
Ubto to the view of many
The Moone she shewes her selfe by night
And yeelds herself to any
But if my Love should seem to be
Of every one so knowne
She never more should shine on me
I had rather lie alone

Ile not consume, nor pine away
As other lovers doe
For such as, wandering, walk astray
And never will prove true
Ile set as light as any shee
As shee by me hath done
And fixe mys love on constancie
Or else will lye alone

A willow garland on my head
I never meane to weare
I need no pillow for my bed
I am yet void of care
A single life is without strife
And freed from sigh and groane
For such contentments of my life
Ile choose to lie alone

Once did I love the fairest Love
That ever eye did see
But she did most unconstant prove
and set no love by me
And ever since my mind is such
to lend my love to none
Because I have been crost so much
Ile ever lie alone

"The Blazing torch, both parts," was entered in the Stationers' Register in 1624, and H. E. Rollins identified the entry with "A good wife or none". I don't thing this is correct, because we now have an early copy of "The Blazing torch", and we can see that "A good wife or none" only contains one verse of it, while "The faithful lovers resolution" contains all of it. I don't think either ballad above is that entered.

At any rate on the basis of "The faithful lovers resolution", "The blazing torch" in one form was sung to "I'll never love thee more".

The tune is in C. M. Simpson's The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music. Simpson, however, makes more than one error. The song in footnote 6 in extant in a copy of c 1630 in Folger Shakespeare Lib. MS V.a. 345, and so the "Hero and Leander" broadside mentioned by Simpson is an expansion of the song in Orpheus Caledonius, 1733, not the other way around.

Simpson did not see the original volumes, 1742, 1746, and 1755, of McGibbon's Scots Tunes, but saw Bremner's revised reissue, in parts, 1759-68. The tune is one of several added by Bremner, which were not in the original volumes published by McGibbon. Bremner had already published the tune twice, and it was published even earlier as "Cheevy Chace" in book 5 of Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, c 1753.

The tune is used for "My dearest dear, why wilt thou ask if I am constant yet" at Colonial Williamsburg.

Play: B228
S1, SCTCHYCH, (Scottish) "Cheevy Chace", CPC, bk. 5, c 1753

Sir Walter Scott switched lines around and slightly modified it, and published it anonymously as "The Resolve" in 1809. He did not extend it, however, and basically, he lied!

The Resolve

'Written in the Imitation of an Old English Poem', 

My wayward fate I needs must plain,
Though bootless be the theme;
I loved and was beloved again,
Yet all was but a dream:
For, as her love was quickly got,
So it was quickly gone;
No more I'll bask in flame so hot--
But coldly dwell alone

Not maid more bright than maid was e'er
My fancy shall beguile,
By flattering word or feigned tear,
By gesture, look, or smile:
No more I'll call the shaft fair shot,
Till it has fairly flown,
Nor scorch me at a flame so hot--
I'll rather freeze alone.

Each ambushed Cupid I'll defy
In cheek or chin or brow,
And deem the glance of woman's eye
As weak as woman's vow:
I'll lightly hold the lady's heart,
That is but lightly won;
I'll steel my breast to beauty's art,
And learn to live alone.

The flaunting torch soon blazes out,
The diamond's ray abides;
The flame its glory hurls about,
The gem its lustre hides;
Such gem I fondly deemed was mine,
And glowed a diamond stone,
But, since seach eye may see it shine,
I'll darkling dwell alone.

No waking dreams shall tinge my thought
With dyes so bright and vain,
No silken net so slightly wrought
Shall tangle me again:
No more I'll pray so dear for wit,   
I'll live upon mine own,
Nor shall wild passion trouble it,-
I'll rather dwell alone.

And thus I'll hush my heart to rest,-
'Thy loving labour's lost;
Thou shalt no more be wildly blest,
To be so strangely crost:
The widowed phoenix is but one;
They seek no loves- no more will I-
I'll rather dwell alone.

Related songs are given by Ebsworth in Roxburghe Ballads, VI, pp. 581-85.

I'm stumped by an obvious imitation of "I'll never love the more" entitled "The Premtory Lover", commencing "'Tis not your beauty nor your wit, That can my heart obtain". It appears with tune citation "John Anderson, my Jo" in The Hive, III, 4th ed. (1733), The Vocal Miscellany I, 2nd ed, 1734, and Herd's Scots Songs, I, 243 (without title). With tune named "John Anderson my Jo" it is in The British Musical Miscellany, III p. 63 (1735).

Here is a traditional carol to the tune.

[The Cherry Tree Carol is well known, but there is another traditional carol giving a more orthodox account of the events leading the the birth of Christ. Several traditional versions, called "Christmas Mummer's Carol", with tunes are in Journal of the Folk-Song Society, Vol. II, p. 128-29, London, 1905 [Roud #1066]. Here, however, is the text from the earliest 17th century broadside issue extant.

The Angell Gabriel, his Salutation to the blessed Virgin MARY

To the tune of, The Blazing Torch.

When righteous Joseph wedded was
to Israels Hebrew maid,
A glorious Angel came from Heaven,
who to the Virgin said:
Hail blessed Mary full of grace,
the Lord remains in thee:
Thou shalt conceive and bear a Son
thy Saviour to be.

That's wonderous strange quothe Mary then
I should conceive and breed,
Being never toucht my mortal man,
but pure in thought and deed.
Fear not, quoth Gabriel by and by
it is no work of man:
But only God's, ordain'd at first
before the world began.

Which heavenly message she believes,
and did to Jury go, [Jerusalem
Three moneths with her friends to stay
Gods blessed will to show:
And then return'd with Joseph back,
her Husband meek and mild,
Wh thought it strange his wife should be
untoucht, thus grown with child.

Wherefore (thought he) to shun that shame
he thought her to forsake:
But that Gods Angel in his sleep
Gods mind did undertake.
Fear not just Joseph this thy wife
is still a spotless Maid,
And no consent to sin (quoth he)
against her can be laid.

For she is purely Maid and Wife,
the mother of Gods own heir,
The Babe of Heaven, and blessed Lamb,
of Israels stock so fair:
To save lost sheep to Satan sold,
whom Adam lost by fraud,
When first in Edens Paradise
the Lord had them bestow'd.

Thus Mary with her Husband kind,
together did remain,
Until the time of Iesus birth
as Scripture doth make plain.
Thus Mother, Wife and Virgin pure,
our Saviour sweet conceiv'd,
All three in one to bring us joy,
of which we were bereav'd.

Sing praises then both old and young,
to him which wrought such things,
That thus without the help of man
sent us the King of Kings:
Which is of such a blessed power,
that with his word can quell
The World, the Flesh, and by his Death
could conquer death and hell.

Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere and W. Gilbertson. [1658-64]

This is the ballad entered in the Stationers' Register on Feb. 22, 1639 as "A Christmas Carol called the righteous Joseph". There is a copy in Sandy's Carols, 1833.

Go to Index

After a few years lapse, the printers company of J. Wright, J. Grismond, C. Wright, E. Wright, J. Gosson and F. Coles caught up a bit by entering 23 ballads in the Stationers' Register on June 1, 1629. Six are lost; "Sir Andrew Barton" is a Child ballad; three others (all traditional) follow below; and "Greensickness Grief" and "The distressed Virgin" have verses that appear later in traditional songs. Below is one that survived only as a traditional song

Nicol O'Cod

"Whan'll we be marry'd,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"We'll be marry'd o' Monday,
An' is na the reason gude?"
"Will we be marry'd nae sooner,
My own sweet Nicol o' Cod?"
"Wad ye be marry'd o' Sunday?
I think the auld runt be gane mad."

"Whae'll we hae at the wadding,
My own dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"We'll hae father and mother,
An' is na the reason gude?"
"Will we na hae nae mae,
My ain dear Nico o' Cod?"
"Wad ye hae a' the hail warld?
I think the auld runt be gane mad."

"What'll we hae to the wadding,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"We'll hae cheese and bread,
An' is na the reason gude?"
"Will we na hae na mae,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"Wad ye hae nae sack and canary?
I think the auld runt be gane mad."
"Whan'll we gang to our bed,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"We'll gang whan other folk gang,
An' is na the reason gude?"
"Will we na gang nae sooner,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"Wad ye gang at the sunsetting?
I think the auld runt be gane mad."

"What will we do i' our bed,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"We will kiss and clap,
An' is na the reason gude?"
"Will we nae do nae mae,
My ain dear Nicol o' Cod?"
"Wad ye do't a' the night over?
I think the auld runt be gane mad."

The text above is from Hans Hecht's Songs from David Herd's Manuscripts, 1904. The actual manuscripts date about 1776. This version of the song appears to be the earliest extant text of a ballad entered in the Stationers' Register as "Nicoll a Cod" on June 1, 1629. The burden line, "My own sweet Nicol a Cod" was quoted a few times in the 17th century. Martin Parker in The Legend of Leonard Lackwit, 1633, listed "Nichole-a-Cod" among those ballads of which he knew not the author. The tune "Nichol o Cod" was called for an a late 17th century broadside ballad, "Joan's Victory Over Her Fellow Servants".

American versions of this song include "The Mountaineer's Courtship" and "Buffalo Boy". It is said to have been sung by the Hutchinson Family of singers in the 19th century]

J. O. Halliwell-Phillips in The Nursery Rhymes of England, 1846, gives another version, untitled:

When shall we be married,
My dear Nicholas Wood?
We will be married on Monday,
And will not that be very good?
What, shall we be married no sooner?
Why sure the man's gone wood!

What shall we have for our dinner,
My dear Nicholas Wood?
We will have bacon and pudding,
And will not that be very good?
What, shall we have nothing more?
Why sure the man's gone wood!

Who shall we have at our wedding,
My dear Nicholas Wood?
We will have mammy and daddy,
And will that not be very good?
What, whall we have nobody else?
Why sure the man's gone wood!

Nicol o Cod is here confused with Nicholas Wood, the Great Glutton of Kent. For a ballad on Wood by Richard Climsell, 1630, see The Pepys Ballads, I, p.72, 1987, or with notes, H. E. Rollins' A Pepysian Garland, p. 342, 1922.

Additional texts:
My Old Sweet Nicol: Journal of the Folksong Society #35, p. 257, 1931.
When shall We get Married: A. Williams, Folksongs of the Upper Thames, p. 168, 1923.
John and Mary: Roy Palmer, Songs of the Midlands, p. 41, 1972. (see recording below)
The Country Courtship: P. Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, #127, 1975(GB), 1984(US)
When shall we get Married: J. Reeves, The Idiom of the People, #110, 1958. (Nickety Nod or Nickledy Cod) with note of other versions in Cecil Sharp's MSS)

Mountaineer's Courtship: Mr. and Mrs. Ernest V. Stoneman, Folkways FA 2953.
When shall we get married, John: Julie West and Roy Palmer, Topic 12TS210.

Go to Index

The two Constant Lovers.

Or, A patterne of true Love expresst in this loving Dialogue between Samuell and Sara.

To a pleasant new tune.

As I by chance was walking,
on a Summers day,
I heard two lovers talking,
and thus they did say:
With a mournful Ditty,
she began he tale,
Which mov'd my heart to pitty
her for to bewaile.

My love I have desired,
for to speake with you,
My heart within was fired,
untill that I know:
Whether you were living,
in good health or no,
My heart it was grived,
Untill I did know.

What sweet heart what ails thee,
thus for to complaine,
Let not ill befall thee,
thou shalt me obtaine;
Though I were absented,
from thee for a space,
Ile not be prevented
of thy comely face.

Samusll my owne Sweeting,
I to thee must tell,
In a heavie greeting,
what hath us befell;
My friends do grudge and murmur,
and to me they say,
That wee must part a sunder.
or else they'l you destroy.

My love be not grieved,
though thy friends doe frown:
Thou shalt be relieved,
none shall put thee downe:
I for thy sweet favour,
will adventure much,
Though thy friends and Brother,
doe against me grutch.

O my own deare Sweeting,
I am griev'd in heart,
That I give thee such greeting,
for to breed thy smart:
Bsarnswell my owne Brother,
Captaine being he,
Sweares that of all other,
killed thou shalt be.

Sara be not fearfull,
though thy Brother sweare;
Of thy self be carefull,
I no man doe feare:
What care I for Barnwell,
though he a Captaine be,
He shall find the Samuell,
is as good as he.

O my loving Samuel,
looke where he doth goe,
'Tis my brother Barnwell
now bdegin our woe:
Would that we together
had not met this day.
O my Judas brother,
will my life bewray.

Now comes Captain Barnwell,
to these lovers twaine,
And made count that Samuell,
he could soone have slaine:
But it prov'd contrary
to his bloody mind,
In the sight of Sara,
conquest he resign'd.

Then said he to Samuell,
what doe you make here?
I'm with my sweet-heart Sara,
put her not in feare:
Barwell in a fury
swore he would prevent,
His own sister Sara,
of her heart's contant.

O my Brother Barnwell,
let me you untreat,
Not to wrong my Samuell,
in your bloody heart:
He hath ne're offended
you at any time.
Let me condemned,
save his life take mine.

I say Captain Barnwell,
Sara thou shalt see,
Then he call'd to Samuell,
come and answer me:
I thy death hath vowed,
ere I further goe,
Then sweet Sara bowed,
saying doe not so.

Samuell being heedfull,
of his tyranny;
Says Sara be not fearfull,
thou anon shalt see;
Though thy Brother Barnwel,
vow my life to spill,
Thou shalt see that Samuel,
hath both strength and skill.

Now these words being spoken,
they to Weapons goe,
Samuel gave him a token,
with a dreadfull blow:
And withall inclosed,
with his Enemy,
Then Barnwell he supposed,
that he himselfe should dye.

Then says loving Samuel,
are you now contant?
I sayes Caption Barnwell,
and withall consent,
That my sister Sara
shall be made thy wife;
So thou wilt but spare me
and not take my life.

Thus in place they ceased
for the present time,
Sara much was eased
of her troubled mind:
And enjoy'd her Samuell,
to her hearts content,
And her Brother Barnwell,
gave his free consent.

Now these Lovers twaine
live in joy and peace,
Pray heaven upon them raine
plenty and increase:
And to all true Lovers,
wheresoe'r they be,
Aid them with thy favour,
that have such Constancy.

Entered in the Stationers' Register June 1, 1629.

This ballad has not been well preserved in the U. S. Phillips Barry gave a text from a late 18th century MS in his possession, along with a recent traditional fragment, with a tune, in Bulletin of the Folksong Society of the Northeast, #5, 1933. English versions are better preserved. A version without tune is in Williams' Folksongs of the Upper Thames, "Captain Barniwell". With tune is one in M. Karples' Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folksongs, "Young Barnswell".

Go to Index

The Green-sickness grief,

Or a Maidens moan, Complaining because her Sweet-heart is gone.

To a pleasant new tune.

Come, come, my sweet and bonny one,
thou hast my heart in hold,
Thou mak'st me sigh when I should sing
and sweat when I am cold,
Thou makst me weep,
When I should sleep,
My Bed with tears I fill,
O both night and day,
I wast away,
Wanting my wish at will.

Every Bird can shuse her Mate,
the Ant can do the same.
Both Fish and Foul their pleasure take,
and follow after Game:
Whilst I alone,
Poore silly one,
My loathed life do spill,
O both night, &c.

Sometimes I dream I see my Love,
and fold him in my arms,
But when I awake I am deceiv'd,
whcih breeds my mickle harm;
Such pains I bear,
As able were,
A silly soul to kill.
O both night, &c.

Would Jove my Bed stood in the place,
where my true-love doth rest,
Then would I fold within my arms,
the man whome I love best.
But he is gone,
From me alone,
Which now my heart doth kill.
O both night, &c.

Though thou art gone from me my Love
and bad me not farewell,
Yet will I pray for thy return,
till thou comst here to dwell.
Pray God thee keep,
From dangers deep,
Defend thee from all ill.
O both night, &c.

And so farewell my own true Love,
since 'twill no better be,
That you and I must needs depart,
their is no remedy.
I'le pray that thee,
Full safe may be
Still guarded from all ill.
O both night, &c.

The Ship that my true Love sails in
is made of Oaken wood,
As good a Ship as eve sail'd
upon he Ocean-flood:
From Sands and Rocks,
And Pyrats knocks,
Sweet Jove defend him still.
O both night and day,
I wast away,
Wanting my wish at will.

The Green-sickness grief: Or,
The Sailors new comming to his dearest Sweeting,
Shewing what joy they receiv'd at their meeting.

My only dear, for whose sweet sake,
I now am home return'd;
Cheer up thy self, and weep no more,
thou look'st as thou hadst mourn'd:
My going was,
Sweet-heart alas,
To prove thy constant will.
And thou my Love,
Do constant prove,
Therefore Ile love thee still.
When I on Neptunes surly waves
was tossed too and fro,
Then I remembered thee my love,
which did increase my wo;
That I should go,
To hazard so,
My love and life to spill.
But now I am here,
My only dear,
I will stay with thee still.

Leander like I would have swom
a Hellespont for thee:
Now like Ulisses I will prove,
unto his Penelopee.
Before I part,
From thee sweet-heart,
Death with his dart shall kill,
And steal my breath,
For untill death,
Thou hast my heart at will.
When sable night, the time of sleep,
to each eye did appear,
Thy absense then struck me so deep,
the weight I scarce could bear,
And to unbind,
My troubled mind,
I come Love with good will,
To live with thee,
Is best for me;
And I will love thee still.

The cause that might induce me too't
was as I then did hear,
That thou all comfort did refuse,
cause thou hadst lost thy Dear:
But now I find,
Thee true and kind,
To thee I will be still
The same for aye,
At each assay,
Ile keep thee from all ill.

Sweet Mate let us joyfully
go unto Church with speed,
If thou'lt Leander prove my Love,
Hero Ile be to thee;
I do rejoyce,
To see my choyce,
Contrary bent to ill;
Sith it is so,
Come let us go,
Our Marriage to fullfill.

Printed by E.C. for F. Coles. T. Vere. and J. Wright.

Entered in the Stationsers' Register on June 1, 1629, but this, the only known copy, is a reissue of 1636-74.

Go to Index

Here's the original version of "The Gardener Lad", Child #219.

An Excellent new Song, Called, The Young-Mans
Answer to the Maids Garden of Tyme,

Let no Young-maidens shew their proud disdain,
In slighting Lovers when they're not to blame,
Least by their haughty Pride as I may tell,
They slip their Youth, and so lead Apes in Hell.

To a pleasant New Tune.

Maids that are fair and young,
why should you thus complain,
Aainst a Batchellors smooth tongue
, when Love is all their aim.

If we should curse or swear,
or surly to you be,
O then you justly might forbear
a Young-mans company.

You say a young man went
into your Garden fine,
And there unto your discontent
he pluckt up all your time.

I blame him for the same,
he might have spared some,
Or for the time that he did take,
plant others in the room.

Come pritty Lass I pray
let me your Garden view,
And what fine flowers you do want,
ile plant them o'er anew.

And if you'l try me once,
I doubt not but you'l say,
I thank you heartily young man,
pray come another day.

And in your Garden fine
a Fountain there does flow,
With pritty bushes all a-round,
that Fountain too does grow.

Fair Maiden let me in,
and then you need not fear,
But I the bushes fine will trim,
your Fountain too will clear.

And if your time I take,
ile give you in return,
Carnations of the better sort,
and Flowers of the Sun.

And for your Fountain too,
thus further I can tell,
Ile put in pritty Fishes there,
will please you wonderous well.

And in this Pond they'll breed,
for to increase your store,
and if you once but let me in,
you'l nere deny me more.

At length the young Maid then
consented to my mind,
But said withal, her heart should break
if I should prove untrue.

When I came to the Garden door,
said she you'l me undo,
and steal away my precious time,
and leave me nought but Rue.

No no, then I reply'd
my pritty Maid ne're fear,
For now the Bargain is fast ty'd,
ile stay from Year to Year.

Your Fountain ile new stock,
your Garden ile new plant;
There's nothing that is requsite,
my pritty Maid shall want.

Now Maids be ruled by me,
nere use Young-men unkind,
But take the first that comes to hand,
if he be to your mind.

Printed by A[lex]. M[ilbourne]. 1696

I trust you now understand what the Gardner lad meant to plant, and what is meant by 'Garden of Tyme', 'Seeds of Love', Fountain, and so on. [The old naval equivalent to planting in the garden of thyme is the 'shot twixt wind and water']

[From Scots Musical Museum, #424]

The rowin't in her apron

Our young ladys' a huntin gane,
Sheets nor blankets has she taen,
But shes born her auld son or she cam hame,
And she's row'd him in her apron.

her apron was o' the hallan fine,
Laid about wi' laces nine;
She thought it a pity her babie should tyne,
And she's row'd him in her apron.

Her apron was o' the hallan sam,
Laid about with laces a',
She thought it a pity her babe to let fa,
And she's row'd him in her apron.

+ + + + + + +

Her father says within the ha',
'Amang the knights and nobles a',
I think I hear a babie ca,
In the chamber amang our young ladies.

O father dear it is a bairn,
I hope it will do you nae harm
For the daddie I ol'ed, and he'll le'e me again,
For the rowin't in my apron.

O is he a gentleman, or is he a clown,
That has brought thy fair body down,
I would not for a' this town
The rowin't in my apron.

Young Terreagles he's nae clown,
He is the tofs of Edinborrow town,
And he'll buy me a braw new gown
For the rowin't in my apron.

+ + + + + + + + +

Its I hae castles, I hae towers,
I hae barns, and I hae bowers,
A' that is mine it shall be thine,
For the rowin't in thy apron.

Play S1: ROWAPRN1, SMM #424

Though very few in number, English traditional texts, collected over a century after the publication of our song here, are fairly coherent, and this implys to me that this was originally an English ballad. Because of style (always a last resort, and in desperation), I put it among those of the 1620's. It seems vaguely related to "Willie of Winsbury". John Glen, ESM, p. 193-4, pointed out that he had seen in a MS of Charles II's time a tune "Shoe row'd it in hir aprone", but made no further comment on it or its source, and I have found nothing furter. He also pointed out a tune, SMM #562, that was in the MacFarlane MSS (c 1740) as "Under her apron". A lost tune 'ffor her aprone" was used in the 1620's for a song in an extend jig. [Sisson, 'Lost Plays of Shakespeare's Age']

This Scots version has some big differences. Untitled in G. R. Kinloch's 'The Ballad Book', #21, 1827.

It fell on a morning, a morning in May,
My father's cows they all went astray,
I loutit me down, and the heather was gay,
And a burr stack to my apron.

O! ance my apron it was wide,
But now my knees it will scarcely hide,
And O the grief I do bide,
When I look to my apron.

O! ance my apron it was new
, But now it's gotten anither hue,
But now it's gotten anither hue,
There's a braw lad below my apron.

I saw my father on the stair,
Kaiming doun his yellow hair,
Says- "What is that ye've gotten there,
Sae weel row'd aneath your apron?<"p> It's no a vagabond, nor yet a loon-
He's the rarest stay-maker in a' the toun,
And he's made a stomacher to bear up my goun,
And I row'd it aneath my apron.

I saw my mither on the stair,
Kaiming doun her yellow hair,
Says- "What's that ye've gotten there;
Sae weel row'd aneath your apron?"

It is my mantle and my shirt,
I had nae will to daidle it,
I had nae will to daidle it,
And I row'd it aneath my apron.

As I was walking up the street,
Wi' silver slippers on my feet,
O! aye my friends I'd ill will to meet,
And my braw lad row'd in my apron.

Go to Index

Slightly earlier than 1629 is:

The Souldiers Farewel to his love.

Being a dialogue betwixt Thomas and Margaret.

To a pleasant new tune.

Margaret my sweetest, Margaret I must go,
Most dear to me, that never may be so:
T. Ah, Fortune wills it, I cannot it deny,
M. then know my love your Margaret must dye.

M. I'le go with thee my love both night and day [verse 6
I'le bear thy sword, i'le run and lead the way.
T. But we must ride, how will you follow then,
Amongst a troop of us that's Armed men.

M. I'le bear the Lance, ile guide thy stirrop too, [verse 7
I'le rub the horse, and more than that i'le do,
T. But Margarets fingers are all too fine,
To wait on me when she doth see me dine.

Ile see you dine, ile wait still at your back, [verse 8 Il give you wine, or anything you lack.
But you I repine when you shall see me have
A dainty wench that is both fine and brave.

M. I'le love your wench, my sweetest, I do vow, [verse 9 of 13
I'le watch time when she may pleasure you.
T. But you will grieve to see me sleep in bed,
And you must wait still in anothers stead.

This was entered in the Stationers' Register by first line on Cec. 14, 1624. An incomplete copy in the Percy Folio MS is earlier than any of the extant broadside issues. This is the original from which "Lisbon"/"William and Nancy/ "Mens Clothing I'll Put on", (Laws' N8) was founded.

Go to Index

And somewhat later than that above is:

The Sea-mans leave taken of his sweetest Margery,

and Margery she singing loath to depart,
Being very unwilling to leave her Sweet-heart.

To the tune of. I'le go through the world with thee.

Sweet I am prest to the Sea,
with Gold and Silver in my hand:
I come to take my leave of thee,
and bid adieu to faire England.

But wilt thou be gone my Honey sweet,
and must I lose thy company:
Me thinks for thee it is not meet,
to leave thy dearest Margery.

Sweet Margery I must needs be gone,
alas there is no remedy:
But be I not in company, or alone,
I'le not forget my Margery.


Maid [verse 6
A bird in hand's worth two in the bush,
and when thou art once gone from me;
I doubt thou wilt not care a rush,
what will become of Margery.

Man [verse 19
I have seven Ships upon the Sea,
and all are laden to the brim;
I am so inflam'd with love of thee,
I care not whether they sinke or swim.

Maid [verse 24
If I had wist before I had kist,
that Love had been so deare to win;
My heart I would have clos'd in Gold,
and pinn'd it with a silver pin.

Printed at London by J. H. for Francis Coles, dwelling in the Old-Bailey (on Manchester copy). Probably 1656-60. With this spelling of last name and address of print shop it could be from about 1650-1666, when the great fire of London burned him Coles out. Coles relocated to Vine/ Wine st. in Safforn Garden.

The last two verses above turn up much later in traditional.

Go to Index

The North-countrey Maids resolution & love to her Sweetheart.

Her Daddy and Mammy she'l rather forsake,
Then be separated from her loving mate:
She sold all her Linnen, her Goods and her Geer
And followed he Sweet-heart his Snapsack to bear.

To a pleasant new Northern Tune. [Cavalilly man]

As from Newcastle I did pass,
I heard a blithe and bonny Lass,
Who in the Scottish army was.
Saying, prethee le me gang with thee man,
Unto a Cavaliero Blade,
As I suppose these words she said,
Ile follow my Cavalilly man,
    O my dainty Cavalilly man,
    My finnikin Cavalily man,
    For Gods Cause and the Protestants,
    I prithee le me gang with thee man.

Sweet-heart, quoth she, if tho't consent,
To follow thee my minde is bent,
I'll strive to give thee all content,
Then prethee le me gang with thee man;
I'll seel my Rock and eke my Reel,
And after that my Spinnning wheel,
To buy my Love a Cap of Speel,
And follow my Cavalilly man:
    O my dainty, &c

My Uncle gave me House and Land,
I'll sel't for money out of hand,
And all sall be at thy command,
Then prethee le me gang with thee man:
My Mammy gave me a Pot and Pan,
My Dady gave me a Yew and a Lamb,
Yet I'se forsake my Dady and Mam,
To follow my Cavalilly man:
    O my dainty, &c

I'le pawn my Kirtle and eke my Gowne,
Which cost my Mother many a Crowne
And goe with thee from Town to Town,
Then perthee le me gang with thee Man:
I'll sell my Petticoat from my back,
My Smock and all ere thou shalt lack,
For either Money, Beer, or Sack:
    O my dainty, &c

Thy company I love so deere,
Then rather then I'le tary here,
Thy Snapsack on my back I'le beare,
And follow my Cavalilly man,
I'le sell off all my Hemp and Pards,
And throw aside my wooll and Cards.
To march along from gards to gards,
Then prethee le me goe with thee man.
    O my dainty Cavalilly man,
    My finiken Cavalilly man,
    For Gods Cause and the Protestants,
    prethee le me gang with thee man.

Whatsoever shall of my selfe betide,
Where thou shalt either goe or ride,
Throughout the Kingdom far and wide,
I'le follow my Cavalilly man:
I neither care for dirt or mire,
Mor marches long my legs to tire,
Thy company I most desire,
Then prethee let me goe with thee man,
    O my dainty Cavalilly man,
    My finiken Cavalilly man,
    For Gods Cause and the Protestants,
    I prethee le me goe with thee man.

For hose and shoes thou's want for nean,
Though thy Apparrell be but mean,
I's wash thee weel and keep thee clean,
Then prethee le me go with thee man:
Thou salt have cleath to make thee a sark
That every yard sall cost a Mark.
And whether it sall be light or darke,
I'l follow my Cavalilly man,
    O my dainty, &c.

Give me thy Musket in my hand.
And when thy Captain gives command,
Upon the Centry I will stand,
Instead of my Cavalilly man:
I'm not afraid of Pistol shot,
Nor Cannon bullets burning hot,
Since that it is my happy lot,
To follow my Cavalilly man,
    O my dainty, &c.

Whilst drums are beating loud alarms
I will be ready in thine arms,
To keep my love from further harms,
To follow my Cavilly man,
In frost, in Snow, in Hail, in Raine,
Ore Hill, and Dale, and many a Plaine,
I'le follow thee through all the Traine,
Then prethee le me goe with thee man,
    O my dainty, &c.

And when the wars are at an end,
That I's return heam with my Friend,
I'le worke for means for thee to spend,
Then prethee le me goe with thee Man,
I'le buy thee new Apparell gay,
To wear upon thy Wedding day,
Then doe not hinder me I pray,
To follow my Cavalilly man.
    O my dainty, &c.

The Soldier hearing of her mean,
Was loath to leave her all alean,
And she along with him is gaen,
To follow her Cavalilly man:
She vows that he his part will take,
And though her life were laid at'th stake,
Sheel rather die then him forsake,
To follow her Cavalilly man.
    O my dainty Cavalilly man,
    My finiken Cavalilly man,
    For Gods Cause and the Protestants,
    I prethee le me goe with thee man.

Entered according to Order. London, Printed for F. Grove dwelling on Snow-Hill.

Grove last entered a ballad in the Stationers' Register on May 29, 1658, but continued adding 'Entered according to Order' on most of his broadsides until his death in 1663. This ballad was not entered under any recognizable title. It seems to be of about 1660.

This song proves interesting in several respects. Here we have a classic verse from the Scots "Dickey Macphalion "(Sharpe, A Ballad Book) and the well known Irish "Shule Aroon" or "Shule Agrah".

It seems fairly clear that the tune "Cavalilly man" is Scots, and it occurs in a 17th century Scots music manuscript as "Roger, the Cavalier".

Play: B057-8

Go to Index

The song in some way is connected to the piece given in Wm. Chappell's PMOT, p. 439, "By the border side as I did pass", from Bodleian MS Ashmole 36, 37. Here are a few more lines of the 10 verses. The best I could read the song was:

By the borders side as I did pas
All in the tyme of Lenton it was
I heard a Scotchman & his Lass
Was talking Love and Lee

He courted her in Scottish worde
Like language as ye Lande aforde
Will thou not leave your Laird & Lorde
My Jo, and gan with me.

To mow with your geat & an I not
I dare not fast yt waefull Knot
For if my daddy he gitt wott
He will me sow mi feam.[?

But liking if I had my will
I'de follow you or'e Hooper's Hill
Or Lea, & Ling & many a Gill
I'le[?] enough ye're Burke & aw.

[Here it turns slightly bawdy, but I regret I was quite inexperienced at manuscript reading at the time I saw this, and I could read little of it.]

6 To mow with you
and bid to shame...

7 At last he took her by the Cuff
Then she began to s--e & snuff

8 He took her in his arms ava
And he wrapt her one --- way

Play: B549

Go to Index

The Stuttering Lovers
Sheet music song, Chappell & Co., 1906, headed 'Old Irish Melody Words Traditional arranged by Herbert Hughes'. I already had the song, so I only copied the tune.]

A wee bit over the lea, my lads,
A wee bit o'er the green,
The birds flew into the poor man's corn,
'Twas feared they'd never be s-s-s-s-s-s-seen, my lads,
'Twas feared they'd never be seen.

The out came the bonny wee lass
And she was O! so fair
And she went into the poor man's corn
To see if the birds were th/th/th/th/th/th/there, my lads,
To see if the birds were there.

And out came the brave young lad
And he was a fisherman's son
And he went into the poor man's corn
To see where the lass had g/g/g/g/g/g/gone, my lads,
To see where the lass had gone.

He put his arm around her waist
He kissed her cheek and chin
Then out spake the bonny wee lass
"I fear it is a s/s/s/s/s/s/sin, my lad,
"I fear it is a sin."

He kissed her once and he kissed her twice
And he kissed her ten times o'er
'Twas fine to be kissing that bonny wee lass
That never was kissed bef/f/f/f/f/f/fore, my lads,
That never was kissed before.

Then out came the poor old man
And he was tattered and torn
"Faith if that's the way ye're minding the corn
I'll mind it myself in the m/m/m/m/m/morn," he said,
"I'll mind it myself in the morn."

But that wasn't the way it happened at all.

[Song from English MS Harleian 6057, c 1632.]

The birds flew over the green, boys,
The birds flew over [the green.]
The birds flew over the poor mans corn
A little way over the green, [the green
A little way over the green.]

Up starts the little boy
Full early in the morn.
Hee looked aboute and spiede his dame
In the middle of all the greene, [the greene
In the middle of [all the greene.]

And straight he steps unto her
And he kisst her cheek & chin.
'O fie away, thou naughty boy,
It's a parte of a deadly sin, [a sin
It's a parte [of a deadly sin.]
Hee tooke her aboute the neck
And he kist her ten times more.
'It's enough to tempt a woman,' quote she,
'That never knew man before, [before] 3 times
[That never knewe man before.']

He took her aboute the middle
& hee laid her on the grounde.
'Condition thy master could doe soe much
Ide give thee five hundred pound, [pound] 3
[I'd give thee five hundred pound.']

Up started the oulde man
And looks out of his ween.
And there he speide his wifes leggs abroad
And the little boy laid betweene, [betweene] 3
[And the little boy laid between.]

'O fie away, thou naughty boy
God send thee grief and sorrowe.
Since my wife and thee hathe servd me soe
Ill keepe birds my selfe tomorrowe, [tomorrowe] 3
[Ill keep birds my selfe tomorrow.']

Away went the little boy
As fast as hee could highe.
hee cald his Master ould cuckold
And a cuckold hee should dye, [dye]
[And a cuckold he should die.]

This song was discovered and printed as #320 by John Wardroper in Love and Drollery, 1969. Wardroper obviously didn't know of the 'traditional' version, but his note an the song is as follows: "This sounds like a folk-song noted down by the manuscript's gentleman owner." The song here is from BL MS Harl. 6057, where repeats are indicated for the chorus, which Wardroper left out. The date of the song would seem to be about 1632 or 1633.

"The Stuttering Lovers" is a reworked version of the song. Herbert Hughes evidently collected it, and sent it to Chappell and Co. London, who published it in 1906 with the scant notes 'Word traditional' and music 'arranged by Herbert Hughes' from an 'Old Irish Air'. Chappell and Co. sent a copy to the U.S. for copyright, and that copy is now in the Library of Congress, with date stamped on it as received Aug. 17, 1906.

"The Stuttering Lovers" is on p. 24 of Colm O'Lochlainn's More Irish Street Ballads, Dublin, 1965. O'Lochlainn notes the tune is that of a children's song "Castles in the Air" (by James Ballantine) and a ribald Scots song that he does not identify. The ribald Scots song is known as the "Ball of Kirriemuir" and the tune for it and James Ballantines "Castles in the Air" came from a 17th or 18th century Scots song known as "Bonny Jean of Aberdeen", which has already been given here.

Play: music on stuttering lovers sheet music, 1906 S1- BNYJEAN3

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[Farmer's Curst Wife. Early version not mentioned by Child. #278.]

A Pleasant new Ballad you here may behold, How the Devill, though subtle, was gull'd by a Scold.

To the tune of The Seminary Priest.

Give ear, my loving countrey-men,
that still desire newes,
Nor passe not while you here it sung,
or else the song peruse;
For, ere you heare it, I must tell,
my newes it is not common;
But Ide unfold a trueth betwixt
a Devill and a woman.

Tom Thumb is not my subject,
whom fairies oft did aide,
Nor that mad spirit Robin,
that plagues both man and maid;
Nor is my song satyricke like,
invented against no man;
But onely of a pranke betwixt
a Devill and a woman.

Then widdowes, wives and maides,
give eare, as well as men,
And by this woman learne
to gull the world agen:
You may by this turne artists,
or masters of your art;
And when the Devill come for you,
you need not care a fart.

A woman well in years
liv'd with a husbande kinde,
Who had a great desire
to live content in mind:
But 'twas a thing unpossible
to compasse his desire;
For night and day with scolding
she did her husband tire.

With "Roughish lowtish clowne!
despight thee Ill be wilde;
Doest thou think I marryed thee
to use thee like a childe,
And set thee on my lap,
or humour what you speake?
Before Ile be so fond
thy very heart Ile breake!"

"Why, loving wife," quoth he,
"Ile never doe thee wrong,
So thoul't be rul'd by me,
and onely hold thy tongue:
And when I come from works,
wilt please at boord and bed?
Doe this, my loving wife,
and take all, being dead."

"Marke well," quothe she, "my words!
what ere you speak me to,
By faire meanes or by foule,
the contrary Ile doe!"
According to her speech,
this man led such a life,
That oft he wish't the Devill
to come and fetch his wife.

Had he bid her goe homely,
why then she would goe brave;
Had he cal'd her "Good wife!"
she cal'd him "Rogue and slave!"
Bade he, "Wife, goe to church,
and take the fairest pew,"
Shee'd goe unto an alehouse,
and drinke, lye down, and spew.

The Devill, being merry
well laughing at this mirth,
Would needs from hell come trotting
to fetch her from the earth;
And coming like a horse,
did tell this man his minde,
Saying, "Set her but astride my backe,
Ile hurry her through the winde."

The second part to the same tune.

"Kinde Devill!" quoth the man,
"if thou a while wilt wait,
Ile bid her doe that thing
shall make her backe thee straight:
And here Ile make a vow-
for all she is my wife-
Ile never send for her againe
whilest I have breath or life."

"Content," the Devill cry'd;
then to his wife goes he:
"Good wife, goe leade that horse
so black and fair you see."
"Goe leade, Sir Knave!" quoth she,
"and wherefore not goe ride?"
She took the Devill by the reines,
and up she goes astride.

The Devil neighed lowd,
and threw his heeles i' th' ayre:
"Kick, in the Devill's name!" quoth shee;
"A shrew dith never fear."
Away to hell he went
with this most wicked scold;
But she did curbe him with the bit,
and would not loose her hold.

The more he cry'd, "Give way!"
the more she kept him in,
And kickt him so with both her heeles,
that both his sides were thin.
"Alight!" the Devill cry'd,
"and quicke the bridle loose!"
"No! I will ride," quoth she,
"whiles thou hast breath or shooes."

Againe she kickt and prickt,
and sate so stiffe and well,
The Devill was not [half] so plagu'd
a hundred yeares in hell.
"For pity, light!" quothe he,
"Thou put'st me to much paine!"
"I will not light," quoth she,
"till I come home againe."

The Devil show'd her all
the paines within that place,
And told her that they were
ordain'd for Scold so base.
"Being bereft of breath,
for scolding 'tis my due;
But whilest I live on earth
Ile be reveng'd on you!"

Then did she draw her knife,
and give his eare a slit:
The Devill never felt
the like from mortall yet.
So, fearing further danger,
he to his heeles did take,
And faster than he came,
he poast-haste home did make.

"Here, take her!" quoth the Devill,
"to keep her here be bold:
For hell will not be troubled
with such an earthly scold.
When I come home, I may
to all my fellowes tell,
I lost my labour, and my bloud,
to bring a scold to hell."

The man halfe dead did stand;
away the Devill hyde.
Then, since the world, nor hell,
can well a scold abide,
To make a saile of ships
let husbands fall to worke,
And give their free consents
to send them to the Turke.

Then, honest wives and maides,
and widdowes of each sort
Might live in peace and rest,
and Silence keep her court:
Nor would I have a scold
one penny here bestow;
But, honest men and wives,
buy these before uou goe. Finis.

Printed at London for Henry Gosson, dwelling upon London-Bridge neare to the Gate.

Play: tune unknown

This was entered in the Stationers' Register on June 24, 1630.

Same theme:

The Devil Charm'd with Twinkum Twankum and Uridice Releas'd out of Hell.

Young Orpheus tickled his harp so well,
He gain'd Fair Euridice out of hell,
with a Twinkum Twankum Twang
had she been honest as she was fair,
Tis a wonder She e'er came there,
wth a Twinkum Twankum, Twang.
Bit tis to be fear'd she prov'd a Scold
tis to be feared, tis to be feared
tis to be feared, She prov'd a Scold,
and therefore the Devill had got her in hold,
but for fear whe would poison all Hell with her tongue,
ye Devill Released her for an old song,
which was Twinkum, Twankum, Twinkum, Twankum,
Twinkum, Twankum, Twang.

From single sheet song with music, c 1735. There is an 'Answer to Orpheus and Euridice' (to this) commencing "When Orpheus went down to the regions below" with music by Wm. Boyce, c 1740, and sung by James Beard, but the 'Answer' is simply another version of the same. It appears with Boyce's tune in Universal Harmony, 1746 (and copied from there in J. B. Talley's Secular Music in Colonial Massachusetts, p. 77, 1988, where the Maryland text varies slightly and lack the 2nd verse). Both appear with music in The Convivial Songster, p. 242 and p. 244, 1782.

Orpheus and Euridice

When Orpheus went down to the regions below,
Which men are forbidden to see,
He tun'd up his lyre as old histories shew,
to set his Euridice free,
to set his Euridice free.
All hell was astonished a person so wise,
Should rashly endanger his life
and venture so far
but how vast their surprise when they heard that he came for his wife,
how vast their surprize when they heard that he came for his wife.

To find out a punishment due to the fault
Old Pluto had puzal'd his brain
But hell had not torments sufficient he thought
So he gave him his wife back again,
he gave &c.
But pity succeeding soon vanquish'd his heart
And he pleas'd with his playing so well
He took her again in reward of his art
Such power had his musick in hell, in reward &c.

Go to Index

The Weaver and the Servant Lass

[Will the Weaver, from NLS MS 6299, c 1745.]

I am a weaver to my trade
I fell in love with a servant maid
O if I could her favour win
then I would weave and she would spin

My father Churlishly to me said
are you in love with a servant maid
you might have lasses come to your b[ed]
and not to wed a poor servant maid

It is not riches I do crave
so that I gain this pretty maid
M]y heart is locked within her breast
I] can love none but a servant lass

--] as three long hours before it was day
I] went to the bed where my true love lay
she lay so sweetly in her Clouths
--] like the morning star when the Lamaess[? ---

I] turn'd down the blankets & sheets so fine
V]enus sporting ran in mind
her lilly white legs that lay so low [missing something here, then leading into breasts]
W]ere like two little mountains covered with snow

Be]tween these hills a fountain was placed
fain would I drink but durst not taste
of all pleasure, that ever I found
--] I could with there to be drown'd [these?

W]hy do you call this a handsome bed
where none lies on but a servant maid
a servant maid altho' she be
happy's the man that enjoyeth thee

My] love's in the County of Armagh
and I myself a great way off
Oh if I had her in the County of down
I would rather then ten thousand pound

My love is sick and like to die
and a sorry man that day was I
but now the weaver enjoyes his bliss
and marry'd to thee servant lass
a servant lass although she be
happy's the man that enjoyeth shee

You may hear a late version as "The Weaver and the Factory Maid" done by Steeleye Span.

Roy Palmer prints several variants of this song in his article 'The Weaver in Love', Folk Music Journal, 1977, but I don't think he put things together correctly. The broadside ballad "Will the Weaver and Charity the Chambermaid" Rawlinson collection, Bodleian, and The Pepys Ballads, III, 132, 1987, was printed by Phillip Brooksby, 1671-1685 (his address then changes). The tune cited on the broadside is "To a pleasant new tune; Or, I am a weaver by my trade. Or, Now I am bound, &c,". None of these tunes are known.

At present we have only 18th century copies of "Will the Weaver" (Holloway and Black's Later English Broadside Ballads, I, #123, "The Weaver and his sweetheart" (Palmer's D text), and "#38 "The Fair Maid's desire to learn her A B C" (Palmer's C text, given below). But I believe these were added together to form the 17th century broadside. Palmer's printing of the broadside text does not note where one song brakes off and the other starts. The first eight verses are "Will the Weaver" and the last twelve are "The young Maid's desire." I append "Beauties Warning Piece" next, where we find modified verses of the "Maids desire to learn her A B C" in another 17th century broadside ballad.

Closest to the text here is Palmer's D text, which seem to be a revision of that above. The verse commencing "My love is sick and like to die" is not out of place if one knows that she has 'green sickness,' the cure for which was sexual intercourse. See the early ballad "Green Sickness Grief" commencing "Come come my sweet and bonny one" given above.

The Fair Maid's desire to learn her A B C

I am a sailor of no trade,
Long time I courted a pretty maid,
And if I can't her favour win,
I'll away to sea, away to sea I'll go again.

I went unto my love's chamber door,
Where often times I had been before
My love she arose and let me in,
And away to bed, and away to bed she went again.

I turned down the holand sheets,
To see her beauty both fine and neat
And a little below there I did spy
Two pillars of, two pillars of white ivory.

Love shall I go, love shall I stay,
Love shall I go some other way.
She sigh'd and sobb'd and thus did said,
Why was I born, why was I born to die a maid.

Is ther never a young man will me show,
Some letters of my criss-cross row [alphabet
That I may know as well as he,
Some letters of my A B C.

I put my pen into her hand,
I bid her use it at her command,
She knew full well where I was to go;
So soon she learn't so soon she learn't her criss-cross row.

A version of this song so garbled that it does not seem to have been recognized is in Sharp and Karples English Folksongs from the Southern Appalachains, II, p. 119, "Ibby Damsel."

Beauties Warning-piece, "Tune of Yo, ho, ho." From Bagford Ballads, I, 148. [Compare 1st part with "Fair Maid's desire to learn her A B C", above, and 2nd with "The Great Messenger of Morality, Or, Death and the Lady".]

In Cambridge lives a maiden fair,
With her there's few that can compare;
I her love did seek too long,
But she requited me with wrong;
  Then welcome grief, and care and woe
  Lingring is loves overthrow

As in the Town I walk'd one night
The twinkling Stars did shine most bright
Pittying of my Love's distress,
Whom nature did with beauty bless
  Then welcome grief, and care and woe
  Lingring is loves overthrow

Boldly I drew the Curtains by,
Where charming beauty pierc'd mine eye
I should delight, I do protest,
To entertain so sweet a guest:
  Then welcome grief, and care and woe
  Lingring is loves overthrow

I folded down the Milk-white sheet
For to behold her lovely feet;
Her fingers that were long and small
Were made of purest mold withal:
  Then welcome grief, and care and woe
  Lingring is loves overthrow

[Then a second part, really a completely different song]

But fair one know your glass is run,
Your time is short, your Thread is spun,
Your spotted face, and rich attire
Is fuell for eternal fire;
  And now begins your care and woe,
  Pride is Beauty's overthrow

Mistake me not Death, I am young,
Come not so soon to do me wrong;
Take another and set me free,
She may serve as well as me:
  Too soon begins my care and woe,
  Pride is Beauties overthrow

Take pitty on my roling eye,
And count me yet too young to dye,
Oh grant to me some longer time,
And cut me not off in my prime:
  Too soon begins my care and woe,
  Pride is Beauties overthrow

The Roses and the Lillies fair
That in my cheeks now painted are,
Methinks might so much pity move,
And for to make thee kinder prove:
  Too soon begins my care and woe,
  Pride is Beauties overthrow

Thus with her fainting murmuring breath,
In vain she courts none-sparing death;
While these entreaties he mislikes,
And fiercely at her beauty strikes:
  Too soon began her care and woe,
  Pride was beauty's overthrow

Panting with Deaths all-killing dart,
She did resign her bleeding heart,
And pale as Ashes down she fell,
Whose beauty lately did excell:
  Thus ended all her care and woe,
  Pride was Beauty's overthrow

You that are made of beauties mold,
When in a glass you do behold,
Your lovely features; think on't, then,
You must to dust return agen:,
  Take heed of grief, and care, and woe,
  For Pride will work loves overthrow

Prepare for Death soon as you can,
For life is only like a span,
Though nature hath you fair ones made,
Know that your beauties once must fade:
  Timely prevent you care and woe,
  For death will work your overthrow

Printed for J. Wright, J. Clark, W. Thackeray, and T. Passenger [1681-4]

Play: no early tune known

Go to Index

[The King's Complaint - Fain I would. from Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 62. Variant copy in Folger Shakespeare Lib. MS V.a 169.]


Fain I would, if I could
By any means obteine
Leave of my best Masters
To sit with them againe.

But my blest Parliment
Will never give consent
They say tis such a thinge
For the worst of them's a Kinge.

Wee will rule still
In spight of Cavaliers
O brave house of Comons
O brave House of Peeres.

Religion you have pull'd downe
And soe you have the crowne
My laws & Kingdome too
I think the Devill's in you.

Else you'll not endure
Such a constant flood
All of childrens teares
And theire dead Fathers blood.

Flowing from wounds & eyes
Usher'd with widdows cryes
Besmeening my three lands
All done by your commands.

Faith, say is this the way
And was it only they
You pretend at the first
To make me glorious.

Children from schoole that stray
When they returne from play
A whipping letts them free
Pray deale not worse by mee.

If here you'le domineere
Still on your Kinge below
Had you like powere above
You would use Heavens King soe.

Oh could you butt devise
A way to rend the skyes
You'll pluck him from his throne
And make that too your owne.

Above published (by me) in Folk Music Journal, IV, 62 (1980) with a few notes. Tune in C. M. Simpson's BBBM.

Play: B134-5

The Ladies Lamentation.
for the losse of her Land-lord.

The tune, Highlander's March.

All in a morning for sweet recreation,
  I heard a fair Lady was making great moan,
Sighing and sobbing with sad lamentation
  saying her Black-bird (most Royal) is gone.
O Fates that have me deceived
  with sorrow much grieved,
Ile be reprieved,
  from sad misery.
Else I, as duty doth bind me,
  and Cupid assign'd me,
Ile find out my true love,
  where ever he be.

Once with much excellency my Love did fleurish,
  & was the chief flower that England did spring,
All vertue bequeath'd him his person to nourish,
  as if he by lineage had come from a King.
But now this fond fickle Fortune
  whose wheel is uncertaine,
That causes this parting
  betwixt him and me.
The aliue doe remaine
  in France or in Spain
Ile find out my true love
  where ever he be.

The birds in the green woods are mated together
  the Turtle is chosen to be with the Dove,
So I am resolved come fair or foul weather,
  this Spring for to find out my Lord and my love,
Tis he that is my hearts treasure,
  my joy, and my pleasure,
And having such leisure
  most sweetly Ile flee,
For he is valiant and kind,
  and faithfull in mind,
Ile find out my true love
  where ever he be.

Both youngmen & Maidens now chuse by election,
  then why should not I and my true love be joyn'd?
To heaven I will pray for a blessed protection,
  to make me successfull my landlord to find,
His wings are fatally clipped
  and absolutely stripped,
With thier woes nipped,
  which humbleth me.
If he his fame do advance
  in Spain, or in France
Ile find out my true love
  where ever he be.

  The second part to the same Tune.

In Scotland my dearest and I were together,
  while he was courageous and noble in heart,
A wo is the time when last we came hither,
  O then he was forced away to depart.
Though he in Scotland was deemed,
  and Royall esteemed,
A Stranger seemed
  in England to bee,
But I as duty doth bind me
  and Cupid assign'd me,
Ile find out my true love
  where ever he be.

At Worster being routed, O sad lamentation,
  for sorrow amongst us was wonderfull rife,
Dispersed and scattered quite thorow the Nation,
  tis well that he scaped away with his life.
Else he had layn with his father
  intered together,
So leaving his mother
  in sad misery,
If he alive do remain
  in France or in Spain,
Ile find out my true love
  where ever he be.

If that the Fowlers my Black-bird had taken,
  then sighing and sobbing had been all my tun
Although for a while he hath me forsaken,
  I hope for to find him in May or in June.
Ile go thorow water and fire,
  thorow mud, and thorow mire
My love is entire
  in every degree.
I know he is valiant & kind,
  and faithfull in mind,
Ile find out my true love
  where ever he be.

It is not the Ocean shall fear me with danger,
  for now like a pilgrim ile wander forlorn,
A man my find more love from one that's a stranger
  then he that is native, an English-man born.
Ile pray that heaven may be gracious 
  to England so spacious,
Though some be audacious
  to him and to me.
If he his fame do advance
  in Spaine or in France,
Ile find out my true love
  where ever he be.

Printed for Richard Burton at the Horseshooe in Smithfield, 1651.
[For source, see my broadside ballad index, ZN69] Their was
apparently an Irish tradition that related this to the much later
Charles Edward Stuart, and their oft printed tune for it was "The
Bonny Lass of Aberdeen" in Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion.
Francis O'Neill give a couple of other copies of "The Blackbird"
in Irish Minstrels and Musicians. Other copies listed in the
Irish tune Index. See Vol. I, #116 for Randolph's 'Ozark
Folksongs (revised edition, 1980) for American traditional texts
and tunes.

Play: Highlander's March, in B191 in BM2
      S1, BLKBRD1; Bonny Lass of Aberdeen
      S1, BLKBRD2; The Blackbird, Hime's New Selection
Go to Index

[From MS of c 1605]


Fine boye, sweet boye, kind shall I deem thee
come Chicks, leaue to woe, love will not harme thee

Sit down, do not frowne, for I must ease thee
behoulde then my smiling cheeke, looke how they please thee

Looke on hyr in my eye, on me thy sisly
when thou talkest of thy loue, looke thou talks wisely

Frowns nor sighs, not neither be ingreye,
when thou wouldst kisse thy loue, looke no man see thee

Kiss me, cull me, imbrace me to thee
keepe still thy countenance, & I will loue thee

Handle me, dandle me, looke for thy pleasure
come my loue, weare my loue, yts thyne own treasure

Laye me downe on ye ground, ile not be sullen
plucke up my linen cloathes, after my wollen

Keep close, thrust close, lest thou be tired
wtdraw thy willful nagge, lest he be myred

Raine him, trame him, after thy own mind
when thou arte in ye race, come not behinde

Fine stones, nimble stones, my bellyst healthe [?]
looke on my little browes, marke how they swealte

My lippes, thy hippes, joyne ym together
caper betweene my thighes, as light as a feather

Sweete wye, home boye, exceedinge bonnye
play to my milk-whyte brestes, & my black connye

Rock ym, knocke ym, knocke at my pasture
gide straight thy milk-white nagge, to drink at my cester

Ease him, graze him, in my low valley
feare thou no burning heate in my coulde alley

Younge menne, oulde men, learne you this meaninge
& at ye time shall serue see you be doinge.

Play: tune unknown

Go to Index

Bess [or Mistress, or Doll] for Abuses. Mentioned in Samuel Rowland's Crew of Kind Gossips, 1613, as a song. Apparently not yet printed.

Bess for abuses offered me meete soone at six a clock.
And by these lines I challenge thee at Shirte and Smock.
Com prithe as I mean to doe, impart the same to noune:
For Wee must have a merrie bout, betwixte us two alone.
There shew thy courage if thou darst,
I mean to probe thy strength;
I think thou knowest my Weapon, well,
I need not send the length.
I mean to Lie all on my thrusts,
and on my rapiers trickes;
Look to thyself, keep close thy guard,
and so farewell 'till six.

Besses' answer, in one MS, is extremely difficult to read and not yet completely transcribed, and apparently missing two lines:

Sir, your kind challenge I accept at six o'clock to try
although I were ........................
if you against at home at every bout ys all yt I require
thrust foyle & slooth & doe yr worst,
if .... not for your trickes
although I ly upon my back,
ile fight it out at six.

Two other MSS (Eng. poet. f. 25 and Eng. poet. f. 10) have a different "Response." Both prove difficult to read, but putting the two together I come up with the following:

Sir if I have offend'd you then do yr worst you dare
And wn you come into my field your manhood doe not spare
Your weapon sr is not so long, But yt I can abide it
You know sr how I cut your comb, The lasttime yt I tryde it
For private coming never feare, I've make known wele acquainted
Your brags are great but know yr courage will be daunted
Wt tricks you use, wherewt you did thrust all is one to me
Looke to yourself, there, my word is for my houre sir I keep wt thee

Play: tune unknown

Go to Index

[Shooting the arrow, c 1605-10]

Younge menne, oulde men, learne you this meaninge
& at ye time shall serue see you be doinge.
Faine woulde I shoote in a bowe yt I knowe
if yt I coulde bend it
I haue a shafte most fitte for ye dame
if shee will attende it
Substantially stringed & compassed braue
tis not to be in wt euerie knave
tis strange for a bowe to be made in such fassion
& not to be compast by mans occupation

O bowe pearse bowe wt a ~ pearse ~ [incomplete in MS]
ye marke is a faire one
Shoote at ye same be a friend or a foe
yt arrow is a blunt one
Straight doune to ye grounde this arrow shee falles
& fortie weakes after she lies by ye walles
a bowe pretty bowe pretty shafte, pretty doe
pretty marke to be shott an why should I say noe

Faire maide you doe like on[e] why do you longe
to feare of this shootinge
me thinks you should haue some delight in my songe
you neuer leaue lookinge
Sweete lende me your bowe to shoot in a game
& you may lie low to geue me the same
& if I may stand so much in your fauor no doubte but you
will make me good archer foreuer

If I lende you my bowe for to shute in a game
beware of unwise
for if yt you breake it I take no doubte
you will paye for ye prise
but I can assure you my bowe is a stronge on
& she will endur a shafte a good longe on
then bende hir & braue her ye beat yt you can
Shoote whom [home] to ye marke & Ile count you a man

Then backe hir, & bend hir, & sett hir upright
yet can you not breake hir
Shoote in hir all daye from morninge to nighte
shee is neuer the weaker
She is not to be patternde for ought yt I know
for sure it is a passinge fine bowe
She is not for ye w[?]ether you neede not so feare
but a passinge fine fether well z[?]ande in ye heart

Thers a lusty yonge lad ye best in ye bunche
he neuer shootes at any marke but he cleaues at an inche
thers a mayde in this towne I knowe not hir name
will houlde you at rubbers at six pence a game
& if you geue hir but one in three before
if she leaue you not fuck thin beleue me no more
You lustie yonge archers yt Ioue well this game
be not to boulde

take hee how you vente three poundes to
a marke [?] wt on[e] yt is oulde
but nable to nable is passinge fine game
if shee lead you to it ye [you] shoote I warrant ye same
Yt marke is so faire, & so easie to finde
yt a man can not miss it although he weare blinde
Ye marke is so faire, & faine I woulde hit it
I shoote for an upshoote yf yt I coulde get it

[Cf. The Bugle-Bow: Or a Merry Match of Shooting, The Pepys Ballads, III, p. 118 (ZN2707), and Two Strings to a Bow Roxburghe Ballads, VIII, p. 542 (ZN968).]

Play: tune unknown

Go to Index

[Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 120, f. 23, and titleless in Folger Shakespeare Lib. MS V.a. 399, f. 58. c 1610, no tune known]

A proper close and new ballad

A Lady once two lovers had
a courtier & a countrey ladd
ye courtier he came minsinge in
& tooke ye Ladye by ye chin
ye countrey lad was somethinge blunt
& caught ye Lady by ye (Elbowe)
how now quoth shee a country swaine
& dare to touche a Ladyes traine
touch quothe he why gentle ducke
before you parte I must you (kisse)
kisse quothe shee now fie for shame
your looks bewray, yt cannot ye game
My lookes, indeede ranke me mongst foules
but foules (maddam) have ofte good (tacklings)
tacklinges quothe shee when came you from sea
what price beares Woodcocks in Coventrea
good cheape (madam) but good things are scarce
noe Ladye now but loues a good (tiler)
Tiler quothe she & backwarde went winkinge
& nought else coulde saye for over much thinkinge
greate joue [Jove?] quoth he lett me not thrive
unless I doe your Ladishippe well (salute)
So shee but once did O god cry
though he did her thrice well (occassion)
ye sqiuer had scornt yt clowne rewardinge
for nothinge please Ladies so well as well (certefyinge)
Soe ende it my songe as Helen was wonte
noe musicke to ye stroake of a pricke in a (course)

Bishop Percy's Folio MS: Loose and Humorous Songs, p. 89.

A ffriend of mine not long ago
desired at my hands
Some pretty toy to moue delight
to those that hearers stand.
The which I meane to gratiffye
by all the meanes I may,
& moue delights in euery wight
that with affection stay.

Some thought to proue wherin I shold
these severall humors please,
The which to doe, reason forbidds,
lest I shold some displease;
But sith my muse doth pleasure Chuse,
& theron bends her skill
Wherby I may driue time away,
& sorrowes quite beguile.

It was my Chance, not long agoe,
by a pleasant wood to walke,
Wheere I vnseene of any one
did heare two lovers talke;
& as these louers did passe,
hard by a pleasant shade,
Hard by a mighty Pine tree there,
their resting place they made.

"Insooth,' then did this youngman say,
"I think this ffragrant place
Was only made for louers true
eche othere to inbrace."
Hee took her by the middle small,
good sooth I doe not mocke,
Not meaning to doe any thing
but to pull vpp her: som: blocke
Wheron shee sate, poore silly soule,
to rest her weary bones.
This maid she was noe whitt affraiyd,
but she caught him fast by the: stones: thumbes;
Wheratt he vext & grieued was,
soe that his fflesh did wrinkle;
This maid she was noe whitt affrayed,
but caught him fast byt the: pintle: pimple

Which he had on his chin likewise;
but lett the pimple passe;
There is no man heare but he may supposse
she was a merry lasse.
He boldly ventured, being tall,
yet in his speech but blunt,
Hee neuer ceast, but took vpp all,
& cacht her by the Cun: plumpe.

And red rose lipps he kisst full sweete:
quoth shee, "I craue no succor."
Which made him to haue a mighty mind
to clip, kissem & to :fuck: pluck her
Into his arms. "nay! soft!" quoteh shee,
"what needeth all this doing?
Ffor if you wilbe ruled by me,
you shall vse small time in wooing.

"Ffor I will lay me downe," quothe shee,
"upon the slippery seggs,
& all my clothes Ile trusse vp round,
& spread abroad my :leggs: eggs,
Which I haue in my aperne heare
vnder my girdle tuckt;
Soe shall I be most ffine & braue,
most ready to be :fuckt: ducket

"Vnto some pleasant springing well;
ffor now itts time of the yeere
To decke, & bath, & trim ourselves
both head, hands, ffeet & geere."

A variant version is the following, from a MS of c 1630. This has a different introduction, and is somewhat longer, but is very difficult to read.

Draw neere good people & give ear, unto a mournful ditty
As you shall just knowele heere, als the more the pitty
Upon her second day of May in this same affaint rothere
a youngeman would be making himself wt a lass of how he poore
Chiste hie unto her inkis sort now we are home alone
now we may kiss & make some sport good shee atented, John
wt that he with his hand so warmme, good sooth I doe not mock
not meaninge to doe any haerme, but to take up her ___ Glock
wheine on she sate poor silly maid & toe rest her weary armes ones
but shee beinge not a whit affrayd to hold of him by his ___ dorushes
wtg hegat hee sorrind & lokes again, his flesh began by wrinkle
wt she regarded not again, for her hand was on his ___ pimple
That he had growinge on his nose, but let that pimple pass
& now let all of us suppose to lurke they had at last
his boldly ventures being bolde, & in his speeking blunt
he never ceased, but took up all, & caught her by the ___ plump
& red rose lips he full he kist, quoth shee I crave no suckor
wch of he made a mighty minde, to clipp, to kisse and ___ pluck her
into his armes & love her docoins upon his pleasant thouch
G all her glaiges she pluckt up roing, is into out his longer ___ pinse
And turns at all into her legs, & secod unto her lookes you
All this is tyind, all out omerleer, if I may but ___ pork you
Wtm mine armes, now soft ly unto shee wt needeth all his cloinge
If you will be sente by me, spend no more time in wooinge
for now sir will I lay me downe upon the pleasant skeggs
& all my clothes I'll truss up around, & spread abroad my ___eggs
which I have in my apron wrcoat & to my girdel tuckt
for now quoth she I wooine crave, & wishing to be ___ duckt
Unto some pleasant runninge streams for now itts time of year
for bestowns up every thinge, head hande feshe leggs, & ___ occrcer
he hearing this put downe his hose, & shee appearing louinge
spare not good John, but let us playe, too long I have liv'd a mayde
Shee turninge up her eyes so gleere, her body up she bended
and sayde unto him there John there, & so & so her ended.

With 15 couplets and no introduction is a verson of the 1640's in Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 153, commencing "A youthful ladde, but in his language blunt." This ends:

Haire when it dangles, such a thinge of Mars
Did give to Venus, In a good Longe ____ [tarse]

Play: tune(s) unknown

Go to Index

Tom Tinker

[Here's that missing rhyme word again, later. See other comments below.]

Tom Tinker's my true love, and I am his Dear,
And I will go with him his Budget to bear,
For of all the young Men he has the best luck,
All the Day long he will Fuddle, at Night he will--
    This way, that way, which way you will,
    I am sure I say nothing that you can take ill.

With Hammer on Kettle he tabbers all Day,
At Night he will tumble on Strummil of Hay;
He calls me his jewel, his delicate Duck,
An then he will take up my Smicket to --
    This way, &c.

Tom Tinker I say was a Jolly stout Lad,
He tickled young Nancy and made her stark mad;
To have a new Rubbers with him on the Grass,
By reason she knew that he had a good--
    This way, &c.

There was an old Woman on Crutches she came,
To hasty Tom Tinker, Tom Tinker by name;
And tho' she was Aged near threescore and five,
She kickt up her Heels and resolved to-- [swive
    This way, &c.

A beautiful Damsel came out of the West,
And she was as Jolly and brisk as the best;
She'd dance and she'd caper as wild as a Buck,
And told Tom Tinker, she would have some --
    This way, &c.

A lady she call'd him her kettle to mend,
And she resolved her self to attend,
Now as he stood stooping and mending the Brass,
His breeches was torn and down hung his --
    This way, &c.

Something she saw that pleased her well,
She call'd in the Tinker and gave him a spell;
With Pig, Goose and Capon, and good store of suck,
That he might be willing to give her some --
    This way, &c.

He had such a Trade that he turn'd me away,
Yet as I was going he caus'd me to stay;
So as towards him I was going to pass
He gave me a slap in the Face with his --
    This way, &c.

I thought in my Heart he had struck off my Nose,
I gave him as good as he brought I suppose;
My Words they were ready and wonderfull blunt,
Quoth I, I had rather been stobb'd in my --
    This way, &c.

I met with a butcher a killing a Calf,
I then stepp'd to him and cryed out half:
At his first denial I fell very sick
And he said it was all for a touch of his --
    This way, &c.

I met with a Fencer a going to School,
I told him at Fencing he was but a Fool;
He had but three Rapiers and they were all blunt,
And told him he should no more play at my --
    This way, &c.

I met with a Barber with Razor and Balls,
He figger'd and told me for all my brave skills;
He would have a stroke, and his words they were blunt,
I could not deny him the use of my --
    This way, &c.

I met with a Fidler a Fidling aloud,
He told me he had lost the Case of his Croud;
I being good natur'd as I was wont,
Told him he should make a case of my --
    This way, and that way, and which way you can,
    For the Fairest of Women will lye with a Man.

This is from Pills, (II, 1712) VI, 1720, but is probably much older. There a bit of the lusty tinker/beggar motif here, but given a bit differently than in others I've seen.
This song is a bit puzzling (not the last two lines of each verse, those are quite clear). Although there is a narrative element, it's rather discontinuous. In fact this song crosses several motiffs. It almost looks like the song was made up of floating lyric verses, but not terribly familiar ones. Nor do I find the tune a familiar one.


The Helpless Maidens Call to the Batchellors

[With the music]

Sweet if thou Lov'st me come away,
Come away, come away
Sweet if thou Lov'st me come away,
And dearest assistance lend
To stand a helpless Maiden's friend
Or else I shall be forced to ----
Come away, come away,
Or else I shall be forced to meet you.

Why do you Tryfle fie on't,
Fie on't, fie on't,
Why do you Tryfle, fie on't,
What Men are they but lazy Drones
That stay till Maidens make their Moans,
Its pity but they should loose their ____
Fie on't, fie on't,
It's pity but they should loose their Longing,

I'm a right Woman up and down,
Up and down, up and down,
I'm a right Woman up and down,
No Child is fonder of a Gigg,
Then I to dance the Wedding Jigg,
So fain I'le try how I cou'd ___
Up and down, up and down,
So fain I'le try how I cou'd Caper.

Nor can it be too thick and long,
Thick and long, thick and long,
For I am too young you fear,
I can resolve you, look you here,
Few Maids can shew you so much ____
Thick and long, thick and long,
Few Maids can shew you so much Favour.

Come let us do then you know what,
You know what, you know what,
Come let us do then you know what,
Why may not I endure the brunt,
I know a younger Girl has don't,
I'me sure I have as good a ----
You know what, you know what,
I'me sure I have as good a Courage.

So fain wou'd I have that I love,
That I love, that I love,
So fain wou'd I have that I love,
For if by chance I shou'd fall sick,
He wou'd not fail me in the nick
To give good proof of his good ----
That I love, that I love,
To give good proof of his good meaning.

Sweet if thou lov'st me there again,
There again, there again,
Sweet if thou lov'st me there again,
Gew Maids have met with so good luck
As to encounter the first pluck
Oh this would invite young Girls to ----
There again, there again,
Oh! this would invite young Girls to Marry.

Printed by T. M. 1691. [Thomas More/Moore]

A New Song, Call'd The Batchellor's Answer to the Helpless Maiden

[With same music.]

Love I am ready at your call,
At your call, at your call,
Love I am ready at your call
For I attend to your Command,
And here is both heart and hand,
With something else I know will ----
At your call, at your call,
With something else I know will please you.

And I will be as quick as you,
Quick as you, quick as you,
Though complain of lazy Fools,
You'll find me quite another Soul,
See here's a good right working ----
Quick as you, quick as you,
See here's a good right working Servant.

I know you well can dance a Jigg,
Dance a Jigg, Dance a Jigg,
For there is ne'er a Girl alive,
If that you were but once a Wife,
Wou'd be more ready for to ----
Dance a Jigg, dance a Jigg,
Wou'd be more ready for to Caper.

And I am for a lovely brown,
Lovely brown, lovely brown,
And I am for a lovely brown,
For I am resolv'd to have a push,
Though ne'er so thick, I'll beat the Bush,
I'll not be scar'd, at a long ----
Lovely brown, lovely brown,
I'll not be scar'd, at a long Figure.

Now I am come, I wou'd it were,
Wou'd it were, wou'd it were,
Now I am come, I wou'd it were;
For you have won me by those Eyes,
That's brighter than the Stars in Skies,
With a pretty Mole between your ----
Wou'd it were, wou'd it were,
With a pretty Mole between your Eye-brows.

You need not want for young Men's Love
Young Men's Love, young Me'ns Love, [sic]
You need not want for young Men's Love
For Maids Distempers we have Jelly
Out-does all Physick, I can tell ye
If that you'll put in in your ----
Young Men's Love, young Me'ns Love, [sic]
If that you'll put in in your Closet.

Love thou shalt have it o'er and o'er,
O'er and o'er, o'er and o'er,
Love thou shalt have it o'er and o'er,
Which made us strive who shou'd be first,
And then we panted, heav'd, and buss'd,
What wou'd Maids give for such good ----
O'er and o'er, o'er and o'er,
What wou'd Maids give for such good Husbands.

London, Printed for J. S. 1691. [John Shooter]

Play: B456-4

Go to Index

A ship load of Wagery.

[English Broadside, c 1685-92]

To a new Tune. Or Ah Chloris awake.

A ship must have a steersman
to steer her Course true,
And a Maid must have a Youngman
to give her her --- Top and Top gallant
A ship she sails trimly
Maids, if they be not pleased
They'l frown and look grimly.

A Ship must have Rudder
to steer in the dark,
And a Maid must have a youngman
to hit at her --- Top and Top gallant.
A ship she sails, &c.

A Ship must have a Cannon
to keep off her foes,
And a Maid must have a youngman
to take up her --- Top and Top gallant.
A ship she sails, &c.

A ship must have a Bowsprit,
with a Sprizin a cross,
And a maid must have a youngman
with a swinging long --- Top and Top gallant
A ship she sails trimly,
Maids if they be not pleased,
They'l frown and look grimly.

A Ship must have a Buntlin
to hawl up her Bunt
A maid must have a youngman
to tickle her --- Top and Top gallant.
A ship she sails trimly, &c.

A Ship must have a Mast; a long,
strong, and straight Stick,
And a maid must have a youngman
with a long lusty --- Top and Top gallant.
A ship she sails trimly, &c.

A Ship mus be well Victual'd
with Meat without Bones,
And a maid would have a youngman
with a stout pair of --- top and top gallant
A Ship she sails trimly, &c.

A Ship should have a Captain
her Men to command
And a maid would have a youngman
to have his P--- , top and top gallant
A ship she, &c.

A Ship should have a Master
to take in her freights,
And a maid would have a youngman
to sail in her --- top and top gallant
A ship she sails, &c.

When a Ship is under sail
we do wish her good luck,
And a maid under a youngman
We wish her a good --- top and top gallant
A ship she, &c.

When a Ship comes into Port
she must enter her Cockpit,
When a youngman come to'th fort
he must enter, and --- top and top gallant
A ship she sails trimly, &c.

Play: B002

Go to Index

[From MS of 1605-10]

My harte bleadeth, Lord how I love her
I sente her tokens, they will not move her
O my love, & O my sweetest so coy why doe yo make it
Will you saye a womans naye, & after kindely take it

You sayd ye last time yt you & I pted
That yor bodye fro me shoulde never be unbarred
Is it not strainge, yt you doe chaunge, & I am abused
Zounds, Nan: a man is a man, & will not be misused

I have a pretty thinge, still stiffe standinge
wch rowes it selfe, to be at thy comaundinge
Night, & daye, & euery way, as thou doest list to lay thee
I am able to beare a balle when thous list to play thee

[MS apparetnly incomplete here]
Now Nan, come Nan: shall we be doinge
I doubt wee have stayde, too longe a wooinge
Thine & mine, & mine & thine & Joyne ym both together
Thou shalt kisse ye upper prte, & I will kiss the nether

Now kisse, then kisse, ken you my meaninge
my bolte shooteth, close to your greaninge
In & oute, & rounde aboute, & by, & by I'le fitt it
doe not frowne, you must goe downe, & now I meane to hitt it

Sweat harte pitty, wilt thou not graunte yt
I have goulde enough, thou shalte never wante it
Gloves, & rings, other things, & prety toyes to please thee
Thous unkinde woman kinde, give me joye to ease me

Once more turne thee, look but upon me
for love shall I dye, if thou gange fro~ mee
for ye [ihde] you doe smile, my bloode turnes to jelly
& yn you frowne, my harte falls downe, to the bottom of my belye

Spare me (quothe shee) o no byr Lady
first wee will see whether we can gitt a babye
She dothe kicke, she doth pricke, he sweares he doth not heare her
Untill she cry, O fy, fy, fy, & then he doth forbeare her:---

Play: tune unknown

Go to Index

[From BL MS Harl. 6057, f. 41, also in Folger MS V.a.345]

A younge man lately wedded was
to a faire and comely creature
a brave bonny burninge lasse
as ever yet was made by nature
a rowlinge eye, a forehead high
and all good parts that nature gave her
but she had learned such a tricke girls
she could not keepe her leggs togeither

A lusty ladd of Cupids kind
which had the Queene of Love contented
he sought for love and he did find
and kindly she to him consented
and to be short in venus sport
he pleas'd her well till he had woedd her
he plai'd his part with such an art
She could not k &c

When her husband doth hear tell
of her tricks by true relation
he complaines to himselffe
very sadly in this fashion
quote he I'll give twenty pounde
tenn pound more then I had with her
if her mother would take her home
and teach her to keepe &c

When her mother hard of this
to her sonne then she runnes runninge
thinkinge the matter to aprise
you know old woemen they are cunninge
good sonn quote she contented be
the fairest flower will son ly wither
and time and age will soon asswage
and make her &c

All you young wives that married are
mark my words and then consider
of yor honesty have a care
and see you keep yor leggs togeither
Give no cause of Jealousy
yor husbands mind to peyn or trouble
or apt yor mothers forcee[?] are
yor porcuns are more for to double [portions]

I have a wench of my owne
in her hair whe weares a feather
she hath a tricke it is well knowne
she cannot keepe &c
I will give twentie pounde &c

A broadside ballads expansion, "The Discontented Married Man", commences "A yong man lately wedded was". Tune direction: Shee cannot keepe her, &c. Roxburghe Ballads, I, p. 295. To its unknown tune:

Comm: Blind-fold Cupid with his dart, did a long time strive to hit me/ Title: Cupid's Wanton Wiles/ Tune: Shee cannot keepe her, &c./ [by] L[awrence]. P[rice]./ Roxburghe Ballads, VII, p. 100.

Comm: You young men all to you I call/ Title: The Contented Cuckold/ Tune: She cannot hold her Legs together/ [by] T[homas]. R[obbins]./ Crawford collection #1441, and Harvard-Huth.

Comm: A young-man and a pretty Maid/ Title: Hold Buckle and Thong together/ Tune: She cannot keep her, &c./ The Pepys Ballads, IV, p. 99

? Comm: To drive away the weary day/ Title: The King and poor Northern Man/ Tune: The Slut [She cannot keep her legs together?]/ [Entered to Rich Cotes, Nov. 9, 1633. According to Rollins, it is by M. Parker]/ Many copies extant; printed ones are The Pepys Ballads, I, p 538-9/ The Pepys Ballads, II, p. 124-5: / Roxburghe Ballads, I, p. 521

Go to Index

Venus Sports [BL MS Addl. 22603, c 1640?]

Come sit thou on my knee
And let us kisse my deare
And we will prove
The Acts of Love
Before we goe, ne're feare

Ile kisse thy lovely lippe
And then thy cheeke Ile kisse
And blesse yt fate
That can create
For each of us such blisse

But, oh, how I doe grieve
When I doe find in thee
How every place
Hath had ye grace
To show fertilite

Except be yt ground
Where nothinge yet doth grow
If fruits you want
Why I can plant
So much Ide have you know

Then let yor fayre eyes shine
To light me on ye way
And lend thy hand
Me to command
If I should go astray

Oh now I do perceive
That I am somewhat nigh
For Cupid there
Gins to appeare
In great solemnitie

And now I am within
I like ye plaie so well
For my delight
Here if I might
I would forever dwell

For all ye times so spent
I cannot long remaine
Yet though I goe
Ide have you know
That I will come again

Play: tune unknown

Go to Index

A Sweet hartes resolution

Riddle sweet hart what is this
a man handeleth when he doth piss

It is a kind of prickinge thinge
a pearcing & a pleasinge thinge
It is ye make peace of all strife
betwixte ye husband & ye wife
It is ye penne faire Helen tooke
to write wt in her two leaved booke
It is ye truncheon Mars did use
a bedwarde bit yt women chose
It is a kinde of livinge sprighte
yt maidens dreame of in ye nighte
It is a monster in everie lande
havinge no feete & yet can stand
It is a dwarfe in height & length
& yet a giant in his strength
It is a thinge yt soone is ripe
it is ye trew tobacco pipe
It is a birde gor meate nere cries
but yet doth drink a twixt women thighes
It is a darte yt is poynte blanke
& creepeth in about ye flanke
It is a thinge yt is full sparke
& hites it right in light or darke
It is ye grafte horne for ye head
a staff to make a cookholdes bed
It is a shafte of Cupid's cutt
to roave, to hoile to pricke ye butt
and euerie wentch by her good will
will keepe on for her quiver still
It is a stafe to runne at tilte
ye harder thrust ye sooner spilte
the fairest mayde yt euer tooke life
for love of this became a wife

From MS of c 1605-10. John Wardroper prints a shorter version in Love and Drollery, #324, 1969, and cites several other MS copies. That in Bodleian MS Rawl 216 is reprinted in J. S. Farmer's Merry Songs, I, p. 10. A shortened and revised version of this, "The Riddle" is set to music in Pills to Purge Melancholy, IV, p. 71, 1719.

The song above is based on bawdy riddles strung together. These riddles had innocent answers which are obviously not the correct ones (but it is difficult to figure out an innocnt answer). See Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book and Cambridge Middle English Lyrics for early examples. Many examples were printed in chapbooks in the 17th and 18th centuries. Several examples from The Trial of Wit, Glasgow, 1782, are reprinted in de Vries and Fryer's Venus Unmasked, pp 100-102, 1967. Several ancient ones collected from modern oral tradition are in George G. Carey's Maryland Folklore and Folklife, pp 68-70, 1970.]

A variant on the riddle theme is one where the first letters of the lines spell out the answer. Here are examples.

'A Lady fayre', untitled, in several MSS of c 1610-1640, apparently not yet printed.

A lady fayre with the greensickness late
P-itty to say was troubled with a love
R-eady a pleasing medicine to take
I-mpatient, Apollos name she doth implore
C-ure for her grief she him assignes
K-eep the first letters of these several lines.

Slightly variant form:

A maiden of ye greensickness late
Pity to see perplexed was full sore
Resolving to mend her bad estate
Cure for her ill: the oracle assignes
In this distress Apollo did implore
Keepe ye the first letters of these several lines

Over a half of a century later, c 1680, we find it thus:

A Knight delights in deeds of Arms
Perhaps a Lady loves sweet Musicks Charms
Rich men in store of wealth delighted be
Infants Love dandling on the Nurses Knee
Coy Maids love smething, nothing I'le expresse
Keep the first Letters of these Lines, and Guesse

From a Scots MS of the 18th century we have one which is not as innocent as it first appears, as the wrong answer is reasonable. [NLS MS 17799, f. 143]

Be kind my dear Cloe, lets kiss & lets.............Love
Let our favourite guides be ye Sparrow & ..........Dove [Duck
Tho' Adam was dull till God made him a.............Pair
Yet he quickly found out wt to do with his.........Fair
He ne'er stood complaining & whining in............Rhyme
But was wiser & knew what to do wth his............Time
He quickly took every thing by the right...........Handle
Un'drest in a minute & out with the................Candle
Then I leave you to guess wt he did with his.......Dear
When Eve had no shame & her Adam no................Fear

Other books with bawdy riddles are: The Merry Medley, or A Christmas Box for Gay Gallants and Good Companions, 1744, and II, 1745; The Comic Miscellany, II, 1756 (Vol. I is songs), and The Merry Fellow or, Jovial Companion, by Luke Lively, Gent. Dublin, 1757. An example from the latter, p. 48:

They who first form'd me, were within my womb;
In fight I'm vanquish'd when I overcome.
The mistresses I court are very shy,
And Parthian like, wou'd kill as they fly.
Yet ne'er was swain so constant as I am,
No brest e'er harbour'd so unfeign'd a flame;
For th' end of my pursuit, and my desire
Is clasp'd in their embraces to expire;
And then life from me does in transports fly;
For I ne'er truly live, but when I die.
- - - A Fireship

[Single sheet song with music, c 1720] The Riddle explain'd. A Catch for 3 voices by Mr. John Eccles

My Man John had a thing that was long My Maid Mary had a thing that was hairy My Man John put his thing that was long into Mary's thing that was hairy, her thing that was hairy, her thing that was hairy My Maid Mary then stirr'd it about 'til with stirring and stirring at length it came out but then my Man John thrust it in once again and knock'd it most stoutly to make it remain, to make it remain, he knock'd it most stoutly to make it remain but John with much knocking so widen'd the Hole that his long thing slip'd out still in spight of his Soul 'til weary'd and vex'd and with knocking grown sore cry'd a Pox take the hole for I'll knock it no more a Pox take the Ho----le Pox take the Hole 'til weary'd and vex'd and with knocking grown sore cry'd a Pox take the Hole for I'll knock it no more.

British Union Catalog of Early Music, 1957, doesn't list this among Eccles compositions, or in fact any copy of this.

Go to Index

On Schonberg who holds predistination & talks to himself

As I walk'd by my self & talk'd to my self
My self said to me
Look to thy self, take care of thy self,
For no body cares for thee.

I answered my self & said to my self
With the self same repartee
Look to thy self, or not looke to thy self,
The self same thing shall be.

Text from Folger Shakespeare Lib. MS V.a. 147. This piece c 1690. The Opies in The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes note a manuscript text of about 1720, and the text in Herd's Scots Songs, where the tune direction is "Greensleeves." A copy in the hand of Robert Burns has been published by G. Ross Roy, Univ. of South Carolina, Department of English, Bibliographical Series No.1, p. 14, 1966.

Go to Index

Robin an's Gonny.

Robin an's Gonny, they went to the Town,
And there th' had presently spent hauf a Crown.
Robin drank one, & his Gonny drank two,
Till both wur as drunken as David's oud Sow.

But as they coom whom, th'oud woman did faw
Into a deep deitch, & o Robin did caw
For t'heive er to th' bonk, Ah, weas me! qd hoo;
I'm wearily dight; prithee poo, Robin, poo.

Then Robin, he coom, & geet hout of a foot,
For't poo her out, & he thought he coud doo't.
But her Bum stuck so fast, at off coom her Shoo,
Yet still hoo cry'd out, prithee, poo, Robin, poo.

But yo mun know, Robin he geet a fow thwack,
And ith' miry Cart-Rout he was down on his back.
He curs'd her, & caw'd her a durty oud Soo.
Ah dear! quoth hoo, Robin, come, good Robin, poo.

Then Robin, he scramble't & geet up agein,
And on his oud Gonny did bawl & did whein.
Wus e're mon so stad with a drunken oud Foo?
But still hoo kept crying, poo, good Robin, poo.

Marry, hang thee, quo Robin, I ha' poo'd my heart sore,
Ly ther & be d--d, for I con poo no moor.
Ah weas=me! quo hoo, then what mun I doo.
Good, honest, sweet Robin, poo one other Poo.

Then Robin for help did mainly cry out,
For t' save his oud Gonny, when he cou'd not do't.
And there he stood shouting. Now, whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo!
And his Gonny lee bawling; Poo, poo, Robin, poo.

Poor Robin was vex't, as he might very weell;
When he wus awar o three men come or th' steell,
There was his noom Rondle, & nuncoo Refe too.
That run, when they heard sich a din of Poo poo.

Dear Nuncoo, & neighbors, qd he, I beseech;
Come poo at my Gonny; hoo's or th' hed ith' deitch.
So eich geet a Limb, & laid her oth' broo.
Now let me alone qd hoo, good Robin, doo.

A few glosses are: nuco, noom - uncle; hoo - shee; bonk - bank, of the ditch; dight - (OED #4), maltreated or abused; foe thwack - literally, a clean blow or whack, here from Gonny's shoe when it slipped off, hit Robin, and caused him to fall back into the muddy cart rut; stad = stead - (OED #6) to be placed in a certain evil or difficult position; steell - stile, for crossing a fence; broo - brow, or edge of the bank.

This song of, c 1686-1700, was found by this writer in Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.a. 308, f. 55v, and published without music in Folk Music Journal, V, pp. 120-22, EFDSS, London, 1986. [The poetical piece in the MS preceeding our song here has subsequently been discovered to be an old Lancashire song also.] It is given here with some slight corrections, and set to the tune given for a three verse traditional version given by Frank Kidson in Journal of the Folk-Song Society, #9, Vol. II, part 4, p. 287 (1906). Kidson had collected the song in 1892 or 1893.

A somewhat fuller version was collected in Scotland, and published in the Miscellanea of the Rymour Club, Vol. I, p.29 (1911). This version is sung by Ewan MacColl on a phonograph record issued by Folk-Lyric, in the United States, #FL-116. A Scots version of three verses, noted by Gavin Greig to be incomplete, was published by him about 1911 in Folk Song of the North-East, Article CLXI, and has subsequently been printed in Patrick Shuldram-Shaw and Emily Lyle's The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, II #577, 1987. Unfortunately it was collected without music. In JFS, V, p. 109, 1915, is mention of another copy of the song in Genuine Scottish Melodies, along with a statement by Cecil Sharp that he had collected a version. [This now in Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folksongs]

Recently a full traditional version, with a tune different from that given by Kidson, has been published by Nigel Gatherer in Songs and Ballads of Dundee, 1986. The version that is printed was collected in Lochee, and mention is made in the notes of another version collected recently in Dundee. This latter was later kindly sent to me by Mr. Gatherer. Since publication of this book Mr. Gatherer has found a Glasgow stall copy, "Robin & Granny," of July, 1854.

Unbeknownst to the editor at the time of publication of the above, a version of the song had been reprinted from The Manchester Guardian, 'Local Notes and Queries,' 1875, by Brian Hollingworth, in an article 'Early examples of Dialect Writing' in Journal of the Lancashire Dialect Society, 1985. The text there was somewhat modernized, and was given without music or any other references.

It has been suggested that the original tune for the song is "Robin and Nanny" in the ballad opera The Boarding School, 1733. The tune is much too long even assuming we have lost a long chorus. I can't see how to fit the verses we have to it, but I am rather a novice at this. I include the tune so you can try your hand at it.

Play: S1, ROBGRNY, Kidson's tune, Journal of Folk Song Society, 1906. Note: last measure and last two notes of previous one are for a burden not in our text.
ROBNANY, Robin and Nanny, Air #7, The Boarding School, 1733

Warrington Fair

The source of the following song is a manuscript, Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.a. 308, with this text c 1686-1700. This appears to be the oldest popular song extant in Lancashire dialect, with the possible exception of "Robin & Gonny", qv. The song looks at first, because of blacker ink than preceeding contents, as if it might be a later addition to the manuscript, but careful study of the handwriting shows it to be in the same hand as the earlier contents. Somewhat later in the manuscript the hand changes and one finds pieces of later date.

Line numbers are supplied here. The song is not divided into verses in the manuscript. Notes following the text will show that this is a ballad, and will justify the title above.

A Lancashire Tale

001: Hoorry me gentles, an inny wun tarry,
002: I'll tell o how Gilbert Scott sowd is mere Berry. (sold)

003: He sowd is Mere Berry at Warritt'n Fere, (Warrington Fair)
004: Baw coud naw tell whether t be pede ere or nere (it be paid or not?)

005: Baw when he coom whom, e toud is weif Greace (came home)
006: Hoo up with a Kibboo, an swatt im o'r th' Fece (Kibboo- small iron tool, used in making flax)

007: He towd her god monny a mad farrant teele(many a mad silly tale)
008: At hoo sweer he was madder in Tum-agood-ele. (that she swore he)

009: Baw when i' good yornst hoo soe noo munny coome (earnest, truly she saw no money came)
010: Ten hoo lede abawt uppaw Gilbert soon, (then she laid about)

011: Hoo thrust im tuth Hillock wo siche a thwack,
012: At he had welly brokken his Back

013: Thou whoor, caw he, int(?)l(?)e lemme rise,
014: I'll githed awth' Light, aw in me lies(lost? all the the light)

015: Ah' Monn's Cwote wur a grey, ea good thrum-hat, (he had a good)
016: Foo quickly wur I espy'd aw that

017: His bond was tood, with a Congorton-Pwoint, (band was tied)
018: Wo two or three Gaggs at oith eend varry quoint, (each end very quaint)

019: His doublit wus blue, an his breekes wurr green
020: An his Shoon wudden a doon[,] a mon good to ha seen;

021: Hor k(R?N?)om wurn aw brown, e spike spon new
022: Wo greit brode squere noses, as I am true.

023: A goodly brode gurdle, a lether was gurt. (broad girdle, of leather)
024: About im like won oth' better swort. (one of the.. sort)

025: Aw doon wo brass=buckoos, at mede siche a shaw (made such a show)
026: At I durst ha trustit im with price on a Cow.

027: Baw how N(R?)etts he, caw hoo, ar where doozy dwell! (name? does he)
028: Bimilakin caw he, tat I conne tell. (oath - By my Lady, Virgin Mary)

029: For why, caw he, I cowd naw for shawm (could not for shame)
030: Misduttim so miche ast ask im his naum, (misdoubt him so much as to)

031: Bawth' inwost oth' reidinesse azzee hea, (azzee? also in l. 43)
032: I mun meet im o wonsday at Rondle a Shea (Wednesday.. Randle a'Shea's)

033: Ten Grece hoo wor angry, baw yet hoo lough. (but yet she laughed)
034: Now marry caw hoo, tatts e'en reidinesse inough.

035: Bot as it feel out oth' tother dea,
036: He mett wuth is nebor Rondle a Shea.

037: Nyeam Rondle, caw he, I he soud my good Mere,
038: For noonteen grotes at Warritt'n Fere (nineteen groats)*

039: Gilbert, caw he, who soudnyer too? (soydnyer?)
040: Now in yoan beleeme, t know naw too who

041: Knoni naw who yo ken souder too senny (?)
042: Ten fure yo ken th' munny. Naw yet, n'er a penny

043: Ba'wth munny's as fure, azzee yore honds, ar mine, (azzee?)
044: For innee rook me, I'll nere heed t felly agein. (an he rob me)

045: He lookt like a grethly onnist mon's Son, (greatly honest man's son)
046: An he spent tuppone on ma when oo hadd'n dun. (two-penny... he had done)

047: He gan ma a lunch on a donty snig-py,
048: An shook me bith hand whoint lovingly. (both hands -?)

049: Baw Grece, hoo to Warritn aw wonsday betime,(she to Warrington)
050: An left Gilburt a whom out oth Curn fort tent swine. (at home, tend swine)

051: An there hoo contiunu't for five Markit deas,
052: Bawth' Munny ne'r coom too Rondle a Sheas.

053: Bot eith won as hoo met oo sicher a parell, (each one as she met with such an apparel)
054: Wuth com streight an eend hoo begun for to quarrell.

055: Sos, ho my good Freend, now doony naw wott, (now do you not know)
056: (Wen?, or) Toon as bought a Mere aw Gilbert a Scott.

057: Ten aw mon lough wo might, & Mean,
058: Sos yonders sure sum simpoo Quean,

059: For hoo gadds up an down, here an there
060: An still creves munny, hoo knowsnaw where. (craves the money)

061: Ten wared Grece both pele & wan,
062: Hoo had askt soe lung, & wist naw whom.

063: Bot as hoo was resting her sell in a Rawm,
064: Hoo wus a war oth' Mon cum with Mere upth' town. (she was aware of man come with mare)

065: Gon wared Grece bwoth blithe, & merry,
066: An thowt hoo shud now he munny for Berry.(have money for Berry)

067: An for fear hoo shud misse on im hoo wus soe gloppen
068: At for hest through th' window hoo had liket' a loppen,

069: As to f(t)eel had bin in(?)er hoo affer im rune,
070: Wuth hat under th' Arm, an th' woint welly gwon.

071: Her hyed-gear feel off, & down feell er Snood,
072: An hoo gap't, an hoo stan't, as an hoo had bin woode. (had been mad)

073: Th' Mon slipt out oth' Street int a backside,
074: An Grece hoo wur soon aw that espide.

075: Th' Felly had tint' dor, baw hoo heeve up th' Latch,
076: Afore he had weel gotten th' Mere teed to th' Cratch.

077: Sos, O, my gud Mon greets o wunderous merry,
078: An preys o fort' send im munny for Berry

079: Who binny, caw he, for I know o not?
080: Why beleeme, caw hoo, I'm Gilburt Wife' Scott.

081: Th' munny, caw he, stonns yet spare.
082: Bimilak in, caw hoo, ten I'll he th' Mere.

083: Soe hoo pitkt im alunk, having Rout on his Rough,
084: At his head, & his shooders try'd swalthe agenth' wough.

085: Hoo geet im bith' hure, an he being not eboo (got him by the hair)
086: I' get up, ho pood im up, an down th' Steboo.

087: Eith dash upoth' Snuffers hoo gennim soe big,
088: At he dasht out a bleeding just like a stickt Pigg.

089: Hoo geet uppon him, an he lee like a Cauf, (she got on him)
090: For hoo was too big for im bith hawf. (by the half)

091: His nose was aw swown, & soe wurn his Een, (swollen)
092: Au his Cwoat, & his gurdle wurn dight like a Swein.

093: Hoo pood im, & thrumm'd im shawm to be seen. (she pulled him)
094: Thou Hong-mon, caw hoo, I'll poo out tee neen. (called she, I'll pull out the eyes)

095: He baukt, an he rwor't, & he skowtit out Murder, (balked and roared)
096: At won met a heard im int' Cheshire, & furder. (one might have heard into)

097: An between 'um they mede siche a wearifoo din,
098: At Rondle a Shea, fort' riddum, coom in.

099: Now Nawnt Grece, caw Rondle, fie o the feel! (Aunt, but not necessarily literally)
100: Doonee oather think ee doon farrantly, or weell?

101: Binny Monkeen, or woode, attee lene soe hard on?
102: Good feth, I'm feart twoman has quite spoilt tmon. (woman spoilt man)

103: Pro o, howd o content, caw hoo, Rondle, for doony
104: Think th Kneve shall he bwoth Berry, & 'tmunny. (Knave shall have both)

105: I'll ma im a Sawmpoo, ee houde a grote. (?, hold a groat)
106: I'll oather heth munny, ar I'll poo out his throte, (either have the)

107: Good Nawnt, caw he, preys be quite, an he dun, (pray be quiet)
108: Yoast'n oather heth' 'munny, or Mere, whether ee wun. (you's either have the money or mare, whichever you want)

109: S'oo Grece, hoo geet 'tmunny, an awey hoo tridg'd whom, (she got the money, and away she trudged home)
110: An hoo kept o'ry bit, an leet Gilburt ha non. (no problem this line)

* Groat - a coin worth four pence. Those issued during Henry VIII's reign were called 'harry groats.'

I have made no progress in efforts to find a tune for the ballad.

Later Versions:

In trying to understand 'gloppen' in line 67, I consulted OED, where I found the same line quoted from the following text: 'A Lancashire Ballad,' The Gentleman's Magazine, X, p. 460, (Sept.) 1740. This text has forty-eight lines, not divided into verses. It commences: "Now, aw me gud gentles, an yau mon tarry," and is somewhat modernized, but much more corrupt.

'Warrikin Fair,' is in John Harland's, Ballads and Songs of Lancashire, pp. 52-4, London, George Routledge and Sons, 1875. This version has eleven verses of four lines, and is quite similar to that in The Gentleman's Magazine, but lacks lines 41 to 45 of it. It commences: "Now, au yo gud gentlefoak, an yo won tarry." The text of this version was supplied to Harland by J. O. Halliwell-Phillips. Harland identified Randle a Shay/Shaw as bailiff to Sir Thomas Butler, 1548. He is not mentioned in "Sir John Buttler", Child Ballad #165.

Brian Hollingworth in an article on old songs in Lancashire dialect, Journal of the Lancashire Dialect Society, 1985, took Harland's date for Randle a Shay as the date of the song. Even assuming there was never another Randle a Shay, his logic escapes me. How old then would he make "Dives and Lazarus", or "Away in a Manger"? He does not appear to have even known of the 18th century text in The Gentleman's Magazine.

The song here is a very good example of popular style of the 'folk' as distinguised from the productions of learned or London professional ballad and song writers, and had a clearly traditional or comprehensible version been available, it might well have qualified for inclusion in Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads.

Go to Index

[Last Christmas 'twas my chance, Panders/ Gallants come away, and A Puritan of late.]

Grays-Inne maske.

Last Christmas 'twas my chance
to be in Paris city
where I did see a dance
In my concseite 'twas prety
by men of ffrance

First comes the Lord of Poole
& so begainne his measure
& after him a foole
to dance with him for pleasure
with this foole

[A Ladye next came in
a bawde did her attend
Who thought it was no sin
the dance & maske to mend
thus they begin

The next a Knight comes in
He lookte as he would swagger
& after followed him
a very needy beggar
dancing in

A gentleman came then
on him a servante tended
& they the dance beginne
with nimble bodies bended
like to frends

The next a lawyer came
with him a knave came leaping
& they theire dance did frame
& hand in hand came skipping
as to the forme

The next a citizen
& he a cuckold leading
& round about they came
The maske they fell to treading
& faine they dance

The last an Usurer
auld fatte backe he came grunting
the devill lefte all care
& felle for joyee to jumping
to see them there

And ending this theire maske
The foole the Lord did carry
upon his backe in haste
no longer would they tarry
they rode so fast

[And Bels? out of them fall
the bawde & Lady went
Unto the hospitall
Byth' divel thither sent
a pox of all]

The beggar tooke the knight
who tooke it in derision
The Servint bare with spight
The gentleman to prisin
for all his might

The Cuckolde silly man
for all he was abhorred
he tooke the Citizen
& ledde him by forheade
& out they came

The devil he likte it well
His lotte it was to carrie
The Usurer to hell
quoth he there Shalte thou tarry
with me to dwell

As for the knave and C--- [crossed out
Like frends that were true hearted
they went away together
& since then never parted
one from the other

Given first here is an early copy of the song and tune "Last Christmas 'twas my chance." It seems not to have been noticed that the song "Last Christmas 'twas my chance," here, and in Pills to Purge Melancholy, V, 25, 1719, (also in Pills, III, p. 97-8, 1707; III, p. 97-8, 1714) is partially borrowed and partially imitated in The Revesby Sword Play.

The tune of the song was cited by first line as that for some broadside ballads, and C. M. Simpson in BBBM took the Pills tune as the proper one for these, giving it as his #272. The song, however, appears in BL MS Add. 23723, f. 21, and appears to be of 1622, and, moreover, the manuscript contains the tune, that given here, which is not that in Pills. This text and tune do not seem to have been published. A fourteen verse version of the song, with no heading, is in BL MS Sloane 1489, f. 5v. An incomplete copy, in which much is lost in the nine verses remaining because of shorn sections of leaves, is in BL MS Harl. 7332, f. 51. Enough remains to show that the two extra verses in the Sloane MS copy were not in this text either. The additional two verses of the Sloane MS text are those given in brackets in the text.

Simpson was properly quite cautious in identifying ballad tunes, and did not equate "Gallants come away" with "Last Christmas 'twas my chance," but we see both the distinctive verse form and chronology leave little doubt that they were the same tune.

The tune is undoubtably that for the song in the Percy Folio MS, "Panders come away" (Loose and Humorous Songs, p. 104, 1868, 1963) cited as the tune for broadside ballads as "Gallants come away." John Wardroper reprints some of "Panders come away" from the Percy folio MS in Love and Drollery, #232, and gives valuable notes to it, which I will not repeat completely, but will expand on to some extent. The reference to Venetia Stanley in verse #11 puts the song no later than early 1725 when her marriage to Sir Kenelm Digby was made public. She died, much venerated and lamented, in 1733. See Ben Jonson's poem on her, and her epitaph.

Some of the loose women and prostitutes mentioned in other verses of "Panders/ Gallants come" were well known also. In Wardroper's notes is an epigram on (Dorothy?) Nott, of which there are a several variants. One manuscript copy commences "Here lies she that was Not born, Not begot," attributed to 'vicount St. Alban' (Bodleian MS Rawl. B 151). A printed version is in The Merry Medley or a Christmas-Box for Gay Gallants and Good Companions, II, 1745. This goes:

Nott a Maid , Nott a Wife, Nott a Widow, Nott a Whore,
She was not these, and yet she was all Four.

Bess Broughton is the subject of a biographical sketch in John Aubrey's Brief Lives, where he quotes part of a poem by Ben Johnson which mentions her (as noted by Wardroper). Nan Wright and others are also mentioned in other contemporary works, including poems by Ben Johnson.

The tune remained popular for some years, being used for a song in a chapbook by Laurence Price, A Map of Merry Conceits, entered in the Stationers' Register on March 11, 1639, and reprinted by F. Grove, 1656. A song in several manuscripts, commencing "Conductors come away," is obviously to the same tune. Wardroper gives the first verse from Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 26, where it is headed "A ballad from the English Camp in the North 1640." In Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 117, it is headed "The army in Yorkshire." Broadside ballads to "Gallants, come away" are: (1) "The Tragedy of Dr. Lamb" (June 15, 1628) Pepys Ballads, I, 134; (2) "The Essex man coozened by a VVhore" Pepys Ballads, I, 290.

A bawdy song, "A Puritan of late", reprinted by Peter Warlock in Giles Earle His Book, p. 101, 1932, is obviously to this tune (Wardroper gives this, from Earle's MS, BL MS Addl. 24665).

The song in Giles Earle's MS is given below. This does not seem to have been published until a six verse version appeared in volume I of Merry Drollery, 1661, with several small differences and missing the 6th and 7th verses here. Two verses only appear in BL MS Add. 22603.

[A Puritan.]

A Puritan of late,
And eke a holy sister,
A catechising sate,
And fain he would have kiss'd her
As his mate.

But she a babe of grace,
A child of reformation,
Held kissing a disgrace,
A limb of profanation.
In that place.

He swore by yea and no,
He would have no denial,
His spirit moved him so,
She should endure a trial,
Ere she go.

"Why swear you [so]?" quoth she,
"In truth, my dearest brother,
You might foresworn be,
Had it been to another
And not to me."

With that he laid her down,
The spirit fell a firking.
Her zeal was in a swoun,
He edified her merking
Which he found. [Upside down

So up again she rose,
And then the spirit fainted;
The wicked may suppose
He sanctity was tainted,
As she knows.

The elders hold it fit,
For private meditation
That holy ones should meet,
And should endure temptation
Of the spirit.

Then they their leave did take,
And parted were asunder.
My muse did then awake,
And turned ballad-monger
For her sake.

Play: B272, MS tune, 1622

One of the ballads to the tune is "The Tragedy of Dr. Lamb" (Stoned to death by mob in 1628. See Simpon's BBBM). Here is a epitaph on him from a MS.

Here Doctor Lambe the conniurer lyes
Who gainst his will untimely dyes
the Divell did show himself a glutton
in taking this Lambe before he was mutton.

Go to Index

Tom Tell-Truth

All you that will not believe me, disprove it if you can;
You by my story may perceive I am an honest man.
To the tune of Tantara ra ra ra, Tantivee.

I killed a man and he was dead, fa la la, la la la,
I killed a man and he was dead,
and run to St. Alban's without a head:
With a fa la, fa la la la, fa la la la la la la.

I asked him why he run so wild?
He told me he got a maid with child.
And in his head there was a spring;
a thousand great salmons about there did swim.

I saddled a whore and rid to Whitehall,
and under the Gate-house whe gave me a fall.
I lay in a swound three-and-twenty long year,
and when I awak'd I was fill'd with fear.

The thing that did fright me I cannot express:
I saw a man big as the Tower, no less.
This man with the Monument would run away,
but at Aldgate watch they did him stay.

I got up again and rid to Hyde Park,
and made the old whore to sneeze and to fart.
Atop of Paul's steeple there I did see
a delicate, dainty, fine apple-tree.

The apples were ripe, and ready to fall
and kill'd seven hundred men on a stall.
The blood did run both to and fro,
which caused seven water-mills for to go.

I see Paul's steeple run upon wheels, fa la, etc
I see Paul's steeple run upon wheels
and in the middle of all Moor-fields
With a fa la, fa la la la, fa la la la la la la.

Wright, Clarke, Thackeray, and Passinger. [1682-4]

A ballad was entered in the Stationers Register in 1562/3 as "Tom Tell Truth", # 2662 in H. E. Rollins' Analytic Index to the Ballad Entries. Rollins suggested that the ballad above is a late version, and I agree that it is a reasonable suggestion, but it is far from proven.

Play: B094

A reworked version of "Tom Tell-Truth" is in The Universal Songster, II, p. 98, 1826, as "Hiting the Mark", by E. W. Cox, which opens:

One day as I was walking
In a place they call Moorfields, sirs,
I saw St. Paul's a stalking,
and going on two wheels, sirs;
Upon it grew a tree,
And, though it may seem odd, sirs,
Indeed, it puzzled me,
For an apple-tree it was, sirs.

The codlins all were ripe,
And just began to fall, sirs,
And killed, I'm almost sure,
Ten Thousand men in all, sirs!
Their blood ran down in streams,
And did so swiftly flow, sirs,
That, in its course, it made,
a thousand mills to go, sirs.

One brook there was to each,
And just in each were such fish, sirs,
Full forty feet in length!
They'd make a famous dish, sirs!
I swallowed one of these,
And found it did digest sirs;
But, after all, I swore
That good roast beef was best, sirs.

Besides all this, I've done,
And seen, too, many a wonder,
But I will tell but one,
Lest I should make a blunder;
For I always stick to the truth,
And never like to stretch, sirs,
Or go beyond the mark,
Lest I reproof should catch, sirs.

[Three more verses] This was to the tune of "Bow, wow, wow" which is in Wm. Chappell's PMOT. [Song "Bow, wow, wow" is difficult to find among its many imitations.

A traditional form of "Tom Tell-truth" is "A shoulder of mutton jumped over from France". The verse form is identical. Contributed by Cecil Sharp to Journal of the Folk Song Society #20 (1916). Another version is "As I was going to Banbury", in Sharp, Vaughn Williams et. al., A Selection of English Folk Songs. It is also in Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folksongs". A similar song in Gaelic is "Amhran na mBeag" (Nonsense Song) in The Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, #20, p. 23, 1923.

Go to Index

[Within (Down in) the North Country]

"Mawken was a country maid moralized" was entered in the Stations' Register in 1563-4. One verse set to music is in a medley in Pamelia, #75, 1609. Unfortunately no more of it seems to be known.

"Malkin was a country maid,
a country maid tricke and trim,
tricke and trim as she might be,
she would needes to the Court she said
to sell milk and firmenty"

Malkin (Mawken, Maudlin) was so much the subject of plays and songs that the prologue of The Three Ladies of London, 1584, mentions specifically that it would not present "the milkmaid with her pail."

The song below is from a broadside ballad in the Manchester Public Library collection. It was transfered in the Stationers' Register, Dec. 14, 1624, as "Within the North country." A condensed version was printed more than once as a single sheet song with music, c 1705. [given, following]

A pleasant new Song, if you'le heare it you may
Of a North-Country-Lasse that had lost her way

To a New Court Tune

Within the North-Country, as true report doth yield,
There stands an ancient country town is called merry Wakefield

Within this Country towne a lively Lasse doth dwell,
She goes unto the market-place her h'uswifery to sell

As walking all alone, upon a certain day,
For to be short, it so fell out, this maid had lost her way

So wand'ring all alone, upon the hill so high
At last it was her lucky chance upon a Shepheard for to spy

He was sitting all alone upon the mountain top
Singing bravely under a bush, and viewing of his flock

To him this fair maiden hyed, and over the hill crosst:
That he might put her in the way which she so long had lost

So walking thus apace, at length she came him nigh,
Whereas he sat under a bush, and did him curtesie.

"God speed, Shepheard," she said, "Merry days to thee God send!
I am undone, Sheapheard," she said, "if you stand not my Friend,

I am going now," quoth she, "unto yon market towne,
But by mischance have lost my way, upon this hilly downe.

I wand'ring here have beene e're since't was break of day;
Yet could I never finde which was to me the nearest way.

The Shepheard then reply'd, "Faire maid, sit down awhile,
And I'le shew you the nearest way, al least by half a mile."

"O no, Shepheard," she said, "if I should stay here long
I should not reach the market town, till al the market's done."

"Feare not," the Shepheard said, "but sit thou on this grass,
For thou shalt hear my Bagpipes goe, before thou further pass."

So downe the Maiden sate, the Shepheard sate her by,
And then he pluckt his bag-pipes forth, and plai'd melodiously.

The Second Part, to the same tune.

He plai'd her such a fit it made her bravely sing,
The musick of his Bag-pipes' sound made all the vallies ring.

When that his winde was spent, and he grew some what weary,
He told her which way she should goe, and passe over no ferry.

"Shepheard, shepheard," she said, 'if reason may permit,
Come play that lesson over again, I may it not forget."

'Farewel Shepheard," she said, "adieu, nay, twice adieu,
If e're I chance to lose my way, I'll come again to you."

The Shepheard then reply'd, "O no, not so;
You shall taste some of my brown beer, e're that you further go,

And some of my white loaf, and some of my green cheese."
"If I should stay," the Maid reply'd, "the Market I should leese:

And then my Dame" (quoth she) "will storm, and swear, and frown,
If I sell not my h'uswifery before that I come home."

"What is your h'uswifery? fair Maiden, shew to me"
"Two pair of stockings," she reply'd; "come buy them now of me."

"What is the price," quoth he, "of this your h'uswifery."
"Half a Crown," the Maiden said. "Hold, take, here is thy money"

The Lass she was so glad. Her h'uswifery was sold;
"To stay longer, Shepheard," she said, "I dare be somewhat bold."

So down she sate again, untill the day was spent:
And he had folded his sheep, then both togther went.

Each to his several home: where what became of them,
I doe not know, and therefore now here will I stay my pen."

The Farmer's Daughter of Merry Wakefield

Down in the North Country,
As ancient Reports do tell,
There lies a famous Country Town,
Some call it Merry Wakefield;
And in this Country Town,
A farmer there did dwell
Whose daughter would to Market go,
Her Treasure for to sell.

As she was traveling along,
Over Hills and Mountains high,
It was her Chance to lose her Way
Where a Shepherd she did spy;
O! Shepherd, O! quoth she,
Many Days to you God send,
I am a Maid and shall be undone,
Unless you stand my Friend.

Over Hills and Mountains high,
E'er since the break of Day,
I have been travelling many a mile,
And I cannot find my Way:
Come sit thee down by me,
The Shepherd reply'd with a Smile,
And I'll show thee a nearer Way,
Than this by a full long Mile.

The Shepherd sate him down,
The fair Maid she drew nigh
He pull'd out his Bagpipes wond'rous sweet,
And play'd Melodiously;
He play'd her such a Tune,
That he made this fair Maid Sing,
O! the Musick of thy Bagpipes sweet,
Makes all my Nerves to Ring.

O! Shepherd, O! Shepherd, quoth she,
If the time would but permit it;
I pray now play it me o'er again,
For fear I should forget it,
He play'd it over again,
As he had done before,
And gave this fair Maid much delight,
It pleas'd her more and more.

My Dearest Swain quoth she,
A Thousand times adieu;
And, if ever I chance to lose my Way,
To find it, I'll come to you.

In The Merry Musician, 1716, as "The Farmer's Daughter of Merry Wakefield." It was printed many other places later. The tune here is from one of the single sheet issues, and there are copies of the tune in John Gay's The Begger's Opera, Air #45, 1728, and Charles Coffey's The Merry Cobler, Air #8, 1735.

Cf. Simpson, BBBM, p. 4 "Ah Cruel bloody fate" [4/4]; Dancing Master tune "Merry Milkmaids" [6/4]; Pamelia #75 [4/4]; SMM #373. A shorter song along the same lines is "The Maid of Tottenham" in Choyce Drollery, 1656 and variant version to "London is a fine Town" in Pills to Purge Melancholy, IV, 1719. Quite similar is "The Hazlebury Girl" in Cecil Sharp's MSS and "The Ups and Downs" in Purslow's Marrow Bones.

Play: B550

Go to Index

[There are many cuckolding tales in the Decameron, Heptameron, Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, and other Renaissance collections of popular tales, that were drawn upon for the stories told in broadside ballads, and this was a popular subject for broadside ballads. Here is one such tale of which was put into verse more than once.

A Cuckold by Consent;


The frollick miller that intic'd a maid,
As he did think, to lodge in his lawless bed;
But she decieved him of his intent,
And in her room his Wife to be she sent.
    The Tune is, The Beds making

Friends will it please you to hear me tell
Of a merry jest that late befell,
By as good a miller as ever laid stone,
Yet was not contented with his own.
    But he was deceived in the dark,
    And took his own for anothers mark.

Upon a time it chanced so,
A proper maid to the mill did go,
To grind her father a batch of corn,
The miller's heart with her did burn
    Yet he, &c.

And to obtain his purpose right,
He caused the maid to stay all night,
And said it would be almost morn,
Before that he could grin'd her corn:
    Yet he, &c.

So when the day was done and spent,
Home to his house the miller went;
He took the maid with him along,
To whom he thus did use his tongue.
    But he, &c.

Sweet=heart, quoth he, I tell thee now,
That I have made a secret vow,
That I this night must lie with thee,
And thou shalt have thy grist tole-free.
    But he, &c.

At home I have a secret room,
Where none but my chief guests do come,
Thy lodging there alone shall be,
And I will come to bed to thee.
    Yet he, &c.

Sweet soul I prithee be content,
With maidens silence gives consent,
It is no purpose to say no,
For I have sworn it shall be so.
    Yet he, &c.

Then to his wife the miller said,
I may make much of this same maid,
And lodge her in the parlor below,
For she is a good mans child I know:
    But he was deceived in the dark,
    And took his own for anothers mark.

So to the mill again he went,
But to return was his intent,
For to perform what he had swore,
Unto this maid not long before:
    Yet he, &c.

Then shortly after he was gone,
Unto his wife the maid made known:
Quoth she, your husband hath this night,
Sworn to deprive you of your right:
    So he, &c.

Unto your lodging let me go,
And lye you in the room below;
If in the parlor bed you be,
He'l lye with you and think 'tis me.
    So he, &c.

His wife considering of the thing,
To her own bed the maid did bring,
And for to have the thing you know,
She laid her self in the room below:
    But he, &c.

Then towards the mid-time of the night,
The miller came to the chamber right,
His promise which he made, to keep,
And he thought he found the maid asleep:
    But he, &c.

For joy the miller nothing said
But off with his cloaths and into bed:
And coulours in the dark being like,
He at his work did briefly did strike: [change first did to then
    Yet he, &c.

His wife speaks not a word at all,
But took all kindly that did fall,
And that did prove so good a part,
She thankt the maid with all her heart:
    But he, &c.

The miller out of bed again
And to the mill he went amain;
But in his mind he was almost wild,
For fear he had got the maid with child;
    Yet he, &c.

He did devise to cause the mother,
To father the bantling on another,
And pausing on the thing awhile,
His man he thought for to beguile:
    But he, &c.

With that he cast his wits about,
To work the project past all doubt,
Then (with all wisdome on this wise)
He told his man of a dainty page
    But he, &c.

Jack, quoth the Miller, by the mass,
Ile tell the of a curious lass,
With a cherry=cheek and dainty chin,
With snow white brests and a silken=skin
    But he, &c.

With nut=brown hair, and a fore=head high,
With ruby lips and a pleasant eye,
With a pretty lisping, prating tongue,
Soft hands and fingers small and long:
    But he, &c.

With a slender middle and a body straight,
Both back and belly proportion'd right,
With an handsome leg and a dainty foot,
And a finer thing if thou canst come to't.
    But he, &c.

Now Jack if thou wilt credit me,
A sweeter wench thou ne'r didst see,
What wilt thou give me for my good will;
And thou shalt have belly bait thy fill?
    But he, &c.

It is so, qd. the Miller: then quoth his man
Good master do the best you can.
Go bring it about, and for the same,
I'ls give unto you my old ram:
    But he, &c.

A match qd. the miller; the ram is mine,
And the wench she shall be thine,
And so the miller like an ass,
Sent him to his wife instead of the lass:
    So he,&c.

When Jack did come where she did lye,
Into the bed then Jack did hye;
You know so well I need not name,
What Jack would do unto his dame:
    But he, &c.

When Jack had finisht up his game,
Unto the miller he went amain,
He thankt his master, and to him swore,
That he had never such sport before.
    But he, &c.

Betimes i'th morning the maid arose,
And to the miller straight she goes,
Her horse she ready sadled found
Besides her corn was tole=free ground.
    But he, &c.

The miller then disir'd [sic] the maid,
That she would remember the parlor bed,
Quoth she good sir you are deceiv'd
You kist your wife all in my stead:
    And you, &c.

Alas, quoth the miller, what shall I do,
For then our Jack hath been there too,
And for this trick a vow I make,
I'le never trust maiden for thy sake,
    But he was deceived in the dark,
    And took his own for anothers mark.

This ballad was entered in the Stationers Register on Jan. 16, 1640. This tale is told of a knight with one of his wife's lady- in-waiting in the 9th tale in R. H. Robbins' The Hundred Tales (Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles), and Robbins cites many continental versions, both earlier and later, in his notes, but no English versions. Late in the 17th century the same tale is retold in "The Unfortunate miller" (Bagford Ballads, II, p. 530, and Common Muse, #222) and also as "The Wanton Vintner, and Subtile Damosel" (Roxburghe Ballads VIII, p. 479), and as "The Westminster Frolic" (Roxburghe Ballads, VIII, p. 477, The Pepys Ballads, IV, p. 131)

The tune is not in C. M. Simpson's BBBM, but we can come up with a possibility, which may even be the correct tune. A ballad entered in June of 1629 is "A Woman's Work is never done" and was to 'To a Delicate Northern Tune, A Woman's work is never done, or, The Beds making'. I suspect, here, the first part of the tune direction "A Woman's work is never done" is a mere attempt to change the name of "The Beds making" to that of the song. This was a good advertising practice, which often, but not always, succeded. A northern tune "Woman's work is never done" is in the Scottish Blaikie and Leyden MSS of the late 17th century, and both copies have been published. The Blaikie MS copy is given by John Glen in Early Scottish Melodies, p. 59, and the Leyden MS copy in Wooldridge's edition of Chappell, Old English Popular Music, p. 152. Except for key, these are almost identical. (There are slurs in the Leyden MS copy that are not in that from the Blaikie MS, and these aid in fitting our song to the tune. We have had to add a few more slurs.) This tune was later known in Scotland as "The Black Eagle," or "The Bonny Black Eagle."

Play: B551

Go to Index

[My husband has no courage in him]

A Penny=worth of Good Counsell.

To Widdowes, and to Maides,
  This Counsell I send free;
And let them looke before they leape,
  Or that they married be.

To the tune of Dulcina.

Of late it was my chance to walke,
  for recreation in the spring,
Where as the fethered quisters
  melodiously did sing.
    And at that tide
    I there espide
A woman faire her hands sate wringing;
    She wept apace,
    And cry'd "Alas!
My husband hath no fore-cast in him."

Quoth she, "When as I was a mayden,
  I had store of suitors brave,
And I most coyly did reject them,
  to take the man that now I have:
    But woe is me,
    That e'er I see
The face of him makes me thus singing;
    Most heavily
    I sing and cry,
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"His flattering tongue it did bewitch me,
  faire promises to me he gave,
And said, I should have all things plenty,
  but no such thing I'm sure I have:
    His purse is light,
    Nothing is right,
Although a portion I did bring him;
    Aye me! poor soule,
    Thus to condole!
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"Hee's not the man I tooke him for:
  Alas! who would be so much tyed?
I tell you, friends, now seriously,
  my husband he doth nought but chide:
    His lookes are sowre,
    And he doth lowre,
For nature no good parts hath gi'n him:
    For which I grieve,
    You may believe!
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"When he was a batcheler,
  then who but he amongst the maids?
He went most neat in his apparell;
  but now I finde his glory fades:
    So spruce he went,
    'Twould give content
To any maiden that could win him;
    He'd dance and sing,
    Wrestle and ring;
But now he hath no fore-cast in him.

"Some men unto their wives are loving,
  and all content to them do give;
But mine is lumpish, sad, and heavy,
  which is the cause wherefore I grive:
    If I prove kind,
    Some fault hee'l finde,
And says, he knowes where his shooe wrings him:
    In darke or light,
    By day or night,
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

    The second part. To the same tune.

"He keeps me short of everything,
  no money he will give or lend;
'Tis fitting sometimes that a woman
  should with a friend some money spend:
    I must sit here,
    With heavy cheere,
Although that I did something bring him:
    Which makes me thus
    To cry, alas!
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"He doth not use me like a woman,
  and doth not care what clothes I have;
When other men's wives weare each fashion,
  and are maintained rich and brave:
    Thus to the wall
    I may condole,
Although that this same song I sing him --
    Some counsell give,
    Me to relieve!
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"Eringo-roots I doe privide him,
  with cawdles made of muscadine;
Yea, marrow-bones and oyster-pyes,
  which all are dishes good and fine:
    And lobsters great
    For him to eat,
And yolks of eggs, these have I gi'n him:
    Doe what I can,
    Yet this same man
By no meanes will have fore-cast in him.

"He will not have me goe abroad,
  yet seldome is himself at home;
He saith that I must be a house-dove,
  I must not flye abroad and roame:
    When other wives,
    Doe lead brave lives,
They'l goe to playes, heare fidlers singing,
    And spend their coyne
    At ale or wine;
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"Thus, like the turtle, I sit mourning
  because I have an unkind mate;
And fickle Fortune on me frowneth;
  it is my destiny and fate:
    I hope hee'l mend
    And be more kind;
With sweet embraces I will cling him;
    Ile speake him faire
    To have more care
That he may have more fore-cast in him.

"But if I see hee will not mend,
  come, tell me, widdow, maid, or wife __
What shall I doe in this same woe?
  for I am weary of this life:
    My tongue Ile tune,
    It shall chime noone,
And in his eares a peale Ile ring him;
    I am put too't,
    And I will doo't,
Because he hath no fore-cast in him.
Finis. M[artin]. P[arker].

No publisher's imprint; probably trimmed off. Entered in the Stationers' Register to Henry Gosson on Apr. 9, 1638.

I haven't see a copy of "My husband has no courage in him" earlier than traditional ones, but it seems to have been around by about 1735. The table of contents of the Elizabeth Cochrane Songbook (Harvard College MS Eng. 512) lists "My husband has no courage in him" at p. 47, but the leaf containing the song, pp 47-8 is missing. A traditional text with tune is in Frank Purslow's The Wanton Seed, p. 82.

Play: B126-30

Go to Index

[MS, c 1670?. The first and 2nd parts don't seem to be related.]

Aye me poor maide that I soe long have stayd
to be wedded to a silly old man
when downe by me layd
and nothing did or said,
I started up and away I came
straight he reply'd and turnd the tother side
I can doe noe more sweet Nan [end of first strain of tune

Ay me O doe not greeve nor vex thy heart
though Death come near thee with his dart
nor mallice him in any care that lookes
here after for thy place
for he that lookes for death
mens shoes doth seldome get but often loose

With music, which, however, is unbarred and apparently carelessy copied. May half notes are, I suspect, quarter notes with ovals that are not filled in. The meter here is not regular, and I have not been able to come up with a reasonable translation of the tune. I am still looking for a copy of a 17th century English tune called "silly old man". [The Scots one we have given above. The Irish and American one is just "Johnny McGill."]

Go to Index

The way to wooe a Zealous Lady.

I came unto a Puritan to wooe,
And roughly did salute her with a kiss;
She shov'd me from her when I came unto;
Brother, by yea and nay I like not this:
And as I her with amourous talk saluted,
My Articles with Scripture she confuted.

She told me, that I was too much profane,
And not devout neither in speech nor gesture:
An I could not one word answer again,
Nor had not so much Grace to call her Sister;
For ever something did offend her there,
Either my broad beard, or my long hair.

My Band was broad, my 'Parrel was not plain,
My Points and Girdle made the greatest show;
My sword was odious, and my Belt was vain,
My Spanish shooes was cut too broad at toe,
My Stockings light, my Garters ty'd too long,
My Gloves perfum'd and had a scent too strong.

I left my pure Mistress for a space,
And to a snip-snap Barber streight went I;
I cut my hair, and did my Corps uncase
Of 'Parrels pride that did offend the eye;
My high crown'd hat, my little Beard also,
My pecked Band, my Shooes were sharp at toe.

Gone was my sword, my Belt was laid aside,
And I transformed both in looks and speech;
My 'Parrel plain, my Cloak was void of Pride,
My little shirts, my metamorphis'd Breech,
My Stockings black, my Garters were ty'd shorter,
My Gloves no scent; thus marcht I to her Porter.

The Porter spide me, and did lead me in,
Where his sweet Mistress reading was a Chapter:
Peace to this house, and all that are therein,
Which holy words with admiration wrapt her.
And ever, as I came her something nigh,
She, being divine, turn'd up the white o'th' eye.

Ouoth I, dear Sister, and that lik'd her well,
I kist her, and did passe to some delight,
She, blushing, said, that long-tail'd men would tell,
Quoth I, I'll be as silent as the night;
At least the wicked now should have a sight
Of what we do, faith, I'll put out the light.

O do not sweare, quoth she, but put it out,
Because I would have you save your Oath,
In truth, you shall but kisse me, without doubt;
In troth, quoth I, here will we rest us both;
Swear you, quoth she, in troth? had you not sworn
I'd not have don't, but took in in foul scorn.

Rump, I p. 194, 1662. Also in Merry Drollery, 1661. J. Wardroper, Love and Drollery, #231, 1972, couldn't find the 'lost' original and couldn't reconcile printed with manuscript texts. Original is Fuller's lines as follows:

[Fuller's Jest]

I came unto a Puritan to woo her
And roughly did salute her with a kiss:
Away! quothe she, and rudely push'd me from her.
Brother, by yea and nay, I like not this:
And still with amorous talk she was saluted.
My artless speech with scripture was confuted.

Oft I frequented her abode by night,
And couted her, and spake her wond'rous fair;
But ever somewhat did offend her sight,
Either my double ruff or my long hair;
My scarf was vain, my garments hung too low,
My Spanish shoe was cut too broad at toe.

I parted for that time, and came again,
Seeming to be conform'd in look and speech;
My shoes were sharp-toed, and my band was plain,
Close to my thigh my metamorphos'd breech;
My cloak was narrow-cap'd, my hair cut shorter;
Of went my scarf, thus march'd I to the porter.

The porter, spying me he lead me in,
Where his fair mistress sat reading at a chapter;
Peace to this house, quoth I, and those within,
Which holy speech with admiration wrapp'e her;
And ever as I spake, and came her nigh,
Seeming divine, turn'd up the white of eye.

I spake divinely, and I call'd her sister,
And by this means we were acquaited well:
By yea and nay, I will, quoth I, and kiss'd her.
She blush'd and said that long-tongu'd men would tell;
I swore to be as secret as the night,
And said, on sooth, I would put out the light.

O, do not swear, quoth she, yet put it out,
Because I would not have you break your oath.
I felt a bed thare, as I grop'd about;
In troth, quothe I, here will we rest us both.
Swear you, in troth, quothe she? had you not sworn,
I had not don't, but took it in full scorn:
Then will you come, quoth I? though I be loth,
I'll come, quoth she, be't but to keep the oath.

This is dialogue from the anonymous play, A Pleasant conceited Comedie, Wherein is shewd how a man may chuse a good Wife from a bad, 1602.

Play: no tune known

Go to Index

Four Drunken Maidens

There was four drunken maidens
came from the Isle of white
They drank from munday morning
till saturday at night
before they would give out
and the four drunken maidens
shall have the other bout

T]hen in came peggy sanders
She was as brisk as bloom
C]ome sit about four
and mecke for me some room
ill be worthy of my seat
before I will give out
and the four drunken maidens
shall have the other bout

There was Peacok and Kapon
there was Rabits an hare
and all sorts of Dainties
no] sarcities was there
There was fourty pints of malaga
they freely drank it out
The four drunken maiden
Shall have the other bout

There came four farmers
of courage stout and strong
and giving to each maiden
a p---k nine inches long
a p---k nine inches long
beside the very snout
and the four drunken maidens
will have the other bout

They called for the Drawer
the reconning for to pay
there's eight and fourty pound
and make it no delay
This was twelve pound the piece
before the(y) would give out
and the four drunken maidens
will have the other bout

As peggy was a going home
she met her mother gay
Where have you been dear daughter
this leeve long summers day
I have been Fering[?] a sick wife
that's freely tuml'd out
and the four drunken maidens
shall have another bout

Where are your fine clothen
you had the other day
and likewise your fine ferbeloes
that was so fine and gay
The]y were neither fine nor gay mother
so make no more adoe
for the ranting roerring maidens
shall have the other bout

The above is an unpublished text from a MS copy, c 1740-50, in the National Library of Scotland, NLS MS 6299. Although somewhat defective, I couldn't resist the striking fourth verse of this version, and this illustrates how later versions were revised.

A. L. Lloyd sang a version of this song on a recording 'English Drinking Songs' Riverside RLP 12- 618, about 1960. From his notes it would appear that he got it pub singers, possibly collated with a chapbook of about 1760, Charming Phyllis's Garland. He does not say were he got his tune, which is vaguely similar to the one here. Lloyd's version has many minor verbal differences, but his last verse is significantly different and I append it following the main text.

The tune has recently been published from the Northumberland Vickers' manuscript of c 1770-5, by Matt Seattle in The Great Northern Tune Book, #527, 1987, but I use another copy which differs slightly in timing in the last half of the two middle measures of each strain. It is the last tune in a manuscript collection of song and dance tunes, Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.b. 410, which is, in my estimation, of about 1760-2. The two latest tunes in it are dated c 1760 in BUCEM, Arne's "Jessy" from The Merchant of Venice, and James Oswald's "The maid that's made for love and me." The earliest copy of the tune, one I have not seen, is in Book 4 of Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, c 1744.

Logan's text in The Pedlar's Pack

The Four Drunken Maidens

Four drunken Maidens came from the Isle of Wight,
Drunk from Monday morning till Saturday night;
When Saturday night came they would not go out,
And the four drunken Maidens they pushed the jug about.

In came Bouncing Sally and her cheeks like any bloom,
"Sit about dear sister and give me some room,
I will be worthy of my room before I do go out"
And the four drunken Maidens they pushed the jug about.

There wa wood-cock and pheasants, partridges and hare,
And all sorts of dainties; no scarcity was there;
There was forty quarts of Malaga, they fairly drank it out
And the four drunken Maidens they pushed the jug about.

Down came the landlady to see what was to pay,
This is a forty pound bill to be drawn on this day;
There is ten pounds apiece and they would not go out,
And the four drunken Maidens they pushed the jug about.

Sally was a walking along the highway,
And she meet with her mother and unto her did say;
"Where is the head dress you had the other day?
And where is your mantle so gallant and so gay,"
"So galant and so gay we had no more to do,
We left them in the alehouse; we had a randan row"

A. L. Lloyd's last verse

O! where are your feathered hats, your mantles rich and fine?
They've all been swallowed up in tankards of good wine And where are your maidenheads, you maidens brisk and gay?
We've left them in the alehouse, we've drunk them all away.

Play: S1, FRDRNKMD, Folger MS

Go to Index

[From Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 153]

Once I lay with another man's wife
But 'twas in a great deale of danger
But now I have gotten a wife of my owne
and I ly at racke and manger
Honest I was, and honest I am
And honest I will bee still --a
If another ly by my wife all night
I shall bee sore against Fiany will-a

Straight was her backe, and her eye cole-black
And her countenance wondrous civil
with a legge and a foote would make you goe to't
And her---
And so---

See Also Bod. MS Rawl. B. 35 (Crum B 142)

This is all I've ever found of "Once I lay by another man's wife". The tune is in C. M. Simpson's BBBB as The King's Delight, or, Once I lay with another man's wife.

Play: B265 King's Delight = When once I lay, Beggars Opera

Go to Index

Captain Digby's Farewell

[Playhouse song, 1671, curiously the year before Digby died at sea.]

I'le go to my love where he lies in the deep,
And in my embraces my dearest shall sleep:
When we awake, the kind dolphins together shall throng,
And in chariots of shells draw us along.

The orient pearls, which the ocean bestowes,
With coral we'll mix, and a crown soe compose;
The sea-nymphs shall sigh, and envy our bliss,
We will teach them to love, and their cockles to kiss.

For my love sleeps now in a wat'ry grave,
He hath nothing to shew for his tombe but a wave:
I'le kiss his cold lips, not the corall more red,
That growes where he lies in his wat'ry bed.
Ah! ah! my love's dead; there was not a bell,
But a trition's shell,
To ring, to ring out his knell.

These three verses appear, in reverse order, in the second part of the broadside ballad "The Sorrowful Ladie's Complaint", to "The Earl of Sandwich's Farewell", which is traditional under a variety of titles; Laws, K17, calls it "Down by the Sea Shore." Purslow, The Wanton Seed, p. 38 calls it "The Drowned Lover" a title shared by Laws K18. I think I've seen it called "The Maid of Constant Sorrow". At any rate sometime in its history it picked up another verse, for conclusion, now rather overworked, "I never will marry, I'll be no man's wife, I'd rather live single, All the days of my life". This verse appears in The Lover's Lament for Her Sailor, a mid-19th century reworking of the ballad in the Bodleian Firth b.25(252) and Harding B 16(4397) [find on web].

Here's a curiosity from BL MS Add'l. 30982, reversing the sexes:

O my love sleeps now
on her watery grave
and hath nothing to show
for a tomb but a wave

He kiss her cold lipps
then the corrall more red
that grows where she lyes
in her waterie bed
ah ah ah my loves dead
and not a bell,
but a tritons shell
to ring her knell

Ile go to my love
where she lies in the deep
& in my imbraces
my dearest shall sleep

and when we awake
the kind dolphins shall throng
and in Charriots of shells
they shall draw us along

of the oriental'st pearl
the ocean bestows
mixt withe ye corrall
a crown weel compose
the sea nymphs shall sigh
and shall envie our bliss
and weel teach them to love
and the cockles to kiss

For the tune, see Simpson's BBBM. Unlike the frequent case of no tune, here we have too many, and can't figure out which is the right one!

Play, B117-9 Go to Index

Sit yow merry Gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
for Jesus Christ is borne
to save or soules from Satan's power
Whenas we runne astray
    O tidings of comfort & joy
    to save or soules from Satan
    When as we runne away
    O tidings of comfort & joy

In Bethlehem sweet Jury
this blessed babe was fownd
And layd within A manger
upon this blessed morne
When as his mother mary
Did nothing take in Vaine
    O tidings of comfort & joy
    When as his mother mary
    Did nothing take in Vaine
    O tidings of comfort & joy

ffrom God that was his father
A blessed Angell came
And unto certaine sheapheards
brought tidings of the same
how that in Jury there was borne
the sonne of God by name
    O tidings of comfort & joy
    how yt in Jury there was borne
    the sonne of god by name
    O tidings of comfort & joy

O feare not say'd the Angell
Let nothing you affright
this day is borne a saviour
of vertue power and might
sufficient for to vanquish
the frendes of Sattan quite
    O tidings of comfort & joy,et

The sheepheards at this hearing
rejoyced much in minde
Did cease their sheepe a feeding
in tempest storms And winde
And went straight way to bethelem
this blessed babe to finde
    O this tidings of comfort & joy,et

And when they came to bethlehem
whereat this infant lay
they found him in a manger
Where oxen bed with hay
the Virgin mary kneeling by
who to or Lord Did pray
    O tidings of comfort & joy, et

With sudden joy and gladnesse
there sheepheards harts were fild
to see the babe of Israell
before his mother milde
therefore with mirth And cheerefullnesse
rejoice each mothers childe
    It is tidings of comfort & joy, et

Unto or lord sing praises
All you within this place
And wth true love and brotherhood
each other now embrace
this moving time of christmas
All malice now Defame
    At this tidings of comfort & joy,et
    this merry time of christmas
    All malice now defame
    At this tidings of comfort & joy

Incredibly, the editors of The New Oxford Book of Carols, 1992, missed Oxford Bodleian Iibrary MS Eng. poet. b. 5. The editors say this song is first found in Sandy's Christmas Carols, 1833. This manuscript of c 1650 (which is all carols) contains the song here and and several other carols not elsewhere found before 1833 Sandy's collection. According to A. H. Bullen in Carols and Poems, 1886, this was the most popular of Christmas carols at that time. The carol is without title in the manuscript. [Traditional tune for "Sit you merry" is "Chestnut or (Jack) Doves Figary" in Dancing Master from 1st (1651) edition.]

Play: in Dancing Master Go to Index

Section 4, Broadsides


The crost Couple, OR, a good Misfortune.

Which in a pleasant Ditty discovers,
The fortunate cross of a couple of Lovers,

To a New Northern Tune, much in fashion

Ille tell you a tale no stranger than true,
of a fa la la la la la
The sport on't is old, but the Sonnet is new
'tis a fa la la &c
The story sprung from under a Bush
From a tongue & a tune as sweet as a thrush
Bur I fear it will make a fair Lady to blush
with a fa &c

Nay do not turn your faces away
with a fa &c
Hers' nothing that can your Vertue betray
with a fa &c
Let not your fancies look a squint,
The Author would never have put it in Print
If there had been any uncivil wor in't
but a fa &c.

I tell you no tales of Battels & fights
with a fa &c
Of wonders of Monsters of Goblins or sprights,
with a fa &c
Nor yet of a Thief that got a reprieve
I do not intend your spirits to grieve
My story's as old as Adam and Eve
with a fa &c

I went to walk one Evening-tide
with a fa &c
My fancy did lead lead me by a Wood side
with a fa &c
'Twas in the prime of all the spring
Which giveth delight to every thing
I saw a Maid listen to a man sing
to her fa &c

The tempting dressings that she was in
with a fa &c
Would almost seduce a new Saint to the sin
with a fa &c
She was a fair & lovely maid
About her wast his Arm he laid
This beautiful baggage is sonnest betrai'd
to a fa &c

I got me straight up into a tree
with a fa &c
Where I might see all, and no man see me
with a fa &c
The tree was thick and full of growth
The top on't did hover so over them both
That if I had fell, I had dropt in her mouth
on her fa &c

There many amorous glances they cast
with a fa &c
But that was not all, the best is at last
with a fa &c
Something it seems the youth would do
Which she would not consent unto
Have patience, & you shall know e're you go
with a fa &c

When laid on her side, she turn'd to the tree
with her fa &c
I durst have sworn she had look'd upon me
with her fa &c
He many points of division did run
But she cry'd out no, I shall be undone
He tun'd his pipes though, & thus he begun
to her fa &c

Oh come my own dear let's dally awhile [Mnchstr copy starts here
with a fa &c
Thou has quicken'd my spirits now with a smile
and thy fa &c
The trembling of thy lips do show
Thou hast no power to say me no
Which makes me have a moneths mind unto
thy fa &c

This hearty kisse is a sign thou wilt yield
to thy fa &c
The white of thy eyes speak peace in the field
with a fa &c
Then for a Vail to hide thy face
Ile clo'd thee with a sweet embrace
There's many would wish that they were in thy place
with their fa &c

Oh, do not sigh to hear me intice,
with a fa &c
Thou n'er hadst been got hath thy mother been nice
with her fa &c
Then prethee put me out of my pain
For I am now in a merry vain
Let's play at that game, where the losers do gain
with their fa &c

But oh my own dear whys lyest thou so still
with thy fa &c
Art thou in a swound or what is thy will
with thy fa &c
I prethee joy take no such grief
Since I am so near to thy relief
Oh let me play the amorous Thief
with thy fa &c

My dearest of all, why holdest thou so fas with a fa &c
Ile swear we will marry if thou wilt make hast
with thy fa &c
Cupid doth give us leave to play
Thy very blushes do betray
That thou dost interpret what I have to say
with a fa &c

Then on her brow her vail she spread
with a fa &c
As if he had been going to cut off her head
with his fa &c
He with his Lips her mouth did wipe
And gave her many an earnest gripe
For just now my Lady was yielding ripe
with her fa &c

In what a fret I was in the tree
with a fa &c
That I had not then another by me
with her fa &c
Then I perciev'd they whisper'd a while
With many fair pleadings he did her beguile
Sure something he shew'd her which made her smile
with a fa &c

He said he was sure he could not be spy'd
with a fa &c
But if I durst could have told him he ly'd
with his fa &c
I feard I should be brought to light
She so often cast up her Eyes so bright
The pleasures of Love did so dazzle her sight
and her fa &c

My Gamster could no longer forbear
her fa &c
No more should I if I had been there
by her fa &c
I turn'd and scrued my body round
To see my gallant scale the town
But his getting up made me tumble down
with a fa &c

Such was my fate, no mischief I had
with a fa &c
My Lovers both run as if they'd been mad
with their fa &c
And now I hope a warning 'twill be
How they in such sinfull pleasures agree
For fear of the Devil that fell from the tree
with his fa la la la la la.

Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright and J. Clarke [1674-9]

Folktale source noted below. Roxburghe Ballads, III, p. 648 and The Euing Collection, #56. Second half only, with imprint missing is in Manchester collection, I #28b. Ebsworth, not recognizing it, printed two verses from it in Roxburghe Ballads, VIII *lxxix.

The extant copies are later than the original, since the tune was cited for singing a ballad of 1660. A woodcut, with the lovers engaged in sexual intercourse on the ground and the boy watching from a tree, undoubtably made for "The crost Couple," is on a ballad of July, 1662. This is "News out of the Strand", Euing #252. The tune of this latter is "Come my own dear let us dally a while," drawn from "The crost Couple." The woodcut on the Euing copy of "The crost Couple" is almost identical as to the couple on the ground, but otherwise differs significantly, and we see only a head peering from a distant tree, and with a more prominent Cupid also observing the lovers.

Versification of the "Lost Calf" tale, #12, Les Cent Nouvelles, Nouvelles. R. H. Robbins in his edition, Crown, New York, 1960, cites, in his notes, Poggio and other European tellers of the tale, including LaFontaine. Aarne-Thompson, The Types of the Folktale, Second Revision, 1964, catlogs the version in Les Cent Nouvelles, Nouvelles as type 1355B. Cf. "The Speckle-Ass Bull" tale in Vance Randolph's Pissing in the Snow.

The broadside version deletes the lost calf as the excuse for climbing the tree. The tune for the ballad is in C. M. Simpson, BBBM, #94, from Pills to Purge Melancholy, IV, 138, 1719. The old tale was put in a later poetical version in Bodleian MS *Don d. 123, "The Clown who had lost his heifer from Fontaine" (Margaret Crum, First Line Index of Manuscript Poetry, Bodleian, I1451.) LaFontaine's version is, in English translation, "The Countryman who sought his Calf."

A traditional version, "Tom and the Parson" in Alfred Williams's Folksongs of the Upper Thames, has Tom Brown climb the tree to look for his cows when the parson and his lass come to court. Randolph-Legman, Roll Me in Your Arms, 1992, has an incomplete version, #4D, and reference to a couple of other versions, but the origin of these songs is not traced there. In another version there are two boys in "The Pear Tree" in a Scots traditional text with tune in Nigel Gatherer's Songs and Ballads of Dundee, #69, 1986. "The Pear Tree" (with tune), #11 in Roy Palmer's Everyman's Book of Ballads, 1980, is another recently collected version, but now with three boys in the tree. There are also copies of this in Folk Music Journal

I have never found a copy of the song "The Lost cow, or The Bulling Match under the Tree," which is probably another version.

A somewhat different song having a boy spying from a tree is found in the early 18th century, "The Crab Tree" in J. S. Farmer's Merry Songs and Ballads, IV, p. 109. Another copy, slightly revised and about 150 years later, is given as "The Magic Crab-Tree" to the tune of "Umbrella Courtship" in George Speight's Bawdy Songs of the Early Music Hall, p. 45, 1975. "Umbrella Courtship" which is on the Lester Levy sheet music collection website, but without music, was to the tune of "The Yankee Volunteer". "The Yankee Volunteer" is on the Bodleian Ballads website, but without music or tune direction.

Play: B094

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The mock battle is here introduced by a familiar song. The motif of a 'shot 'twixt wind and water' concludes this version, but is found much earlier, as the subsequent quotations shows.

A Soldier and a Sailor: [This song is in Wm. Congreve's play Love for Love, (at the end of act three) 1695, was expanded by three verses on a broadside ballad, "Buxom Joan of Deptford, (or Lymus, Limehouse)." The tune, by John Ecles, is well known. Our motif is in the last of Congreve's three familiar verses which goes:

But while these three were prating,
The sailor slyly waiting,
Thought if it came about, sir,
That they should all fall out, sir,
He must play his part.
And just e'en as he meant, sir,
To loggerheads they went, sir,
And then he let fly at her
A shot 'twixt wind and water,
That won this fair maid's heart.

Dialogue between Constable and Adriana in the play, Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611, Act 1, Scene 1.

Con: Now will I fall aboard the waiting maid.
Adriana: Fall aboard of me! dost take me for a ship?
Con: Ay, and will shoot you betwixt wind and water.
Adriana: Blurt! master gunner, your linstock's too short.

Here are a few pieces I have not thought worthwhile to give in full:

One of about 1675, which occurs in two variants, Thomas Robbins' (styled Batchelor of Divinity on his moralizing chapbooks) "The Lover's Battle," and a reworked version "Mars and Venus." The latter has six complete verses and only parts of three more, and the former has been expurgated in Roxburghe Ballads, Vol. VIII. A six verse version of "Mars and Venus" was issued about 1820, and supplies alternate concluding text. Before going to "Mars and Venus or The Lover's Battle" we divert to an earlier tradition of Mars and Venus.

There is no battle between Mars and Venus in a ballad, c 1648, "Mars and Venus in opposition," inappropriately titled. Venus willingly cuckolded her husband, blind Vulcan, with Mars, which Vulcan found out about it and started a one-sided battle, from which Mars quickly withdrew

. An earlier ballad summarizes the tradition. The third verse of "The two Scornful Louers," c 1615, here introduces verses of the other. The broadside is in the Manchester collection, II, #23, and was printed by John Trundle. The broadside is an expanded version of a song. Wm. Mure of Rowllan made a reply to it dated Oct 10, 1614. Mure of Rowllan, unfortunely, did not copy the tune, "I'le go no more a wooing by night," into either of his two known tune books. Wm. Motherwell, in The Paisley Magazine, 1828, p. 104, had reprinted the original from a Scots manuscript of 1673, but that version does not contain the following verse, nor does Mure's reply, p. 208. An eight line fragment of the song is to be found in NLS MS 1806, and another fragment is in BL MS Harleian 7332. Robert Chambers gave three slightly variant verses of the song in The Scottish Songs as "The Careless Lover", I, p. 138, 1829. Scots have apparently not found the unreprinted broadside text.

The Two Scornful Lovers: [extract]

I Scorn the Consept [1st
of a lovers condition
To mourne for that Love,
that regards not his paine:
I will not respect
This foolish Ambition
That nightly rewardeth
True love with distaine
I love her that loves me,
My humour is such
And she that doth hate me
I hate her as much
Thus I am resolved
How ere the world go
I care not a pin
whether I have her or no.

The mind of a Maiden, [3rd
Is made of the weather,
And useth to change,
as ofte as the winde:
For long time kind Venus,
And Vulcan together,
Yet Venus did study,
to make Vulcan blinde:
For Mars did cornute him,
Till Phebus did find it,
Then Vulcan did net them,
though long he was blinded:
If Gods use such trickes:
My Loue may doe too,
I care not a pinne,
whether I have her or no.

Mars and Venus in opposition.

[Manchester collection, II, #11]

When Mars and faire Venus were both in Conjunction
The Cyclops beheld them with some of his fellows,
Poore Vulcan was horned by one of the fonction,
Whilst he silly Cuckold was blowing the bellowes:
Mars did unto Venus what his skill could afford her,
And dub'd Vulcan Knight of the fork'd order.

To the tune of Colonell Downes his men &c. [unknown]

A Country blade of late
well mounted on a horse
Posted unto a Market-towne
Spur'd on by Cupid's force:

Who when he thither came
To Vulcan's forge fast walked,
And left his Nag there to be shod
whilst he with Venus talked.

But Mars that still wisht well
unto this lovely dame,
Had some of his attendance there
seeming to doe the same.

Baccus, he ready was
to entertain them there,
Carousing healths in bowls of wine
to friends that absent were.

And drinking merrily
caroused round about,
He sought his opportunity
that he might have a bout:

But Vulcan at the last
seeing Venus so attended,
Some pretty posture chancht to spy
wherat he was offended.

For mounting up so high,
their pleasant sporte to finde,
Vulcan he approaches nigh
contrary to their mind:

Who looking up above,
seeing his trap-doore downe,
He heard them so to move
which made him much to frown.

And being thus enraged,
in hand he tooke his bar,
And furiously he laid about,
not fearing man of war.

The youngster he saluted,
the truth if you will know,
And for his tendered kindness did
roast meat on him bestow.

And to requite him further,
he with a leaden tun,
To him which made him hast away
a health in blood begun.

And due he gave to Venus
what nature had forgot
A Mole I mean, for there is none
so rare but have some spot.

And Daphne being set,
to watch the while to keep [The watch
She failed of her trust
in that she fell asleep.

For which she was requited, [Venus or Daphne?
as unto her was due,
And had her pay in earnest
at least a stroke or two.

Therefore my Country blade
of Vulcans force beware,
And when you come to shooe or Nay
take heed of Vulcans Mare.

And seeing that Vulcan was
so cunningley cornuted,
Let's horns so long as Acteons grow
they'l shall not be confuted.

And so if that Black-smith
should chance to catch a fall,
His hornes will serve him passing well
to keep him from the wall.

And if that with all words
he should his wife importune,
She wel may say t'was not her fault
but t'was her husbands fortune.

This may be term'd a blessing
that he had to him given,
For some sayes Cuckolds are the Men
that first go up to heaven.

Let not his neighbours jeere,
nor hold the men in scorne,
For why the wissest pate of all
may chance to weare the horne.

Each one must take his lot,
according as do fall;
But sure it is a matter strange
we are not cuckolds all.

Thus in conclusion all things
amisse let be mended:
Which being done I hope there's none
shall justly be offended.

London, Printed for F. G[rove]. Finis

"The dub'd Knight of the Forked Order" in the introduction here later became the title of a bawdy ballad by Abraham Miles.

And now the battle devine:

Mars and Venus:

A Broad of late as I was walking,
in the Fields to take the ayr,
Mars and Venus there was talking,
in a pleasant Bower.
I crept close and sat down by them,
They little thought I had been so nigh them,
for to understand the matter,
Whereunto they scam'd their talk,
Mars vapoured thus as he did walk.

Says Mars I am the god of Battle,
and chief General of the Field,
I long to hear the Cannons rattle,
I am arm'd with Lance, Spear and Shield.
I set forth with strong invasions,
I conquer Castles, Towns and Nations.
there's no Champion dare resist me,
I conquer all where e're I go,
In spight of him that dare say no.

But hark you Mars, methinks you vapour,
there's one Castle you n'er won,
The Mistress of it n'er drew Rapier,
and in it there's never a Gun.
But I dare lay both mark'e & pounds on it,
that if e're you come within the bounds on't,
e're you come off, you'l lose men there,
And be forc'd for to retreat,
And it's ten to one but you'l be beat.

In truth said Mars could I but spy it,
I will venter there to fight,
That same Castle if e're I come nigh it,
will storm it by day or by night:
Tell me therefore where it standeth,
And the names the which it commandeth,
that same Castle which you treat on,
And I will thank you for your pains,
And be sure of this i'le make you amends.

It's Coney=hall, neer to Navil=Court,
it's at the Fort of Belly=hill,
Near Blew hole=lane you may resort to't,
o! Bum alley whether you will.
Through placket=entry there is the way to't,
In the low country there you may go to't
Venus she's the Mistress of it,
And was never conquer'e by War,
Although there be no defence but hair.

Up to this Castle Mars drew his Army,
and Bum=alley up did block,
he was clad in gallant Armor,
she her own field fill'd with her smock,
he laid such a close siege round about it,
that there was none could come in or out it,
this call'd Venus tp a parly,
And to Mars away she went,
Desiring for to know his intent.

Says Mars I am come to win this Castle,
and i'le take it before I go
Says Venus it's in vain to wya[te,
you cannot enter in as a Fo[e
You must beat a Larum on my [Belly, Larum, alarum - alarm
A point of War a[s] Troopers t[ell thee
Tat too, Tat too, we march [away
Tick Track is a gallant sport,
And on these terms i'le yield th[e fort.]

Up to this Castle Mars he ven[ter'd]
and in it thrust his Lance,
But he repented that he had v[owed,]
for his Weapon got a misch[ance,]
And straightway it fell sick upo[n her belly
And in Coney=hall was force[d to dally
that caus'd Venus to be a[ put out.
And out o'th door she did him[ shoo,
And was not that an uncivil [thing to do.

Say Mars I am by a woman[ defeated, ?
I will never come there an[ymore,
I fear my Lance that she hath [broken,
when she kickt me out o'th [door.
Farewell Venus, farewel Con[ey=hall,
Farewell Bum=alley, adieu to[ you all
I will ne'r come there a[nymore
Except that she had prov'd m[ore true, ?
And so I bid you all adieu.

Two of the last three verses of "The Lover's Battle" go:

Then in a rage Mars drew his rapier,
and vowed this Castle he would take,
So up [Bum=alley] he did vapor,
and toward [Cock=]lane he straight did make.
Under Belly=hill he found a centre,
where [his Lance] soon did enter,
"Clap to [my Fortl Mars!" then she cry'd,
and close siege with his men he lay,
But in the end Mars did lose the day.

For Venus boldly did so charge him,
with service hot in open field,
By her valor stout she almost scar'd him,
which made him and his men to yield.
"How now, bold Mars!" stout Venus cry'd
"the battle is mine, who dare deny it?
I thought, bold Mars, you did but vapor,
for no such courage can I see!"
So she kick'd Mars out of her [Treasury?].

The last verse is too badly expurgated by J. W. Ebsworth to restore.

The 18th century version, "A new Dialogue between Mars and Venus" follows the earlier version quite closely until the last of its six verses which runs:

Alas! says Venus, my castle is taken,
Before I was able to strike one blow
Yet, nevertheless, if I am not mistaken,
I never felt such a pleasing FOE.
For my heart and my sense were all alivated
And all my matters fairly estated
This I will tell you as I am true,
Was the sweetest battle that ever I knew.

Others mock battles not in files BATTLNN are:

"Jenny Crack," The Pepys Ballads, III, p. 177. "The Whetstone Park Privateer," not reprinted. Whetstone Park in the latter half of the 17th century seems to have eclipsed Hyde Park as the place to seek out a prostitute.

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Watton Town's End:

As I cam up to Arpendeen
And straight to Wattontown
And there I met a pretty wench
That looked like lay me Down.

At Watten Towns end,
At Watten Towns end,
At every door there stands a whore
At Watten Towns end.

The Frigat's name was Thunder-bolt,
Her sails were all of Silk;
Her tacklen was of silver twist
Her colour like the Milk.

Her planks were all of ivory
Her bottom beaten-gold
Her deck was alabaster pure
She look'ed briske and bold.

Her keep was guilded o'er an o'er
Her wanton flay did flye
And I was mad to be aboard
So much a fool was I.

She seemed a stately pleasure-boat
With tempting good attire
But little knew that (under deck)
Her gun room was in fire.

I lodged with her, I laid her down,
I slept with her all night
I supped upon a Coney fatt [Coney, rabbit, and slang for vagina
Whose Gravy was delight

She gave to me a Syrrup sweet
Was in her placket box
But o're three minute went about
It proved the French-pox. [Syphilis]

The fire-ship she did blow me up
As my effigies shows
And all may read upon my face
The loss of teeth and nose.

Now as I walk along the street
They gaze upon my face
And every one that looks at me
Salutes me with disgrace.

By me beware then Gentlemen
From King to country clown,
And when you see a pretty Wench
Remember lay me down.

[c 1610, but extant copies are much later. Its tune had same title, and is in C. M. Simpson's BBBM, 1966. The tune was cited for "Turners dish of Lentten stuffe" which was of about 1612. This Frigate 'Thunder-bolt 'is easily recognized as the great,...., great grandmother of "The Maid of Amsterdam."]

Play: B290-1

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The Seamans Wives Ranting Resolution:

To the Tune of, Couragio, or, If by your good leave I may (neither known).

My good man is gone to Sea
on the long Voyage O:
My Good=man is gone to Sea
on the long Voyage O,
he hath left me no money
I'le get some with my Coney
Couragio, Couragio, Couragio.

Let him have good Wind and Tide
and I do presage O:
Let him have good Wind and Tide
and I do presage O:
for myself I will provide,
And Cornute his head beside
Couragio, &c.

If he brings home Gold and Pearl,
from his long Voyage O:
If he brings home Gold and Pearl,
from his long Voyage O:
I shall be a ranting Girl,
fit for either Lord or Earl:
Couragio, &c.

I'm a young and lively Dame,
twenty years of age O:
I'm a young and lively Dame,
twenty years of age O:
And I say it is no shame
for to play at Venus Game,
Couragio, &c.

Now the brave young man is come
my love to asswage O:
Now the brave young man is come
my love to asswage O:
Prethee dearest strike it home,
Sound the Trumpet, beat the Drum,
Couragio, Couragio, Couragio.

Beat allarum beat it well
and I will ingage O:
Beat allarum beat it well
and I will engage O:
Tho you should make my belly swell,
Never fear that I will tell,
Couragio, &c.

Now the fight goes on amain,
on the pleasant Stage O:
Now the fight goes on amain,
on the pleasant Stage O:
We will have the other strain,
Rally up and play't again,
Couragio, &c.

Little thinks my own Good=man,
that my sails are Spread so,
Little thinks my own Good=man
that my sails are spread so,
We will do the best we can,
In the Rear and in the Van,
Couragio, &c.

Methinks I feel a little Bird
stirring in my Cage O:
Methinks I feel a little Bird
stirring in my Cage O:
Methinks I feel a little Bird,
Pierceth me much like a sword,
Couragio, &c.

Now my eyes are dazled quite,
whilst we ingage O:
Now my eyes are dazled quite
whilst we ingage O:
Never Mars the God of fight,
Better pleas'd his Venus bright,
Couragio, &c

But our joys must have an end
which doth me inrage O:
But our joys must have an end
which doth me inrage O:
Fare thee well my dearest friend,
Till again for thee I send,
Couragio, &c.

My Good=man is come on shore,
from his long Voyage O:
My Good=man is come on shore
from his long Voyage O:
He will kiss me ten times more, [kiss is such a subtle euphemism
Then perhaps he'l tell you more, [that it is often missed
Couragio, couragio, couragio.

[English broadside ballad, 1681.]

Play: tunes unknown

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A Hot Encounter Between A French Privateer, and an English Fire-Ship.

[Tune: The Rant, or, The City Ramble. Here the motif is expanded to include the tide (4th verse).]

I am a Prize for a Captain to Fall on,
My name is seafaring Kate;
My Sails they are Top and Top gallon, [sic]
a Friggot that's of the First Rate,
With a fa, la, la, &c.

A French Man came lately to press me,
Which was not a very hard thing,
And swore that he first wou'd embrace me,
And Loaden me then for the King,
With a fa, &c.

Last Summer he Saild from the Shannon,
And long at an anchor did lie,
On his Mid Ship he had a good Cannon,
which was all the great Guns that he had.
With a fa, &c.

His Main Yard he hoized and Steered,
his Course, and gave me a Broad Side,
My Poop, and my Stern Port sheered,
betwixt the Wind, Water, and Tide.
With a fa, &c.

Still under his Lee I did hover,
with all the Force I could afford,
But as he had been a rank Rover,
he briskly did lay me on board.
With a fa, &c.

He looked for some hidden Treasure,
And fell to doing of Feats,
But found me a Fire-ship of Pleasure,
When he'd enter'd the mouth of the Straits.
With a fa, &c.

It was high tide, and the Weather,
With an easterly Gale it did blow,
Our Frigats were foul of each other,
And could not get off or ride so.
With a fa, &c.

My Bottom was strongly well planked,
My Deck could a Tempest endure,
But ne'er was poor Dog in a Blanket,
So tossed, as was the Monsieur.
With a fa, &c.

No near, than his course he still steered
and clap'd his hand down to his Swords,
But as his Love tackle he cleared,
I brought down his Main Top by the Board.
Wit a fa, &c.

Then he feared to burn a Sea-Martyr,
for my Gun-Room was all in a Fire,
And I blew up my second Deck Quarter,
just as he began to retire.
With a fa, &c.

I pepper'd him off from the Centre,
Monsieur was ne'er serv'd so before,
I burnt his Main Yard at a venter,
So that he will press me hard.
With a fa, &c.

Then Monsieur got off, and was grieved,
and cursed the English first Rates,
But till then he could never believe it,
That Strumbulo lay in the Straits.
With a fa, &c.

Broadside ballad.

Play: B387-8,

                 The City Caper:
         The Whetstones-Park Privateer.

Being a true relation how a smal Pickaroon lately sail'd from the park, and Cruising abroad in
        the night, seiz'd on a rich Marchant-man, whom she tempted to board her, and then she disabl'd
        his Ship, took all his Cargo, spoil'd his Tackle, and burnt his Rudder, &c.

        Tune of,        Captian Digby's farewel.

The Jenny a small Pickaroon in the Park
Last night went a Cruising in the dark,
Her impudence was her commander in chief,
Her haven is Luff, and her Pilot a Thief:
As swift as a fish she did glide by the Strand,
well rigg'd and well trim'd but she lackt to be man'd
In her mouth a whole teer of Damme's there lies,
Granadoes were shot out of her rowling eyes.

The ruffling silk of her Petticoat Sails
The wind had full blown with it's wantoning gales
That wind which their meeting with contrary wind
Some times doth create hurricane behind:
Carren'd and new painted most curiously,
Her uppermost Deck did appear to the eye,
The curls of her Tower so like streamers do wave
Men of War to engage her they seem for to brave.

But look on her Stern, she's right for the trade,
Her lading betwixt wind and water was laid,
A Loofm and a Loof and most steady she steard,
Yet often to alter her courses apear'd,
To Star-board and Lar-board, a baft and before
She glances an eye and she creeps by the shore,
To look what unconvoyed Vessels there came,
That might help to add to her pilfering game.

At length from her main-top she gladly espies
A merchant-man far a head passing her by,
Oy'e straight was he, and ready to sinck,
His Hull was so much over-sowed with drink
She strait makes all Sails she was able, and plies
Her Oars to come up to so welcome a prize,
Though's head was so light, she was lighter than he
And had in an instant brought him by the Lee.

Her mobled hood she turn'd for a flag,
Sometimes she shears off & sometimes she doth lag
She hauld him with bums, but the dulpated Owl,
Would not understand her, unless she fell foul:
At last a salute with a Gun, in the poures,
Your serrvant she cry'd and he answering yours:
She boldly bore up, and for sometime they ride,
Yard-arm to Yard-arm, and each side by side.

The battle between them now warmer was grown,
And the grapling Irons were mutually thrown,
She gave him her broad-side of kisses so strong,
There was no hope left of his holding out long:
Yet on her design better colour to lay,
She pretended to tack, as if stearing away,
Then seemingly disabled to bear up again,
She offers her self unto him to be tane.

He sees her lye by, and then grows the more bold,
To venture abord, and to rumidge her hold,
She freely receives him asterrn and invites,
Him for to taste of her Cabin delights:
From prow unto poop he did grope her all o're,
And finding her Gun to be full Cannon bore,
For his Amunition he swore was at large,
And threatned to give her forthwith a due charge,

She flung off her Gloves as a flag of defiance,
And scorned to acept of his terms of complyance,
Come bully, quoth she, I will stand thy fierce shot
For already I've taken full many a knock,
With that below Deck then he thundred in,
And she to tumble and toss did begin,
As if that a tempest had rocked her pillow,
And danced her vessel aloft on a billow.

A calm then succeeded this storming her honour,
He soon had unladed his Cargo upon her,
Before hand he gave her his contracted Guinies,
And thought he ne'r sailed in so pleasant a Pinnace,
But quickly that fancy he curst when he found,
How damnable deep she had run him on ground,
For just in the hurry and heat of the job,
He ransackt Placket, she rifled his Fob.

With Watch, Gold and jewels she slipt out of door
Poor Voyager ne'r wqas so jilted beore,
His Cargo was lost, and his main-mast was torn
His Tacklings she spoil'd, and his Rudder did burn
Hence learn you young gallants that venture to sea
The danger of such Pickaroons for to see,
For vessels rich guilded with proud Silken Sails,
Oft fireships do prove & bear death in their tails.

Play: B117, 118, 119

Go to Index

Loves Victory Obtained:

A pleasant sportful joyful meeting
between a young man and his sweeting,
At first they met, and then they kist,
and afterwards did what they list:
'Twas all within a Garden green,
where pretty sport was to be seen,
Then listen to my Song a while,
i'm sure here's that will make you smile.

To the tune of, True blew; Or, Ha Ha Ha.

Walking in a pleasant Garden,
in the prime time of the Spring
There I heard a proper maiden
to her sweetheart sweetly sing:
He fell closely to his wooing,
and by no means would be said nay;
She seemed loath to yield unto him,
and to him these words did say;
With a ha ha ha you will undoe me,
O so wild and rude you are,
Yet kind heart I needs must love thee,
because thou cam'st with me so far.

Fair maid, quoth he, let me be doing,
for with thee I mean to try,
Thow shalt have a world of pleasure,
of rare sport as well as I;
I will hug thee, I will kiss thee,
I will love thee till I dye;
But as he made suit unto her,
she to him made this reply;
With a ha &c.

Her shoes were made of Spanish Leather
her stockings were of finest silk;
Fitting to the Summers weather,
and her skin was white as milk:
Her face was of a fair complexion
her eyes like glistering Stars did shine,
Cupid moved the Lads affection,
with his Lover to combine:
She cry'd out, &c

Prethee sweet-heart do not dally,
nor delay no time with me,
Stand not foolish shilly, shally,
but be courteous and agree:
If I may obtain thy favour,
for to take the fruits of love,
I will do my best endeavour,
and will kind unto thee prove.
Still she cry'd, &c.

Why then quoth he farwel forever,
if thou wilt not yield unto me,
Since I have done my endeavour,
now I take my leave of thee.
Never more will I come near thee,
but thy company will refrain,
Because I see thou dost but jeer me,
i'le not trouble thee again.
With a ha ha ha you will undo me,
O so wild and rude you are,
Yet I cannot chuse but, &c.

When she hear he would be jogging
and so leave her there alone
Stay awhile said she sweet Robin
be not thou so quickly gone.
Thou shalt have what thou desirest
and perform thy chiefiest skill.
Now sweet-heart thou art welcom to me,
act thy part and do not spare,
For I know no harm thou'lt do me,
then what need have I to fear.

Then he pul'd out his golden Rapier,
being in a merry vein,
She began to snort and caper
and bid him to the sport again:
He set his foot against a wall,
and she her back against a tree,
He look't East, and she look't West
to see what company was neigh,
Sweet-heart, &c.

Jupiter began to thunder,
Venus blusht the same to see,
Juno she did greatly wonder
that such pretty sport should be.
But when their joyful Jig was ended,
and their merry task was done;
She his skill so much commended
wishing it were fresh begun,
Saying sweet-heart thou'rt welcome to me
please my fancy do not spare me, &c.

Then upon her back he blew'd her,
down upon a bank of flowers;
When that he had overthrow'd her
then she cry'd the game is ours;
More than twenty times he kissed her,
yet the maid she felt no pain.
Sometimes he hit, sometimes he mist
yet she bid him come again,
Saying sweet-heart thou'rt welcome to me
please thy fancy do not spare me, &c.

All you fair Maids that hears my Sonnet
I would have you think on this,
And consider well upon it
that you do nothing amiss:
Kissing, playing, talking courting,
these are thing young-men will do,
Maidens may with them be sporting
yet be fair and honest too.
She said no more sir you'l undo me,
O so wild and rude you are:
Yet she said sweet-heart I love thee
because you come with me so farr.

Printed for F. Coles, in Vine street, on Safforn-hill near Hatton-garden

Above from original broadside in Dyson-Perrins Collection, Ohio State Univ. Duplicate copy in Pepys Collection, III p. 32.

Play: tune unknown

Go to Index

Love in a Trance. Song

Beneath a dark and lonely shade,
In a remote, and silent Grove,
(A secret place by Nature made
For novices to practice Love:)
Young Corydon brought Cloris here
To walk with him, and take the Air:
Chorus: The God of Love stood by, and saw,
And smiling laught out Ha-Ha-Ha.

But as they walk't the Shepherd said
Shall I request one thing of you,
Tell me (dear Cloris! charming Maid)
Ah! tell me if you love me now;
If you say no, then know that I
Your faithful Corydon will dye.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Quick blushes on her Cheeks did rise,
Tumultous joys heav'd up her Breast,
Her flaming Soul flash't thro her Eyes,
And she in smiles her love confest;
Says she so may you still prove true,
As I love you, and only you.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

The Youth thus rap't in hopes of bliss,
Did gently squeeze her hand, and then
He gave the willing Maid a Kiss,
Which kindly she restor'd agen;
Then hand in hand they walk't along,
And sung with mutual stife the Song.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

O my dear Cloris, far more fair
Then Virgin Lillies newly blown,
More sweet then flowry Meadows are,
And softer then young Swans first Down;
More bright, more smooth then any Glass,
Thou do'st all Woman-kind surpass.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Strong as yon' Mountain thou art found,
As high, and lofty is thy head,
And like the Wood, with which 'tis crown'd,
Thy Hair do's round about it spread:
Yet soft, and gentle is thy Mind,
And thou surpassest all Mankind.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

My Cloris is the joy of Swains,
Her Sexes Enug, and its pride,
The prize, and contest of the the Plains,
And wonder of the Towns beside:
Was fair O Enone here again,
And lov'd me now, she'd love in vain.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Young Corydon is sleek and gay,
Yet makes the sturdiest Shepherd quake,
Corydon's Lord of ev'ry May,
And wins the Garland ev'ry Wake;
Nor would I leave my charming boy
For Shepherd Paris, and his Troy.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

I, my fair Cloris, have for you
A pretty Lamb-kin in my Fold,
Ripe Apples, Plums, and Chestnuts, too,
And Grapes, with Purple-streakt, and Gold,
With Curds, and New-milk from the Cow;
And I have kept it all for you.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

I have a Pipe that's neatly made,
Which out of six more was my choice,
On which sweet lays Menaleas play'd,
But not so sweet as is your voice;
This, and a Crook, the Swain gave me
But I've preserv'd them both for thee.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Scarce this the Shepherdess had said
But the Swain clasp't her round the Wast;
Kisses sweet interruptions made,
Whilst they in eager arms embrac't,
And their Lips to each others fixt
Ten Thousand, Thousand Kisses mixt.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Then down they sate upon the Grass,
Where Boughs did meet so thick above,
The Sun's Rays could not thro them pass,
Nor with one gleam molest their love;
And here they toy'd, whilst Cloris made
A Chaplet for her Lovers head.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Thus, like the two first Lovers they,
(Yet free from guilt or an offence)
On od'rous Banks of Flowers lay
In their first state of Innocence,
Nut Love the subtile Serpent play'd,
And both their Innocence betray'd.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Their Lips still joyn'd, like billing Doves,
With ardent breathings of desire,
They secretly enflam'd their love,
And set each others heart on fire.
Their passion's such, that you would swear
Like Doves too they'd engenger there.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Shepherd (says she) what would you do?
Ah! what a cruel kindness this is,
O Cory - Corydon I vow
You'll stifle me anon with kisses;
O fy let go, O fy (says she)
By Pan I think you'll murther me.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Cease or I'll scratch, and tear your hair,
You've bit my Lip you naughty Swain,
One balmy Kiss (says he) my Dear
Will heal't, and make it well again;
With that he prest her Lips once more,
And cur'd the wound he made before.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Cupid at this well pleas'd, crept nigher,
And whisp'ring in his Eer, he said,
'With equal flames I'll both inspire,
'Be valiant and attack the Maid,
And as they talk't of future joy,
He grew more bold, and she less coy.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

But struggling long the Nymph by chance,
Or else by mighty love o'repow'r'd,
Upon the place fell in a Trance,
Where greedy he his Prey devour'd;
And now his wanton hand does rove
Thro hidden Labyrinths of Love.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

At last, he Lov's soft Alter seiz'd
The Mine where endless Treasures grow,
Where Rage is tam'd, and Anger pleas'd,
Whence Tides of living Pleasures flow;
And whilst by Love entranc'd she lies
The youth performs the Sacrifice.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

When Sense return'd again (says she)
In what a Heav'n of bliss I've been,
What raptures did attend on me!
What Visionary joys I've seen!
Heav'n cannot with those joys compare,
For methoughts Corydon was there.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

They had not ceased from Duty long,
But they with fiercer flames did burn;
Their rising passion grew more strong,
And violent Fits of Love return;
And as their heaving Breasts they swell,
Into a Trance again she fell.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

Thus rap't in joys, and Extasy,
Thrice did they raise each others Charms,
Thrice did they languish, thrice did dy,
Circled in one anothers Arms:
And thrice more was the Nymph inclin'd
Had he been stout as he was kind.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

But as back to their Flocks they went,
A Purple Blush her Cheeks did die,
Yet both were pleas'd, she innocent,
For tho she blusht, she knew not why,
Then at Love's Shrine they vow'd to pay
Such joyful Offrings ev'ry day.
Cho. The God of Love, &c.

[From Miscellany Poems and Translations by Oxford Hands, 1685. Unfortunately, I have not found the tune.]

Play: tune unknown

Go to Index

The Ladies Fort Beseiged:

Full forty times over I have strived to win,
Full forty times over repuls'd have been,
But 'tis forty to one I shall tempt her again,
For he's a dull lover
That so will give over,
Since thus runs the sport, since thus runs the sport:
Assualt her but often, you'll carry the fort,
Since thus runs the sport:
Assault her but often, you'll carry the fort.

There's a breach ready made which still open hath been,
With thousands of thoughts to betray it within.
If you once but approach you are sure to get in.
Then stand not off coldly
But venture on boldly
With weapon in hand, with weapon in hand.
If you charge her but home she's not able to stand.
With weapon in hand
If you charge her but home she's not able to stand.

Some lady-birds when down before them you sit
Do strive to maintain it with fireballs of wit,
But alas! they're but crackers and seldom do hit.
You'll vanquish them after,
In 'larums of laughter.
Their forces being broke, their forces being broke,
And the fire quite spent, you may enter in smoke.
Their forces being broke
And the fire quite spent, you may enter in smoke.

With pride and with state some outworks they'll make,
And with volleys of frowns drive the enemy back.
If you mine them discreetly they're easy to take.
Then to it, ne'er fear her,
But boldly come near her
By working about, by working about.
If you once but approach she can ne'er hold it out.
By working about,
If you once but approach she can ne'er hold it out.

Some ladies with blushes and modesty fight,
And with their own fears the rude foe do affright,
But they're easily surprised if you come in the night.
For this you must drivve at,
To parley in private,
And then they're o'erthrown, and then they're o'erthrown.
If you promise them fairly, they'll soon be your own,
And then they're o'erthrown.
If you promise them fairly, they'll soon be your own.

Go to Index

Country Kate conquers the lusty Soldier of Flanders

in The Young Damsels Courage and Conquest

Pepys V, 172. [The tune is known as 'March Boys' or, 'The Northumberland Bagpipes.']

A Souldier from Flanders he Travell'd of late,
and here in the City of London did lye,
And happen'd to meet with bonny brisk Kate,
a Lass with a delicated rouling Eye:
She chucks the Souldier under the Chin,
she being youthful brisk and airy,
And said if thou wilt my favour win,
then come Boy come Boy, let's be merry:
Come Boy, Come, Boy, beat upon my Drum Boy,
fain wou'd I see how thou can'st Tabor,
Do what ye can, honest John, like a Man,
and I'll reward you for your labour.

I never cou'd Tabor a Drum, I declare,
tho' long I have Marched in Flanders in Spain,
A Musket I still on my Shoulders did bear,
when ever I follow'd the Warlike-Train:
The Damsel immediately thus reply'd,
if thou art a Soldier draw out thy Rapier,
Thy Courage and Valour with me shall be try'd,
Draw then draw I'll make you caper:
Draw Boy, draw Boy, 'teent against the Law Boy,
for if I do but once come near you:
'Tis my delight, for to fight, though by night,
come on, brave Souldier, I'll not fear you.

He drew out his Rapier and to her did run;
as soon as she saw it young Kate got a fall,
But yet there alas was no prejudice done,
she still for a closer encounter did call:
Just when he thought he had gotten the day,
her courage & strength did still grow stronger,
So that she still show'd him delicate play,
till he, till he could strive no longer:
Longer, longer, not a Minute longer,
thus was he conquer'd by a Beauty,
She got the day, as they say, in the fray,
and vow'd that she'd make him know his Duty.

She turn'd to the Souldier and gave him a smile,
and said was you e're so beaten before,
I am not like those that will parly a while,
but conquer without any Cannons that roar:
At this the Soldier was straight in a rage,
resolving his Forces again to rally,
That he with young beautiful Kate might engage,
in vain, in vain, it was to dally,
Dally, dally, never would he dally,
nor would he yield on no condition;
She held him too't, he did shoot, the dispute,
held while he'd spent his Ammunition.

Now his Bandileers being empty at last,
so that he no longer could stand the Field,
He would have been running but she held him fast
for that he was forc'd to submit and yield:
Though often he fought in the Field of Mars,
where Cannons had roard like claps of thunder,
at length by a Beautiful Country Lass,
he was subdu'd and soon brought under:
Under, under yet it was now wonder,
being no more than what is common:
Those that have fought, many Enemies stout,
at length have been conquer'd by a Woman.

Play: B303

The last verse of "The Courtships" in the 1825, Dublin, edition of The Merry Muses, features a sailor a wooing the beautiful lady of London town.

The last to appear was a jolly Jack Tar,
Who, with Admiral Duncan, was enrich'd by the War,
He thought with himself was none on a par [with earlier courters]
And thus he said:
Why, you must know, my little hearty, that I've been on
The lookout after you for sometimes past - smite my crooked
Timbers if I han't, and am strongly inclined to capsize you
And take you in tow: for demme now, by the cut of your
Jib and Breastwork, if you an't one of the tightest rigg'd
Little frigates ever sailed; but to make no more palaver
About the matter, I am a tight young fellow, fit to overhaul
All your tacklings, who can hand, reef or put the two ends of
A rope together with any man alive, and demme
My dear, if you can be better moor'd; suppose now for
Instance, you were gunnel-deep in a good feather bed, and I
Alongside of you, mark you that; I would immediately give
Signal for chase, throw my grappling irons aboard
Lash my main-yard to your larboard quarter; and if
I could not find your gang-way, then dem poor Jack.
And his fal de ral,

[I can't guess the tune to the latter song.]

Go to Index

The Hunt:

[Tune is Bass's Carrier]

Some in the Town go betimes to the Down,
To purse the fearful hare;
Some in the Dark love to hunt in a Park,
For to chace all the Deer that are there:
Some love to see the Faulcon to flee,
With a joyful rise against the Air;
But all my delight is a Coney in the Night,
When she turns up her silver Hair.

When she is beset with a Bow, Gun, or Net,
And finding no shelter for to cover her;
She falls down flat, or in a Tuft does squat,
'Till she lets the Hunter get over her:
With her breast she does butt, and she bubs up her Scut,
When the Bullets fly close by her Ear;
She strives not to escape, but she mumps like an Ape,
And she turns, &c.

The Ferret he goes in, through flaggs thick and thin,
Whilst Mettle persueth his Chace;
The Cunny she shows play, and in the best of her way,
Like a Cat she does not spit in his Face;
Tho' she lies in the Dust, she fears not his Nest,
With her full bound up Sir, carrier;
With the strength that she shows, she gapes at the Nose,
And she turns up, &c.

The sport is so good, that in Town, or in Wood,
In a hedge, or a Ditch you may do it;
In Kitchen or in Hall, in a Barn or a Stall,
Or wherever you please you may go to it:
So pleasding it is that you can hardly miss,
Of so rich Game in all our Shire;
For they love so to play, that by Night or by Day,
They will turn up their silver Hair.

From Pills to Purge Melancholy.

Play: B025 in Simpson's BBBM and Pills

Go to Index

A new way of Hunting, Or, the hunting of the Boar:

Being a compendious Dialogue between two Lovers
To the Tune of, Draw the Curtaines. [unknown]
Faire Fidelia tempt no more,
By no meanes I thy person well adore,
And offer to thy shrine,
The Gods do me injoyne,
To spend my time in hunting the Bore;
Harke, I hear the Huntsman hallow,
To invite,
Lo this fight,
Warlike Mars and bright Apollo,
The bugle horn do blow,
The foresters all a row,
Are ready prest,
And bravely drest,
Along with them to go.

[Three more dreary verses about going to hunt the Boar or savage Bear, a hunt which Fidelia doesn't want, even though he tried to bribe her with a ring and kiss. Her answer is also in four verses, of which we delete the first.]

In the forest there are more,
That seek thy fall besides the ugly Boar,
There's the stinging Viper,
There's the poysining Spider,
There are Nilus Crocodils great score.
There are Dragons whose strong breath,
In an hour,
Will devoure,
And betray thee unto death:
Rather them do so,
I pray thee do not go:
Stay here and try,
A victory,
With me thy friendly foe.

In the stead of Forest strong,
I'le find a fitter Cops[e] for thee to range,
Here stands a pleasant Bed,
soft pillows for thy head,
Where thou and I will sweet encounters [ex]change;
Now hunt and do not spare,
Venus game
Is the same
Will rebound unto thy slave:
Try me as thou will,
Prove thy chiefest skill,
Do thou thy best
I'le do the rest
Anmd so be for thee still.

Take thy Ring and Kisse again,
For every one thou giv'st i'le give thee ten,
Use thou no deniall:
Put me to the triall,
Beauteous Maides doth love courageous men.
Gentle Cupid bend thy bow,
Shoot a dart
At his heart,
That the Hunters all may know,
That he is mine by night,
My joy and hearts delight
Tis better still
With me to kill,
Then with the Boar to fight.

Broadside in Manchester coll'n. The broadside writer started with a popular song about a Cavalier bidding adieu to his love in BL MS Harl. 3511, and NLS MS Adv. 19.3.4. [Now available in the Rawlinson collection on the Bodley Ballads website froma laterr isue. I've run across a quite different version on the internet, The Cavalier's Farewell To His Mistress . ]

Play: tune unknown

Go to Index

John Robinsons Park, Or, A merry fit of Wooing.

Within a Park a young Man met a Maid,
With courting and sporting the Damsel with him staid,
In pastime and pleasure she uttered her mind,
Saying, pray thee Sweet honey be loving and kind.

As I went through John Robinsons Park,
I heard a Bird singing, what pleased my heart,
It pleased my heart, and contented my mind,
Saying, pray thee sweet honey be loving and kind

Be Loving and kind, Love and take my advice,
And be no more cheated at Cards or at Dice;
For the Cards and Dice, Love, will do thee much harm:
Then stay at home, honey, to keep thy Love warm.

Sweet honey make much of thine own Fallow Deer;
šo hunt them and chase them thou needst not fear;
Take pleasure at home, to content thy mind,
And I pray thee sweet honey be loving and kind.

To take my advice, it will do thee good,
To increase thy health, and nourish thy blood,
It will be to thy pleasure, and content thy mind:
Then pray thee sweet honey be loving and kind

Within thy own Park, Love, thou hast a poor Doe,
To hunt at thy pleasure, full well thou dost know,
Then take thou thy fill, to content thy mind,
And I pray thee sweet honey to be loving and kind.

Uncouple your Dogs and sound up thy horn,
And lay them on closely from even to morn:
For better thou may hunt here thy Doe for to chase,
While I in my arms Love, thy body imbrace.

Call Herepin and Terepin, and bonny Blew Bell,
Call Terrlyng and Malk to sound up the Knell,
Call Prickears and Primrose, the game for to mind,
And I pray thee sweet honey be loving and kind.

Call Drummer and Plummer, and Ginger decline:
Call Baller and Waller, the Games at the prime:
And see the Bougle horn soundly you blow,
So merrily ran the hounds all on a row.

Heres Nector and Hector, and Sampson so strong,
And Lilly white Larkin laid the Doe all along,
Yet had not great hurt, which pleased my mind,
And I pray thee sweet honey be loving and kind.

The game being ended, the truth for to tell,
He took up his Dogs, which ran passing well;
The pleasure and pastime well pleased my mind,
Saying pray thee sweet honey be loving and kind.

Well now my sweet honey, thy counsel I'le take,
The Cards and Dice, Love, I mean to forsake:
And stay at home honey, to content thy mind,
And I vow evermore to be loving and kind.

For many a time, abroad I did go
To see my Hounds run after a wild Doe:
Though now I confesse, it hath done me much harm,
Now I'le stay at home honey, to keep my Love warm.

At Cards and at Dice I have many a day
Delighted myself to sport and to play:
And when the night came, I have chaste the wild Doe,
But now I intend, Love, to do no more so.

Come all you brave huntsmen that love fallow Deer,
Unto this my story, I pray lend an ear:
If hunting the Doe come to you by kind,
The sound of the Horn will run still in your mind.

Your Dogs and your Horn, I, and your Crosse-bow
Is all your delight where ever you go:
And the Quarter staffe must not stay behind:
Saying, pray thee sweet honey be loving and kind.

Concluding if any desire to know,
What is the meaning of this fallow Doe.
Or, why this theam do run in my mind
To say, pray thee sweet Hony be loving and kind.

As late in the evening, I chanced to walk,
I heard a young couple most lovingly talk,
But what they did else, it must stay behind,
Saying, pray thee sweet honey be loving and kind.

Their sporting being ended, away they did go,
This gallant brave Keeper, and his fallow Doe.
For sporting and courting he pleased her mind
Saying, pray thee sweet honey be loving and kind.

[c 1675-1680. No imprint on either copy. That above is the Scottish copy (Pepys additional sheet) which has fewer misprints than the English copy (Euing Collection #144). It has no woodcuts, while the English print does. Neither copy names a tune for the song, but it is in a Scots manuscript of c1675-1680, the Guthrie MS. Since both song and tune were known in Scotland the song may be Scots. The above is the earliest instance of honey as a term of endearment that I've seen.]

Play: tune in Guthrie MS not translated from viola da breccio tablature.

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[The Keeper]

The Huntsmans Delight,
Or, The Foresters Pleasure.

Tune of, Amongst the leaves so green a. By J. M.

Come all you young Maidens & lend an ear
Come listen awhile and you shall hear,
How the Keepers did sport with the fallow deer
Amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down derry derry down,
Hey down down, ho down down,
Het down ho down derry derry down
Amongst the leaves so green a.

The Keepers they would a hunting go,
All under their coats each carried his bow
And all for to shoot the bonny bonny doe
Amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down derry derry down,
Hey down down, ho down derry derry down
Amongst the leaves so green a.

They spied five Does upon a hill,
And to shoot at them was their good will
But none of them they meant for to kill
Amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down &c.

At the first Doe they shot and they mist
The second Doe they clipt and they kist
and they laid them down where no man wist
Amongst the leaves so green a.

The one cried out unto the other
I am serv'd as my father serv'd my mother
All the fear of their taking this joy did smother
Amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down, &c

The third Doe she made great moan
Because that she was big with fawn
Which made her to go weeping home
From amongst the Leaves so green a.
Hey down, &c.

The fourth Doe could no longer stay,
But she must be gone her way
For fear the Keepers should her lay
Amongst the Leaves so green a.
Hey down,&c.

But soon after she did repent
And to turn again she was fully bent
To lie down and take her hearts content
amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down, &c.

The fift Doe leapt over the stile
But the Keeper he caught her by the heel
And there he did both kiss and feel
Amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down, &c.

He pricked her straight with his dart
But she cryed out she felt no smart
And therin lay the Keepers art.
amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down, &c.

These fair Does they leapt and they skipt
Till leaping along at length they were tript
No sooner they fell but the Keepers them clipt
amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down, &c.

These bold Huntsmen were all agreed
And by consent these fair Does did bleed
But after that came often to feed
Amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down, &c.

Great crowds came running over the Plain
Expecting to see these fair Does slain
But like fools as they came, they return'd again.
From amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down, &c.

If it be true as old wives say
Take a Doe in the Month of May
And a Foresters courage she soon will allay
amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down, &c.

These Huntsmen were so gently inclined
They let them rise their courage to fine
But away they tript so swift as the wind
from amongst the leaves so green a.
Hey down derry derry down
Hey down down ho down down
Hey down ho down derry derry down
Amongst the Leaves so green a.

Printed for W. Thackeray and T. Passinger. [1686-1688]

Traditional as "The Keeper". Original tune may be the traditional one. See next:

All Among the Leaves So Green, O. [from O'Keeffe/ Arnold's Castle of Andalusia, 1782]

In a forest, here, hard by
A bold robber late was I;
with my blunder buss in hand,
When I bid a trav'ler stand,
Aounds! deliver up your cash,
Or your noodle I shall slash,
All amongst the leaves so green, O
Damme, Sir,
If you stir,
Sluice your veins,
Blow your brains,
Hey down, ho down,
Derry, derry, down,
All amongst the leaves so green, O.

Soon I'll wuit the roving trade
When a gentleman I'm made
Then, so spruce and debonaire,
Gad! I'll court a lady fair.
How I'll prattle, tattle, that,
How I'll kiss her, and all that,
All amongst the leaves so green, O
How d'ye do?
How are you?
Why so coy?
Let us toy;
Hey down, ho down,
Derry, derry down,
All amongst the leaves so green, O

But, ere old and grey my pate,
I'll scrape up a snug estate;
With my nimbleness of thumbs
I'll soon butter all my crumbs;
When I'm justice of the peace,
Then I'll master many a lease,
All amongst the leaves so green, O
Wig profound,
Belly round,
Sit at ease,
Snatch the fees,
Hey down, ho down,
Derry, derry, down,
All amongst the leaves so green, O

Roger Fiske, English Theater Music in the 18th Century, 2nd. edit., p. 454, identified the tune as that of "The Keeper" collected by Cecil Sharp, and noted that Samuel Arnold (the music arranger and composer for Castle--) called the tune "All among the leaves so green, O". The tune of 1782 is probably the original.

Play: S1, LVSGREN1, Cecil Sharp's tune for Keeper
S1, LVSGREN2, S. Arnold's All among th leaves so green, O

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Martin Parker's "The Wooing Maid" in Roxburghe Ballads III, p. 52-6, has often been pointed out as the source of the traditional song that usually commences "I have a sister Sally, she's younger than I am". Parker's ballad was entered in the Stationers' Register on June 18, 1636.


The Wooing Maid;

        A faire maid neglected,
        Forlorne and rejected,
        That would be respected:
        Which to have effected,
        This generall summon
        She sendeth in common;
        Come tinker, come broomman:
        She will refuse no man.

To the tune of If 'be the dad on't.

I am a faire maid, if my glasse doe not flatter,
Yet, by the effects, I can find no such matter;
Fore every one else can have suters great plenty;
Most marry at fourteene, but I an past twenty.
Come gentle, come simple, come foolish come witty,
Oh! if you lack a maid, take me for pity

I see by experience- which makes me to wonder-
That many have sweethearts at fifteene, and under,
And if they passe sixteen, they think their time wasted;
O what shall become of me? I am out-casted:
Come gentle, come simple, come foolish come witty,
Oh! if you lack a maid, take me for pity

I use all the motives my sex will permit me.
To put men in mind, that they may not forget me:
Nay, sometimes I set my commission o' th' tenters,
Yet let me doe what I will, never a man venters.
Come gentle, &c.

When I goe to weddings, or such merry meetings,
I see other maids how they toy with their sweetings,
But I sit alone, like an abject forsaken;
Woe's me! for a husband what course shall be taken?
Come gentle, &c.

When others to dancing are courteously chosen,
I am the last taken among the halfe dozen,
An yet among twenty not one can excell me;
What shall I doe in this case? some good man tell me.
Come gentle, &c..

'Tis said that one wedding produceth another-
This I have heard told by my father and mother-
Before one shall scape me, Ile goe without bidding;
O that I could find out some fortunate wedding!
Come gentle, &c.

Sure I am unfortunate, of all my kindred,
Else could not my happinesse be so long hindred:
My mother at eighteen had two sons and a daughter,
And I'm one and twenty, not worth looking after.
Come gentle, &c.

My sister, that's nothing so handsome as I am,
Had sixe or seven suters, and she had to deny them;
Yet she before sixteene was luckily marry'd:
O Fates! why are things so unequally carry'd?
Come gentle, &c.

My kinswoman Sisly, in all parts mis-shapen,
Yet she had a husband by fortune did happen
Before she was nineteene years old, at the furthest;
Among all my lineage am I the unworthiest?
Come gentle, &c.

There are almost forty, both poorer and yonger,
Within few yeares marry'd, yet I must stay longer.
Within foure miles compasse - O is't not a wonder?
Scant none above twenty, some sixteene, some under.
Come gentle, &c.

I hold my selfe equal with most in the parish
For feature, for parts, and what chiefly doth cherish
The fire of affection, which is store of money;
And yet there is no man will set love upon me.
Come gentle, &c.

Who ever he be that will ease my affliction,
And cast upon me an auspicious affection,
Shall find me tractable still to content him,
That he of his bargaine shall never repent him.
Come gentle, &c.

Ile neither be given to scold nor be jealous,
He nere shall want money to drink with good fellows:
While he spends abroad, I at home will be saving,
Now judge, am I not a lasse worth the having.
Come gentle, &c.

Let none be offended, nor say I'm uncivill,
For I needs must have one, be he good or evill;
Nay, rather than faile, Ile have a tinker or broomman,
A pedler, an inkman, a matman or some man.
Come gentle, come simple, come foolish come witty,
Oh let me not die a maid, take me for pity

                 FINIS         M. P.

Printed at London for Thomas Lambert, at the signe of the Hors-shoo in Smithfield.

There is, however, an intermediate version, a slight reworking of Parker's ballad, of the late 17th century:

The Maids Call to the Batchelors.

To an Excellent new Tune. Licens'd according to Order. [1690-96]

I heard an old proverb by my father and mother,
That going to one wedding, begats another,
Than rather than stay I'll go without bidding,
To let the world see how I love a wedding,
Come gentle, some simple come foolish, come witty,
Oh, let me not dye a maid, take me for pity.

I have a sister Cisly she's younger than I am,
She had six or seven sweet-hearts and forc'd to deny 'em,
Before she was sixteen, she'd a son and a daughter,
And I three and twenty and n'er had an offer,
Come gentle, some simple come foolish, come witty,
Oh, let me not dye a maid, take me for pity.

I will be no scold, nor I will not be jealous,
He shall have money to spend in an Ale-house;
Whele he's abroad spending, Ill be at home saving,
Oh tell me, if I am not worth a man's having,
Come gentle, &c.
Oh, let me, &c.

There's Roger and Nell next week to be married,
Yet I for a husband have many years tarry'd;
I'll go to the wedding, sing dance and be merry,
And trip it about with Tom, Roger and Harry,
Come gentle, &c.
Oh, let me, &c.

If any that day should ask me to be wedded,
I'd venture almost without church to be bedded,
For men are so fickle, one day they will have ye,
And the next day they are already to leave ye,
Come gentle, &c.
Oh, let me, &c.

I think my poor case is the hardest of any,
For there are some lasses, are courted by many,
Last night I heard Betty, cry Sir, I defie ye,
I wish't the young man wou'd leave her & try me,
Come gentle, &c.
Oh, let me, &c.

Oh, why of all maidens should I be forsaken,
Yet if I dye a maid I am mistaken?
'Tis hard if I meet not a young man so civil,
To take off the burden of a maidenhead-evil,
Come gentle, &c.
Oh, let me, &c.

The young Man's Answer to the Maidens Call to the Batchelors.
to the same Tune.

Sweet heart I do find you no longer will tarry,
But fain with a young man wou'd hastily marry;
I'm not of your mind for I will not be wedded,
But if you'll consent yous shall be quickly bedded,
I'll hug thee, I'll kiss thee, and on the bed tumble,
And you shall not dye a maid, therefore don't grumble.

Another young man to this maiden reply'd,
Sweetheart I confess you shall n'er be deny'd:
'Tis pity that you should a virgin depart,
Before you have tasted of Cupid's love dart,
I'll hug thee, &c.
And you, &c.

Next day came another, and made a kind offer,
His hand and his heart and somthing else did proffer,
But marriage, quothe he, I will never consent to,
In any thing else, I would freely content you,
I'll hug thee, I'll kiss thee, and on the bed tumble,
And you shall not dye a maid, therefore don't grumble.

Printed for J. Deacon, at the Angel, in Guilt-spur-street.

By about 1825 the song seems to have taken its final form:

The old Maid's last Prayer.

[From The Dandy's Companion, c 1825. In Lib. of Congress. See also "The Love Sick Maid" on the Bodley Ballads website.]

Come all ye pretty Maidens, some older some, some younger,
Who all have sweetheart's, but I must stay longer;
Some sixteen, some eighteen, are happily married,
Alas! how unequally such things are carried,
A limner, a penman, a tinker, a tailor,
A sadler, a pedlar, a ploughman, a sailor,
Come gentle, come simple, come foolish, come witty,
Come don't let me die an old maid, take me out of pitty.

I have a sister Sally, who's younger than I am,
Has so many sweethearts she's forc'd to deny them:
I never was guilty of denying many,
The Lord knows my heart, I'd be thankful for any.
A limner, &c.

I have a sister Susan, though ugly and ill shapen,
Before she was sixteen years old, she was taken,
Before she was eighteen, a son and a daughter,
And I'm six and thirty, and ne'er had an offer.
A limner, &c.

It has often been said, by my father and mother,
That going to one wedding, makes room for another:
It that be the case, I will go without bidding,
And let the world judge if I don't want a wedding.
A limner, &c.

I never would scold, and I'll never be jealous;
My husband shall have money to go to the ale-house;
While he is there spending, I'll be at home saving,
And leave it to you, if I a'nt worth having.
A limner, &c.

The songbook text above is almost identical to the fuller traditional versions. The text above was copied into the Stevens- Douglas manuscript of western New York, and from that published in Harold Thompson and Edith Cutting's A Pioneer Songster, p. 73, 1958. I don't know how much of the song is given, but there's some of it and a tune under the title "The Old Maid Petition" in Spicer MS, 1797, indexed in NTI.

Some traditional versions are: 'Don't let me die an old maid,' Frank Purslow, Marrow Bones, p. 27, 1965, from the Hammond manuscripts, collected in 1906 (also without music in Reeves' The Everlasting Circle, p. 264, 1960). 'Sister Susan' in Helen Flanders and George Brown's, Vermont Folk-Songs and Ballads, p. 102, 1959, 1968. "The Old Maid's Lament' in Norman Cazden's, The Abelard Folk Song Book, II, p. 96-97, 1958.

An Irish reworking of the second quarter of the nineteenth century is on a broadside issued by Haly of Cork and extends the tale to have the impatient maid finally marrying a chimney sweeper. [Additional broadside issues are on the Bodley Ballads website-"Chimney-sweeper's Wedding"]. Traditional versions of this latter are "Come all you true lovers" in Edith Fowke's Traditional Songs and Singers from Ontario, #26, 1965, with additional references, and it is also in Huntington and Herrmann's Sam Henry's Songs of the People, p. 256. For Scots versions of the song see "Auld Maid in a Garret", #40, in Nigel Gatherer's Songs and Ballads of Dundee, 1986. See also the 'Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection', VII, #1370-1389 (1998) for a version of this and similar songs,

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The Pollitick Begger-Man.

[Source of "The Jolly Beggar"? Child #279]

Who got the love of a pretty maid,
And on her Cittern sweetly plaid:
At last she flung her Milkpail over the wall,
And bid the De'l take Milk-pail,
Maiden-head & all.

Tune is, There was a Jovial Begger.

There was a jovial Begger-man,
a begging he was bound,
And he did seek his living
in Country and in Town:
With a long staff and a patcht coat,
he pranc'd along the pad,
And by report of many a one,
he was a proper lad:
His cheeks were like the crimson rose,
his forehead smooth and high,
And he was the bravest Begger-man,
that ever I saw with eye.

He came unto a Farmers gate,
and for an Alms did crave,
The Maid did like the Begger-man,
and good relief she gave:
She took him by the Lilly hand,
and set him to the fire,
Which was as well, as tongue could tell,
or heart of man desire.
His cheeks were like, &c.

A curious mess of firmaty,
for him she did provide,
With a lovely cup of nut-brown Ale,
and Sugar-sops beside:
When he thus found the Maidens love,
and got so good a prize,
It made his instrument to move,
and spirits for to rise.
His cheeks were like, &c.

Sweet-heart give me some lodging,
that I all night may stay,
Or else give me my answer,
that I may go that way:
The Maid went to the Hay-mow,
and fetcht a bottle of hay,
And laid it behind the Parlor-door,
on which the Begger-man lay:
His cheeks were like the crimson Rose,
his forehead smooth and high,
And he was the bravest Begger-man,
that ever I saw with eye.

Resolve me said the Maiden,
if that you will or can,
For I do verily believe,
thou art a Gentleman:
In truth then said the Begger,
my Parents they are poor,
And I do seek my living,
each day from door to door:
His cheeks were like the crimson Rose,
his forehead smooth and high,
And he was the bravest Begger-man,
that ever I saw with eye.

'Tis pitty said this Maiden fair,
that such a lively Lad,
Should be a Beggers only heir,
a Fortune poor and bad,
I wish that my condition
were of the same degree,
Then hand in hand i'de quickly wend,
throughout the world with thee:
His cheeks were like, &c.

When he perceiv'd the Maidens mind,
and that her heart was his,
He did embrace her in his arms,
and sweetly did her kiss,
And with one free and joynt consent,
he prickt her master-vein,
And liking well this lesson new,
he struck it up again:
His cheeks were like, &c.

In lovely sport and merriment,
the night away they spent,
In Venus game for their delight,
and both their hearts content:
The Begger-man was mettle proof,
in shooting he did not miss,
And every time he toucht the mark,
she sweetly did him kiss:
His cheeks were like, &c.

Betimes in the morning then,
as soon as it was day,
He left the Damosel fast asleep,
and nimbly budg'd away:
When he from her an hour was gone,
the Damosel she did wake,
And seeing the Begger-man not there,
her heart began to ake, &c.

Then did she sigh and wring her hands,
the tears did trickling pour,
For loosing her Virginity,
and virgins maiden flower:
When twenty weeks were come & gone,
her heart was something sad,
Because she found her self with Ba[i]rn,
and does not know the Dad:
His cheeks were like, &c.

There is I see no remedy,
for what is past and gone,
And many a one that laughs at me,
may do as I have done:
Then did she take her Milk-pail,
and flung it over the well,
O the Devil may go with my Milk-pail,
my Maiden head and all:
His cheeks were like, &c.

You Maidens fair, where e're you are,
keep up your store and goods,
For when that some have got their wills,
they'l leave you in the suds,
Let no man tempt you nor entice,
be not too fond and coy,
But soon agree to loyalty,
your freedom to enjoy:
His cheeks were like the crimson Rose,
his forehead smooth and high,
And he was the bravest Begger-man,
that ever I saw with eye.

Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright, and J. Clarke. [1674-9]

There is a well-known Scots song, "The Jolly Beggar," that is quite similar to that above in Herd's Scots Songs, 1769 and 1776, and, with music, in The Scots Musical Museum, #266. F. J. Child included it as #279 in The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, V, p. 109. As far as is known, it first appeared in print in Yair's The Charmer, 1751, and its tune, c 1758, as "The Beggars Meal Pokes. Compos'd by King James the 6th" in James Oswald's The Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 9, p. 16. Sometime after the original appearance of the song, a more substantial chorus was added, and the song was said to be by King James the V. John Glen, however, in Early Scottish Melodies, p. 147, 1900, noted the tune had a very modern stamp, and rejected the whole tradition. He did the same regarding another similar Scots song, "The Gaberlunzie Man," p. 124, also given by Child in his appendix, V, pp. 115-16. It seems fairly obvious that "The Jolly Beggar" is derived from the English broadside ballad "The Pollitick Beggar-Man," 1674-79, which Child gave, nearly completely expurgated, following the Scots texts of "The Jolly Beggar," V, pp. 113-4. Child misidentified the tune for the song. The correct tune is here given for the first time, along with a complete copy of the broadside ballad.

The tune direction for "The Pollitick Begger=man," which was entered in the Stationers' Register on March 12, 1656, is 'There was a Jovial Beggar,' but cannot refer to that known as "A-begging we will go" and as "There was a Jovial Beggar," since "The Pollitick Beggarman" is many years earlier than the well known ballad "The Beggar's Chorus in the Jovial Crew," c 1684, from which these latter tune titles derive, and the two ballads are in a different meter, and could not be sung to the same tune.

The tune here, "There was a Jovial Beggar-Man," is from the ballad opera Sylvia, Air #6, 1731. This tune was misidentified by Wm. Barclay Squire in his listing of ballad opera tunes in he Musical Antiquary, II, p. 1, Oct. 1910. He included it among those, "There was a jovial beggar," the tune for "The Beggar's Chorus in the Jovial Crew," but it is actually a quite different tune. The tune was also overlooked by C. M. Simpson in BBBM, 1966, but Simpson obviously realized that "The Pollitick Beggerman" could not be sung to the tune for "The Beggar's Chorus in the Jovial Crew," which he gives as "A-begging we will go", pp 40-42, as our ballad here is not in his listing of ballads sung to the latter tune.

There is a traditional English version of this song, "The Ragged Beggar man," from the Rev. Baring-Gould's manuscripts, but unfortunately printed without its tune, in James Reeves' The Everlasting Circle, p. 215-6, 1960. The Rev. S. Baring Gould and Rev. Fleetwood Sheppard had given a somewhat rewritten copy of it in A Garland of Country Song, 1895, identifying the Scots "Jolly Beggar" as the original version.

"The Jolly Beggar" follows.

Play: B552, There was a jovial Beggerman, Silvia, 1731

[From reprint of Herd's 'Scots Songs', 1776]

The Jolly Beggar

There was a jolly beggar, and a begging he was bound,
And he took up his quarters into a land'art town
    And ewe'll go no more a roving
        ae late into the night,
    And we'll gang nae mair a roving, boys,
        Let the moon shine ne'er sae bright.
    And we'll gang nae mair a roving.

He wad neither ly in barn, nor yet wad he in byre,
But in ahint the ha' door, and there the beggar lay.
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

The beggar's bed was made at e'en wi' good clean straw and hay
And in ahint the ha' door, and there the beggar lay.
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

Up raise the goodman's dochter, and for to bar the door,
An there she saw the beggar standin i' the floor.
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

He took the lassie in his arms, and to bed he ran,
O hooly, hooly wi' me, Sir, ye'll waken our goodman.
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

The beggar was a cunnin' loon, and ne'er a word he spake,
Until he got his turn done, syne he began to crack.
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

Is there ony dogs into this town? Maiden, tell me true.
And what wad ye do wi' them, my hinny and my dow?
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

They'll rive a' my mealpocks, and do me meikle wrang.
O dool for the doing o't! are ye the poor man?
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

Then she took up the mealpocks and flang them o'er the aw',
The d---l gae wi' the mealpocks, my maidenhead and a'.
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

I took ye for some gentleman, at least the Laird of Brodie;
O dool for the doing o't! are ye the poor bodie?
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

He took the lassie in his arms, and gae her kisses three,
And four-and-twenty hunder mark the pay the nurice fee.
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

He took a horn from out his side, and blew baith loud and shrill,
And four-and-twenty belted knights came skipping o'er the hill.
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

And he took out his little knife, loot a' his duddies fa',
And he was the brawest gentleman that was amang them a'.
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

The beggar was a cliver loon, and he lap shoulder height,
O ay for sicken quarters as I gat yesternight.
    And we'll gang nae mair, &c.

A sequel to this ballad I've seen only in 'The Grieg-Duncan Folk Song Collection', VII, #1401, "The Juggler" (Gaberlunzie from ghibarlain). In the sequel, the young woman decides to go with him, but four-and-twenty jugglers (ghiberlain = beggar/ gaberlunzie) lead her back to the house. But by the time she gets back to the stable there's just a piece of pea-straw tied to the wa',

. Play S2: JOLBEGR- The Beggar's Meal Pokes, compos'd by King James the 6th.

Go to Index

[The little yellow winged Bat]

The Woody Querristers.

When Birds could speak, and Women they
Had neither good nor bad to say;
The pritty Birds then fill'd with pain,
Did to each other thus complain:

To the Tune of, The Bird-catchers Delight.

Oh says the Cuckoo, loud and stout,
I flye the Country round about:
While other Birds my young ones feed,
And I myself do stand in need.

Then says the Sparrow on her nest,
I lov'd a Lass but it was in jest:
And ever since that self same thing,
I made a vow I ne'r would sing.

In comes the Robin, and thus he said,
I lov'd once a well-favour'd Maid:
Her beauty kindled such a spark,
That on my breast I bear the mark.

Then said the Lark upon the Grass,
I lov'd once a well-favour'd Lass:
But she would not hear her true love sing,
Though he had a voice would please a King.

Then said the Blackbird as she fled,
I loved one but she is dead;
And ever since my love I do lack,
This is the cause I mourn in Black.

The said the bonny Nightingale,
Thus I must end my mournful tale,
While others sing, I sit and mourn,
Leaning my breast against a thorn.

Ah! says the Water-wag-tail then,
I ne'r shall be my self agen:
I loved one, but could not prevail,
And this is the cause I wag my tail.

Then said the pritty-colour'd Jay,
My dearest love is fled away,
And in remembrance of my dear,
A feather of every sort I wear.

Then said the Leather-winged Batt,
Mind my tale, and i'le tell you what,
Is the cause I do fly by night,
Because I lost my heart delight.

Then said the Green-Bird as she flew,
I loved one that prov'd untrue:
And since she can no more be seen,
Like a love-sick Maid I turn to green.

Then did begin the Chattering Swallow,
My love she is fled, but I would not follow,
And now upon the Chimney high,
I sing forth my poor malady.

Ah! says the Owl, my love is gone,
That I so much did dote upon:
I know not how my love to follow,
But after her I [w]hoop and hollow. [hallo

Then says the Lapwing as she flies,
I search the Meads and the Skies:
But cannot find my Love again,
So about I flie in deadly pain.

Then said the Thrush, I squeak and sing,
Which doth to me no comfort bring,
For oftentimes I at midnight,
Record my love and hearts delight.

The Canary-bird she then comes in,
To tell her tale she doth begin;
I am of my dear love bereft,
So I have my own Country left.

The Chafinch then begins to speak,
For love, quoth she, my heart will break;
I grieve so for my only dear,
I sing but two months in the year.

Then, quoth the Magpye, I was crost,
In love, and now my dear is lost;
And wanting of my hjearts delight,
I mourn for him in black and white.

Oh says the Rook, and eke the Crow,
The reason why in black we go,
It is because wa are forsook,
Come pity us poor Crow and Rook.

The Bullfinch he was in a rage,
Amnd nothing could his wrath assuage
So in the Woods he would not dwell,
But spends his time in lonesome Cell.

Thus you have heard the Birds complaint,
Taking delight in their restraint
Let this to all a pattern be
For to delight in Constancy.

This expands the earlier "The Birds Harmony, Pepys, IV, 268, published by Mary Coles, Vere, Wright, Clarke, Thackeray and Passinger (1681-2). This latter was sung to "The Delights of the Bottle" and has six line stanzas.

Later is another version, "The Birds Lamentation", Printed by P. Brooksby, Pye-corner (1685-96), Pepys IV, p. 269.

Go to Index

[The last piece is not the only ballad featuring talking birds. An earlier one is in the 'Book of Fortune'collection in BL. This "The Birds Noats on May Day Last" by Charles Hammond, 1655. The tune is: "Down in a Meadow" from Lawrence Price's "The Country Peoples Felicity", traditionally know as "The Haymakers" or "The Merry Haymakers". Here are the three verses given by Ebsworth, along with my (verse numbered) scanty notes on the ballad.]

In the merry month of May, when prety Birds do sing,
With chirping and with sugared noats to welcome in the Spring,
It was my chance to walk abroad into the fields so gay
Where many a prety Lad and Lass was then gathering May.

John met with Besse betimes, before the break of day,
And hand in hand to Lambeth fields they nimbly took their way:
The grass being somewhat slippery then this couple down they fell
But what they said before they rose, O the prety Lark can tell!

3: William and Sarah living, Newington..Blackbird was there
4: Richard met with Rachel- got green gown- Raven knows.
5: Robert met with Nan next.., Jack-daw seen.
6: Samuel & Susan were merry
7: at High gate
8: Butcher and master daughter.. Hackay town, swallow spied.
9: Mistress & Journeyman, tript up Mistress's heels, Cuckoo told.
10: young lord & pretty Lady
11: If any of these parties...
12: [Last]
You Country Lads and Lasses, you think fore to go free!
You have more twatling birds, I'm sure, than near the City be:
You gather May as well as we, and Time you have also
To tumble on the grass so gren, and this the Birds do know.

London, Printed for Richard Burton, at the Horseshoe in Smithfield, 1655.

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Foggy, Foggy Dew.

The Fright'ned Yorkshire Damosel, Or, Fear Dispears'd by Pleasure.

To the tune of, I met with a Country Lass, &c.

When first I began to court,
and pretty young maids to wooe
I could not win the virgin fort,
but by the Bogulmaroo.

I kiss'd her in the summer time,
and in the cold winter too;
At last I took her in the prime,
but by the Bogulmaroo.

My love she was going one Night
to bed as she us'd to do,
When on the stairs whe saw a Spright
it was the Bogulmaroo.

She came to my chamber-door,
and could not tell what to do;
But straight began to weep full sore,
for fear of the Bogulmaroo.

At last she came boldly in,
tho' still her poor heart did rue
For looking back the Spright did grin
O cruel Bogulmaroo.

She started and run in haste,
and close to my bed-side drew;
Her eyes she durst not backward cast,
for fear of Bogulmaroo.

But into my bed she crept,
and did her sorrows renew,
She wrung her hands, and sadly wept,
for fear of Bogulmaroo.

I turn'd about to the maid,
as lovers are wont to do;
And bid her be no more afraid
of th' ugly Bogulmaroo.

I kiss'd and embrac'd her then,
our pleasures they were not few;
We lay abed next day till ten,
for fear of Bogulmaroo.

My love she was all dismay'd,
to think of what she had done,
Arise, said I, be not afraid,
the Bogulmaroo is gone.

I marry'd her the next day,
and did her pleasures renew;
Each night we spend in charming play,
for all the Bogulmaroo.

I ne'r said a word of the thing,
nor never intend to do;
But ev'ry time she smiles on me,
I think of Bogulmaroo.

Printed and Sold by J. Millet, ... 1689.

Bogulmaroo = Buggle/Bugle Bow, or now, Buggabo, was a big black devil that played tricks on travelers at night. This superstition goes back at least to the early 17th century. A chapbook published in 1660 was The Meickle Black Diel, or the Boggle Bo.

"Bugle Bow" was the name of a tune, 1595, and is given in Simpson's BBBM.

Play: Original tune not certainly known, but may be "Ay, marry, and thank you too", B017-8

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The Nightingales Song;
Or The Souldiers rare Musick, and Maides Recreation

The Song adviseth Maidens have a care,
And of a Souldiers knap-sack to beware,

To the Tune of, No, No, No, not I, Or, Peggy and the Souldier.

As I went forth one Sun-shining Day,
A dainty young Couple were gathering May;
The one a fair Damosel of beauty most clear,
The other a Souldier, as it doth appear. [traditional version - a brave volunteer]

With kisses and compliments, to her he said
Good morrow sweet honey thou well favour'd Maid,
I think my self happy, I met with you here
As you are a Virgin, and I a Souldier.

And now if you pleased be, I will you bring,
Wheras you shall hear the sweet nightingale sing:
With other rare pastimes, my skill shall be try'd
If you will walk with me, to the merry green-wood side.

Sweet Sir (said the Damosel) If you will do so,
Then hand in hand with you, along I will go,
It is recreation for maids in the Spring,
To see Flowers grow, and hear the Nightingale sing.

And having thus spoken, together they went,
Unto the merry green-wood, where some time they spent,
In walking and talking, of many an odd thing,
But yet could not hear the Nightingale sing.

A danty clear river, was running them by,
A Bank of sweet Violets, and Primroses nigh:
Then said the young Gallant, sit down by this spring,
We'l here take our pleasure till the Nightingale sing.

The Maid seem'd unwilling, and said she'd be gone,
And yet she was loath for to leave him alone,
At last she resolved her self to the thing,
To stay till they heard, the sweet Nightingale sing.

Amongst the sweet flowers they Straightway sat down,
The young-man in kindness, gave her a green Gown,
He also presented to her a Gold Ring,
'Cause she should stay there, till the Nightongale sing.

And having thus done, he took her about the middle,
And forth of his Knap-sack, he pull'd a fare Fiddle,
And plaid her a fit, made the Vallies to ring,
Oh now (quoth she) I hear the Nightingale sing.

Then now said the Souldier 'tis time to give ore,
Nay prithee (quoth she) play me one Lesson more:
I like both the setting, and tuning the string,
Far better than hearing the Nightingale sing.'

He struck up his musick, unto a high strain,
And plaid the tune over again and again:
Gramercy brave Souldier (quoth she) that did bring
Me hither to hear the rare Nightingale sing.

Their sport being ended, then homeward they went,
Each one thought the time to be very well spent:
It was quoth the Damosel, a very rare thing,
Whilst thou play'd thy part, to hear the Nightingale sing.

At last with a deep sigh, these words spake she,
I pray thee good Souldier wilt thou marry me:
Else my hasty pleasure, sweet Sorrows will bring,
And I may repent I heard the Nightingale sing.

Oh no, quoth the Souldier, I may not do so,
Along with my Captain, to morrow I must go,
But if I come this way, again the next Spring,
We'll walk once more to hear the sweet Nightingale sing.

You Maides of the City, and Country that be,
Addicted to pleasure, take warning by me,
Let no flattering Young-man tempt ye to this thing,
To go to the wood to hear the Nightingale sing.

Make bargain before hand, for fear you miscarry,
Know whether or no they are minded to marry:
If I had been wise, and I had done such a thing,
I need not repent I heard the Nightingale sing.

Traditional as "Nightingales Song" and several other titles.

Go to Index

Play: B367

This late issue is only the only one extant, but tunes are of c 1625 and 1635, respectively. Circumstantial evidence links this to Richard Climsell, and the ballad was probably that entered in the Stationers' Register entered in Nov. 1639 under the slightly different title, "The Souldier and his knapsack." It is the full original of a well known traditional song, the western American version being called "The Wild Rippling Waters." "Peggy and the Souldier," the song of the second tune, was also known in the American west as "The Lame Soldier." The tune itself is in the Scottish Skene Manuscript, where the title, I note, was written down in a later hand.

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The Wanton Widows pleasant Mistake,
Or, A Wooden Image turn'd to Flesh and Blood.

To the Tune of: Let Caesar live Long.

A Buxom rich Widdow had late laid in Grave
Her Husband Old Simon, her true Drudge and slave
But O the sad loss of beloved dear Mate.
She lacks her dear Bed=fellow, O her hard fate,
With many a groan then, she sigh'd and she cry'd,
She wants her Old Simon to ly by her side.

To a Carver she goes then, resolv'd for to get her,
A Husband of Wood made, instead of better:
The Carver an Image does presently make,
Most life like, Old Simon, and for his dear sake,
E'ry night in her bed, whatsoever betide,
This Wooden Old Simon shall lye by her side.

With a Shirt on his Back, and a Cap on his head,
And warm'd very well, lay'd a-nights in her Bed;
She kisses and bills him, her Arms round him throws,
And hugs him, but all to small purpose, she knows:
Yet for dear Husbands sake, whatsoever betide,
This Wooden Old Simon shall lye by her side.

This jolly young Widdow had Suitors come to her,
Who proffer'd with all the best words they cou'd wooe her,
To chuse a new Husband to take off her Cares;
A Husband! ah no, she's all deaf to their Prayers:
In vain all Courted, the place was supply'd,
For her Wooden Old Simon still lays by her side.

At length a brisk Spark, whose Estate run adrift,
And wanted Rich Widdow to give him a lift,
By wheedling and bribing the Widdows kind Maid,
A subtle sly Plot strait between them was laid,
One night in her Bed this brisk Gallant to hide,
'Stead of Old Simon to lye by her side.

Like Old Simon drest, though not made of hard Wood,
But a softer young Simon of sweet Flesh and Blood,
Hid close 'twixt the Sheets where he lies snug and still,
Till the widow (who harmless poor thing dreamt no ill).
As brisk as a Girl, and as gay as a Bride,
Trips nimbly to Bed, and lyes close by his side.

With a Keach and a Yawn and a soft sigh or two,
As a poor single Widdow might very well do,
No sooner she felt herself all thorough warm,
But stretching at last a kind Leg and an Arm;
With a plump heaving Breast, and a warm Cheek beside,
She turn'd to her Simon that lay by her side.

As she gave the kind Hug, likewise all on a sudden;
She thought she touched something that did not feel Wooden,
For something she felt which was all soft and warm,
Nay, at last something stir'd too, but thinking no harm,
She hug'd him still closer, resolv'd to be tried,
What had alter'd the wooden old Sim by her side.

But oh, to unriddle her Wonder! her Arms
Lockt fast in Embraces, all Rapture and Charms,
Till melting, and dying, all twinning and pressing,
She felt something sweet, so beyond all expressing,
That never, O never, all Ravisht she cry'd,
So dear a kind Simon e're lay by my side.

The Maid in the morning, but not till near Noon,
For fear of disturbing her Mistress too soon,
Came and knockt at the door, for to know of her Lady,
What for Dinner she'd order to have her get ready;
What Bak'd, Boil'd, or Roast, she'd have her provide,
'Gainst she rose from the Simon that lay by her side.

Roast the Pig and the Goose, the brisk Widow reply'd,
Boyl a stout Leg of Mutton, with Turneys beside;
Get a dish of plump Partridge, with a good smother'd Coney,
The Best can be purchas'd for love or for money:
With a Dish of sweet Custards and Cheesecakes beside,
for me and my Dearest that lyes by my side.

Ay, Madam, your will shall be done, says the Maid,
But only sweet Mistress, I'm sorely afraid,
We have not at home got Wood enough here,
To make a quick fire to dress this good Cheer;
How, Hussy, cry Widdow, want fire for your turn!
Burn Old Simon, ye jade, take Old Simon and Burn.

Old Simon was Burnt then, and all his good Cheer,
Was welcome too small for her Bed-fellow dear;
A senseless Old Simon, that Wooden dull Fool;
With a sweeter soft armful much better supply'd,
She has warm Flesh and Bones now to lye by her side.

Play: B278

This is an English tale, probably inspired by the 'The Widow of Ephesus' story. In prose form it is the last tale, #106, 'Of the Burning of old John,' in the first English jest book, A. C. Mery Tayles, 1526. It was rewritten as a song in both the 17th and 19th centuries. That here is from a broadside ballad of about 1690 in the Pepys Ballads, III, p. 306. The tune is C. M. Simpson's BBBM.

A version in The Universal Songster, II, p. 68, 1826, is entitled:

The Death of Gluttonous Swallow-All, At My Lord Mayor's Feast: Or, Tom Brown and the Alderman's Widow.

[With a title like that one doesn't expect much, and indeed one doesn't get much, and Tom Brown himself would have written a much better version. See Tom Brown's Delight (The Card Song). The last verse is sufficient to show the great inferiority of this version to that preceeding]

When the widow to bed came, she held up her light,
That her eyes on her dear husband's image might dwell on;
And some folks there are, say she died of a fright,
While others a pretty tale tell on.
That Betty net morning was plagued with damp wood,
And the fire to light did incline small,
And the widow bawled out, in a right merry mood,
"Oh! curse the wood, Betty, let's burn old Swallowall."
Oh! Swallowall!
Let widow take warning by your loving deary,
And widowhood never endure,
A life 'tis so lonely and dreary.

Go to Index

[The Card Song]

Tom Brown's Delight;
OR The Good fellows Frolick

Tune of To thee Tom Brown

It was my chance to be
amongst a jovial Crew,
Who merrily did agree,
to make the ground look blue
To thee Tom Brown to thee my jovial Lad,
There's Gallants come to Town,
and money to be had.

Come let this health go round
there's none we will accept
For since that we are born,
'tis fit that we be kept.
To thee Tom Brown, &

We will not troubled be,
with things of high concern,
But we will all agree,
this lesson for to learn;
To thee &

Since times a pack of Cards
to pass the time away;
And he that gets the best
so merrily he will play.
To thee Tom Brown.

The King he wins the Queen,
the Queen she wins the Knave,
And since we are good fellows
'tis Money we must have;
To thee Tom Brown

The Ten it wins the Nine
the Nine it wins the Eight,
It is in jovial mirth,
good fellows do delight.
To thee šom Brown &

The Seaven wins the Six,
the Six it wins the Five,
Then let us merry be,
if ever we mean to thrive.
To thee Tom Brown &

The Four it wins the Tray,
the Tray it wins the Duce,
Then let the cup go round,
well fil'd with Barley juice.
To thee Tom Brown

A cup of Nut-brown ale,
with Nut-meggs a toast,
We scorn for to look pale
no more then doth my Host.
To thee Tom Brown.

What need we value Wealth,
since that we have no scant,
Good ale preserves our health,
no doctors do we want.
To thee Tom Brown &

If that out hostess chide,
we'l tell her in her ear,
There is but few beside
such Guests as we be here
To thee Tom Brown &c

We are the true bred boys,
that lives upon our means
We care not for such toys
as painted whores and queans.
To thee Tom Brown &

The merry Bag-pipe we,
have sometimes for delight,
And dance so merrily
from Morning [un]to Night.
To thee Tom Brown &

If that our whores do come,
then homeward we retire
And there take thought for more
to spend when we desire.
To thee Tom Brown &c

Thus we are counted still,
Good fellows of the Town,
And all is for good will,
we bear to thee Tom Brown
To thee Tom Brown &c.

Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright, and J. Clarke. [1674- 1679]

The song here is from a broadside ballad, by imprint and deduction, 1679, in the Wood Collection, E. 25. Oxford has another copy in the collection Rawlinson 4to 566. Unfortunately no contemporary tune is known to have survived. A traditional version was given by Frank Kidson in Traditional Tunes, 1891. Peter Kennedy, Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, #283, gives a version he collected in 1974 in Hexham, Northumberland, entitled "Tam Boon". He also lists the following versions: Greig-Duncan MSS; Rymour Club Misc., I, p. 214, 1911; FMJ, 1969 [p. 333], "The two beats the one", from Oxfordshire; MacColl and Seeger, The Singing Island, [#88], from A. L. Lloyd; Moffat and Kidson, 1927.

The earliest copy I've seen, after the broadside, is a six verse version, "Hearty Tom Brown" in Olivers' New Selection of Comic Songs, p. 16, Edinburgh, 1806. My recollection is that Ford gave a copy in Vagabond Songs and Ballads.

On Tom Brown:
Tom Brown's songs on D'Urfey; Bagford Ballads, p. 88, and p. 808: First from Works of T- B-. 2nd ed.,iii, 1709. Works -- 1707. Wardroper's Jest upon Jest gives a joke (among several) about Tom Brown, #160, which he is is termed a fellow, and says Brown was Christ Church man who died in 1704. Chambers Biographical Dictionary says he was born in 1663, so he was at most 17 when the broadside above was printed! Brown left Oxford, and after teaching at Kingston-on-Thames, moved to London, making a living by writing satirical poems, scurrilous pamphlets, and songs.

At Oxford Brown wrote:

I do not love thee Dr. Fell
And why it is I cannot tell,
But this I know and know full well,
I do not love thee Dr. Fell.

for which see Iona and Peter Opie's Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes.

Play: original tune unknown

Go to Index

Card Games: A couple earlier pieces about card games:

A Maid's Denial

Nay pish, nay phew, in faith and will you? Fie!
A gent and use me thus? In truth,I'll cry.
God's body, what means this? Nay, fie for shame!
Nay, nay come come, indeed you are to blame.
Hark hark, somebody comes. Hands off I pray!
I'll pinch, I'll scratch, I'll spurn, I'll run away.
In faith yous strive in vain, you shall not speed.
You mar my ruff, you hurt my back, I'll bleed.
Look how the door stands open, somebody sees.
What will they say? Leave off, you hurt my knees.
Your buttons scratch. O what a coil is here!
You make me sewat. In faith, here's goodly gear!
Nay, fiath, let me entreat you if you list.
You mar my bed, my smock. But had I wist
So much before, I would have kept you out.
It is a pretty thing you go about.

I did not think you would have done me this,
But now I see I took my mark amiss.
A little thing would make us not be friends.
You've used me well, I'll hope you'll make amends.
Hold still, I'll wipe your face, you sweat amain.
You've got a goodly thing with all this pain.
O God, how hot I am! What will you drink?
If you go sweating down, what will they think?
Remember, sir, how you have used me, now.
I doubt not bet ere long I'll meet with you.
If any man but you had used me so
Would I have put it up? In faith, sir, no.
Nay, go not yet: stay supper here with me.
Come, let's to cards. I hope we shall agree.

The opening here is slightly varied from the "Nay pish, nay fie" that so often opens songs on an attempted seduction. J. Wardroper, Love and Drollery, #318, 1969, printed the above, noting nine MS copies and a (later) printed one in Sportive Wit. It is in many other MSS also. It is given here as an introduction to what might almost be considered a sequel.

[MS song, c 1605-10]

On holy eaven when winter nightes wax longe
& Boreas blastes could Sumers wanton heate
& Robbin redbreast lefte his lively songe
& cryed peepe, peepe for coulde & wante of meate
at some pastime to passe some time away
my love & I made choise att cardes to play

Shee choose ye Ruffe but I ye mawe desired
but shee at maw & I at ruffe seemed loathe
in wordes we iarde, but soone in deeds conspired [jarred]
& so agreed for sport to play at bothe
for sporte we played & sporte we had enough
sweete was ye sporte at maw & sweeter at ruffe

At ruffe I showed such cunninge as I coulde
& crost her ruffe five times & wise toulde at least
I wonne ye Sett, so shee was pleasde I shoulde
for all this while our play was but in ieste [jest]
but when to maw we playde it paste my skill
to houlde her playe she playde wt such good will

I delte ye game & delte it in her lappe
a spade was trumpe I rubde it up her belike
three lustie helpes weare dealte me at a dappe
Two ases & a varlet wt a pike [aces, jack]
her helpe was good to witt good fine finger
my firste poore helpe my last a lustie stinger

This lustie game made warme my lustie bloode
shee layd the boorde, & first a trick to save
shee played the queen o that was passing good
I came alofte & cruste her wt a Knave
att Mawe ye knave may ever swaye ye crowne
so I swayd over her & kept her doune

But when we waded further in our game
On theres ye greefe we might not caryt out
my mistress mother in displeasure came
& some false dealing straight begins to doubt
but soone a paire of cardes were clapt on boorde
shee thought we playde fair playe, & tooke our worde

Tune unknown, try Fortune my foe, FORTFOE

Some songs to "Aim not too high" (Fortune my foe) are in six line verses, but no special version of the tune for six line verses is known, so repeat second strain, or first?

Go to Index

[Broadside, Manchester collection, II, #35. Entered in the Stationer's Register on Sept. 6, 1639. Probably expansion of song that appears as first part.]

The Courteous Shepherdess:

Who though her Love so often denies,
The Northern Lad, at last, obtains the Prize.
To the tune of, Laddy, lye near me.

Blyth Lad, I prethee go! Thou wilt deceive me;
If long though flatter so I shall beleeve thee.
Flye away! flye away! come no more to me: [repeat, all verses
If here you longer stay, faith, you will undo me.

Nay, fie, you lye too neere, I'le not indure it:
All the art you have, here cannot undo it.

Be gon, or as I live, I'le call your mother:
Here's the last kisse I'le give nay fie! you smother.
In troth, you strive in vain, 'tis but folly;
'T will but procure disdaine and melancholy.

Hark, hark! I hear a voyce: now cease to woo me.
Sure't is my Father's voyce he's coming to me.

Was ever Mayd perplext thus with a Lover?
I sweare you'l make me vest: prethee give over.

I know I am too kinde, and words may sway me;
I finde a yeelding mind that will betray me.

Pray keepe your vowes and oaths! I cannot heare you;
If thus you spoyle my cloathes, I'le not come neere you.

The Second Part. To the Same Tune.

Now let us sit, and heare the feather'd Singers.
Faith, if you come so neere, I'le prick your fingers.
Indeed, I'le kiss no more, why do you so pull me?
You had as good give o're, you shall not gull me.

What would the world suppose, when my owne blushes
Declares my Virgin Rose pluck'd from the bushes?
Then, prethee let's depart! I finde the building
So weake, that holds my heart, I shall be yeelding.

The Virgins all will cry, "Oh, fie upon her!
Could she not once deny, to save her honour?"
And yet, I do believe, were they but by him,
To heare him plead and grieve, they'd not deny him.

I do not bid you fly, with will to hurt you:
But if you stay so nigh, I fear my vertue.
I know I am so weake, should you stay longer,
You have an art to seeke, would make you larger.

The let us part, a while to quench the fire
Each wanton kiss or smile enflameth the ardore
Aye me! that all I say cannot content you:
Take love and life away, and then repent you.
Never flie! never flie, now you have won me;
And I will never cry 'faith! you have undone me.'

London, Printed for F. Grove, dwelling on Snow-hill.

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Seductions were not always by the male, first a bit of popular mythology, newer, then older.

Play, B269

Venus and Adonis

As I rose over yonder forest green
With my hey down derry, with my hey down derry:
There I saw Venus, that most lovely queen,
With my hey down derry, with my hey down derry:
It was fair Venus whom there I did espy
As she lay asleep, sleep, sleep
As she lay sleeping all alone.

I asked her, fair Venus, for one kiss
With my hey down derry, with my hey down derry:
How could she deny me of such a happy bliss?
With my hey down derry, with my hey down derry:
Then young Adonis he hung down his head
When she answered him, "No! no! no!"
When she answered him, "No! I can't love you!"

Then as brisk as the day away from me did flee
With my hey down derry, with my hey down derry:
"O, stay, Venus, stay, I will tell unto thee,
With my hey down derry, with my hey down derry:
"O, stay, Venus, stay, I will tell unto thee,
I would tell unto thee, thee, thee,
I would tell unto thee the fond tales of love

"Now, young Adonis, you've fairly won my heart,
With my hey down derry, with my hey down derry:
and I from you, love never more sill part,
With my hey down derry, with my hey down derry:
And I from you, love never more will part,
Nor ever will I change, change, change,
Nor ever will I change old love for a new.

Play: S1, VNSADNS2

This is from Lucy Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland's English County Songs, (copyright) 1893. The singer had learned the song about 1830. The editors say that a line is wanting in the third verse and possibly in the fourth. Actually more is wrong than that, the mythology is error. If we go back a little over two centuries we find a better text:

[Untitled, Venus and Adonis]

Venus (that faire lovely queene)
hey doune, doune, doune-A, A,
Was sporting in a forest greene
hey doune, doune, done, doune-A,
Where young Adonis she did see,
As he lay slepinge, slepinge, slepinge by a tree.

Swifte as thought to him she hies,
Fast she pursewes, but still he flies.
"O stay, stay, stay, sweet boie, "quothe shee,
And come sitt downe, doune, doune, sitt downe by me."

Still she wooes him for a kisse.
"Sweet, skant not that which plentie is:
To speake," quothe she, "let pittie moove the."
But he said, "no, no, no, I can not love the!"

"Stay," quothe shee, ?my onelie Joye"
Then in hir armes she caught the boie.
In hir faire twines she held him fast,
Which mayde him yeeld, yeeld, yeld to love at last.

Her roobes, as fresh as fresh could be,
This goddis was tuckt abouve the knee;
her selfe into his armes she flunge,
But he cries, fye, fye, fye, I am to younge."

"Was ever ladie thus disgrast?
Arte thou A god and be shame faste?"
Then, Blushinge, down his heade he flunge,
And still cries, "fye, fye, fye, I am to younge."

Though he was younge, yet (stubburne harte)
from her he flunge and so departe;
hir redd Rose cheekes, fayre ladie then,
with sorrowe lookes, lookes, lookes, both palle and wan.

"Well for thy sake, sweet boie," quothe she,
"Loves god is blynde, and so shall be."
Then sigh she did with manie a groone,
And stil satt wepinge, wepinge, wepinge, all A lone.

From an article by H. E. Rollins, giving songs from the Shane MS, c 1624, PMLA 38, 144, 1923. The four part tune is in the MS and article, and I give here the treble (melody) part.

Play: B546

Go to Index

My Dog and I

Tune is, My Dog and I, Or, Bobbing Jone.

You that are of the merry throng,
Give good attention to my song,
Ile give you weighty reasons why,
'Tis made upon my Dog and I,
My Dog and I, my Dog and I,
'Tis made upon my Dog and I.

I of no dogged nature am,
But loving, gentle, kind and tame,
And have no bigger family,
But only two, my Dog and I,
My Dog, &c.

I liv'd at home, I liv'd at large,
A single life, and had no charge,
And if a Wench I chanc'd to spy,
Thither went my Dog and I,
My dog, &c.

I lov'd a maid her name was Nell,
A bonny Lass, I lov'd her well,
If you'd needs know the reason why,
Because she lov'd my Dog and I,
my Dog, &c.

My Dog and I have got a trick,
To cure maids when they are sick:
When the'r sick and like to die,
Then thither goes my Dog and I.
My Dog, &c.

But if the weather prove foul and wet,
My Dog he shall not wet his feet,
But if the weather prove fair and dry,
Then a whissing goes my Dog and I.
My Dog and I, my Dog and I,
Then whiffing goes my Dog and I.

If any Maiden troubled be,
With over-grown Virginity,
I quickly can two Pills apply,
Concealed by my Dog and I,
My Dog and I, my Dog and I,
Concealed by my Dog and I.

If the green-sickness have possest,
A dainty dapper Damsels brest,
I'le cure her on't immediately,
With nothing but my Dog and I,
My Dog, &c.

If Women are in a distress,
By reason of their Barrenness,
I can a proper Probe apply,
Best known unto my Dog and I,
My Dog, &c.

From fifteen unto fifty I,
Can give a woman remedy,
But if they up to the threescore flie,
Their's no game for my Dog and I,
My Dog, &c.

When Mars command we did go,
Unto the wars in forty two,
We'l never fear in field to die,
But out we'l go, my Dog and I,
My Dog, &c.

There was a time when Rebel rout,
did fear prince Rupert and his Dog
'Tis dangerous when two heads comply
Especially my Dog and I,
my Dog, &c.

We night and day do take no rest,
If we hear of any feast,
An where good fellows I espie,
There go in my Dog and I.
My Dog, &c.

My living lies in every Nook,
My Dog is Caterer and Cook,
For he at every Game can flie,
No fellow to my dog and I.
My dog, &c.

My dog to play the Pimp is taught,
I fear 'tis many a gallants fault,
Near Hatton wall such whores do lie,
Are fitter for my Dog than I,
My Dog, &c.

thus have we liv'd thus have we lov'd
and faithful to each other prov'd
Whilst many theives are hang'd on high
No Law can touch my Dog and I.
My Dog, &c.

If death do come as it may hap,
My grave shall be under the Tap,
With folded arms there we will lie,
Check by jowl my Dog and I,
My Dog and I, My Dog and I,
Check by Jowl my Dog and I.

(Printed by Coles, Vere, Wright, Clarke, Thacheray, and Passinger, 1670-80)

For traditional version see "George Ridler's Oven" in Bell's Early Ballads, and A. Williams Folksongs of the Upper Thames. Margaret Dean Smith's Guide to English Folk-Song Collections gives reference to a few other instances of text or tune.

Play: B031

Go to Index

Diddle, Diddle.
Or, The Kind Country Lovers

Tune of Lavender green, &c.

With Allowance, Ro. L'Sttrange.

Lavender's green, didle, didle
Lavenders blue
you must love me, diddle, diddle
cause I love you.
I heard one say, diddle, diddle
since I came hither
That you and I diddle, diddle
must lie together.

My hostesse maid, diddle, diddle
her name was Nell,
She was a Lass, diddle, diddle
that I loved well,
But if she dye Diddle, diddle,
by some mishap,
Then she shall lye, Diddle, diddle
under the Tap.

That she may drink Diddle, diddle,
when she is dry,
Because she lov'd Diddle, diddle
my Dog and I.
Call up your Maids Diddle, diddle
set them to work,
Some to make Hay, Diddle, diddle
some to the Rock.

Some to make Hay, diddle, diddle,
some to the Corn
Whilst you and I Diddle, diddle,
keep the bed warm.
Let the birds sing, Diddle, diddle
and the lambs play,
We shall be safe Diddle, diddle
out of harms way.

James at the George, Diddle, diddle
Sue at the Swan
He loves his maid Diddle, diddle
she loves her man.
But if they chance Diddle, diddle
for to be found,
Catch them i'th Corn Diddle, diddle
put them ith the pound.

I heard a bird Diddle, diddle
sing in my Ear
Maids will be scarce Diddle, diddle,
the next New year.
For young men are Diddle, diddle
so wanton grown
that they ne'r mind Diddle, diddle,
which is their own.

Down in a Dale Diddle, diddle
where flowers do grow,
And the Trees bud Diddle, diddle
all on a row.
A brisk young Man Diddle diddle
met with a Maid,
And laid her down, Diddle, diddle
under the shade.

Where they did play Diddle, diddle
& Kiss & Court,
Like Lambs in May Diddle, diddle
making fine sport.
There lives a Lass Diddle, diddle
over the Green,
She sells good Ale Diddle, diddle
think what I mean.

Oft have I been Diddle diddle
with her i'th the dark
And yet I nere Diddle, diddle
shot at the mark.
But now my Dear Diddle, diddle
have at thy bumm
For I do swear Diddle, diddle
now I am come.

I will be kind Diddle, diddle
until I dye,
When prethee love Diddle, diddle
my Dog & I.
For thee & I Diddle, diddle
now are all one,
And we will lye Diddle, diddle
no more alone.

London, Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright, and J. Clarke. [1674-1679]

Play: B273

Go to Index

The Maidens Sad Complaint for want of a Husband

Wherein she briefly doth declare
The want of a Mate makes her despair:
She hath her portion all in Houshold goods
Yet none of those that wear scarfs and Hoods
For she commends her self to any man
That will but please her all the best he can

To the new Westcountry Tune: Or,
Hogh when shall I be married? by L. W.

O when shall I be married,
hogh be married;
My beauty begins to decay:
'Tis time to find somebody
hogh some body
Before it is quite gone away

My father hath forty good shillings,
hogh good shillings;
And never a daughter but I:
My mother is also willing
hogh is willing
That I shall have all if she dye.

I have gotten some money about me
hogh about me
For to help me in time of need,
Five shillings pray do not flout me
hogh do not flout me
For I will be married with speed

My father did give me a dish,
hogh and a spoon,
And a Table made of an old board:
Some young man will for me wish
hogh will wish
When he hears how bravely I'me stord.

My mother she gave me a ladle
hogh a ladle
And that for the present lies by,
My aunt she hath promist a cradle
hogh a cradle
When any man with me does lye.

A pippin my Unkle he gave me
hogh he gave me
And milk=pourage in it to make;
And I let them burn so bravely,
hogh so bravely
To show that a slut I do hate.

I have got two spoons and a trencher,
hogh a trencher
with poringers made of clay;
Some squires son that is a wencher,
hogh a wencher
I wish he would fetch me away.

I have a soft bed to ly on
hogh to ly on
With feathers an ell long I say
But the most of all my sorrow
hogh my sorrow
Is for want of Batchellours play.

Fine pippins & noggins my cozen
hogh my cozen
Has gave me that are so good;
With taps and sossers a dozen
hogh a dozen
And a chamber pot made of wood.

Thus young men I have declared
hogh declared
My household stuff which do ly by;
These seven years I have despaired
hogh despaired
For fear I a maiden should dy.

If any youngman will have me
hogh will have me
And no other maiden esteem
I will maintain him bravely
hogh so bravely
And feast him with curd & cream.

For I'm a girl that's willing
hogh is willing
To change my maiden name;
So with me he will be billing
hogh be billing
I don't care from whence he came.

Then Thomas, Robbin or Willy,
hogh or Willy
Come any that is a man;
Let be Ralph, or Jarvis the silly
hogh wise or silly
Come love me as well as you can.

If any man will me marry,
hogh me marry
I'le love him wonderous well;
for if I longer should tarry
hogh should tarry
I fear I should lead Apes in Hell.

Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright and J. Clark. [1674-1679] L. W. is Lawrence White.

Other [shorter] versions: Scots Musical Museum, #453 = Encyclopedia of Comic Songs, p. 313, 1819. And, of course traditional versions. From the Scots Musical Museum text we see that the first verse given above is actually the chorus, and the song starts with the verse commencing "My father has forty good shillings".

Original tune not known. Here is that in SMM.

Play: B553

Go to Index

The Maulsters Daughter of Malborough:

A pleasant Discourse between her Mother and she,
The weary Burthen of a troublesome Maiden-head: Concluding
with the Mother's Consent to the Daughter's Satisfaction.

To the tune of, The Scotch Hay-makers

Mother let me marry, I long to be a bride,
And have a lusty young Mann to dally by my side,
For I think it is well known, that I am a Woman grown,
Therefore 'tiss pity one so pritty e'er should lye alone;
Do not deny me therefore I pray,
Consider I am young and may chance to go a stray;
My Maiden-head, I'll swear, does fill my Heart with Care.
The Burthen, Burthen, oh! the Burthen's more then I can bear.

Why art thou so eager to be a marry'd Wife,
The greatest joy and pleasure is in a single Life;
Daughter, now you live at ease, and can ramble where you please,
But if you Marry, you must tarry, Sorrows will you seize,
House-keeping's chargable, my dear Child
But Nanny she reply'd, Mother I am almost wild;
My Maiden-head, I'll swear, does fill my Heart with Care,
The Burthen, Burthen, oh! the Burthen's more then I can bear.

Am I not a beauty, and in my blooming Prime,
Then let me have a Husband, for since it is high time;
Let me have my Heart's delight, tho' I labour day and night,
It would be pleasure out of measure, Mother, if I might
Have all the Riches that e're I saw,
Without a loving Man I'd not value of a straw,
My Maiden-head I'll swear, does fill my Heart with Care,
The Burthen, Burthen, &c.

Daughter don't provoke me, but hold your idle Tongue,
And talk no more of Man, you are seven Years to young.
Mother, pray what do you mean? am I not above fifteen?
Let Gallants try me, don't deny me, thousands I have seen
Who has been Marry'd before my age
And if I longer stay, you'll put me in a rage
My Maiden-head, I'll swear, does fill my Heart with Care,
The Burthen, Burthen, &c.

Daughter I was nineteen before I e're did wed,
Yet was not over-burthen'd with my dear Maiden-head,
Loving Mother that may be, but it's otherwise with me
That's brisk and airy, therefore weary of Virginity,
Cupid has gave me a fatal Wound,
Therefore a Man I'll have if he be above the Ground,
My Maiden-head, &c.
The Burthen, Burthen, &c.

If you are so pomper'd I'll pull your courage down
By hard and painful labour, strip off your silken gown,
With your Toppings rich and gay, to the Field this very day
I'll send you packing, cloath'd in Sacking, then perhaps you may
Leave off your longing for a young Man.
No, no, I never shall, then reply'd her Daughter Nan,
My Maiden-head, &c.
The Burthen, Burthen, &c.

Mother, if you send me to labour in the Field,
Young Batchelors will tempt me, and I perhaps may yield
To the thing I will not name, therefore never lay the blame
Upon your Daughter, if hereafter I should play the Game;
For I am certain it will be so,
A Man I needs must have whether Mother will or no,
My Maiden-head, &c.
The Burthen, &c.

If you are resolved to play at Hooper's hide,
There's honest Frank the Farmer for you I will provide,
He is lusty, tall and trim, and has Courage to the brim.
I thank you, Mother, there's no other that I love like him;
Now for the Torment which I endure,
I make no other doubt but to have a speedy Cure,
My Maiden-head I'll swear does fill my Heart with care,
Now, not much longer, not much longer I'll that Burthen bear.

London, Printed for J. Blare, at the Looking-glass, on London- bridge. [1696] [The Pepys Ballads, III, p. 70, 1987]

The sequel, opening only:

The Young Farmer's Answer to his Sweetheart Nanny:

Who much complained of her undergoing the weary burthen of a troublesome Maiden-head.

To the Tune of, The Scotch Hay-Makers.

What's this, my dearest Nanny, that fain would be a Bride?
And Frank is pickt upon, to lye by Nanny's side.
In truth, my Love, with thee I do presently agree,
That thou art known, in years full-grown, a bed-fellow to be:
Wherefore then should thy Mother deny
That thou art old enough with a Bridegroom now to lye?
Come, Nanny, never fear, I'll rid thee of that care,
For the burden of thy maiden-head no longer thou shalt bear.

This is printed, with some expurgation, in Roxburghe Ballads VIII, p. 207, 1895.

Play: B412

Go to Index

Thomas You Cannot.

Thomas: untyed his points apace,
& kindly he beseeches
that she wold give him time & space
ffor to untye his breeches.
"Content, Content, Content!" she cryes.
he downe with his breeches imedyatlye,
& over her belly he Cast his thye.
But then shee Cryes "Thomas! you Cannott, you Cannott!
O Thomas, O Thomas, you Canott!"

Thomas, like a lively lad,
lay close downe by her side,
he had the worst courage that ever man had,
in conscience, the poor fool cried
But then he got some courage again,
and crept upon her belly amaine,
and thought to have hitt her in the right vaine;
But then she &c.

This maid was discontented in mind,
and angry was with Thomas,
that he so long had space and time,
and could not perform his promise
he promised her a thing, two handfull at least,
which made this maid glad of such a feast;
but she cold not get an inch for a taste,
which made her cry &c.

Thomas went to Venus, the goddess of love,
and hartily he did pray,
that this fair maid might constant prove,
till he performed what he did say.
in heart and mind they both were content;
but ere he came at her, his courage was spent,
which made this maid grow discontent,
and angry was with Thomas, with Thomas,
and angry was with Thomas.

In a further fragmentary verse, Vulcan, Venus, Mars and Apollo lend their aid and then she cried "Thomas you can [now]."

Play: B462

The text is from the Percy folio manuscript, Loose and Humorous Songs, p. 116, the only known text of the song, which is, unfortunately, incomplete. The tune is "Thomas you cannot," from The Dancing Master, 4th ed. 1670. It is in the first volume through the 6th ed, 1686, and in vol. ii, in the 3rd ed., 1718, and 4th ed. 1728. It apppears as "Tumas, I cannot, or, Tom Trusty" in vol. ii of The Compleat Country Dancing Master, 1719.

A song in Merry Drollery, 1661, was expanded into a broadside ballad "Honesty is honesty, come off my mother, sirrah," with the tune direction, "Thomas you cannot." This has not been reprinted, and I do not have a copy. J. S. Farmer, Merry Songs and Ballads, I, p. 35, printed the song from a manuscript copy in the Bodleian Library, as follows:

Upon a certain day, when Mars and Venus met together,
All in a shady bower, wheras she did invite him thether;
But when Cupid did espy Mars hit the mark so narrow
He could not abide, but out he cryed
Come off my mother, Sirrah!

"Peace, boy!" quoth he, "and give consent, for Venus is a woman,
born to give the world content, and discontent to no man.
See how I hold her in mine armes," the boy thought he had run her through;
And then cryed the lad, as if he had been mad,
Come off my mother, Sirrah, Sirrah!
Come off my mother, Sirrah!

"I pray thee, Cupid, hold thy peace; I will not hurt thy mother;
Her smiles keep all the world at ease; all discontent is ded.
If thou will give me leave to draw my golden headed arrow,
Ile give thee a groat," "All's one for that,
Come off my mother, Sirrah, Sirrah!
Come off my mother, Sirrah!

"Peace boy!" quoth Venus, this is Mars the furious god of battle
All the heavenly plannets him obey, then cease thy needless prattle.
He is a god, and will command; hee'l neither beg nor borrow."
"-------Be he god or devil;, let him be more civill:
Come off my mother, Sirrah, Sirrah!
Come off my mother, Sirrah!

She tooke the child, and kist his cheek, saying "Mars his rage is over;
His friend that we all must keep; see, nothing thou discover;
He will not stay to trouble thee, heel go from hence to-morrow."
Come off my mother, Sirrah, Sirrah!
Come off my mother, Sirrah!

Play: B462

Also given to the tune: "My minnie says I mauna", Scots Musical Museum, #465, is a song slightly revised from one given by Wm. Hick's in Grammatical Drollery, p. 75, 1682. The tune had been given in Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, bk. 8, c 1756, as "My Mother says I mannot."

This song given above was reworked in the 18th century, giving it a somewhat different meter, requiring a new tune, and was published as a single sheet song with music, entitled "Cupid's Revenge."

Cupid's Revenge.

'Twas on a certain day, when Mars and Venus met,
they both being young and gay, to pleasure quickly Sett.
But little Cupid roguishly, He watched them so Narrow,
He could not hide, but loud he Cry'd
Come off my Mother Sirrah, Sirrah, Sirrah
Sirrah come off my Mother Sirrah.

Dear Cupid hold your tongue, my pretty little Boy,
I'le not your Mother wrong, go go your way to play,
O how I Claspt her in my armes as if I'de thrust her thorrow,
Zounds cry's the lad, as if he was Mad, come off my Mother,
Sirrah, Sirrah &c.

Dear Cupid hold your peace, your Mother is a Woman,
We do this for our ease, in all the World 'tis Common,
Now if you will but give me leave to draw my Golden Arrow,
I'le give you a Groat, pish I value it not, come off my Mother,
Sirrah, Sirrah &c.

Dear Cupid this is Mars, the furious God of Battle,
All Planets fears his force, pray cease your tittle tattle,
He's a God that do's command, he neither beggs or borrows,
Be he God or Devil, he ought to be civil, come off my Mother,
Sirrah Sirrah &c.

She clap't his pouting Cheeks, crying Mars fury over,
Our friendship 'tis he seeks, see nothing you discover,
He will not stay to trouble you, he'le be gone to Morrow,
He may go be hang'd, be curst be damn'd, come off my Mother,
Sirrah, Sirrah &c.

Play: S1, CPDRVNG, Cupid's Revenge

Go to Index

'The Spanish Merchant's Daughter' with its double negative question and answer to make a positive, is moderately well known as a traditional song, but less well known are its roots. A broadside ballad of c 1672-84, 'The Dumb Lady, Or, No no not I, I'le answer,' uses the same theme, but there is an older version yet. Unfortunately, a manuscript version of about 1635-40, in Bodleian MS Ashmole 38 (a collection of single sheets from various sources bound together), is so badly waterstained that most of it is unreadable. The first of seven verses goes:

Lady why doth love torment you
May not I your grief remove?
Have I nothing will content you
With the sweet delights of Love.
Oh, no, no, alas, no

A slightly altered text appears in Pills to Purge Melancholy, commencing in 1700; (III, p. 82, 1719), with a tune, and it goes as follows:

Consent at Last.

Ladys, why doth Love torment you?
Cannot I your Grief remove?
Is there none that can content you
With the sweet delights of Love
O No, no, no, no, no: O, No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Beauty in a perfect Measure,
Hath the Love and wish of all:
Dear, then shall I wait the Pleasure,
That commands my Heart and all:
O No, &c.

If I grieve, and you can ease me,
With you be so fiercely bent,
Having wherewithal to please me,
Must I still be Discontent?
O No, &c.

If I am your faithful Servant,
And my Love does still remain;
Will you think it ill deserved,
To be favour'd for my pain?
O No, &c.

If I should then crave a Favour,
Which your Lips invite me to,
Will you think it ill Behaviour,
Thus to steal a Kiss or two?
O No, &c.

All Amazing Beauty's Wonder,
May I presume your Breast to touch?
Or to feel a little under,
Will you think I do too much?
O No, &c.

Once more fairest, let me try ye [.. only let me love you
Now my wish is fully sped, [For my lippes...]
If all Night, I would lye by ye,
Shall I be refus'd your Bed?
O No, &c.

Why I don't know, but several folklorists confuse this with a version of "Paper of Pins" about courting a Quaker's daughter, and label the latter song as "The Spanish Merchant's Daughter". An excellent English traditional version with tune is in Purslow's Marrow Bones, "No, Sir, No", p. 63. An excellent 9 verse version without tune is "Spanish Lady" in Mary Eddy's 'Songs and Ballads from Ohio'.

Go to Index

An Historical Ballad

Much has been said of the strumpets of yore,
Of Lais whole volumes, of Messaline more,
But I sing of a lewder that e'er lived before,
  Which nobody can deny.

From her mother at first shee drew the infection,
And as soon as shee spoke, shee made use of injection,
And now shee's grown up to a girl of perfection,
  Which nobody can deny.

If you told her of hell, she would say 't was a jest,
And swear of all gods, that Priapus was best,
For her soul was a whore, when she suck't at ye breast,
  Which her nurses can deny.

She once was call'd virgin, but 't was but a sham,
Her maidenhead never was gotten by man,
She frigg'd it away in the womb of her damm,
   Which the midwife couldn't deny.

At length Mr. Foppling made her his bride,
But found (to bring down his ambition and pride)
Her fortune but narrow, and her c--t very wide,
  Which he himself can't deny.

In vain he long strove to satiate her lust,
Which still grew more vig'rous at every thrust,
No wonder he puny chitt came by the worst,
  Which nobody can deny.

For when hee grew sapless, shee gave him her blessing,
And left him to painting, to patching, and dressing,
But first dubb'd him cuckold, a strange way of jesting,
  Which nobody can deny.

And now shee is free to swive where she pleases,
And where e're she swives, she scatters diseases,
And a shanker's a damn'd loveing thing where it seizes,
  Which nobody can deny.

There's Haughton, and Elland, and Arran the sott,
(Shee deserves to be pox'd that would f--k with a Scott,)
All charged the lewd harlott, and went to pott,
  Which they themselves can't deny.

For that shee has bubo'd and ruin'd as many,
As Hinton, or Willis, Moll Howard, or any,
And, like to those punks, will f--k for a penny,
  Is what nobody can deny.

To scower the town is her darling delight,
In breaking of windows, to scratch, and to fight,
And to ly with her own brawny footman at night,
  Which shee herself can't deny.

Who, though they eternally pizzle her britch,
Can't allay the wild rage of her letch'rous itch,
Which proves our good lady a monstrous b---,
  Which they themselves can't deny.

But now if there's any, or Christian or Jew,
That says I've bely'd her, I advise 'em to goe
And ask the fair creature herself if't is true,
  Which I'm certain shee won't deny.
Maidment added in Ane Pleasant Garland, 1835: Supposed to refer to Lady Southesk, mistress of the Duke of York, afterwards James II. Maidment took the song from NLS MS Adv. 19.1.13. Other copies are in Victoria and Albert Museum MS Forster & Dyce D.25.F.37 and BL MS Harl. 6914. This is of about 1682. The tune is obvious from the burden, "Which nobody can deny", as the short form of "Greensleeves".

Play: B168-73

The Forlorn Lover,

declaring how
A Lasse gave her Lover three slips for a teaster,
And marry'd another a week before Easter.

To a pleasant new Tune
A week before Easter
the days long and clear,
So bright is the sun,
and so cold is the aire,
I went to the forrest
some flowers to finde there,
And the forrest would yield me no posies.

The wheat and the rye
that groweth so green,
The hedges and trees
in their several coats,
Small birds do sing
in their changeable notes,
But there groweth no strawberries nor roses.

I went into the meadow
some time for to spend,
And to come back agen
I did fully intend,
But as I came back
I met with a friend,
And 'twas love was the cause of my mourning.

I loved a fair lady
this many long day,
And now to requite me
she is marryed away,
Here she hath left me
in sorrow to stay,
But now I begin to consider.

I loved her deer,
and I loved her so well,
I hated all people
that spake of her ill,
Many a one told to me
what she did say,
But yet I would hardly beleeve them.

But when I did hear
my love askt in the church,
I went out of my seat
and sate in the porch,
I found I should falsly
be left in the lurch,
And thought that my heart would have broken.

But when I did see
my love to the church go
With all her bride-maidens
they made such a show,
I laught in conceit
but my heart was full low
To see how highly she was regarded.

But when I saw my love
in the chuirch stand,
Gol ring on her finger
well seal'd with a band:
He had so indued her
with house and with land,
That nothing but death can them sunder.

But when her bride-maidens
were having her to bed
I stept in amongst them
and kissed the bride.
I wished I might have been
laay'd by her side,
And by that means I gate me a favour.

When she was laid in bed,
drest up in white,
My eyes gusht with water,
that drowned my sight,
I put off my hat
and did bid all good night,
And adue my deer sweeting for ever.

Oh! digge me a grave
that is wide, large, and deep,
With a turf at my head,
and another at my feet.
There I will lye
and take a long sleep:
Ile bid her farewel forever.

She plighted her faith
to be my fair bride,
And now at last hath
me falsly devry'd,
Ile leave off my wrath,
and wish God be my guide
To save me from such another.

I pity her case
much more than my own,
That she should imbrace
and joyn hands in one,
Whilst I and her true love
and daily do groan,
My sorrow I cannot smother.

Though marriage hath bounder
shee is much to blame,
And though he hath found her,
her husband I am.
Hereafter 'twill wound her
that shee put me to shame,
When conscience shall be her accuser.

Two husbands shee hath
by this wilde miscarriage
The one by a contract,
the tother by marriage.
She doth her whole family
grossely disparage.
But I will not plot to misuse her.

Beware all young men,
of arts, or of trades,
Chuse warily when
you meet with such maids
You'd better live single,
alone in the shades,
Than so to love such an abuser.

[no imprint, Euing Collection, #112]

The 'pleasant new tune' is unidentified. This song is traditional in Scotland, and a version is in Herd's Scots Songs, 1776. The ending of the third verse of the broadside is "And 'twas love was the cause on my mourning", and that is retained in traditional versions. However, it doesn't seem that this has any relationship to a Scots tune, "Love is the cause of my mourning" that was known before 1700. The song "Love is the cause of my morning" (SMM #109, and much earlier) also has the line "And love is the cause of my morning", but is unrelated to the "The forlorn lover" or its traditional version, and the tune is not related to the Scots traditional tune.

Go to Index

Legman has commented at length on this song in Roll Me in Your Arms, #44, 1992. He did't mention the two Scots versions given by Herd and Kinloch, nor the 17th century broadside expansion given below. To start, I requote the fragment in Loose and Humorous Songs from Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript, 1868 (reprinted 1963). [MS c 1630-44. Incomplete; the following leaf in the manuscript is missing. No music known.]

A Dainty Ducke.

A dainty ducke I Chanced to meete;
shee wondered what I wold doe,
& curteously shee did mee greete
as an honest woman shold doe.

I asked her if shee wold drinke;
she wondred &c.
shee answered me with sober winke,
as an honest &c.

I tooke...

Approximately how this version went we learn from a broadside ballad of the 1690's in The Pepys Ballads, V, p. 212, printed by Charles Barnet. It must be noted that broadside ballads versions of songs usually expanded upon the song that was their basis, sometimes more than doubling the length of the original.

The Kind Mistress,

A Good turn done at a time of need.
To an excellent New Tune [unknown].
Licensed according to Order.

As I was walking along the Street,
And a wondering what I could see,
I met with a Lass that was handsome & neat
as an honest loving Woman should be.

I asked her to go and drink,
And a wondering what she would do,
She answered me with a private wink,
as an honest loving Woman should do.

I went and I gave her a bottle of Sack,
and a wondering, &c.
And she was ready to lye on her back,
as an honest, &c.

Then I sat her upon the bed,
and a wondering, &c.
She promis'd me her Maiden-head,
as an honest, &c.

Then her Petticoat I up did lift
and a wondering, &c.
And she her self pull'd up her shift,
as an honest, &c.

When the spot of Love I had spy'd,
and a wondering, &c.
Come there if thou lovest me Lad she cryd
as an honest, &c.

The I flung my arm about her neck,
and a wondering, &c.
She hugg'd me as if I had been her Mate,
as an honest, &c.

I gave her a kiss as I laid her down,
and a wondering, &c.
She gave me Kisses Two for One,
as an honest, &c.

When I had enjoy'd my hearts delight
and a wondering, &c.
She begg'd me to stay with her all Night,
as an honest, &c.

To bed with her I went with speed,
and a wondering, &c.
She helpt me still at a time of need,
as an honest, &c.

Then I good folks did what you know,
and a wondering, &c.
Introth she did the same thing too,
as an honest, &c.

The truth she then began to declare,
and a wondering what she would do,
She'd wed an old man but she wanted another
which no honest woman should do.

Before the broadside made its appearance, however, another version of the song appeared in The New Academy of Compliments, Song #249, p. 257, 1669. This is without title or tune direction. With a few trivial difference in spelling this is also in Pills to Purge Melancholy, III, p. 87, 1719, with a tune. Pills has for a title, "A SONG".

New Academy text:

I went to the alehouse as an honest woman shoo'd,
And a knave follow'd after, as you know he woo'd.
Knaves will be knaves in every degree,
I'le tell you by and by how this knave serv'd me.

I call'd for my pot as an honest women shoo'd,
And the knave drank it up, as you know knaves woo'd.
Knaves will be knaves, &c.

I went to my bed as an honest woman shoo'd
And the knave crept into't, as you know knaves woo'd.
Knaves will be knaves, &c.

I prov'd with child as an honest woman shoo'd,
And the knave ran away, as you know knaves woo'd.
Knaves will be knaves in every degree,
And thus I have told you how this knave serv'd me.

A Scots version is in Songs from David Herd's Manuscripts, edited by Hans Hecht, p. 136, 1904, and with 'any' for 'ony' also it was printed in Herd's Scots Songs, II, p. 220, 1776. [No tune known for this version.]

As I gaed to the well at e'en,
As ony honest auld woman will do,
The carl then he follow't me,
As auld carles will do.
He woo'd me and loo'd me,
A wally, how he woo'd me!
But yet I winna tell to you,
How the carl wood me.

As I sat at my wheel at e'en.
As ony honest auld woman shou'd do.
The carl he came in to me,
As auld carles will do.
He woo'd me and loo'd me &c.

As I gaed to my bed at e'en,
As ony other honest auld woman wou'd do
, The carl then he came to me,
As auld carles wull do
He woo'd me and loo'd me &c.

Kinloch's text: THE KNAVE

  I gaed to the market
       As an honest women shou'd,
  The knave followed me
       As ye ken a knave wou'd.
  cho: And a knave has his knave tricks
       Aye where'er he be
       And I'll tell ye bye and bye
       How the knave guided me.
  I boucht a pint ale
  The knave drank it a'
  I cam my ways hame
  The knave followed me
  I gied him cheese and bread
  The knave ate it a'
  I gaed to my bed
  The knave followed me.
  I happen'd to be wi bairn
  The knave ran awa.
  I paid the nourice fee
  The knave got the widdie.
final chorus:
       And a knave has his knave tricks
       Aye where e'er he be
       And I've tamed ye now
       How the knave guided me.
An eight version of about 1820-30 is in D. I. Harker's Songs from the Manuscript Collection of John Bell, #111, 1987. The songs commences as that above, and has the man follow through various chores and ends:

As I gaed to my bed to sleep
As any honest auld woman will do
The carle wad me waukin, keep
As auld carles will do
[Chorus:] He woo'd me and he loo'd me
A-wally how he woo'd me
But yet I winna tell to you
But how the carle woo'd me

Oscar Brand sang "A Gob is a Slob" on Vol. II of Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads. His rewritten version was recorded by Doris Day as "A Guy is a Guy", 1952, which made the top of the hit parade that year.

Go to Index

The Ladies Case

Compos'd by Mr. Henry Carey. [Wrong!]

How hard is the fortune of all womankind,
Forever subjected, forever confined,
The parent controls us until we are wives,
The husband enslaves us the rest of our lives.

If fondly we love, yet we dare not reveal,
But secretly languish, compelled to conceal,
Deny'd every freedom of Life to enjoy,
We're sham'd if we're kind, we're blamed if we're coy.

[If fortune we have Oh! then we must be joyn'd,
To the Man that is by our Parents Design'd,
Compel'd for to have the Man we never see,
No matter if Ugly or Handsome he be.

Then who would be Wealthy or Strive to be great,
Since so many Dangers upon them does wait,
That Couples most happy that Love uncontroul'd,
That marrys for nothing despises the Gold.]

The first verse is familiar as one in most versions of the traditional song 'The Wagoner's Lad.' The text here is from a single sheet song with music, but evidently an unathorized issue. Henry Carey is elsewhere credited with the first two verses here, which was his complete song, "The Ladies Case".

I do not know exactly when it first appeared, but can narrow down the range. The song was printed without credits and without music in a book of 1734, The Vocal Miscellany, II, p. 159, and noted in a book with music, The Universal Musician, [1737], to have been sung by Miss Raftor (trained by Carey) at the Theatre Royal. She made her debut in 1728 and became Mrs. (Kitty) Clive in 1732. Mr. Gouge (whose first name seem to be unknown) was credited with the music in later printings, e.g., The Muses Delight, p. 143, Liverpool, 1754 (slightly revised and retitled Apollo's Cabinet, 1757).

The song then can be definitely put as 1728-32. The verses and tune here are from the single sheet issue, c 1730, with the tune slightly corrected from that in The Muses Delight.


Go to Index

The Presbyterian Cat.

A Presbyterian Cat, sat watching of her Prey
& in ye House, she caught a Mouse, upon a Sabbath Day:
The Minister offended at such a Cat profane,
Threw his Book, ye Cat he took & bound her in a Chain

Thou Damn'd Confounded Creature, & Blood-sheder said he,
Think's thou to throw, to Hell below, my holy Wife & me:
Thou well may'st be assured, thou blood for blood shall pay;
For taking of the Mouse's Life, upon ye Sabbath-day.

Then up he took the Bible, & heartily he pray'd;
That ye Great Sin, ye Cat had done, might not on them be laid:
Then strait to Execution, Poor Boderam was drawn,
There hang'd was She, upon a tree, wle Pres: John sung a Psalm.

Text and tune here from single sheet issue with music, engraved by Tho. Cross, London, c 1720. The song is given without music in The Nightingale, p. 377, 1738; Orpheus, I, p. 20, 1749; and Encyclopdeia of Comic Songs, p. 22, 1819. This was the last song copied into the Scottish Mansfield/ St. Clair MS, c 1775-90.


Go to Index

All the news, fresh and true!

From R. Keele's Carolles, c 1550, via Chambers and Sidgwick, Early English Lyrics, #151.

Cho: My heart of gold as true as steel,
As I me leaned to a bough,
In faith but if ye love me well,
Lord, so Robin lough!

My lady went to Canterbury,
The saint to be her boot;
She met with Kate of Malmsbury:
Why sleepest thou in an apple root? (note 1)

Nine mile to Michaelmas,
Our dame began to brew;
Michael set his mare to grass,
Lord, so fast it snew!

For you, love, I brake my glass,
Your gown is furred with blue;
The devil is dead, for there I was;
Iwis it is full true. (note 2)

And if ye sleep, the cock will crow,
True heart, think what I say;
Jackanapes will make a mow,
Look, who dare say him nay?

I pray you have me now in mind,
I tell you of the matter;
He blew his horn against the wind;
The crow goeth to the water.

You I tell you mickle more;
The cat lieth in the cradle;
I pray you keep true heart in store;
A penny for a ladle.

I swear by Sainte Katherine of Kent,
The goose goeth to the green;
All our dogges tail is brent,
It is not as I ween.

Tirlery lorpin, the laverock sang,
So merrily pipes the sparrow,
The cow brake loose, the rope ran home,
Sir, God give you good-morrow!

One verse and chorus are found in a song in Pamelia, p. 31, 1609. [And in Lant MS]

Vt, re, me, fa, sol, la,
la, fo, fa, me, re, vt.
Hey downe downe, Hey downe downe,
hey down, hey down, downa.

My heart of gold as true as steele
as I me leant vnto the boweres,
but if my Lady louve me well,
Lord so Robin lowres,
heaue and hoe Rumbelo, (note 3)
hey trolo troly lo,
hey torly trolly hey
hey trolo troly lo,
hey torly trolly hey

My Ladies gone to Canterbury,
S. Thomas be her boote.
She met with Kate of Malmsbury,
why weepst thou maple roote
O sleepst thou or wakst thou Ieffry Cooke,
the rost it burnes,
turne round about about,
the rost it burnes,
turne round about about,

Note 1: Parody of line from a lost song. 'Sleepest thou, wakest thou, Geffrey Coke?' is a line in what appears to be a medley in The Four Elements, 1519. Note that Ravenscroft recognized the parody line and quoted the original in Pamelia after it.
Note 2: It is common in songs of lies to assure the truth of it.
Note 3: According to a line in Hickscorner, 1513-16, Rumbelo was three miles outside of hell, and this is all I've ever found out about the land of Rumbelo.

Long before Pamelia was printed an immitation appeared. A Stationers' Register entry of Sept. 18, 1579 is "Jone came over London bridge and told me all this geere", which is undoubtable the song below, and the reason for this will appear further on. Printed by H. Boeddeker, Jahrbuch, 1875, and in Reliquiae Antiquiae, I. p. 239.

Newes! newes! newes! newes!
Ye never herd so many newes!

A... ....vpon a strawe [We seem to be missing a line in this verse]
Gudlyng of my cow
Ther came to me a jake-dawe,
Newes! News!

Our dame mylked the mares talle,
The cate was lykyng the potte;
Our mayd came out wit a flayle,
And layd hor vnder fotte.
Newes! News!

In ther came our next neyghbur,
Frome whens, I can not tell;
But ther begane a hard scouer,
Haw yow any musterd to sell?
Newes! News!

A cowe had stolyn a clase away,
And put hor in a sake;
Forsoth I sel no puddynges to day,
Maysters, what do you lake?
Newes! News!

Robyne ys gon to Huntyngton
To bye our gose a flayle;
Lyke spip, my yongst son.
Was huntyng of a snalle.
Newes! News!

Our maid John was her to-morrowe,
I wote not where she for wend;
Our cate lyet syke,
And takyte gret sorow.

The song following is from a single sheet song with music. BUCEM notes 2 issues, c 1705, and c 1710, but I don't know which this one is.

Gossip Joan.

Good morrow, Gossip Joan;
Where have yu been a walking,
I have for yu at ho-------------me,
A Budget full of ta---lking,
Gossip Joan.

My Sparrrow is flown away,
And will no more come to me,
I've broke a Glass today,
The price it will undo me,
Gossip Joan.

I've lost a Harry Groat, [*]
Was left me by my Granny;
I cannot find it out,
Tho' i've search'd in ery cranny,
Gossip Joan.

My Goose has lay'd away,
I know not what's the reason;
My Hen has hatch'd to day,
A week before the Season,
Gossip Joan.

I've lost my wedding Ring,
Was make of Silver Gilded,
And drink would please a King,
The whorish Cat has spill'd it,
Gossip Joan.

My Duck has eat a Snail,
And is not that a wonder,
The Horns bud out at Tail,
And split her Rump a sunder,
Gossip Joan.

My Husband he was drunk,
And all the Night lay snoring;
I told him in the Morn,
That he had bin a Whoring,
Gossip Joan.

My Pocket is cut off,
Twas full of Sugar-Candy:
I cannot stop my cough,
Without a Gill of Brandy,
Gossip Joan.

Oh! I am sick at Heart,
I pray give me some Ginger,
I cannot sneeze nor fart,
Therefore put up your Finger,
Gossip Joan.

O! Pity, Pity me!
Or I shall go distracted,
I've cry'd till I cant see,
To think how things are acted,
Gossip Joan.

Lets to the Gin-shop go,
And wash down all my sorrow,
My Griefs in part yu know,
The rest I'll tell to morrow,
Gossip Joan


* Harry Groat - groat, worth fourpence, and this one coined in time of K. Henry (Harry) VIII. [What was a 'Granams' groat?]

Note for fitting song to tune: 'o' in 'home' in the first verse, and the vowel in corresponding position in subsequent verses, are spread over the 6th to 10th measures. Also "Talk---ing" in the first verse uses a whole measure.

There is a copy of this song, without the seventh verse above, entitled "The Woman's Complaint to her Neighbor" in Pills to Purge Melancholy, VI, p. 315, 1720, with a different (and poor) tune. A six verse traditional version without tune is in Alfred Williams' Folk-Songs of the Upper Thames, p. 41-2, 1923. It has an expurgated version of the verse that was omitted in the Pills copy. With a tune is a seven verse traditional text in Frank Purslow's Marrow Bones, p. 37, 1965. Incomplete copy with tune in Wm. Chappell's PMOT. In Margaret Crum's First-Line Index of English Poetry, 1500-1800, in Manuscripts of the Bodleian Library Oxford, item I-117, is a (hearsay) note that Swift wrote "Gossip Joan".

Another single sheet song, "A 2d visit to Gossip Joan" (with same tune as that above) commences:

I told thee Gossip Joan,
I'd call again tomorrow,
but this doesn't seem to me to be on a par with that above. There are three issues of this, and one them says the words are by Mr. A. Bradley. There is an imitation of "Gossip Joan" entitled "The Gossips", set to music in Calliope, p. 289, 1788. Go to Index

Father Ab--y's Will,

Cambridge [Mass.], December, 1731.

My dearest wife,
My joy and life.
I freely do give her,
My whole estate,
With all my plate
Being just about to leave her.

My tub of soap,
A long cart rope,
A frying pan and kettle,
An ashes pail,
A threshing flail,
An iron wedge and beetle.

Two painted chairs,
Nine warden pairs,
A large old dripping platter,
The bed of hey,
On which I lay,
An old sauce pan for butter.

A little mugg,
A two quart jugg,
S bottle full of brandy,
A looking glass,
To see your face,
You'll find it very handy.

A musket true,
As ever blew,
A pound of shot and wallet,
A leather sash,
My calabash,
My powder horn and bullet.

An old sword blade,
A garden spade,
A hoe, a rake, a ladder,
Q wooden cann,
A close stool pan,
A clyster pipe and bladder.

A greizy hatt,
My old ram cat,
A yard and half of linnen,
A pot of greese,
a wollen fleece,
In order for your spinning.

A small tooth comb,
An ashen broom,
A candlestick and hatchet,
A coverlid,
A trip'e down with red,
A bag of rags to patch it.

A ragged mat,
A tub of fat,
A book put out by Bunyan,
Another book,
By Robin Rook,
A skain or two of spunyarn.

An old black muff,
Some garden stuff,
A quantity of burrage,
Some devil's weed,
And burdock seed,
To season well your porridge.

A chafing dish,
With one salt fish,
If I am not mistaken,
A leg of pork,
a broken fork,
And half a flitch of bacon.

A spinning wheel,
One peck of meal,
A knife without a handle,
A rusty lamp,
Two quarts of samp,
And half a tallow candle.

My pouch and pipes
Two oxen tripes,
An oaken dish well carved,
My little dog,
And spotted hog,
With two young pigs just starved.

This is my store,
I have no more,
I heartily do give it,
My years are spun,
My Days are done
And so I think I leave it.

The song was printed in Boston Weekly Rehearsal, Jan. 3, 1732, and on a Boston broadside, c 1739, the text above. It was sent to England and given a tune credited to a W. Markham, who is otherwise unknown. Song and tune are in The Gentleman's Magazine and The London Magazine in May, 1732, and in The Merry Mountebank, p. 130, 1732. Also with the tune in The Merry Medley, II, p. 150, 1745, and Vocal Enchantress, p. 332, 1783. Early title in England was "The Last Will and Testament of Mr. Mathew Avery." Song was "Old Timothy Hobson" on a London broadside of c 1780. There were later songbook and magazine and newpaper copies and it was reportedly collected with tune "The girl I left behind me" by Helen Hartness Flanders in 1945, and also to the tune "Yankee Doodle". "The Testament," Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, III, #702, 1987, is a version.

The list of posessions is usually the proposed dowry for a wedding, like that in "Arthur O'Bradley", but the two 17th century songs of this title do not contain them. For the 18th century one see The Scots Nightingale, 1779, or Alfred Williams Folksongs of the upper Thames, p. 271. Such a list is in a 16th century Scots song, here as Jenny come down to Jock.

Play: S1, ABNYWLL, W. Markham's tune, 1732

Go to Index

[Hans Carvel's Ring, two versions]

A Certain Cure for Jealousy.

by C:H.

Good Friends & Neighbors all give ear,
some solace I'll impart;
Be mindfull of the words you hear
'Twill chear your drooping heart
with a fa la la la, fa la ra

All you whose wives are grown so free,
To give you jealous pain:
Here's what will cure your Jealousy
Not to return again.
with a fa &c

A Painter once took great delight,
In Painting of the Devil:
And he did always paint him white,
Which Old Nick took most civil
with a fa &c

One night as Painter lay in bed,
A sleep & in a Dream:
His Damsel on the left side lay,
The Devil to him came,
with a fa &c

My friend quoth Belzebub I'm come,
Your Kindness to requite:
Ask wt thou wilt, it shall be done
For painting of me white
with a fa &c

Wod please yr Devil-ship quoth he,
Keep spouse from playing pranks
And that she may ne'er Cuckold me,
I'll always give Thee thanks
with a fa &c

No sooner ask't, than granted was,
The Painter had a Ring;
Wch whils't yu wear ye Friend did say,
Ne'er fear a Cuckolding,
with a fa &c.

But if from this you ere depart,
So sure as you are born;
No Man or Devil with his art,
Can keep you from ye horn,
with a fa &c.

Like Light'ning yn away he flew,
The Painter waking soon;
Found he'd his middle finger got,
Within his Wives Half-moon,
with a fa &c.

The Painter he did keep it there,
Until the Wife did say:
Oh fye my Dear, I cannot bear,
Then take it out I pray.
with a fa &c

And now let me advize in breif, [sic]
Each Man wear such a Ring;
My life for yours, you'l all be safe,
So you may laugh & sing,
with a fa la, la, la, fa, la, ra.

The well known early renaissance tale has often been told. One early example readily available is in Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, edited by R. H. Robins as The Hundred Tales, New York, #11, 1960. Robins lists several early continental sources of the tale, but none of the English versions. There is a version in the early jestbook <, #18, London, c 1535, and a poetical form by Matthew Prior in Poems on Several Occasions, 1718. Less well known are song versions.

The first song and the first tune for it are from a single sheet song with music, c 1730. A second tune for it is 'A painter once took great Delight,' (see 3rd verse) from the anonymous ballad opera Robin Hood, Air #4, London, 1730. Entitled 'The Painter and the Devil,' the song was reprinted in a songbook without music, The Nightingale, p. 113, London, 1738.

Play: S1, HNSCRVL1, from single sheet issue of song
S1, HNSCRVL2, "A painter once took great delight", Robin Hood, 1730. Note: last four measures are for burden, "fa la fa la...ra"

The second song is from a songbook without music, Bacchus and Venus, London, c 1770. The tune direction there, 'A Cobler there was and he liv'd in a stall,' is from a setting by Richard Leveredge of the well known tune 'King John and the Abbot of Canterbury,' often cited by just the first two words of its refrain as 'Derry down.' It has survived into the present century as the air for several traditional songs. For early history of the tune 'Derry Down' see C. M. Simpson, BBBM, pp. 172-76, 1966.

Hans Carvel's Ring.

Tune. A Cobbler there was and he liv'd in a stall.

Condemn not, ye critics, my song, nor yet marvel,
That I sing the old tale of the ring of Hans Carvel;
Dan Prior it was who first penn'd it in verse,
Then deign to attend while the tale I rehearse.
Derry down, down, down, derry down.

This doting old letcher, infirm and decay'd,
Came to town for a buxom young wife as 'tis said,
She was sprightly and gay, and had wit too at will,
And her tongue, like most women's, would seldom lie still.
Derry down, &c.

When her mind undisturb'd was with troubles and cares,
And her thoughts disengag'd from domestic affairs,
She would drink in the morning about nine or ten,
Drink her chocolate and fast asleep fall again.
Derry down, &c.

At noon, as 'twas usual, the lady arose,
And by two perhaps would have slip'd on her cloaths;
And if dear col'nel Careless had happen'd to come,
She would then condescend to stay dinner at home.
Derry down, &c.

The dinner once over, abroad in the park,
She would ramble a turn or two, till it was dark;
'Till at length such vagaries gave Carvel some pain,
And strange jealous whimsies posses'd the knight's brain.
Derry down, &c.

With a view to reclaim then his frolicksome wife,
The good man recommended amendment of life;
Bid her only reflect how short-liv'd beauty was,
Saying all men are frail, and all flesh is but grass.
Derry down, &c.

But how vain his attempt to produce reformation,
She held him and his cant in alike detestation;
And whatever the fractious old fumbler could say,
The col'nel and she went abroad ev'ry day.
Derry down, &c.

At length, tir'd out with impatience, he cry'd,
'Some method or other must surely be try'd,
And if in this case I should question the devil'
'Tis to prevent a much greater evil.
Derry down, &c.

Talk of Satan, they say, and he straight will appear,
And the proverb was instantly verify'd here;
For one night with vexation he went to bed sick,
And who should he see in a dream, but old Nick.
Derry down, &c.

What spectre art thou, and what wouldst thou have?
My name, sir, is Satan says he, and your slave;
I am come honest Hans, to remove all your grief,
Take this ring, and it shortly will give you relief.
Derry down, &c.

Wear this on your finger, you need not to fear,
But your bus'ness will quickly be done to a hair;
For as certain as ever I look over Lincoln,
That shall ne'er come to pass which you tremble to think on.
Derry down, &c.

Then thrusting the ring beyond the main joint,
Hans in raptures exclaim'd, I've at last gain'd my point!
What point? says the wife; why you drunken old bear,
You've thrust in your finger-- the devil knows where.
Derry down, &c.

Leave hence, ye old dotard, this maxim from me;
No charm can be found against impotency;
For however easy the bus'ness may seem,
The ring of Hans Carvel is nought but a dream.
Derry down, &c.

Play: B109-12

Go to Index

The Contriving Lover: Or, The Fortunate Mistake.

With the Old Womans Journey up the Chimney in a Hand-Basket.
Together with her Dreadful Downfall from the Chimney-Top to the Chimney-Corner.

To the Tune of, I often with my Jenny strove, &c.

Licensed according to Order.

A Rich Old Miser of Renown,
Who dwelt within a Country Town,
He had a Daughter young and fair,
As lively and brisk as Ayre;
A Spark had got so far in Favour,
that they had oftimes had been
Kissing and Clasping, Dying Gasping,
Lovers, you know what I mean.

The Miser thought the youth too Wild,
And not a match fit for his Child;
He fearing what had pass'd before,
Forewarn'd him coming any more:
Further to prevent their Meeting,
and contrivance out of door,
He did command her, to her Chamber,
and there Lock'd her up secure.

When this sad News her Lover knew,
He greatly discontented grew;
Resolving by some means, that he,
His loving Dame again would see:
Knowing the Chimney of her Chamber,
he got on the Old Dads House-top,
A Letter bearing, words so 'ndearing,
he did down the Chimney drop.

Desiring that she would next Night,
Take care to keep her Candle light,
For he intended then by stealth,
To visit her that way himself.
This kind News did so surprize her,
and such Joys to her impart,
Thought of possessing, such a Blessing,
much reviv'd her drooping heart.

The Night ensuing quickly came,
When he resolv'd to see his Dame,
He then desir'd a trusty Friend,
That he would his assistance lend.
In a Basket he was let down,
his fair Prize for to obtain,
Giving him Order, if the Cord stir,
for to pluck him up again.

When down into the Room he came,
He welcom'd was by his fair Dame;
Their eager Passions to content,
They Kiss, and into Bed they went:
Eager to possess the blessing,
fears and cares were soon destroy'd,
Loving Caresses, and Embraces,
by these Lovers were enjoy'd.

The Miser and his Wife lay near,
Who did the Tell-tale Bed-Cords hear;
The Old Woman in a heavy plight,
Cry'd, Husband rise and strike a Light,
Somebody's got to Bed with our Daughter,
for I hear the Bed-Cords Crack:
The Miser amazed, soon was raised,
and into the Room did pack.

They hearing the Old Miser Rise,
Which did the Lovers both surprize;
The Daughter, in a thousand fears,
Whips out of Bed, and falls to Prayers;
Begging God to bless her Father,
who she thought was best of Men;
Begging his Thriving, and his living
to the Age of Methusalem.

He hearing what his Daughter said,
Return'd again and went to Bed,
And call'd his Wife an ill-tongu'd Beast,
Who did so base a thing suggest:
The Old Woman lay a while and listen'd,
being not well satisfy'd;
They possessing, of their blessing,
then she heard again, she cry'd.

Then slyly up got the Old Dame,
And into her Daughters Rooms she came,
She happen'd to stumble at a Stool,
Did into th' Lovers Basket fall:
Up was drawn the poor Old Woman,
who in th' Basket Screaming lay;
To the top he drew her, down again threw her,
whilst his Friend escap'd away.

Printed for R. Kell, at the Blew Anchor in Pye Corner. 1690.

Play: B221

This broadside ballad is obviously an early version of the well known "The Keech in the Creel" or "The Covering Blue" (Kinloch, The Ballad Book, 1827. There are copies in the Pepys Collection, Crawford Collection, and in the British Library Collection, C.39.k.6. The tune is in C. M. Simpson's BBM.

Go to Index

Tit for Tat

All you that delight in a frolicsome song,
Come listen awhile & I'll not keep you long
It's of a sea captain a frolicsome spark
Who kist the sailor's wife all in the dark
Fol de riddle lol, &c.

The Sailor John Handsome so called by name
His wife was a fair and a beautiful dame,
On board her dear husband must go and she:
Says the captain my girl, you're a supper for me

The beautiful Moll took leave of her dear
And soon after her the captin did steer,
Into the foom at night he did come,
And begin for to make a most pitiful moan.

Forbear noble captain your suit is in vain,
My husband's a sailor that sails on the main
And you are his captain pray be not so base,
He'd make us both rue if he knew the case

Here's fifty bright guineas the captain reply'd,
If you will permit me to lie by your side,
The sight of the guineas soon made her comply,
And by her consent together did lie.

His bedfellow pleased him unto the life,
He went to her bed and left his own wife,
At last the young sailor did hear by the bye.
But he kept it as snug as a pig in a sty.

One night he resolved to see what was done
In the dark of the evening he got into the room,
And under the bed he lay snug and warm
Then in came the captain and thinking no harm

The sailor lay snug till they were fast asleep,
Then softly from under the bed he did creep
He put on the captain's laced hat and coat,
His shoes and his stockings to make up the joke

He rigged himself out from the top to the toe,
And away to the captain's fair lady did go,
He rapt at the door with courage so bold
Being dressed in robes decorated with gold

The maid let him in tho' twas late at night
And altho half asleep she gave him a light
Says he where's your mistress she answer'd in bed
Then open the door quickly he said

Tho' very drunk himself he did feign,
The lady says caption you run a fine game
Sometimes from me whole nights you do roll
And when you come home you're drunk as an owl

He made her no answer but tickle her knees
At last the young lady began to be pleased
Then he tit for tat with the captain did play
And he slept in her arms till the break of day.

When the lady awoke and beholding his face,
She began to cry out in a pitiful case
Says he, my dear lady don't be in a fright
For your captain has been kissing my wife all the night

Says the lady I'll go in my coach I protest,
To see how he looks in his tarpauling dress,
The sailor he put on the captain's array,
And unto the captain they both rode away.

The sailor and lady upstairs they did trip,
Where the captain in his short jacket did sit
He tared at them both and said not a word,
Said the sailor I thought sir you had been on board

Said the lady to think on it now is too late,
Says the captain I hope Jack you've not horned my pate
The lady says captain where must you be
When he got your coat and came to bed with me.

Here's plenty of gold Jack pull off my coat
And see this to the sailors you never report
There's not many can match us you very well know,
And so we are cuckolds all of a row.

Also known as "Tit for Tat; or, The Merry Wives of Wapping" and "The Frolicsome Sea Captain, Or, Tit for Tat". Our tune, entitled "Tit for Tat", is from The Merry Medley, 1744. This is a dance version, and we have here done some note splitting to fit the song. For a similar song see "The Devil in the Kist", #1432 in 'The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection', VII.

Play: S1, TITFTAT, from Merry Medley, 1744.

Go to Index

The Pretty Chambermaid

Not far from town, a country squire,
An open hearted blade,
Had long confess's a strong desire
To kiss the chambermaid.
To kiss the chambermaid.

One summer's noon, quite fu' o' glee,
He led her to the shade,
And all beneath a mulberry tree,
He kiss'd the chambermaid.
He kiss'd the chambermaid.

The parson's wife, from window high,
The amorous pair survey'd;
And softly wished, none can deny,
She'd been the chambermaid.
When all was o'er, poor Betty cry'd
Kind sir, I'm much afraid,
That woman there will tell your bride
You kissed her chamber maid.

The squire conceiv'd a lucky thought,
That she might not upbraid;
An' instantly the lady brought,
Where he had kissed the maid;
Then, all beneath the mulberry tree,
Her ladyship was laid,
An' three times sweetly kiss'd was she,
Just like her chambermaid.

Next morning came the parson's wife,
For scandal was her trade,
I saw your 'squire, ma'm, on my life,
Great with your chambermaid;
When, cry'd the lady, where, and how?
I'll soon discharge the jade;
Beneath the mulb'ry tree, I vow,
He kissed the chambermaid.

This falsehood, cry'd he ladyship,
Shall not my spouse degrade.
'Twas I chanc'd there to make a slip,
And not the chambermaid;
Both parties parted in a pet,
Not trusting what was said;
And Betty keeps her service yet,
The pretty chambermaid.

Ebsworth, Roxburghe Ballads VII, p. 537, reprinted this from The Masque, 1767, and it is in the 2nd. edit., 1768, and later undated editions, and in The Syren, 1772 and The Modern Syren, 1781. It is also in Encyclopedia of Comic Songs, 1819, and in a Dublin edition of The Merry Muses of Caledonia, 1825. It was also published as a single sheet issue with music.

It has been pointed out that the tale came from a Persian collection, Tooteh Nameh, or Tales of a Parrot (as does The Friar in the Well). It probably passed through Italy, but I have only found it as tale #45 of The Heptameron and in La Fontaine's collection as "The Servant Girl Justified". La Fontaine was probably the source for John Howard Payne's farce based upon it, 'Twas I' (gossip Dearie, 'twas I).

Alas, I haven't found it in a songbook with music, nor have I run across the single sheet issue so I don't have the tune at present. Roy Palmer in Everyman's Book of British Ballads, #117, printed the text from a broadside, and used a version of "William Guisman" for the tune. A traditional text without tune is in Alfred Williams Folksongs of the Upper Thames, p. 124.(There is a copy of the single sheet issue in the eastern U.S., and I hope to see this eventually, and copy the tune.)

Betty the pretty chambermaid reappears in a song in Encyclopedia of Comic Songs, 1819, and The Merry Muses of Caledonia, Dublin, [1825].

The Warming Pan

The coach arriv'd, impatient all,
For diff'rent things began to call;
But I, who have no trade
But love, for sweet morsels try:
I search, an' fix an am'rous eye
Upon the chambermaid

I wait, and catch her as she flies,
From room to room, with eager eyes;
"My dear, permit my aid?"
I seize her, and she cries -- a-done;
I kiss her quick, and let her run;
The pretty chambermaid.

The supper comes, and Betty Grove,
'Tis Hebe waiting upon Jove;
The reck'ning next is paid;
Yawning, the passengers retire,
I, burning like the kitchen fire,
For Betty chambermaid.

Kneeling, my bed the beauty warms,
When furious, I attack her charms:
"Get out, you naughty man!"
The port is gained by quick surprise, [fort?
I kiss, she kicks, and faintly cries,
"O! move the warming pan!"

There -there-again-the bed-it burns,
I move-she move-we move by turns,
"What are you at, dear man!"
Hush! there's a noise-the bed, the joy,
Hark! hark! how seeet, my am'rous boy,
Hold there-the warming pan.

Whene'er I pass the high north-road,
I knock at Betty's soft abode,
Where happy I am laid;
The neatest in, the softest thatch,
And tell me where a place can match,
My, pretty chambermaid.

No tune

A Scotch warming pan was a maid, sent about a half hour before bed time, to lie in a bed and warm it up.

Go to Index

The Ram of Darby

As I was going to Darby
All on a Market day,
I met the finest ram, Sir,
That e'er was fed on hay
Indeed, Sir, it's a truth sir
For I never was taught to lye
And if you go to Darby, Sir,
You may see it as well as I.

The wool upon its back Sir,
Reach'd up into the sky,
The birds they built their nests there,
For I heard the young ones cry.
Indeed, Sir, it's a truth sir, &c.

The space between the horns, Sir,
Was far as Man could reach,
And there they built a pulpit
But no one in it preach'd.
Indeed, Sir, it's a truth sir, &c.

It had a tail as long Sir,
As six yards and an ell,
Of which they made a rope Sir,
To toll the market bell.
Indeed, Sir, it's a truth sir, &c.

The little boys of Darby
They came to beg his eyes,
To roll about the streets Sir,
They being of foot balls size.
Indeed, Sir, it's a truth sir, &c.

The butcher that kill'd this ram, Sir,
Was drowned in the blood,
And all the people of Darby,
Were carried away in the flood.
Indeed, Sir, it's a truth sir,
For I never was taught to lye
And if you go to Darby, Sir,
You may see it as well as I.

From British Melodies, song with music, c 1810. The song is probably much older than this date. Scots traditional versions call it "The Tup (Ram) of Dirram (Durham)". A tune, now lost, in the Straloch Lute MS, 1626, was "The tript (tup?) of Diram". [This tune is not in either of the two original partial transcripts of the MS, Natl. Lib. of Scotland and Leeds Univ., nor in Alfred Moffat's copy of Kidson's copy of the Leeds transcript in Lib. of Congress.]

Play: S1, DRBYRAM, from British Melodies

Other fabulous animals are: The Wonderful Crocodile, The Red Herring; The Sow took the measles. The wonderful Suckling Pig

Go to Index

The Women's Complaint to Venus

[1698. Bodleian MS Rawl. poet 159, also MS Eng. poet e. 50
How happy were good English Faces
  Till monseiur from France
  Taught Pego a dance
To the tune of old Sodoms Embraces

But now we are quite out of fashion
  Your whores may be Nuns
  Since men turn their Guns
And vent on each other their passions

In the Reign of good Charles the Second
  Full many a Jade
  a Lady was made
And the Issue Right Noble was reckon'd

But now we find to our sorrow
  We are overrun
  By sparks of the Bum
And peers of the Land of Gommorah

The Beaus whom most we rely'd on
  At Night makes a punk
  of him that's first drunk
Tho' unfit for the Sport as John Dryden

The Souldiers, whom next we put trust in
  No widdow can faine
  Or virgin Reclaim
But at the wrong place will be a thrusting

Fair Venus, thou Goddess of Beauty
  Receive our complaint
  Make Rigby recant
And the Souldiers henceforth do their duty

Venus' Reply

Why Nymphs these pittiful storeys But you are to blame And have got a new game Call'd Flatts with a swiving Clitoris Besides I have heard of Wax Tapers With which you get up And each other Tup To cure the Green sickness and vapours I'm told with a delicate Seignior Some Matrons do ease Their Lust and so please They have not been layn with these years Your Frogmore Frolicks discover [Irish lord's residence Some Reasons of Art to play the Mans part You are for no masculine Lover At all which I am so offend'd My son at Mens hearts Will throw no more darts 'Till your lust and your lives are amended Forsake but those odd ways of Sinning And I'le undertake The arrantest Rake Shall swinge you as at the beginning

Some Songs from Bassus, 1530

[Alas, I don't have the tunes.]

Joly felow ioly
ioly felow ioly
yf thou haue but lytll mony
spend it on not on foly
but spend it on a prety wenche
& she shal help the at A pinche

hey ioly felowe ioly ioly
hey ioly felowe ioly hey Joly
A prety wenche may be pleasur
in dalyance she may endure
yf she be trym proper & pure
Joly felow ioly

ioly felow ioly ioly   vt supra.
Lytyll mony dothe gret comfort
spende it on the mynon sort
delytyng in honest dysport
Joly felow Joly vt supra.

Bewar my lytyl fynger
syr I yow desyre
bewar my lytyl fynger
bewar my lytyl fynger
bewar my lytyl fynger syr
I yow desyre
bewar my lytyl fynger syr
I yow desyre
ye wryng my hand so sore
I pray yow do no more
alas alas therefor
ye hurt my lytyl finger
why do ye say
ye be a wanton may[d]
I do but wyth yow play
bewar my lytyl fynger
bewar my lytyl fynger syr
I yow vt supra.
Syr no more of suche sport
for I haue littil comfort
of your hether resort
to hurt my littil finger
for sooth goodly mastres
I am sori for yowr disease [dis-ease
a lae what may yow plese
bewar my littil fynger [&c.
For soth ye be to blame
I wis it wyl not frame
yt ys to yow gret shame
to hurt my lytly fynger
yt was agayn my wyl certayn
yet wold I haue yt hole agayn
for I amy soriy for your payn
bewar my lytyl fynger [&c.
Seyng for the cause ye be sory
I wold be glad wyth you for to mary
so that ye wold not over long tary
to hele my lytyl fynger
I sayd wyth a ioyful harte agayn
of that I wolde be ful fayn
and for your sake to take sum payn
to heel your littyl finger
bewar my lyttyl finger [&c.
Thenwe bothe agrede
I pray yow by owr wedding wede
& than we hall haue lyttyl nede
to hele my lyttyl finger
that I wyl by gods grace
I shak deck your mynyon face
that yt shal shyne in euery place
& hele your lytyl finger
bewar my lytyul finger
Alas my lytyl finger
and O my lytyl fynger
a lady marcy 
ye hurt my lytyl fynger
bewr my lytyl fynger
syr I yow desyre   vt supra


This is a bit of amplification on Brags, Marvels, Lies, farcical news like Tom Tell-Truth, Gossip Joan, Teague's Ramble, Darby Ram, Red Herring, Wonderful Crocodile, Sow took the measles and she died in the spring, etc. The song about the Scotsman called Erin-go-bragh, should probably go here, too.

A song of 1519 seems to use lines and parodies of lines of old
songs. It is a 'ballad' of Robin Hood sung by Ignorance in 'The
Interlude of the Four Elements'. 

Robin Hood in Barnesdale stood,
And leant him till a maple thistle;
Then came our Lady and sweet Saint Andrew;
Sleepest thou, wakest thou, Geoffrey Coke?
A hundred winter the water was deep,    [The Water is wide?]
I cannot tell you how broad.
He took a goose neck in his hand,
And over the water he went.
He start up to a thistle top,
And cut him down a hollen club.
He stroke the wren below the horns,    [Cutty Wren?]
That fire sprang out of the pig's tail.
Jack boy, is thy bow i-broke?
Or hath any man done the wriguldy wrag? [prinkum prankum/ 
And put them in a satchel!              hinkum booby/ looby loo/ 
He plucked muscles out of a willow,     hokey pokey?] 
Wilkin was an archer good,
And well could handle a spade;
He took his bent bow in his hand,
And set him down by the fire.
He took with him sixty bows and ten,
A piece of beef, another of bacon.
Of all the birds in merry England  [.. birds that ever I see?]
So merrily pipes the merry bottle. [.. pipes the jay]   

O sleepst thou or wakst thou Ieffery Cooke,
the rost it burnes, turne round about about-
'Pammelia', 1609

Untitled 'News' from Bassus, 1530 [I think this is really a medley of song lines. No division into lines in original. Note Tomlyn appears here earlier than in 'The Complaynt of Scotland'. u with a bar over it I've expanded to um.]

Behold & see how byrds doth flye
coke crow mydey pype mery
And wyll you go to London to by a calffes hede
thryty herryings for a peny
fy yt is dogge chepe
call the boy colyn chynke
yesterday was owr dame[s] kow broght to grase
with heyffe & how Rumbleow [Rumbelow, still 3 miles outside of hell?]
cry owt a pace
hardly flowers wyll be grene
that is but reson & they cum yn season
wth slake cost me nawght
tomlyn whether go yow now
to catche byrdis wt byrdlyme & rods.
all sparos schall keep theyr cutts full short
Cum to me cum
podyngs wyll be dere thryps and chytterlyngs ouer
blow my horne behynde cum
A torne Agayne robyn & bende on thy bow
wt torne Ageyne Robyne & bend on thy bow.
quod samoht notterts [Thomas Stretton]

As # 2013 in Analytic Index Rollins has "The Old Woman of Ratcliffe highway, a sheet of paper called". This was entered to a ballad printer, but Rollins found no copy. It was later issued as a chapbook, is in prose, and is a nonsensical tale in impossibilities. John Ashton quotes a bit of a late copy, "A Strange and Wonderful Relation of the Old Woman who was drowned at Ratcliffe Highway" in Ashton's Chapbooks, p. 273, 1882, 1966. Also in Thomson's Pepys' Penny Merriments.

All is backwards:

No 'backwards' in Collins' "Paddy Bull's Expedition," U.S. II, p.
215. = "The Irishman's Journey to London," Paddy Whack's
Bottle Companion, 1791. Paddy's Trip to London - When I
took my departure- The Shamrock or Hibernian
Songster, p. 24, c 1808. There's an overabundance of songs 
of Irishmen, Yorkshiremen, etc, and "Ralph and Nell's Ramble to
Oxford" and the like with comical adventures in the big city
where everything is backward to the 'country yokels' (perhaps,
really, the only sane ones), c 1780 -1830.

From Roxburghe Ballads, VIII, xciii*, and there said by Ebsworth to be from a MS of 1653-8, but it's not one I've seen in print or MS. Evidently a song from the Fa, la, interlaced burden.

How Oxford Scholars Spend Their Time

One riding with me on a day,   Fa, la, etc.
Askt me to tell him, by the way,  Fa, la, etc.
How Oxford Schollers spent their time;
And thus I told him all in rime:  Fa, la, etc.

When from our Mot[he]r's beloved home  Fa, etc. [psssim.
Wee to the Town of Oxford come,
The first  thing is to gett a Gown,
The next, the best Sacke in town.   Fa, la, la.

And then a Tutor we must have,
Twenty ot one if not a knave,
Who cares not for vs al the day,
But will be sure att night to pray.

This fellow sends vnto our friends,
To keepe our money for his own ends;
An there he locks it in his trunke
Whilst we must vpon ticke be drunke.

We neuer aske him for a groate,
But wish't were all stucke in his throate,
Till at length, at Quater's day, there comes
The dunners with their bouncing summs.

Imprimis, for an Aristotle,  Fa, la, etc.   
Which we perhaps 'pound for a bottle;
And Euclid, which away did packe,
For the bettter element of Sacke.

Item, a Vossimus' Rhetorique,
Bought just for such another tricke;
Soe, wanting coyne for drinke, we gaue him,
Where all his Rhetorique could not saue him.

Item, a Homer: poore old Poet:
O that our Tutor did but know it!
For the best tobacco we made him flee,
Smoakt till we were as blind as he.

And more Bookes, which for halted chink
We sold again to spend in drinke;
For all the Authores the bill doth shew,
Subauditur Potts and Canns a row.
Then reverently our Tutor speaks,
"I wonder you will do these tricks!"
But after all his sermons said,
Summa totalis must be paid.

Thus we do spend our time away,
And duly night and morning pray:
Where the coffin Chaplain for his sense
Straines as for a sirreverence.

Then hand all studying, to no end!
Al length 'the Spirit' doth pretend:
Then on the score we'l run on still,
We may be Preachers when we will!  Fa, la, etc.
For the benefit of those that don't have a D. Phil. Oxon. (and some that do) the following doesn't have a rhyme, so isn't a song or poem. From Oxford Jests.

An Oxford scholar having been ten days at Cambridge [another institution for indoctrination] together, it seems they kept him drinking so all night that he never could rise before dinner [at noon]; and being asked how he liked Cambridge, said, "I like the place well enough, but that there are no forenoons in't.' [And no swans for the dons there.]

The Soldier's Joy.

[A bad old song to a good old tune. Untitled song, "The Soldier's Joy," from songbook with music (which is "The Soldier's Joy,") p. 240, Vocal Music, or the Songster's Companion, London, n.d. (c 1778). Copy in Folger Shakespeare Library. Originally a single sheet song with music, c 1760. Copy of the single sheet song is in the British Library, London, catalogued by first line in British Union Catalog of Early Music, printed before 1800. The single sheet song issue has the title "The Soldier's Joy."

     When the shrill trumpet sounds on high,
     And wide the floating banners fly,
     When the fierce foe with dire alarms,
     Provoking, menaces to arms:
     When glittering swords and cannons play,
     And death in triumph guides the fray,
     The foe to slaughter and destroy:
     This is alone the soldier's joy.
     But, when sweet peace expands her wings,
     And high the happy alive springs:
     When conquest brings the laurel home,
     The ensign furl'd, and mute the drum;
     Then how he quaffs the mantling bowl,
     And with fresh rapture cheers his soul:
     Then love and wine his hours employ,
     For such is then the soldier's joy.
     Haste, haste, ye patriot friends! Advance!
     And let us scourge perfidious France!
     Strike all your instruments of war,
     And let the sound be heard from far!
     Till, level'd from their hopes on high,
     Beneath your feet the victims lie;
     Then love and wine each hour employ,
     For such shall be the soldier's joy.
[Last verse, France: Tensions were very high between France and England c 1755-1760, and the English were very fearful of an invasion, which, however, never materialized. Robert Burns wrote a song on the same theme to the tune in 1784-85 as the first song in his 'Beggars Cantata.']

S. P. Bayard, Dance to the Fiddle and March to the Fife, #332, cites the tune in two English fife tutors of 1780, and gives a long list of later printings. For other early copies of the tune see the Scots tune index.


The Queen of Love

"A pretie Songe in Comendation of the Springe, called the Queene of Love". Reprinted with its tune by H. E. Rollins, PMLA 38, pp. 149, 1923, from 'Richard Shane' MS. BL MS Add'l. 38559, c 1615-23. Six and one half verses of eight lines in broadside, each half verse corresponding to a long couplet in the Folger MS text. Behind brackets I note equivalent half verses of the Shane MS version. Rollins noted entry of "The Seconde part of the Quene of Love" on Jan. 10, 1605. Rollins quoted singing directions: Yf the verses will not agree with the tune, ye may breake A sembreefe into two minnems, or otherwise, as ye thinke good.

Untitled, Folger Shakespeare Lib. MS V.a. 399, f. 87v

[Queen of Love, In the wanton season]

In a pleasante morninge, when birds on branches sittinge [-
forth I walked all alone, wt joye & solace greetinge [-
Heere to a pleasante fountaine, harde by a valley plotted [3b
like a diamonte set in goulde, ye earthe her boasome grated ["

In ye wanton season, when birdes on branches sittinge [1a
make musicke to yt pleasant springe, there tunes to solace greeting ["
In a morne, a pleasant morne, such as May hath manie [2b
forth I walked all alone unknowne or seene of any ["

When Flora faire unbounde her heare, young Tulus brest to cover [2a
least coulde winters sloathful bed, shoulde meete long lost lover ["
Then I lay all ye day viewing this heavenly wonder [4b
a roote of willowe was my pillow whose branches I lay under [" root or rout?

As those Joyes celestiall, ye mountaines fell skippinge [5a,
the heardes of gottes yt does ye Lambes stoode still & lefte ther trippinge ["
The birds like bees upon ye trees, sat singinge sweete as may be [6a
ye pleasante springe came dauncing in, to meete ther somers Lady ["

The christal brookes whose stremes like crookes do never cease their runninge [5b
[line obviously missing here, see * below]
The birdes, ye beastes, ye goatees, ye trees, ye river & ye mountaines [6b
Stoode all viewinge at ye sighte of this moste heavenly fountaine ["

Thus admired I desired, my sences were all eased [7
but to speake wt her a bed, I shoulde be better pleased. [7

* in the Shane MS this is : Suffered the wanton pebbles stones
                             To staie and rest theyr cuminge  

Play B544, and see variants B545, B340
[Cf. Kempy Kay, Child #33]

A peereless Paragon; Or,

Few so chaste, so beautious or so faire,
For with my love I think none can compare.

To the tune of The mother beguilded the daughter.

In times of yore, sure men did doate,
  And beauty never knew,
Else womrn were not of that note,
  As daily come to view:
For read of all the faces then
  That did mot brightly shine,
Be judg'd by all true judging men,
  They were not like to mine.

King Pryam loved Hecuba,
  And thought her wondrous faire,
But had he seene mine, I dar say
  Ther had been no compare:
Stout Hector held Andromicha   [said to have 'rode' Hector]
  A stately beautious queene;
But she's no Troylus' Cressida,
  Yet faire as ere was seene:
Nay, all the faces Jupiter
  Did like and phansie most,
Are to her substance shadowes meere
  Of whom I make my boast:
Surely you wonder what she is,
  Whose beauty I proclaime,
Ill [tell] you truly, and not misse
  Though she be without name.

My love she is the non-pariel  [Drollery version starts here]
  Of all that ere was seene,   
And had not Venus come i' the way,    
  Shee had been beauties queene:      
Her comly feature, lovely lookes,     
  I will describe at large;           
God Cupid puts her in his bookes,     
  And of this gem takes charge.       

The Grecian Helen was a Moore         
  Compared with my deare saint;       
The faire fac'd Hyren's beauty poore, -- 
  And yet shee does not paynt.        
Andromeda, whom Perseus lov'd,        
  Was blacker than the night;      
Her lineaments, so well approv'd,  
  In praise of them Ile write.     

Queen Vesta for her chastitie  
  With her may not compare;    
Nor Lucrece for her honestie __
  Shee's like the Phoenix rare:
A sommers's day I could commend
  Her parts, were't nere so long,
But yet her parts so farre extend,
  I feare to do her wrong.

The second part. To the same tune.

But yet my tongue cannot refraine,
  To set her praises forth;
Then list, and Ile describe her plaine,
  And show you her true worth:
Her haire not like the golden 
  But black as any crow;                 
Her beetle browes all men admire;     
  He forehead wondrous low.           

Her squinting, stareing, goggle eyes  
  Poore children do affright;         
Her nose is of the Sarazen's size;    
  Oh shee's a matchlesse wight.       
Her eares so hound-like, that they fall
  Upon her shoulder bone;
I know not truly how to call
  Her, shee's such a worthy one.

Her oven-mouth wide open stands,      
  Her teeth like rotten pease;        
Her blabber-lips my my heart commands,
  Her neck all bit with fleas:        
Her tawnie duggs, like two great hills
  Hand sow-like to her waist;         
Her bodie's round as a wind mill,     
  And yet I hold her chast.           

Her belly tun-like to behold, --           
  No more shall be exprest, --
But if the truth were plainely told,
  I'm sure they are the best:
Her brawnie blind-cheeks plump and round,
  As any horse of war;
Her speckled thighs they are not sound,
  Her knees like hoggs-heads are.

Her legs are like the elephant's,
  The calfe and small all one;
Her ankles they together meet,
  And still knock bone to bone;
Her pretty foot not 'bove th' eighteenes,
  So splaid as never was,
An excellent usher for a man
  That walkes the dewy grasse.

Her shoulders are so camel-like,      
  Shee'd make an excellent porter;    
I vow I never knew her like,
  If any man consort her.
No shoulder of mutton like her hand 
  For thickness, breadth, and fat;
With a scurvy mange upon her wrest,
  Oh Jove! how I love that!

Thus have you heard my love set forth,
  And yet no flatterie us'd;
Your judgment -- is shee not of worth?
  Let her not be abus'd.
If any to her have a mind,
   hee wrongs mee many waies;
For shee's beautious, so shee's kind,
  And here concludes my praise.
Printed at London for Thomas Lambert. [1633-40]
H. E. Rollins stated that this ballad was probably "Peereles Peggy or the fortune young man &c", entered Apr. 5, 1633, to Francis Grove. I suspect that the entry actually refers to the following rather similar ballad, which was published by Grove. Our broadside above is an expansion of a song, but the earliest known copy of it is in Wit and Drollery, 1656, consisting of 16 verses of 4 lines each. The drolleries did not print condensations of broadsides, they printed the original songs, which broadsides often expanded. The broadsides, however, were often published long before the original song got published, if it ever did. Many of the songs in the drolleries, but not quite all, can be found in earlier MS copies.

The praise of a Pretty Lasse; Or, 
The young man's dissimulation:
Else hee would not disgrace
A maiden in such fashion.

To the tune of, Bank's Game. [Banks and his trick horse Morroco?]
Young men and maidens, to you Ile declare,
  I love my love, and she loveth me:
Yet to no goddess will I her compare,
And yet she is pretty indifferent faire: 
  With O, my love, O, there is none doth know
  How I do love thee.
She is not black, nor yet is she browne.
  I love my love, and she loveth me:
But, to her portion, she hath thirty pound,
Besides all this whe hath an old blacke gowne:
    O, my love, O, there's none, &c.

She is not great, nor yet very small,
  I love my love, and she loveth me:
She's a yard and a halfe in the waste, that is all,
Her flesh will preserve her hard bones from a fall:
    O, my love, O, &c.

Her haire is as blacke as any crow,
  I love my love, and she loveth me:
Her good conditions there's no man doth know,
For she never came where as any did grow:
    O, my love, O, &c.

She hath a nose in the midst of her face,
  I love my love, and she loveth me:
And that standeth bravely unto her owne grace,
I dare say a better ne're stood in that place:
    O, my love, O, &c.
[Enough, you get the picture, and we've yet some to go.]

At the end of Vol. III of Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1719, are two poems of loathly ladies.

The Well-Featured Lady
Her nose I'd have a foot long, not above,
With Pimples red and blue, for such I love
[Pills to Purge Melancholy, III, p. 346, 1719.


If you will be still,
Then tell you I will
Of a fusty old Gill,
That dwells under a Hill:
She is a right Sae,
Well worn with Age,
And a Visage will swage
A stout Man's Courage.

She has a beetle Brow,
Deep Furrows enow,
She's Ey'd like a Sow,
Flat nos'd like a Cow:
She has a Devilish Grin,
Long Hairs on her Chin,
She's nearly a-kin
To the foul fotted Fiend.

Teeth yellow as Box,
Half out with the Pox,
Her Breath sweet as Socks,
Or the Scent of a Fox:
Lips swarthy and Dun,
With a Mouth like a Gun,
And her Twattle does run,
And swift as the Sun.

Hair lousie with Nits,
She stinksn i'th' Arm-pits,
She'll still hauks and spits,
And hems up great Bits:
She has long unpar'd Nails,
Hands cover'd with Scales,
She's still full of Ails,
And to stink never fails.

Her back has a Hill,
You may plant a Wind-mill,
And the Farts of this Gill,
Would the Sails well trill:
I've taken my fill,
Of the fusty old Gill,
Which she took so ill,
That I laid down my Quill.
In the same vein is a description of a hag, "Pretty Mistress", in The Vocal Miscellany, [I], p. 153, 1734.

I don't know when she first got the glass eye and the wooden leg that we later find in traditional songs about the prostitute, old maid or widow in need of a husband - "Warranty Deed", "Damsel of 19 years old" [- on Bodley Ballads website]

The Kind Lad & scornful Lass

Now Mopsa now we are alone,
  I prithee be not coy
But kind unto your Corydon,
  that he may you enjoy:
I'll hug ye, kiss ye, love ye too,
  more than all the World beside,
And if I find ye to be true,
  you soon shall be my bride;
Then prithee pull off this fine Geer,
That we may go to Bed my Dear. 

Do not rumple my Top-knot,              
  I'll not be kiss'd to day,          
I'll not be pull'd nor haul'd about,   
  thus on a Holy-day;                    
But if your Rudeness you won't leave,   
  no more words to be said,         
See this long Pin upon my Sleeve,    
  I'll stick it to the head;       
And if you rumple my Head-Gear,        
I'll give you a good Ferret of the Ear. 

What makes you be so peevish now,     
  when that I do adore ye,              
And prize ye too, I swear and vow,     
  be kinder I implore you;               
Then Love or hate, do what you will,    
  you are all over Charms;              
I can't forbear to love you still,      
  then come unto my arms,               
And since that it is Holy-day,        
Let us together go and play.      

Come upon a Worky-day,
  when I've my Old Cloaths on,
I will not be so nice nor coy,
  nor stand so much upon;
Then hug and pull and do your best,
  yet I will gentle be;
Kiss hand and mouth, and feel my breast,
  and tickle too my knee;
I'll not be put out of my Robe,
You shall not rumple my Commode.

 I have no time to come abroad,
   upon a Worky-day;
 Then prithee Mopsa be not proud,
   but let us go and play:
I long so much thy Lips to kiss,
  and fold you in my Arms;
Then don't deny me now the Bliss,
  but let us taste the Charms,
And sweetly pass our time away,
Then prithee make no more delay.

What is the matter Corydon,
  that you do thus intrude?   
When I have got my best Cloaths on,
  you should not be so rude:
Oh fie, nay pish, what do you mean?
  I'll sware I will not stay,
Then get you gone, and come again,
  upon another day,
I will not be so finely drest,
Then hug and kiss, and do your best.
The text here is from a seventeenth century broadside ballad, c 1685-90, which contains meaningless music. Two verses of the song appear with music, however, in Pills to Purge Melancholy , VI, p. 55, 1720, and from that comes the tune.

Play: S1, KNDLD

A Merry New Song

A merry new Song how a Bruer meant to make a Cooper cuckold, and
how deere the Bruer paid for the bargaine.

To the tune of, In Summer time [Callino, see BMADD.HTM]

If that you list, now merry be,
Lend listening eares a while to me,
To heare a song of a Bruer bold,
That meant a Cooper to cuckold.

The Cooper walked downe the streete,
And with the Bruer chanc'd to meete:
He called, - Worke for a Cooper, dame;
The Bruer was glad to heare the same.

Cooper, quothe the Bruer, come hether to me,
Perchance I haue some worke for thee:
If that thy doings I doe well like,
Thou shalt haue worke for all this weeke.

The Cooper with cap and curtesie low,
Said, ready I am my tunning to show;
To doe your worke, sir, euery deale,
I do not doubt to doe it well.

Then, quoth this lustie Bruer tho,
If thou my worke doest meane to doe,
Come to me to morrow before it be day,
To hoope vp these olde tubs out of the way.

And so to make vp my merry rime,
The Cooper the next day rose betime;
To the Bruers gate he tooke his race,
And knocked there a great pace.

The Bruer leapt from his bed to the flore,
And to the Cooper he opned the dore;
He shewed him his worke without delay;
To the Coopers wife then he tooke the way.

The Cooper he called at mind at last,
His hatchet he had left at home for hast[e];
And home for his hatchet he must goe,
Before he could worke; the cause it was so.

But when he came his house somwhat nere,
His wife by fortune did him heare:
Alas! said she, what shift shall we make?
My husband is come, -- you will be take!

O Lord! sayd the Bruer, what shall I doe?
How shall I hide me? where shall I goe?
Said shee, - if you will not be espide,
Creepe vnder this fat yourselfe to hide. [vat

The Bruer he crept vnder the same,
And blundering in the Cooper came:
About the shop his tubs he cast,
To finde out his hatchet all in hast.

Then his curst wife begins to prate,--
If thou let out my pig, ile breake thy pate!
A pig, said the Cooper, I knew of none;
If thou hadst not spoke, the pig had bin gone.

If it be a sow-pig, said the Cooper,
Let me haue him rosted for my supper:
It is a bore-pig, man, said she,
For my owne dyet, and not for thee.

It is hard if a woman cannot haue a bit,
But straightway her husband must know of it.
A bore-pig, said the Cooper, so me thinks;
He is so ramish, - fie, how he stinkes!

Well, sayd the Cooper, so I might thriue,
I would he were in thy belly aliue.
I thanke you for your wishe, good man;
It may chance it shall be there anon.

The Bruer that vnder the fat did lye,
Like a pig did assay to grunt and crie:
But, alas! his voice was nothing small;
He cryed so big that he mard all.

Wife, said the Cooper, this is no pig,
But an old hog, he grunteth so big!
He lift vp the fat then by and by;
There lay the Bruer like a bore in a stie.

Wife, said the Cooper, thou wilt lie like a dog!
This is no pig, but a very old hog.
I sweare, quoth the Cooper, I doe not like him;
Ile knock him on the head ere ile keepe him.

O Lord! said the Bruere, serue me not so;
Hold thy hand, Cooper, and let me goe,
And I will giue thee both ale and beere,
To find thy house this sixe or seauen yeare.

I will none of thy ale nor yet of thy beere,
For feare I be poisoned within seauen yeere!
Why, sayd the Bruer, if thou mistrust,
Hold here the keyes of my best chest;

And there is gold and siluer store,
Will serue thee so long and somewhat more:   
If there be store, quoth the Cooper, I say,
I will not come emptie-handed away.

The Cooper went and filled his hat;
The Bruer shall pay for vsing my fat!
The hoping of twentie tubs euery day,
And not gaind me so much as I doe this way.

When he came againe his house within, - 
Packe away, quod he, Bruer, with your broken shin;
And vnder my fat creepe you no more,
Except you make wiser bargaines before.

[Late 16th century, no imprint.]

Play: B051, B051B

Alknomook, or The Death Song of the Cherokee Indians.

The sun sets in night, and the stars shun the day,
But the glory remains, when the lights fade away,
Begin ye tormentrs, your threats are in vain,
For the son of Alknomook shall never complain.

Remember the arrows we shot from the bow,
Remember your chief by his hatchet laid low
Whys so slow do you wait till I shreik from pain?
No, the son of Alknomook will never complain.

Remember the wood where in ambush we lay,
And the scalps which we bore from your nation away.
Now the shame rises fast, you exult in my pain,
But the son of Alknomook can never complain.

I go to the land where my father is gone,
His ghost shall rejoice, in the name of his son,
Death comes like a friend, he relieves me from pain,
And thy son o Alknomook, has scorned to complain.

Typical Historical Fiction: American histories credit the song to no less than three different Americans, none of whom wrote it!

Many American musical history books (I failed to write down titles or editors of those giving song and tune) give song as by Ann Julia Hatton and music by James Hewitt, tracing the song to a non-extant play, Tammany, (or the Indian Chief) first given in New York in March, 1794, and subsequently at 4 or 5 other U.S. cities. I have not yet discovered the original source for this information. The song may have been in the play, but it certainly did not originate there. Hewitt later composed variations on the tune. New Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1980. The tune is also credited to Hewitt in Hitchcock and Sadie's The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, 1986. Both Grove articles are by John W. Wagner, and cite his Ph.D. thesis, 'James Hewitt, His Life and Works.' At end of article on Hewitt in both Groves' is a listing of bibliographies of Hewitt's compositions, Wagner's thesis included, and the source for attribution of the tune to Hewitt will probably be found there. How could Wagner at this late date be so unaware of even just earlier American publications of the song, not to mention English ones? [Roud #2842]

Leslie Fiedler and Arthur Zeigler, O Brave New World, Vol. I, Dell, New York, 1968, p. 142, attribute the song to Philip Freneau with the title 'The Death Song of a Cherokee Indian.' Their biography of Freneau, pp. 659-61, gives no information about their attribution of this song to him.

Dramatic histories credit song to Royall Tyler, as it is in his play, The Contrast, first presented in NY in Feb, 1787, later that year in Philadelphia, and in 1788 in Baltimore, where George Washington saw it. (Published in 1790 for subscribers only, the first of which was G. Washington, and his copy is the only complete one known to be extant.)

English history:

Nine canzonets for two voices.. To which is added The Death Song of the Cherokee Indians, Printed for the author [Ann Home Hunter] by Longman and Broderip [1782]

"The sun sets in night." Four single sheet with music issues of "The Death song of the Cherokee Indians." Earliest, c 1782, 'An original air, brought from America by a Gentleman....The words adapted by a Lady [i.e. Ann Home, Mrs. John Hunter, from 1771.]

The Banquet of Thalia, 1792, songbook without music in Folger Shakespeare Lib. Song is, p. 16, 'The Favourite Indian Death Song. Set to music by [Stephen] Paxton. As sung by Mr. Meredith,' 4 verses, no music, commencing "The sun sets in night." I have not found Paxton's tune, but the original really was a Cherokee tune (though nothing to crow about). [I have several more references to publication, some earlier than this, with and without music, in the British Isles up to and including 1800]

Folger Lib. MS M.a. 182, lacking the third verse, and there attributed to Mrs. Hunter. MS copy (with tune). Ohio State Univ. Lib. MS English #11. Poetical miscellany later converted to a medical notebook, compiled by a James Parker (Scots?) dated 1783 on back cover, but contents range to 1800.

It was argued that the song was of c 1784 in The Musical Antiquary, III, 1912, in an article based on notes by Frank Kidson (obviously unaware of our reference above, Nine canzonets). This article notes copies ptd. in Edinburgh and Dublin. Edinbugh, The Bee (a magazine), 1791, noting tune was from a Mr. Turner. Song is in Ritson, Scots Songs, II, p. 468, (Mrs. and Dr. Hunter were Scots), where Mrs Hunter's reply to a query by Ritson is quoted. Song and tune also discussed in an article by Robert Stevenson, 'English Sources for Indian Music before 1882', Ethnomusicology, XVII, pp. 406-8, (Sept.) 1973.

From Mrs Hunter via Ritson: Mrs. Hunter obtained (in England) the tune and, presumably, an account of what the song said, from a man named Turner, who had lived among the among American Indians for nine years and said the melody was a Cherokee one.

Traditional Ameican versions have been collected, but only one has been published that I've seen: Henry Shoemaker, Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1931, p. 113. "Death Song" lacking 1st verse, with subheading 'Indian Chief, While Tied to the Stake and Ready to be Tortured.' Contributed, without music, in 1919, by E. R. Maine, from memory of father's singing, with statement that contributer had never seen song in print.

Emelyn. E. Gardiner and Geraldine Chickering, Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan, 1939, (from reprint 1967), p. 477. Found in song MS, described on p. 489 under Mrs. Wm. Warner, but not published, "Alnomack." They refer to #3002 and 3047 in Worthington C. Ford's Broadsides, Ballads, etc. Printed in Massachusetts, 1639-1800. Boston, 1922. They also cite it in Tyler's play The Contrast, 1787.

H. W. Thompson and E. Cutting, A Pioneer Songster (Stevens- Douglas MS 1841-56), p. 172, 1958. The authors point out publication of the song in The Philadelphia Songster, 1789.

Bruce A. Rosenberg, The Folksongs of Virginia. A Checklist...[in] Alderman Library, University of Virginia. Univ. Press of Va., Charlottesville, 1969. #14, "Alknomook" 4 verses, from Miss Jenny Ewell, Haymarket, 3/3/41.

Play: S1, ALKNMK

Go to Index

Everybody knows the chorus of this, but who knows the rest?

Mother, May I Go Out to Swim (Bathing Song)

Sung by Julian Eltinge of Cohan & Harris' "Honey Boy" Minstrels
Word and Music by Lester Keith

A sweet little peach from Manhattan Beach
Was strolling upon the sand,
And met a young sport from jolly Newport
Who thought she was perfectly grand
She murmured to him, "I'd go take a swim,
But I am engaged to be wed,
Though it's very warm, it's very bad form."
"Yours looks good to me," he said
She answered right away, "To Ma I used to say"

Mother may I go out to swim,
Yes my darling daughter,
Hang your clothes on a hickory limb,
But don't go near the water.
You may look cute in your bathing suit,
But act just as you oughter,
Now and then you can flirt with the men,
But don't go near the water.

This dapper young swell then said to the belle,
"Please come out and dine with me,
It's quite impolite, but come out tonight,
I love you and you must agree,"
She answered in haste, "It's very bad taste
To dine with a stranger I'm told:"
But her taste was fine for champagne and wine
Cost him twenty dollars cold,
And afterwards he thought, Of what her mother taught


Copyright 1908. [With music. I suspect the songwriters Keith Lester, Lester W. Keiffer, Lester Keith, and Lester W. Keith are the same person, but who was he?. For the chorus see the Opie's Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, among other places.]

Play: S1, MTHRSWM1, for song part
S1, MTHRSWM2, for chorus

Go to Index

Victoria and Albert Museum MS D.25.F.39

Upon a baker's wife...

The Bakers wife hath put more bread in her oven
then her husband knows
The ovens mouth it was so hote it burnt ye peele [pole?]
& both ye loaves

Heere lies James Baynton yt loved a wench
Who liv'd by ye English & dy'd by ye French [pox]

BL MS Add. 22603

A Woman callinge her husband a Cuckold by Craft

A Certaine fellow without Cloake or Gown
Would needs name all ye Cuckolds in ye Towne
His wife sayd syr, forbeare now if you can
For husband you are such another man

Bodleian MS Eng. poet. d.152

Brilliant are her eyes
Harder is her heart
Were I betwixt her thighs
I'd losten every part

BL MS Egerton 2421, Addl. 30982

Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason
Because ift' prosper, none date call it treason

Bodleian MS Eng. poet d. 152, and others.

On a coy woman

Shee seems not won, yet shee is at length
In loves war, women use but halfe their strength

Epithaphs: Bodlein MS Rawl. 26 [Variant in another Bodleian MS]

On Mr Fish

Wormes be bayte for fish, heres a great change
fish bayte for worms, is not that strange

BL MS Egerton 2421, MS Add. 30982

On a Locksmith

A zealous locksmith died of late
On wch hee lay at heavens gate
The reason is hee will not knock
Because hee means to picke ye lock

Bodleian MS, Hearne's diaries

Here lies John Hough
And that's enough

Bodleian MS Eng. poet d. 152, BL MS Sloane 1867, Bodl. MS Ashmole 47, Wits Recreation, 1663, and elsewhere. On the lady Rich.

Here lyes one dead under this marble stone
Who, when she liv'd lay under more than one

A variant is given by Wardroper, Love and Drollery, #228, who notes it is often part of a four line verse on Lady Rich (d. 1607). Other copies of "On the Lady Rich" are in Folger Shakespeare library MS V.a.262 and V.a.97. Also in several Bodleian MSS. Labeled "One ye Lady Rich" is the two line version in MS V.a.345. F. Furnival also gave the four line version in Love Poems and Humorous Ones, 1874, as follows:

Here lies faire Penelope, or my Lady Rich
Or the Countesse of Devonshire: I know not which
One stone containes her nowe, -this, Death can doe,
Whoe, in her life was not content with twoe.

[The two halves are separated in Victoria and Albert Museum MS D.25.F.39. f. 67v has - "Under this stone lyes my Lady Rich, Or ye Countesse of Devonshire I know not which" and f. 68v has - "Under one stone she lies with much adoe, That while she liv'd was not content with two."]

A Scotch Epitaph

Here lies interred
In this Churchyard
Geeny Cutt berd
with her Coney upward

BL MS 22603

Here lyes Dumbelowe, for his name was so
If his arse could have spoke, his heart had not broke

From Folger Shapespeare Library MS V.a. 399, c 1603, comes the following: An Epitaph upon a maid whose age was thirtie one
That died for lacke of pricke and stones:-:-:-

Within this place there lies a mayd
yt for a husband longe time staid
of age whe was some thirtie one
Yet never had Collect pricke nor stone
Itt was her happ so longe to staye
& never tast dame Venus playe
ah haplesse wretch & ill bested
So longe to keepe her maiden head
She thought therof her hart did breake
Yet unto no man would she speake
Nor tell her friendes what was her griefe
but died alacke wtout relife
More pittie it was & shes to blame
Yt fell not to yt pleasinge game
but had ahe thought death was so cruell
Shee would have used her longe kept fuell
Hir mother oft times did her tell
Yt shee should halter Apes in hell
nowe doth shee prove it to hir paine
& wish she were aliue againe
To warne each mayde yt here doth hide
of yt which shall ym sure betide
if they as she speed time amisse
they shall not taste Elizians blisse
Desiringe them by her beware
least yt like playes falls to there share
& if they be but twelve and one
Yet let them take ye pricke & stone
All you yt reade this Epitaph
& here how shes misdone by Fare
fall on youre backes to amke yor prayer
& singe hir dirge in Venus guier :-:-:-

F. Furnival, Love-Poems and Humorous Ones, Ballad Society, 1874, gave the following from a MS copy. In BL MS Addl. 44963. This is the conclusion of a six line verse on "Sir Walter Ralegh & a Lady (Bendbow)." However, the two line version is headed "Dr. Donne to a gentlewoman that gave him the lie" in Folger Shakespeare Lib. MS V.a. 262, and attributed to "Dr. Dun" in Folger MS V.a. 345. (Without attribution in BL MS Harl. 923)

You saie, I lie. I think you lie: judge whether
If we both lie; then let's lie both together

[From MS, date? 16--] Song

At the bottom of ye Chamber pot
The Dr hath a place
Where Ladies do affront him
By pissing on his face

He may thank the wiggish Ladies
For these their cunning Arts
For placing in his view
Their non acsisting parts
wn a watering they go, &c

If this be whiggish Modesty
I'le leave it to the town
To sit upon the Chamber pot
And piss upon the Gown
wn a watering &c

They are active in resistance
and passive in Obedience
Tho' in their heart they hate the Man
Their Souls pay him allegiance
wn a watering &c

They rail against the Doctor
with fury & disdain
They drink & piss & piss & drink
To piss on him again
wn a watering they goe.

Later addition to early 17th cent. MS.


My lady and her Maid were in a merry pinn
They made a match at Farting wch shod the wager win
Joan she Light three Candles & set them both upright
Wth ye first Fart she blowed ym out wth ye next she gave ymLight
But in comes my Lady with all her might & main
And blows them out & in & out & in & out again

A Riddle, handwritten in at end of a copy of The booke of pretty conceits, c 1628.

Five wives, and five, and five and fifteen,
They all assembled on a green,
And every wife rode on a mare
And another mare their geare bare:
An every mare a filly fole,
And every one of them a double hole.
Now tell me fellow by thy say
How many lickholes were there that day.

The seamans love letter from Plymouth to his mistress in Wapping [From MS, late 17th century]

Dear Madam

My long consideration
of ye great reputation
You have in this nation
For your good education
Which moves admiration
With another qualification
Wh hath kindled loves passion
In some of high station
Give me invitation
And a strong inclination
Upon my salutation
To become your relation
yt by Loves frication
I mean copulation
Without fornication
I may give you demonstration
Of ye great estimation
I have for ye occupation
Of your place of titilation
So I give intimation
yt I'm making preparation
To a speedy navigation
To remove my habitation
To a new situation
For ye sake of conversation
And if this my declaration
By your kind acceptation
Should find approbation
'twill impose an obligation
Without dissumulation
From generation to generation
So hopeing for consolation
Upon ye consumation
Of ye work of generation
I am yours by protestation

"On the Dutchesse of Cleaveland" [Barbara Villiers, Lady Castlemaine] Here from Victoria and Albert Museum MS D.25.F.37, p. 262. Also in BL MS Harl. 6914. J. Wardroper printed the text of an incomplete copy (missing 5th and 6th lines here), with no attribution, in Love and Drollery, #344, 1969. His text was from BL MS 22582, and he notes that it was a translation of an epigram known in Spain in 1622.

     She was so exquisite a whore
     That in the belly of her mother
     Her C--t she place'd so right before
     Her father F-ckd them both together
     Had she been Male, as Female, without doubt
     She'd acted Incest at her coming out
     And least her Daddy should not F-ck it home
     She Friggd his Pintle in her Mothers Womb
                                          Duke of Buckingham
     With this compare the fourth verse of "An Historical Ballad"
commencing "Much has been said of strumpets of yore" in J. S.
Farmer's Merry Songs and Ballads, V, p. 21, from
Ane Pleasant Garland. The source of the text there
is an undatable copy in NLS MS Adv. 19.1.13, f. 4. A good copy is
also in Victoria and Albert Museum MS D.25.F.37, p. 369. Another
copy, missing the fourth verse, is in BL MS Harl. 6914, f 31v.
The latter two copies seem to be of about 1682-3. 
BL MS Add. 30982 [Also in MS Sloane 1489. On Robert Carr and
Penelope Rich, after her murder by poisoning of Sir Tho.
Overbury. Shorter versions of this are more common.] 
I  C  U  R  good monseir Carr    about to fall
U  R  A  K  as most men say      but yts not all  [K=knave
U  O  Q  P  wt a nullitie        that wicked parte
S  X  Y  F  whose wicked life    will breake ye neck [Essex wife]
thou Carr so I fairest boast didn't trust
pride, envie, murther, wanton lust.
BL MS Sloane 1489
  U  R  I  C  poore Canterbury   In a tottering state
  A  P  O  P  yt say you'le be   But tis to eate
  S  C  O  T  some say tis he    Brings all to sight
  U  R  I  C  in some gt fear    Yoe savers not white
  A  G  R  Y  If he come nigh    Will have ye miter
  H  G? A  D  & all for me       Shall fail ye Sighter
BL MS Harl. 4955, Bodleian MS 
  If U 2 I as I to U am true
  I must lie & I/U I in U  
Go to Index  
   FINIS [End of File]