Mowing the Barley (Cold and Raw)
DESCRIPTION: A lawyer asks a pretty woman where she's going: "To my father a-mowing the barley." He propositions her; she scorns him, (telling him to keep his money for his wife at home). (He presses his case; she yields and marries "into a station above her")
EARLIEST DATE: before 1697 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 39(152)); 1699 ("Pills to Purge Melancholy"; a bawdy version)
KEYWORDS: courting seduction marriage rejection lawyer
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South,West)) Ireland
REFERENCES (14 citations):
Sharp-100E 60, "Mowing the Barley" (1 text, 1 tune)
KarpelesCrystal 62, "Mowing the Barley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-Sharp 64, "Mowing the Barley" (1 text)
Reeves-Circle 82, "The Lawyer" (1 text)
VaughanWilliams/Palmer, #96, "The Lawyer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cologne/Morrison, pp. 13-14, "Oh Where Beet Gwying?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hamer-Green, pp. 28-29, "The Barley Mow" (1 text, 1 tune)
RoudBishop #49, "Mowing the Barley" (1 text, 1 tune)
OLochlainn 61, "The Maid That Sold Her Barley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chappell/Wooldridge I, "Stingo, or The Oil Of Barley, or Cold And Raw" (1 tune)
Behan, #5,"As I Was Going O'er the Moor" (1 text, tune)
BBI, ZN499, "Cold and Raw the North did blow"; cf. ZN2294, "Riding down a narrow lane, two or three hours after"
DT, MOWBRLY SOLDBRLY*
ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 281-282, "The Maid That Sold Her Barley" (1 text)
A. L. Lloyd, "Cold and Raw" (on Lloyd1)
Bodleian, Harding B 39(152), "The Northern Ditty" or "The Scotch-man Out-witted by the Country Damsel", P. Brooksby (London), 1683-1696; also Harding B 39(201)[almost entirely illegible], Douce Ballads 2(168a), Douce Ballads 3(70a), Vet. A3 b.43(13), Harding B 1(86), "The Northern Ditty" or "The Scotch-man Out-witted by the Country Damsel"; Harding B 1(87), Harding B 11(2300), Harding B 11(2301), 2806 c.15(108)[almost entirely illegible], Harding B 26(413), Harding B 11(3867), 2806 b.11(138), Harding B 19(28), "[The] Maid That Sold Her Barley"
NLScotland, APS.4.84.18, "The Northern Ditty" or "The Scotchman Outwitted by a Country Damsel," unknown, 19C
The Lusty Fryer of Flanders/Not long ago from hence I went (BBI ZN1898)
The Poor Contented Cuckold/Was e'er man so unfortunate (BBI ZN2731)
Roger's Renown..Fourth and Last Merry Ditty of Cold and Raw/Roger did a letter send (BBI ZN2302)
The Downright Wooing Of Honest John & Betty/Well met my pritty Betty (BBI ZN2778)
A General Summons ..Hen-Peck'd Frigate/Here is a summons for all honest men (BBI ZN1133)
The London Jilts Lamentation/Here is wonderful Strange News (BBI ZN1136)
The Miserable Mountebank/In a market town of late (BBI ZN1403)
The Wealthy Farmers Choice/Near a pleasant shady grove, in prime of summer weather (BBI ZN1863)
Up in the Morning Early (_Scots Musical Museum_ #140, probably a partial rewrite of this piece)
Cold and Raw
The Maid Who Sold Her Barley
NOTES [320 words]: Although this song is most famous as "Cold and Raw" (see the numerous broadsides using this tune), there are versions which do not use this phrase, so I chose the title "Mowing the Barley." In addition, the "Cold and raw" refrain apparently exists as ain independent nursery refrain; see Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #414, p. 194, "(Cold and raw the north wind doth blow)."
According to Arnold Kellett, The Yorkshire Dictionary of Dialect, Tradition, and Folklore, revised edition, Smith Settle, 2002, p. 175, "Stingo" (one of the names for this tune) is "strong beer from the first brewing."
There is a broadside, NLScotland APS.4.84.18, "The Northern Ditty; or The Scotchman Outwitted by a Country Lass," which begins with the words of this song, but the rest sounds like a "Baffled Knight" plot. The photograph of the sheet is largely illegible. - RBW
Reeves-Sharp: "And well in the station above her" is a Sharp emendation, following "They live in the happiest content of life," of "And will in the place above here." In the Bodleian broadsides, for example Harding B 11(2300) and Harding B 1(87), the girl takes his money and leaves him behind on the other side of a river he can't ford.
Sequels or answers arose early. Some of the "Northern Ditty" broadsides listed above have "a second part" (for example, Douce Ballads 3(70a) and Harding B 1(87)).
See Bodleian, Don. b.13(12), "A third merry ditty of Cold and raw," J. Deacon (London), 1671-1704; Bodleian, Douce Ballads 2(187a), "Rogers Renown" or "The fourth and last merry ditty of Cold and raw," J. Blare (London), 1683-1706
Bodleian attributes its "The Northern Ditty" broadsides' authorship to Thomas D'Urfey. I don't find that attribution on the face of any of those broadsides. For information about Thomas D'Urfey see The Contemplator's Short Biography of Thomas D'Urfey (1653-1723) at the Contemplations from the Marianas Trench contemplator.com site. - BS
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