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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleJohn Appleby
Roud No.1292
Collected FromBetterton, Thomas
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 92
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 13th May, 1916, p 3, Part 30, No. 8; Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 225, 226
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

John Appleby was this man's name,
He lived at the sign of the Kettle'
Jane Slade was his wife's name,
And she could not scold but little.


Sing fol the rol lol the ri day

Verse 2

John to the alehouse would go,
And Jane to the tavern would run;
John would get drunk with the women,
And Jane would get drunk with the men.


Verse 3

Now John was much of a drunkard,
And Jane was much of a glutton;
And so to settle the matter,
They bought them a shoulder of mutton.


Verse 4

John came home in a rage,
And took the shoulder of mutton in hand,
He threw it through the window,
And knocked down a gingerbread stand.


Verse 5

Then John, in his angry mood,
Caught hold of the leg of the table,
He beat the old woman's head,
As hard as he was able.


Verse 6

Then off to the Justice Jane went,
And kicked up a terrible bustle,
But they ordered her out of the court,
And swore they'd have no such tussle.

Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS / FSUT: 'This quaint old song I discovered at Hatherop. I have not met with it elsewhere. Words obtained of Edward Griffin.'

Note 2

In Verse 3 Lines 2 and 4 the original text read:

Now John was not much of a drunkard,
And Jane was not much of a glutton;

In addition there is a second name, Thomas Betterton, who may have lived at Hatherop. He is not listed for any other song collected by Williams.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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