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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleOld Mother Hooligan
Roud No.575
Collected FromField, Elizabeth Mrs. [Lily]
LocationBibury
CountyGloucestershire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Oxfordshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 166
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 19th August, 1916, p 3, Part 42, No. 3: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 171, 172
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Old Mother Hooligan said to her son,
"I pray thee take parents' advice,
Put on the best clothes as ever thee's got,
And go seek thee a wife. Thee must.
Ah, thee must, I'm sure thee must,
Go and seek thee a wife, thee must."

Verse 2

So Robin put on his holiday clothes,
Which were neither ragged not torn,
A fine yellow rose to match with his clothes,
And he looked like a gentleman born, he did.
Ah, he did, I sure he did,
He looked like a gentleman born, he did.

Verse 3

Now the very first suitor that Robin came to,
Was the butcher's fair daughter, named Grace;
He hadn't a-spoke past one word or two
Before she hit him a slap in the face.
Ah, she did, I'm sure she did,
Before she hit him a slap in the face, she did,

Verse 4

As Robin was walking down the street,
Admiring so many fine folks,
He happened to kiss the wife of a priest,
And she had him put in the stocks, she
Ah, she did, I'm sure she did,
She had him put in the stocks, she did.

Verse 5

Now as Robin was weeping and wailing about,
And making a terrible bother -
"If this is the way that men get wives,
Why, I'll go home to my mother, I will.
Ah, I will, I'm sure I will,
Why, I'll go home to my mother I will."

Verse 6

And when the old woman saw Robin, her son -
"Ogs-ugs! I'm awfully glad;
And we'll have a fifing and dancing full soon,
For Robin thou art soon wed, thou art.
Ah, thou art, I'm sure thou art,
For Robin thou art soon wed, thou art."

Verse 7

"Mother, take down the fiddle and play us a tune,
Take down the meat from the shelf;
And we'll have fifing and dancing full soon,
But I'll never more seek for a wife, I won't.
No, I won't, I'm sure I won't,
I'll never more seek for a wife, I won't."
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS / FSUT: 'An old Irish song, popular in the English counties. It was sung by a Mrs Davis, sister of David Sawyer, to whom I am indebted for many fine old pieces. Words supplied by Mrs W Field, Winson, near Fairford.'

Note 2
Mrs Davis, sister of David Sawyer can be identified as Emily Sawyer who married William Davis in 1863.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2014.

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