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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleOyster girl
Roud No.875
Collected FromIles, Elijah
LocationInglesham
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 5 - Miscellaneous: Williams, A: MS collection No Mi 669: WSRO: 2598/28 Williams, Alfred: Round about the Upper Thames Ms Vol. 5 p 31
Source SecondaryWilliams, A: Round about the upper Thames, Duckworth, 1922, p 300
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

As I was a-walking a fair London street,
A pretty little oyster girl I chanced for to meet,
And into her basket so nimbly I did peep
'Pretty maid have you got any oysters?'

Verse 2

'Oh, oysters, oh, oysters, oh, oysters,' said she,
'I have the finest oysters you ever did see.
I sell them three a penny and long as I have any,
And I warrant them all the 'pluck oysters'.

Verse 3

'Oh, Landlord! Oh, Landlord! Oh, Landlord!' said he,
'Have you got a spare room for the oyster girl and me,
Where we may sit down and so merry, merry be
And bargain for the basket of oysters.'

Verse 4

Oh, yes sir. Oh, yes sir. Oh, yes sir,' said he,
'I have got a spare room for the oyster girl and thee,
Where you may sit down and merry, merry be,
And bargain for the basket of oysters.'

Verse 5

I had not been in the room containing half an hour,
Before she picked my pocket of fifty pounds or more,
And out of the room so quickly she did run,
And left me with the basket of oysters.

Verse 6

'Oh, Landlord! Oh, Landlord! Oh, Landlord!' said he,
'Have you seen the little oyster girl that come in with me?
She has been and robbed me of all my monee,
And left me with a basket of oysters.'

Verse 7

Oh, yes sir, Oh, yes sir. Oh, yes sir,' said he,
I have seen that little oyster girl that came in along with thee,
She has paid all the reckoning and thou cans't go free,
And she's left thee the basket of oysters.

Verse 8

I've travelled through England, Scotland and France,
Ut never could I light on another such a lass.
It was a little Irish girl led me such a dance,
And she learned me hoe to buy oysters.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms: As this is the only version of the song in the archive I have attributed it to Iles.

Williams, Alfred: RAUT: There are brief references to this song being sung by Iles in both sources.

Note 2

In Verse 1 Lines 3 and 4 the original text was:

And into her basket so mildly I did peep
And asked her how she sold her oysters.

In Verse 2 Lines 1 & 2 the original text was:

'Oh, oysters! Oh, oysters!' then said she,
I have the finest oysters you ever did see.

In Verse 3 Lines 2 & 3 the original text was:

'Have you got a private room for the oyster girl and me,
Where we may go in and so merry, merry be

In Verse 4 Line 3 the original text was:

Oh yes! You may go in and merry, merry be

In Verse 5 Line 1 the original text was:

We'd not been in the room but a moment, I swear

In Verse 6 Lines 1 & 2 the original text was:

'Oh, Landlord! Oh,, Landlord! I pray did you see
The pretty little oyster girl come in with me?

In Verse 7 Line 3 & 4 the original text was:

'Oh yes! And she has paid and thou cans't go free
And travel with the basket of oysters

In Verse 8 Line 2 the original text was:

But never in my life was I led such a dance

Verses 4 and 7 originally comprised two lines each and these have been amended at a later date in red ink, Williams' usual editorial method.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2011.

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