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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleOld Moll
Roud No.817
Collected FromJeffries, William
LocationLongcot
CountyBerkshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 1 - Indexes, lecture notes, Berkshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Bk 19
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 15th January, 1916, p 2, Part 14, No. 1: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 95 – 97
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1 Youth

"Good morning, Moll! Where art thou going
All in the morning gay?
I have something to say to thee,
Sweet Moll, if thou wilt stay."

Verse 2 Maid

"What hast thou got to say to me?
Come tell unto me now,
For I do not mean to spend my time,
In a way I know not how."

Verse 3 Youth

"Our friends and parents are well agreed,
That married we shall be,
So forth pull down thy lofty high looks,
And swop thy love to me."

Verse 4 Maid

"Do you think I would wed with a clown?
No! Better I was bred.
For I must have a handsome man,
'Fore ever I will wed."

Verse 5 Youth

"What! byent I handsome enough for thee,
With my double leather breech,
A gold laced band about my neck,
Look on me the other twitch."

Verse 6 Maid

"Now I must have some butcher's meat,
And bread and butter fine,
And every morning a dish of tea,
To drink instead of wine."

Verse 7 Youth

"Won't some good fat bacon serve thy turn,
Some delicate powdered beef,
Some bread and cheese, and milk, sweet Moll?
That's farmer's food indeed."

Verse 8 Maid

"Now I must have a silken gown,
And petticoats likewise,
My stockings of the finest silk,
And my shoes of the highest price."

Verse 9 Youth

"Won't one good garment serve thy turn,
And petticoats likewise,
Thy stockings of the good, true blue,
And thy shoes of the lowest price."

Verse 10 Maid

"I've been to a boarding school,
And better I was bred,
And I will have a handsome man,
'Fore ever I will wed."

Verse 11 Youth

"A little learning I have had,
And that I've most forgot,
But if thou wilt not marry me,
That puts an end to all that."
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms: 'This quaint old duet was formerly popular around Highworth and Longcot, Berkshire. It dates from the seventeenth century, and it is a very good specimen of the rural muse, differing from the common street ballad. Obtained of William Jefferies. It was usual for the singers to repeat the last verse jointly, and bump their backs together at the close.'

Williams, Alfred: WGS: 'A quaint old duet was formerly popular around Highworth and Longcot, Berkshire. It dates probably from the seventeenth century, and it is a very good specimen of the rural muse, differing from the common street ballad. Obtained of William Jefferies, Longcot. It was usual for the singers to repeat the last verse jointly, and bump their backs together at the close.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'This quaint old duet was formerly popular around Highworth and Longcot, Berkshire. It dates probably from the seventeenth century, and is a very good specimen of the rural muse, differing from the common street ballad. Obtained of William Jefferies, Longcot. It was usual for the singers to repeat the last verse jointly, and bump their backs together at the close.'

Note 2

The manuscript differs from that published in Folk Songs of the Upper Thames. In the latter the following appears:

Verse 1

As I was walking all along
Down by a shady grove,
There I did spy a saucy clown,
Pretending to me his love.

Chorus

I've sailed in such a town where the sun has scorched my nose off,
I've sailed in such a town where the frost has clipped my toes off,
Roddy, oody, oody, ow, dow, dow!

There is no indication in the manuscript of the source of the above.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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