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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleOld farmer and his young wife
Roud No.114
Collected FromSawyer, David [Phoebus]
LocationOgbourne St. Andrew
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative TitleChild No 274; Our good man
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 461
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 4th March, 1916, p 3, Part 21, No. 1: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 188 – 190
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

I went into the stable to see what I could see,
And there I saw three horses stand by one, two and three;
I called unto my loving wife - "I'm coming sir", said she;
"Pray what do these three horses here without the leave of me?"
"Why you old fool! Blind fool! Can't you very well see?
They are three milking cows my granny sent to me."
"Ods bobs! What fun! Milking cows with saddles on!
The like was never seen!
If ever I go out from home a cuckold I come in."

Verse 2

I went into the kitchen to see what I could see,
And there I saw three hats hung by one, two and three;
I called unto my loving wife - "I'm coming sir," said she;
"Pray what do these three hats here without the leave of me?"
"Why you old fool! Blind fool! Can't you very well see?
They are three milking pails my granny sent to me."
"Ods bobs! What fun! Milking pails with brims on!
The like was never seen!
If ever I go out from home a cuckold I come in."

Verse 3

I went into the kitchen to see what I could see,
And there I saw three whips hung by one, two and three;
I called unto my loving wife - "I'm coming sir," said she;
"Pray what do these three whips here without the leave of me?"
"Why you old fool! Blind fool! Can't you very well see?
They are three pokers my granny sent to me."
"'Ods bobs! What fun! Pokers with lashes on!
The like was never seen!
If ever I go out from home a cuckold I come in."

Verse 4

I went into the kitchen to see what I could see,
And there I saw three coats hung by one, two and three;
I called unto my loving wife - "I'm coming sir," said she;
"Pray what do these three coats here without the leave of me?"
"Why you old fool! Blind fool! Can't you very well see?
They are three butter cloths my granny sent to me."
"Ods bobs! What fun! Butter cloths with buttons on!
The like was never seen!
If ever I go out from home a cuckold I come in."

Verse 5

I looked beneath the table to see what I could see,
And there I saw three pairs of boots by one, two and three;
I called unto my loving wife - "I'm coming sir," said she;
"Pray what do these three pairs of boots here without the leave of me?"
"Why you old fool! Blind fool! Can't you very well see?
They are three flower pots my granny sent to me."
"Ods bobs! What fun! Flower pots with spurs on!
The like was never seen!
If ever I go out from home a cuckold I come in."

Verse 6

I went into the kitchen to see what I could see,
And there I saw three hats hung by one, two and three;
I called unto my loving wife - "I'm coming sir," said she;
"Pray what do these three hats here without the leave of me?"
"Why you old fool! Blind fool! Can't you very well see?
They are three milking pails my granny sent to me."
"Ods bobs! What fun! Milking pails with brims on!
The like was never seen!
If ever I go out from home a cuckold I come in."

Verse 7

I went into the chamber to see what I could see,
And there I saw three strange men lie by one, two and three;
I called unto my loving wife - "I'm coming sir," said she;
"Pray what do these three men here without the leave of me?"
"Why you old fool! Blind fool! Can't you very well see?
They are three dairy maids my granny sent to me."
"Ods bobs! What fun! Dairy maids with beards on!
The like was never seen!
If ever I go out from home a cuckold I come in."
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms: 'This old song was extremely popular throughout the Thames Valley. I have met with it in as many as four forms, two of which I give below. There is also a Scotch version dated 1769 and a copy is printed in 'Bell's Songs of the English Peasantry', 1862. The variations are not considerable. The pieces might be added to according to the pleasure and skill of the singer. The following, however, represents about the average length of the several versions. I have heard at Ogbourne, South Marston, Latton, Holwell, Shilton, Brize Norton and Longcot, Berkshire. Copy obtained of David Sawyer, Ogbourne and Charles Messenger of Cerney Wick.

Instead of 'Ods bobs! What fun!' I have heard 'Ods bobs! Blind busset!'

Williams, Alfred: WGS / FSUT: 'This old song was extremely popular throughout the Thames Valley. I have met with it in as many as four forms, two of which I give below. There is also a Scotch version dated 1769 and a copy is printed in 'Bell's Songs of the English Peasantry', 1862. The variations are not considerable. The pieces might be added to according to the pleasure and skill of the singer. The following, however, represents about the average length of the several versions. I have heard at Ogbourne, South Marston, Latton, Holwell, Shilton, Brize Norton and Longcot, Berkshire. Copy obtained of David Sawyer, Ogbourne and Charles Messenger of Cerney Wick. Instead of 'Ods bobs! What fun!' I have heard 'Ods bobs! Blind busset!'

Note 2

In the WGS version Verse 6 is omitted.

Note 3

In Verse 3 Line 1 the original text read:

I went into the passage to see what I could see

In Verse 3 Line 7 the original text read:

Surely they are three pokers my granny sent to me

In Verse 5 Line 1 the original text read:

I went into the kitchen to see what I could see

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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