it's "And held loosely by his side...."
My late father came from Croydon in Surrey, and when I was quite small in the 1950s he told me a story of a well-known Croydon character, an old homeless lady who was a familiar sight walking around with two carrier bags which she was never seen without.
One day she was accidentally run over and the contents of the carrier bags spilt out all over the road....hundreds and hundreds of bank notes!!!
Years later, I heard Ralph McTell interviewed on the radio, and he told the interviewer that he came from Croydon....!!