Happy New Year,
Roud 2640 has 49 listings many of them - including the "Selling the Cow" which I posted above (Collected Woofter c. 1924- pub. Combs 1925) are put under 2640 - The Crafty Farmer (only one US version is 2640 and it is from Cox pub. 1925). I'm not going to sort through but it should be done.
A version - Flanders j may date back to the 1700s but I'm having trouble because Flanders info seems to be wrong:
"Miss May Louise Harvey of Woodstock, Vermont, sang this as learned from her mother, Rebecca Greenough, who came in 1853 to Vermont after her marriage. This was sung by Mrs, Greenough's grandmother, Mrs. Rebecca Hoyt who lived, near Concord, New Hampshire, when Mrs. Greenough was a child."
The informant, May Louise Harvey of Woodstock, Vermont (1861-1953) was the daughter of George Henry Harvey (b. 1827) and Rebecca Susan Hoyt (b. 1833) who was adopted by James Greenough and apparently took his name becoming Rebecca S. Greenough. So May Louise was the daughter of George Henry Harvey and Rebecca S. Greenough.
Can someone sort this out? If she was Hoyt's grandmother she would have been born in the 1700s-- taking this ballad back a ways.
There liv-ed in London a mason by trade.
He had for his servants a man and a maid.
A Hampshire boy he had for his man
And for to do his business; his name it was John.
Lol-de-dol, lol-de-dol, troddle all,
Lol-de-do1-de diddte all de day.
One morning so early he call-ed for John.
John hearing his voice so quickly did come.
"Take this cow, John; drive her to the fair
For she's in good order and all we have to spare."
(Repeat refrain af ter each stanza.)
Johnny took the cow all out of the barn
And drove her to the fair, as we do learn.
In a little time he met three men
When he sold them the cow for six pounds ten.
They went into a tavern all for to take a drink
And then the old farmer paid him all the chink.
He spoke to the landlady and this he did say,
"And what shall I do with my money, I pray?"