The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #112487   Message #2380588
Posted By: Joe Offer
03-Jul-08 - 08:42 PM
Thread Name: DTStudy: Bedmaking
Subject: DTStudy: Bedmaking
This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

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I came across this song in the DT today, and it piqued my curiosity. Can we dig up anyghing more on it? Other versions??

Here are the lyrics we have in the Digital Tradition:


Me father he was a good old man
He sent me to service when I was young
But my missus and I, we never could agree
Because that my master he would love me

Me missus she sent me all up aloft
To make up a bed both neat and soft
But me master followed after with a gay gold ring
Saying, Betsy, take this for your bedmaking

Me missus she came upstairs in a haste
And caught masters arms all around me waist
From the top to the bottom she did him fling
Saying, Master, take that for your bedmaking

First in the kitchen and then in the hall
And then in the parlor among the ladies all
And they all asked me where I had been
And I told them, up aloft at the bedmaking

Me missus she turned me all out of doors
She called me a nasty impudent whore
With the weather being wet and my shoes being thin
I wished meself back at the bedmaking

When six months were over and seven months were past
This pretty little maid she grew stout round the waist
She could scarcely lace her stays nor tie her apron string
And twas then that she remembered the bedmaking

When eight months were over and nine months were gone
This pretty little maid bore a lovely young son
She took him to the church and had him christened John
Then she sent him home again to that gay old man

recorded by Frankie Armstrong on Out of Love
and Martin Carthy on Crown of Horn
@baby @servant
filename[ BEDMAKIN

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Bed-Making, The

DESCRIPTION: The girl is sent into service "when I was young." Her master becomes enamored of her. The mistress catches him with her, and throws the girl out. At last she bears a son, and brings him back to the father, blaming it all on "the bed-making."
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: servant sex pregnancy bastard begging hardtimes
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Ord, p. 199, "My Mither She Feed Me" (1 short text)
Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 530, "Bedmaking" (1 text)

Roud #1631
My Old Father Was a Good Old Man
My Mother Sent Me to Service
The Bedmaking
NOTES: Roud splits off Ord's text, "My Mither She Feed Me," as a separate item, #3796. But Ord's text, while only a fragment, contains all the characteristics, and many of the words, of this piece (or at least its first portion). I can't see splitting them unless a fuller version of Ord's song is forthcoming. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
File: Ord199

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

Roud lists several entries, most notably a version in Purslow's Wanton Seed.
Can anybody identify the source of the DT lyrics?