The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #114410   Message #2443827
Posted By: GUEST,Shimrod
18-Sep-08 - 05:49 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: No My Love Not I / When Fishes Fly / Rue
Subject: RE: There's an earworm in my father's garden
The song has an attractive tune - but the text is anything but attractive! A young man has his 'wicked way' with a young woman and then, when she gets pregnant, abandons her to a life of begging ...

Interestingly, there is a related song in the 'Foggy Dew - More English Folk Songs from the Hammond & Gardiner Mss., ed. Frank Purslow' (EFDSS, 1974) collection called 'The Newfoundland Sailor'. In this song the eponymous sailor arrives in London and meets an attractive young woman. They have an affair and he asks her to marry him and return to Newfoundland with him. She replies:

"If I were to marry I should be much to blame,
My friends and relations all would me disdain;
You are of such low degree, and I'm so very high,
Do you think that I'd marry you?
No, no my love, no, no etc."

After the sailor has returned home she discovers that she is pregnant and writes to him asking him to return. He reminds her of her previous scorn and suggests that she resort to begging.

This is a much more nuanced song of sexual politics - although neither protagonist emerges with much credit!