The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #144110   Message #3330686
Posted By: GUEST,Bob Coltman
29-Mar-12 - 01:01 PM
Thread Name: Tune Req: Water Cresses
Subject: Lyr Add/Tune Req: Water Cresses
Does anyone here have the melody for the British broadside "Water Cresses," which I've added below?

**Please note, I am NOT looking for "The Watercress Girl," nor "Martha, the Watercress Girl," both discussed in the DT. The one I want the tune to is the following song, from Wehman's Songster #4 at:

It's similar to a Bodleian broadside, Harding B 11(4046), dated to 1863-65.

Note: I'm also *not* looking for the "Watercresses" song that Josh White wrote, inspired by "Water Cresses," and included on (I think) his second Decca LP c. 1950-1. I'm only looking for a source of the tune to the song below.

Thanks! Bob


I am a jolly farmer, from Bedfordshire I came,
To see some friends at Harlem, and Morgau is my name;
At a dairy farm, near Dunstable, I live when I'm at home,
And if I get safe back again, from there I'll never roam-
But if you'll give attention. I'll tell you without delay,
How a buxom little damsel my affections led astray,
And promised for to marry me upon the first of May,
And left me with a bunch of water-cresses.

'Twas on the first of April when I arrived in town.
And being quite a stranger. I wandered up And down.
Until I lost myself entirely, I cannot tell you where,
But 'twas in a very quiet street, the corner of a square;
A neatly dressed young woman came walking down the way,
As long as I remember, I shall ne'er forget the day.
For she promised then to marry me upou the first of May,
And she left me with a bunch of water-cresses.

Politely I addressed her, and thus to her did say:
"I wish to go to Harlem, can you direct the way?"
"Oh. yes, sir! oh, yes, sir!" she speedily replied,
"Take the turning on the left, then go down the other side;"
Her voice it was the sweetest I ever yet did hear,
In her hands-which like the lily-were so very white and clear.
She'd a bunch of early onions, a pint of lager beer,
Some pickles, and a bunch of water-cresses.

I bow'd and I thanked her. and walk'd by her side,
And thought how well she'd look as a dairy fanner's bride;
I gathered resolution, half in earnest, half in joke,
I hinted matrimony, these very words I spoke:
"I've a farm of forty acres. I've horses, cows and geese,
Besides I have a dairy filled with butter, milk And cheese;
Will you marry me, and mistress be, fair lady, of all these?
And we'll pass our days on love and water-cresses."

She replied with a smile (or a leer, if you choose),
"You are so very geuerous I cannot well refuse,
So give me your direction, and I will without delay
Prepare for matrimony, to love, honor, and obey;
I've a wedding dress to buy, and some little bills to pay-
I handed her my pocket-book, expenses to defray,
And she promised for to marry me upon the first of May,
When she left me with a bunch of water-cresses.

Next day a letter I received, and read there with surprise
­"Dear sir, for disappointing you I must apologize;
But when you next ask a stranger into partnership for life,
Be sure she is a maiden, or a widow, not a wife;
I've a husband of my own, and his name is Willie Orey,
And when I can afford it the money I'll repay;
To think that I should marry you upon the first of May,
Why, you must have been as green as water-cresses.