The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46426   Message #3866289
Posted By: Joe Offer
15-Jul-17 - 04:11 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Crockery Ware
Subject: Origins: Crockery Ware
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Crockery Ware

DESCRIPTION: A merchant wants to lay with a girl one night. She puts dishes on a chair near her bed. In the dark he breaks the dishes and chair and wakes her mother. She calls the police and he has to pay for the crockery ware and broken chair.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1930 (Wiltshire-WSRO)
KEYWORDS: sex trick bawdy humorous mother rake nightvisit courting lover police
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South)) Canada(Mar,Newf,Ont) US(MW)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 679, "Pretty Polly and Her Crockery Ware" (1 text)
Palmer-ECS, #66, "The Crockery Ware" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 257-258, "Crockery Ware" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-Labrador 119, "Old Woman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ives-DullCare, pp. 129-130,243-244, "The Crockery Ware" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke-Ontario 11, "A Young Man Lived in Belfast Town" (1 text, 1 tune)
Grimes, pp. 138-139, "Crockery Ware" (1 text)

Roud #1490
O. J. Abbott, "A Young Man Lived in Belfast Town" (on Abbott1)
Everett Bennett, "Crockery Ware" (on PeacockCDROM)

Bodleian, Harding B 28(37), "Crockery Ware," unknown, n.d.
cf. "The Frolicksome Farmer" (theme: the hazards of sex in the dark)
NOTES: At least one source claims that the Crockery Ware wasn't just random pottery but the chamber pot. Not sure I believe it; that sounds awfully messy. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.7
File: Pea257

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

Up top, MMario says there are three versions in the Digital Tradition, but I find only two. Maybe one was a duplicate that was removed. This first DT version was submitted by AG. Who's that? It was added to the DT in October 1997. Can anybody figure out the source for this version?


In Nottingham Town there lived a spark,
He courted a girl both gay and smart,
He asked of her one favour right,
If he could sleep with her that night.

To me wop fol the diddle fol the di do day,
Wop fol the diddle fol the di do day.

Now this young girl she did contrive,
How to work a joke that night,
So on the landing she placed a chair,
And on it she put the crockery-ware.

This young man rose in the middle of the night,
Thinking to find his hearts delight,
He banged his shins against the chair,
And overturned the crockery-ware.

The old woman woke in a hell of a fright,
And quickly she turned on the light,
She said young man what do you do there,
Capsising of my crockery-ware.

Young Betsy lay in the very next room,
Laughing at the joke going on,
She said young man you must take care,
You must pay my granny for the crockery-ware.

Well the police were called for without delay,
The money down I had to pay,
I paid three shillings I do declare,
To buy the old bugger a new crockery-ware.

And if you hadn't guessed the Crockery-Ware refered to is the
chamber pot. AG

Trad: English (Derbyshire ?)
Performance & Recording:
Harry Boardman
@seduction @trick
filename[ CROCKRY

This second DT version was submitted by Susan Friedman. It's from the Folk-Legacy recording by Margaret Christl.


In Bristol did a merchant dwell
He courted a girl and he loved her well
And all he craved in his delight
Was to lay with her one night

To me rye whack fol the diddle I gee oh
To me rye whack fol the diddle I gee oh

As this young maid on her bed she lay
A-thinking on the tricks on him she'd play
And in his way she put a chair
And on the chair placed crockery ware

As this young man come in the dark
A-thinking to find his own sweetheart
He hit his toe against a chair
Upsetting all of the crockery ware

The old woman ran downstairs in a fright
And there she called for a light
She said, "you villain, what brought you here
A-breaking all of the crockery ware?"

He said, "Old woman don't look so cross
I missed my way and I fear I'm lost
I missed my way and I do declare
I broke me shin on your crockery ware"

As this young maid on her bed she lay
A-laughing at the tricks on him she played
She said, "Young man, don't look so queer
And pay me mother for the crockery ware"

The police were sent for right away
And, sure enough, I had to pay
A dollar for the broken chair
And one pound ten for her crockery ware

So come all you rakes and rambling sports
That goes a courting in the dark
Don't hit your toe against a chair
Or else you'll suffer for your crockery ware.

@courtship @nightvisit @trick
recorded by Margaret Christl, Folk Legacy
filename[ CROCKRY2

YouTube has lots of interesting recordings. Here's a link: