The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55837   Message #3882452
Posted By: Jim Dixon
15-Oct-17 - 04:17 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Maid with the Box on Her Head
Subject: Lyr Add: THE STAFFORDSHIRE MAID (from Bodleian, #2
Here's the other edition held by the Bodleian, Harding B 39(211):


You gentlemen all come listen awhile,
The song that I sing will make you smile,
'Tis of the bold heart of a Staffordshire maid,
How the part of a rogue with a tinker she play'd.

She being desirous her parents to see,
Gave her master warning for to go away;
Her master for wages he gave her five pounds,
Which she put in her box with cloaths & gown.

Then taking her box which held all her cloaths,
Then strait from her master's house she goes;
She had not got out of the town half a mile,
Before a bold tinker she met at a stile.

He smil'd in her face, and these words he said,
O where art thou going my bonny fair maid?
I'm going to work where my friends do dwell:
The tinker he said, I know it full well.

Pray take my advice and mind what I say,
You'll surely be robb'd if you go the highway,
If you turn to the right you'll find it the same,
So take my advice and go down the strait lane.

She thank'd him, and took his advice as I heard say,
He soon did call after & bid her to stay.
I am going that way for the space of a mile;
The girl never thought that he would her beguile.

They walk'd till they came to a lonesome place,
The tinker he star'd this fair maid in the face,
What have you in your box madam, tell to me,
Then taking it from her demanded the key.

The innocent girl lamented, and said, why,
Good sir, I have lost it, with tears in her eye:
Then from his back he his budget threw down,
And his iron piked staff he laid on the ground.

Disputing the matter she did not long stand,
She took the iron piked staff into her hand;
And, as he was striving to open the lock,
She up with the staff and gave him a damnable knock.

The blow that she gave him proved a good thing
And made both sides of his head for to ring:
Another she gave him just behind the head,
Which tumbled him down & left him for dead.

Then taking her box on her head again,
And as she was trafelling down the long lane
A gentleman came riding, who did her intreat,
She would be so kind as to open the gate.

He smil'd in her face, & these words to her said,
O where are you going, my bonny fair maid;
To whom does that box on your head belong,
To master, or mistress, or have you done wrong.

Good sir, I have done a thing that is ill,
For I do believe that a man I have kill'd.
Come shew me where he lies, my bonny maid,
And I will protect you from all danger, he said.

They came to the place where the tinker lay dead,
And a great stream of blood run from his head;
Then off from his horse he then lighted down,
An searching his budget that lay on the ground,

Found three pistols loaded with powder & ball,
A knife and a whistle those rogues to call.
He said, my fair maid you have been abus'd,
These are odd sort of tools for a tinker to use.

Do you thin you've courage enough to stand
For to fire a pistol when danger's at hand?
When danger's at hand, sir, I never will start,
So give me a pistol, and I'll play my part.

Then taking the whistle, he gave a loud blow,
Made the woods echo, and the rogues to crow:
In four or five minutes three rogues did appear,
Who seeing the tinker lie dead there did swear,

They would all be revenged on this fair maid.
Then she fired her pistol, and shot one of them dead,
The gentleman fired and killed another,
The third ran away at the sight of his brother.

The gentlemen in the town were in great strife,
To know who should gain this fair maid for a wife;
But none of 'em all could gain this beauty bright,
For the gentleman made her his lady that night.

Sold by S. Gamidge, in High-street, Worcester; W.
Lloyd, in Mortimer-Cleobury; Mr Taylor, in
Kidderminster; and S. Harward, in Tewkesbury.