The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50558   Message #767209
Posted By: masato sakurai
17-Aug-02 - 08:29 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Crab Song
Subject: Lyr Add: THE SEA CRAB (from Percy/Furnivall)
The Percy Folio MS version (c 1625-40) of "The Sea Crab" is HERE. It is in Frederick J. Furnivall, ed., Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript: Loose and Humorous Songs (London: Printed by and for the Editor, 1868; reprinted, n.p., n.d., pp. 99-100; text only); it is not contained in the three-volume manuscript edition. The version is also in John S. Farmer, ed., Merry Songs and Ballads; Prior to the Year A.D. 1800, Vol. IV (1897; reprinted Cooper Square, 1964, pp. 14-16). Since there're some typos (which are underlined) in the version at the Olson site above, I'll post it here, with notes by Furnivall added in square brackets.

The sea Crabb. [Page 462 of MS.]

A correspondent says, "This was a very common old story, and I think it occurs in one of the early fabliaux, but the only reference I can think of at present is the celebrated Moyen de Parvenir, by Béroalle de Verville, where it is introduced in Chapter 49."

Itt: was a man of Affrica had a ffaire wiffe, [A wife who was]
ffairest that euer I saw the dayes of my liffe:
with a ging, boyes, ginge! ginge, boyes, ging!
tarradidle, ffarradidle, ging, boyes, ging!

This goodwiffe was bigbellyed, & with a lad, [pregnant]
& euer shee longed ffor a sea crabbe. [wanted a crab.]
ginge &c.

The goodman rise in the morning, & put on his hose, [Her goodman]
he went to the sea syde, & ffollowed his nose.
ginge &c.

Sais, "god speed, ffisherman,¹ sayling on the sea,
hast thou any crabbs in thy bote for to sell mee?"
ging &c.

"I haue Crabbs in my bote, one, tow, or three; [bought one]
I haue Crabbs in my bote for to sell thee."
ginge &c.

The good man went home, & ere he wist,
& put the Crabb in the Chamber pot where his wiffe pist. [put it in the jordan]
ging &c.

The good wiffe, she went to doe as she was wont;
vp start the Crabfish, & catcht her by the Cunt. [It caught hold of his wife.]
ging &c.

"Alas!" quoth the goodwiffe, "that euer I was borne,
the devill is in the pispott, & has me on his horne,"
ging &c.

"If thou be a crabb or crabfish by kind,
thoule let thy hold goe with a blast of cold wind."
ging &c.

The good man laid to his mouth, & began for to blowe,
thinkeing thereby that they Crab wold lett goe. [He blew on it to make it let go,]
ging &c.

"Alas!" quoth the good man, "that euer I came hither, [and it pinned his nose to his wife.]
he has ioyned my wiffes tayle & my nose together!"
ging &c.

They good man called his neighbors in with great wonder, [So he called the neighbours in to part them.]
to part his wiues tayle & his nose assunder.
ging &c.


¹ MS. fishernan.--F.