The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #5623 Message #922264
Posted By: Joe Offer
31-Mar-03 - 02:27 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Do You Love an Apple?
Subject: ADD: He Comes Down Our Alley^^
HE COMES DOWN OUR ALLEY
1 He comes down our alley and whistles me out
His hands in his pockets, his shirt 'angin' out
But yus I luvs 'im
I can't denies it
I goes wiv 'im
Wher'ever 'e goes
2 He bought me an 'ankerchief, red white and blue
Outside the pawnshop 'e tore it in two
3 O I like an apple and I like a pear
And I like a feller with nice curly hair
4 'E took me to the public and ordered me stout
Before I could drink it, 'e'd ordered me out
5 Before we was married, we 'ad lots o' quids
But now that we's married, we got lots o' kids^^
Source: Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, Peter Kennedy, 1975
from the singing of Betty Redshaw of London, recorded by Peter Kennedy in 1954.
Kennedy's notes say that the song now seems to be widespread in England, Scotland, and Ireland; but it was not known to the public until it was recorded by Phil Hamond in Norfolk and broadcast in 1952. Its airing on the radio brought a letter from a listener in London who had heard it sung by children in the poorer districts of Liverpool and Birkenhead during the Second World War.
Betty Redshaw learned her version from her grandfather, whose family lived alongside the River Thames at Gravesend in Kent. He kept a notebook of all the old songs and shanties he heard from the sailors who came into the London docks.
Kennedy cites verses from a number of other versions.
Lucy Stewart of Aberdeenshire Scotland (1954)
When I was single I wore a black shawl
And now since I've married I've got none at all
Still I love him, can't deny it
I'll go with him wherever he goes
O I like an apple and I like a pear
And I like a sailor with nice curly hair
O gee I love 'im, I can't deny it
I'll be with him wherever he goes
He stands on the corner and whistles me out
He shouts Oo-ey, oo-ey, are you coming out?
He takes me to the pictures, he saves me a seat
And when I get there he says, stand on your feet
There's meat in the oven and cakes on the shelf
And if you don't like them I'll eat them me-self
Durham & Northumberland miners' wives:
He gets up in the morning, he chops me some sticks
Lights me the fire up and gang oot at six
But still I love him, cannie laddie
I'll gang wiv him wherever he gangs
He works in the pityard for twelve bob a week
Comes home on the Saturdays as full as a leech.
Fishwives at Yarmouth in Norfolk:
My back is a-breaking, my fingers are sore
Guttin' the herrin' he brings to the shore
If he's gone to heaven, he'll come to no harm
If he's gone down below then he'll keep himself warm
The storm is a-ragin', his boat isn't in
T'others won't tell me what's happened to him^^