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Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom

DigiTrad:
LISH YOUNG BUY-A-BROOM


Karen P. 02 Apr 97 - 08:00 PM
dick greenhaus 02 Apr 97 - 11:46 PM
Karen P. 03 Apr 97 - 04:31 AM
Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON 25 Mar 99 - 09:16 AM
steve in ottawa 25 Mar 99 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,equalrice 29 Jun 02 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,delphinium 30 Jun 02 - 12:55 AM
michaelr 30 Jun 02 - 04:26 AM
Joe Offer 30 Jun 02 - 04:39 AM
Joe Offer 30 Jun 02 - 04:46 AM
Larkin 30 Jun 02 - 06:43 AM
breezy 30 Jun 02 - 08:02 AM
Peg 30 Jun 02 - 09:26 AM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Jun 02 - 10:47 AM
pavane 30 Jun 02 - 10:59 AM
pavane 30 Jun 02 - 11:08 AM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Jun 02 - 11:23 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Jun 02 - 12:24 PM
Peg 30 Jun 02 - 12:55 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Jun 02 - 04:20 PM
pavane 30 Jun 02 - 07:39 PM
breezy 01 Jul 02 - 12:58 PM
greg stephens 01 Jul 02 - 01:07 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Jul 02 - 03:13 PM
Herga Kitty 01 Jul 02 - 07:37 PM
Peg 01 Jul 02 - 11:18 PM
greg stephens 02 Jul 02 - 03:12 AM
AKS 02 Jul 02 - 05:33 AM
greg stephens 02 Jul 02 - 05:41 AM
greg stephens 02 Jul 02 - 05:55 AM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Jul 02 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,greg stephens 02 Jul 02 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,greg stephens 02 Jul 02 - 10:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 02 - 06:42 PM
AKS 03 Jul 02 - 06:07 AM
greg stephens 03 Jul 02 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 30 Nov 02 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 30 Nov 02 - 05:21 PM
Lynn W 30 Nov 02 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 01 Dec 02 - 07:02 AM
Lynn W 01 Dec 02 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 02 Dec 02 - 05:34 AM
AKS 02 Dec 02 - 07:27 AM
greg stephens 02 Dec 02 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Ray Black, Harrogate 24 May 03 - 07:39 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 May 03 - 09:22 PM
nutty 25 May 03 - 03:56 AM
Jim Dixon 28 May 03 - 01:57 AM
Emma B 12 Jan 04 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,You Got It Right 27 Jan 04 - 11:16 PM
GUEST,Keith Cunningham 11 May 04 - 01:23 AM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 11 May 04 - 10:09 PM
Matthew Edwards 08 Nov 06 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Peter Taylor 08 Nov 06 - 06:01 PM
greg stephens 08 Nov 06 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 06 Jan 07 - 12:21 PM
Betsy 06 Jan 07 - 01:30 PM
Anniecat 06 Jan 07 - 07:52 PM
Matthew Edwards 09 Jan 07 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Sue Allan 09 Jan 07 - 08:46 AM
Matthew Edwards 10 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,crucialmusic 22 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM
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Subject: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Karen P.
Date: 02 Apr 97 - 08:00 PM

Can anyone help me out with lyrics to the Clannad song, "Lish Young Buy a Broom"? (from the albun "Fuaim")

Versions in the Digital Tradition:
LISH YOUNG BUY-A-BROOM


Messages from multiple threads combined.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Apr 97 - 11:46 PM

It's in the database. Try a search for [Lish Young]


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Karen P.
Date: 03 Apr 97 - 04:31 AM

Found it! Thanks!


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Subject: Lish Young Buy-a-Broom
From: Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 09:16 AM

DearMudcatters:

Does anyone have any idea as to the meaning and origin of the expression "Lish Young Buy-a-Broom", the title of a song performed by Clannad on one of their early releases.

It would likely be easier to look it up in a dictionary, but then I would miss out on the picturesque responses I'm sure I'll get from Mudcatters.

Jack Hickman


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy-a-Broom
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 09:24 AM

Buy a broom is someone you buy brooms from, according to one the guy who sings this one at our local song circle. Lish is attractive, I think. Lithe? But heck, if it doesn't derive from "delicious" it ought to :-)


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Subject: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,equalrice
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 11:09 PM

This is a great song from an old Clannad album. Whenever I sing it, someone always asks me what a "Buy a Broom" is. A broom seller? And what does "lish" refer to? Is it Gaelic? Would appreciate a little help in this regard.

Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,delphinium
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 12:55 AM

yes, great song!

Tim Hart also sings it. Reinhard Zierke's excellent web site on Maddy Prior & Tim says that the song was collected and collated by Geoff Wood, and that the word "lish" is northern English dialect, possibly Cumbrian, meaning "lithe" or "good looking". (https://www.mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/lishyoungbuyabroom.html)

Agreed, a "buy-a-broom" must be a broom seller.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 04:26 AM

Guest, delphinium - could you please post a link or URL to that site?


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Subject: ADD Version: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 04:39 AM

Hi, Michael - that site is here (click). I'll paste the text in below.
-Joe Offer-

Tim Hart & Maddy Prior: Lish Young Buy-a-Broom

[Trad. Arr. Tim Hart]

This song was collected and collated by Geoff Wood. Tim Hart and Maddy Prior recorded it with an interesting Banjo accompaniment by Tim Hart for their first duo album Folk Songs Of Old England Vol 1.

The word ``lish'' is northern English dialect, possibly Cumbrian, meaning ``lithe'' or ``good looking''.

Lyrics

As I was a-traveling in the North Country
Down by Kirby Stephen I happened for to be
As I was a-walking up and down the street
A pretty little buy-a-broom I chanced for to meet

Chorus
And she was right, I was tight
Everybody has her way
It was the lish young buy-a-broom
That led me astray

She kindly then invited me to go along the way
``Yes'' was the answer to her that I did say
There was me with my music walking down the street
And her with her tambourine was beating hands and feet

Chorus

Straightway for Kendal we steered, her and I
Over yon white mountain, the weather it was grey
We each had a bottle filled up to the top
And whenever we were feeling dry, we took a little drop

Chorus

With night a-coming on, good lodgings we did find
Eatables of all sorts and plenty of good wine
Good bed and blankets just for we two
And I rolled her in his arms, my boys, and wouldn't you do, to?

Chorus

Then early the next morning we rose to go away
I called to the landlord to see what was to pay
Fourteen and sixpence, just for you two
And a fiver on the table oh my darling then she threw

Chorus

Now the reason that we parted, I now will let you hear
She started off for Germany right early the next year
And me not being willing to cross the raging sea
Here's a health to my buy-a-broom, wherever she may be

Chorus


Reinhard Zierke, zierke@informatik.uni-hamburg.de
Last updated Sun Oct 3 18:32:15 MEST 1999


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 04:46 AM

The Digital Tradition version has a few more verses and speaks in the third person, but the two versions are quite close to one another. Both say
and wouldn't you do, to?

Shouldn't that be and wouldn't you do, too?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Larkin
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 06:43 AM

I've got another verse from a folk song collection I get in 1965
I treated whisky and I treated her to beer
I kissed her and I cuddled her and I called her my dear.
She treated me to brandy she treated me to rum
And she says me gay(fine) young fellow you can play my little drum.
I sing this as the 3rd verse

Martin


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: breezy
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 08:02 AM

Its about a broad what gets it off for a living, nothing to do with brooms. Hey Steve get real, its about sex.You do it there in Ottawa.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Peg
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 09:26 AM

nothing in the song indicates she charges money for sex. She simply seems like someone who likes to have a good time.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 10:47 AM

Kirby Stephen and Kendal are places in the English Lake District, for those who don't know. Rarely found in tradition (and only in Cumberland, so far as I can tell), this song became quite popular in English folk clubs in the 1960s and 1970s, long before Clannad recorded it. Nicky Ryan wrote: "I mentioned the possibility of using this song a long time ago to the group. Due to the fact that it was very difficult to track down Andy Irvine, from whom I first heard the song, it was difficult to get all the verses. So, the first verses are from memory and the rest given to us by Chris Fitzgerald over the telephone from the Quays pub in Galway."

Irvine will have learned it in the clubs I should think; Fitzgerald perhaps from him, or via a similar route. It's quite possible that Clannad actually believed this to be an Irish song; at all events a good few people have subsequently made that assumption. It appears on a number of websites described as "Irish", "Celtic" and the like, and on at least one, both Irvine and Fitzgerald appear to be credited as co-writers along with "public domain". Technically, the song is not in the public domain at all, and copyright would probably be shared between Wood (as collector and collator) and his unnamed source. Nobody is likely to make any fuss about that, of course, but it would be nice if proper attribution were given more often.

Back in the '60s and '70s, a lot of revival performers recorded material without crediting their sources. In this case, Geoff Wood was credited by Hart and Prior as collector, but we don't know who he collected it from, or the extent of his "collation". At present, the Roud Folk Song Index lists only two examples from tradition; one recorded by Norman Alford and Robert Forrester from Len Irving of Rockliffe / Wreay, Cumberland, in 1953; and a text of c.1930 (also from Cumberland) in the Frank Warriner MS collection, which is held at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library in London. The song is assigned Roud number 1865. It would appear that all revival forms of it derive ultimately from the Woods collation as recorded by Hart and Prior.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: pavane
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 10:59 AM

There is a song in the Bodley library which seems to indicate that around 1800, a 'broom' was not a sweeping brush, but possibly the size of a fan, used to brush away files 'When insects are buzzing about one', and also 'dust off the polished piano'.

Buy a broom, Buy a broom


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: pavane
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 11:08 AM

Lish young buy-a-broom is also in the Bodley collection. Dated between 1840 and 1866, so I would say their version IS in the public domain!

Lish young buy-a-broom


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 11:23 AM

Indeed; I quite forgot to look there, though I knew there was somewhere else I had seen it. Printed by J. Harkness of Preston.

For visitors to this thread who have not so far come across the online broadside collection at the Bodleian Library, it can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 12:24 PM

She did indeed enjoy a good time, Peg, but was paid for it - not in the way most people think though.

Ladies who did enjoy a good time were often used to recruit impresionable yong men into the forces. This particular one seems to have been a gypsy, I am led to believe, by the 'Buy a Broom' tag given her. They plied the young men with drink and favours and when they asked them to join the army or navy the young men were only too happy to oblige! Payment was by way of the purse given them by the recruiting authority - what they did not spend on enticements they kept.

In the version I sing the last two verses are

That morning we reached Kendal, the weather it was fine
We'd velvet caps with tassels on and buckles thay did shine
We each had a ribbon hanging down our backs
and she'd nineteen golden sovereigns left
My darling in her sack.


(One of the sovereigns had been spent at the pub - as opposed to the fiver written above)

Last verse

The reason that we parted I now will let you hear
She wanted me to go to France for me to be her dear
But me not being willing to cross the raging sea
Here's a health unto my buy-a-broom wherever she may be


So - there is one she lost and one up for the lads:-)

Make sure you don't let some wag in the audience lead you astray in the chorus though -

I was right, she was tight...

Has a number of meanings. Not all of them suitable for sensitive souls!

Cheers

Dave the Gnone


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Peg
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 12:55 PM

In Clannad's version, the young man is a wandering minstrel sort, not a soldier. ("A I went a-walking in the North country; down by Kirkby Stephen I happened for to be; as I went a walking up and down the street a pretty little buy-a-broom I chanced for to meet. (chorus) She kindly then invited me to go a little way; yes was the answer to her I did say; It was with me with me music, walking down the street, and her with her tamborine was keeping time with me" etc.) The rest of the lyrics are similar t te Heoff Wood version posted above with other small differences. He does say "and I rolled her in MY arms", not his arms, which is probably a typo because it's just plain confusing!

In the tavern, the only mention of money spent is the following morning. And instead of the fiver the line is "Both hands upon the table and my darling then she flew." Which implies, perhaps, she sort of leaped out the door without paying.

And the last verse, states "The reason that we parted I now shall let you hear; She started off for Germany right early the next year; and me being unwilling for to cross the raging sea; here's a health unto my bonny lass wherever she may be."


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 04:20 PM

I think the point that he was NOT a soldier is significant, Peg. He was not - she wanted him to be. There would not be much point in her laying out the odd 15 shillings to get him to enlist if he was already a soldier! And call me a cynic if you like but I cannot see a young lass forking out a significant amount of money (and other resource) for no return. Now, if you fancy proving me wrong Peg, me dear, my address is...;-)

I guess it will be one of them things - many versions of the same song and we will never know what was the original. Apart from the simple fact that whatever I sing (or say) is always right of course...

Cheers

Dave the (ever hopeful) Gnome


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: pavane
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 07:39 PM

A few notes on searching the Bodliean collection
Firstly, the 'real' or printed names of the songs are quite often very different to the names
we use now (Lish young buy-a-broom was an exception!)
For example, instead of 'William Taylor', we find 'The Female Lieutanant'. Sovay, Sovay turns up as 'Sylvia's request and William's Denial'. Also, spelling has changed over the years. Jone's Ale (John's ale) has become Joan's Ale and now Joneses Ale.
Secondly, I usually have more success on searching by the second option, rather than the first(song title)


Thirdly, the Bodleian Indexes faithfully reproduce any spelling errors! Sometimes the song is there, but you can't find it.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: breezy
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 12:58 PM

For 'Fan' read Fanny , broom being the euphamism [sp]and yes its from Cumberland.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 01:07 PM

I could add a little to this. Malclm Douglas is a little ambiguous on the 53 recording of this song. It wassung Len Irving at the Plough Inn inWreay ( Sep 16, l953).Norman Alford and Robert Forrester were at the the series of sessions at that time and sang some songs themselves (and played tunes).Dont think they actually did the recordings, I think he was called Kack somethingor other who actually lugged around the equipment and the acetates (no little DAT's for field recordings then!). These recordings of Cumbrian songs and tune have just been issued onCD, "Pass the Jug Around" Veteran VT142CD, andvery good they are too. I dont know if the new CD has all the chitchat of the old recordings, but when Len irving is introducing the song on the old acetate he says he's been singing it for 40 years, and that it was writtenby Walter Graham, a Cumbrland poacher. SoI shouldnt worry too much about the copyright situation, Malcolm!
As regards the statement about all versions stemming from Geoff Woods . Disagree totallly! this is one of the best known Cumbrian songs, rivalling John Peel and Joe Bowman, and could be heard bawled out inevery pub between Lancaster and Carlisle, at hunt suppers, merry neets, any social gathering.Defintely nothing to do with the folk revival and recordings, its just one of the songs we all knew in those parts. I remember it well.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 03:13 PM

Thanks for the clarification and background, Greg. I don't know Cumbria at all well, and had no idea the song was continuously and widely current there, rather than revived. It's always good to hear of such things. Mind you, I didn't mean to suggest that all versions derived from the Woods set, just revival ones; though I don't doubt that even that was too sweeping. I might get away with many, if not most, perhaps!


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 07:37 PM

Greg

Does the same apply to Horn of the Hunter?


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Peg
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 11:18 PM

Dave:

good points all, but I still think the version I am familiar with does not spell that out very clearly...an interesting interpretation however and it is always nice to have some historical context.

It does inspire a gal to earn a crust in creative fashion, I must say... ;)

BTW, I have decided to try to emigrate to England. Any advice, anyone? I need a job first, I guess. Have already started to apply for teaching gigs (one is in Cumbria!) and am wondering if it will be terribly difficult to get a work permit...

Peg


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 03:12 AM

Herga Kitty: what I said about the Lish Young Buy A Broom certainly applies to Horn of the Hunter (that it was widely sung in contexts independent of the folk revival). It always surprised me that the song collectors, Topic Records, people like that, seemedd to ignore Cumbria with its thriving traditional unrevived traditional music scene in the 60's; whereas in East Anglia, say, traditional singers still functioning at that time were eagerly sought outand recorded). I always found this inexplicable. Was it because lake district singers tended to singing hunting songs all the time, and the liberal folk elite objected? Or was Cumbria too far from Hampstead for a weekend song collecting? It felt to me like a south/north thing, but perhaps there is another explanation?


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: AKS
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 05:33 AM

Wellwellwell - now HERE we have a recruiting sergeant!! But were'nt these ladies protected or their 'contracts' insured at all? It seems to have been quite easy for the lads to escape later: simply "being unwilling to cross the raging sea" was enough in this case. Mind you, wasn't as little as touching a coin considered a legally binding enlisting?

Then, I'm pretty convinced that I hear Maire Brennan sing (on Clannad's Fuaim) "... four crowns upon the table ...". (btw, how does that sum relate to the fivers and sovereigns mentioned, any traces of inflation, perhaps???:)

AKS


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 05:41 AM

I see I thought the guy who made the Cumbrian recordings was called Kack. I should point out that Jack would be a better guess.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 05:55 AM

Don't know where people are getting all this recruiting sergeant stuff. All the versions I knew in Cumbrian pub days had identical and clear stories. A musician (fiddler?) is wandering around by Kirkby Stephen, goes to play in town, finds a lish lass who joins in on the tambourine, they go to Kendal, get pissed, repair upstairs at the hotel for some more intensive music practise, and in the morning the lass pays the bill. Sort of thing that regularly happens to us street musicians. And after some fun times, she buggers off to Germany, leaving the fiddler a little sad, but with happy memories. We are in Road Movie/Novel territory here, not nasty recruiting army stuff. And for those who think that this is an Irish song, please note the tambourine. Not a bodhrán. And note the "lish". You'll never find a lish colleen. Lish lasses are a breed confined to the area between the Lune and the Eden.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BAVARIAN GIRL'S SONG (BUY A BROOM)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 10:28 AM

A little more on the issue of Germany. It appears that there was quite a tradition of Bavarian pedlars (often women) spending the summer in England selling brooms and other wares; in the winter they went back home to stock up again. It seems reasonable to guess that that is what happens here; there's no need to look for some "recruiting" sub-text. As Pavane pointed out earlier, this particular kind of broom was typically a light duster or fly-brush, rather than the quite different besom (also frequently made from broom) of Buy Broom Buzzems.

By way of illustration, The Bavarian Girl's Song or Buy a Broom was a popular stage song of the 1820s or so, being regularly re-published in various forms (localised to America or Boston in some cases) and with various claims as to authorship. There were other Buy a Broom songs, too, but this particular one made it into tradition, at least for a while. The Roud Index has it at number 13229. The following is taken from sheet music at The Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection:

BAVARIAN GIRL'S SONG (BUY A BROOM)

(The Words by D.O. Meara. Arranged by Alexander Lee.)

From Teutschland I come with my light wares all laden,
To dear happy England in summer's gay bloom,
Then listen fair Lady and young pretty maiden
Oh! buy of the wand'ring Bavarian a broom.

Buy a Broom, Buy a Broom
[Spoken] Buy a Broom;
Oh! buy of the wand'ring Bavarian a broom.

To brush away insects that sometimes annoy you,
You'll find it quite handy to use night and day,
And what better exercise pray can employ you,
Than to sweep all vexatious intruders away.

Buy a Broom, Buy a Broom
[Spoken] Buy a Broom;
And sweep all vexatious intruders away.

Ere winter comes on for sweet Home seen departing,
My toils for your favor again I'll resume
And while gratitudes tear in my eyelid is starting,
Bless the time that in England I cried Buy a Broom.

Buy a Broom, Buy a Broom
[Spoken] Buy a Broom;
Bless the time that in England I cried Buy a Broom.

[Spoken] Ye, I shall go back to my own Country and tell them there I sold all my wares in England... singing

[A snatch of Lieber Augustin follows].

The whole can be seen at Levy: The Bavarian Girl's Song. Buy a Broom. (English and German)   The Words by D.O. Meara. Arranged by Alexander Lee. Published by E.S. Mesier, Wall St. & Broadway; no date. Sung (In Character) by Madame Vestris, With the most enthusiastic Applause.

There is another issue dated 1827. Madame Vestris (1797-1856) was a celebrated contralto.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 10:40 AM

The familiar old German waltz tune ("You cant put your muck in our dustbin", that one) is aka "Im a little Dutchgirl" or "Buy a Broom", from the connection with itinerant German Buy-a-brooms (Dutch/deutsch). The scenario of the song, incidentally, can be readily seen played out nowadays in Doolin and similar places: replacing the Cumbrian fiddler with an Irish one, and the buy-a-broom with a visiting German student bodhran player. Plus ca change.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 10:45 AM

I should have mentioned, of course, that the tune I was referring to is the "Lieber Augustin" mentioned in Malcolm Douglas' previous post.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 06:42 PM

Dunno about work permits Peg - but I am sure you would find good friends all over the UK willing to share a roof while you have a sampling of English life. There are many ways of making a buck or two without resorting to anything immoral of course! Bar work seems a favourite and cab quite often be flexible enough to give enough free time while you find out if you realy like it.

Bee good to see you anyway

Cheers - and don't go wandering about selling brooms in Kirby Stephen;-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: AKS
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 06:07 AM

As I tried to suggest earlier, our lad gets away too easily here, if the lish by-a-broom be a recruiter that is. Or have I been misled with that the British Army or Navy recruiting officers - of any kind - would have kept, and not let go, what they had 'purchased'? It's hard to believe that the 'lady sergeants' (or decoys really) would have worked alone, as is the case here. And after reading about the Bavarian connection, I certainly second the commercial traveller theory.

I did a translation of it into Finnish in that 'road song' spirit a couple of years ago (had to bring it into a bit more modern time frame though; it'll be on the list at the club opening at Kihaus Folk Music Festival in Rääkkylä tomorrow, btw).

AKS


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 09:37 AM

What's the Finnish for "lish"?


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 04:36 PM

Greg:
Never mind the Fin(n)ish - what about the start? Can anyone give me a definition and source for "lish",please?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 05:21 PM

This site gives it as a Yorkshire dialect term for "smooth". Any other ideas?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Lynn W
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 06:26 PM

Extract from Wright's English Dialect Dictionary- may be some errors, my first go at OCR with the scanner, would have been quicker typing it out!
         
LISH, adj. Sc. Nhb. Dur. Cum. Wm. Yks. Lan. Also in forms leash Sc. (JAM.) Gall.; leesh Nhb. Cum; leeshin Nhb; leish Dmf. N Cy. Nhb.; liesh Slk. Cum. Lithe, supple; nimble, agile, active. Cf. lishy.
eSc. He was a leash lad and a leal, Blackw. Mag. (May 1820) 160 (JAM.), Rnf. Yence Marget was as lish a lass, Harp (1819) 202. Slk. Twa lang liesh chaps lying sleeping at ither's sides, HOGG Tales (1838) 7, ed. 1866. Dmf. He is a strappin' leish young fallow As e'er ye saw, Quinn Heather (1863) 37. Gall. Marle-throwing Wull, Leash Sam the Blade, MACTAGGART Encycl. (1824) 267, ed. 1876. Kcb. A fine big strappin' fallah As lish an' yal as ony deer, ARMSTRONG Ingleside,1890) 140. n.Cy. Grose (1790); N.Cy. Nhb. Whe's like my johnny, Sae leish, sae blythe, sae bonny, T.yneside, Sngsir. (1889) 66; Nhb. He's a leeshin chep. Dur. Gibson Up-Weardale Gl. (1870); Dur. s.Dur. She's a leish worker (J.E.D.). Lakel.2 Cum. A lish laughin lass ov sixteen, ANDERSON Ballads (ed. 1840) 40; CUM. Wm. They wor sae lish they seemed hardly tae tutch groond, WHEELER Dial. (1790) 99, ed. 1821; T'foke was o fair kapt ta see't ald widow trippin off an leakin sae lish, TAYLOR Sketches (1882) 6. s.Wm. (J.A.B.) n.Yks. He was a lish awd man (I.W.); n.Yks. w.Yks. HUTTON Tour to Caves (178I); He's as lish as a young 'un i' t'spite ov his seventy year (M.A.) ; w.Yks. Lan. She was as lish as a cat, EAVESDROI'PFR Vill. Life (i869) No. 25; Lan.' n.Lan. I'm pleased to see you walking so lish (R.H.H.,. n.Lan.1, ne.Lan.1
Hence Lish-like, adj'. well-made. Cum.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 07:02 AM

Many thanks, Lynn. I was hoping someone would have access to Wright's book - which I have often heard of but never seen.

What prompted the query wasn't, in fact the song - but a query in a gardening column, of all things, about plants being described as "lishy". The sense seemed to be long and lanky, as distinct from stout and strong. A possible South of England (Kent) origin was suggested. I note that Wright's reference are all North.

Thanks again.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Lynn W
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 06:28 PM

Martin
"Lishy" is in the EDD as meaning "flexible, lissome" - Wright suggests it is connected with lish. The only sources are from Kent, particularly in the sense you mentioned, of plants growing tall and lanky.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 05:34 AM

Lynn

Brilliant! Can I ask you to practice your new-found OCR skills and scan in that entry please? You can PM me if you prefer not to clutter up this thread.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: AKS
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 07:27 AM

Sorry, Greg, I seem to have missed your request about the Finnish for 'lish' in July. But now that I read the additional information by Lynn & Martin, I can give you a better equivalent than would have back then. I certainly would use 'sorea' (or soria / sorja, dep. on dialect), since it carries practically all the faetures listed in the thread, even though - or perhaps because - it sounds somewhat oldish and poetic. In July I probably would have given 'sievä' or 'soma', both meaning 'lovely, fair, neat etc.', but neither of which have 'flexible or lissome' connotations:-)

AKS


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:38 AM

I think Olga Korbut would be a very good illustration of the meaning of "lish".


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Ray Black, Harrogate
Date: 24 May 03 - 07:39 PM

I always thought that the whole thing was based on a mishearing and the word lish has no part in the song. Imagine if you will a senario where a young lass leaves her newly found mate to go overseas at the time this song was set, then imagine the same situation with reversed gender roles. Add to this the possibility that the young man is a military person and has to go as duty called. Which is more likely? I think the original song carried the burden: It was the young militia boy who led me astray and if I was as seriously intent on proving it as some of you are your theories I'd give the Bodleian a miss and seek elsewher. Happy hunting, Ray Black


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 May 03 - 09:22 PM

An interesting theory, but perhaps a little contrived on the face of it and apparently supported by no evidence of any kind (as is also the case, of course, with some of the sillier guesses that people have come out with in this thread). Usually, the obvious answer is the right one; unless, of course, you have any specific suggestions as to where else, if not in documented sources, people might usefully look.

The Bodleian reference provides background information only, as I thought I had made clear.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: nutty
Date: 25 May 03 - 03:56 AM

I'm afraid I don't follow your reasoning Ray.

Why should the Bodleian Broadside be discounted???

It was produced by Harkness of Preston .... a well respected printer of broadsides (over 800 in the Bodleian and ,I believe, even more in Manchester Library) who definitely operated between 1840 - 1866.

The fact that it was printed by a Northern printer gives credence to the use of the Northern meaning of "lish" as explained above.

Add to this the evidence of another broadside about broom sellers coming from Germany (see above) and you could see how the lyrics gain credibility.

Unless you can produce evidence to the contrary, I will certainly continue to believe that this is the story of a young northern lad who is bowled over by a hard drinking, smooth talking, young German female broom seller.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LISH YOUNG BUY-A-BROOM (from Bodleian
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 May 03 - 01:57 AM

Since no one has yet posted the lyrics from the Bodleian collection, I will do so here. Transcribed by me with the spelling and punctuation somewhat modernized (to make it more easily found with a search engine).

THE LISH YOUNG BUY-A-BROOM

As I was travelling in the north country,
Near Kirby Stephen it happened to be,
As I was a-wandering up and down the street,
A pretty lassie I chanced for to meet.

CHORUS: She was right. I was tight.
Every one has their way.
She was a lish young buy-a-broom
That led me astray.

She kindly asked me to go with her.
"Yes" was the answer to her I did say,
And I with the music went playing down the street,
And she with the tambourine she beat both hands and feet.

I treat her with brandy. I treat her with beer.
I kissed her. I coddled her. I called her my dear.
She treat me with whiskey, both ale, gin and rum.
She says, "My bold young fellow, you shall beat my little drum."

The night now coming on, good lodgings we did find.
There was eighty beds of all sorts, and plenty of good wine.
There was good beds and bedding as need to be seen,
And I rolled her in my arms that night upon the screen.

'Twas early next morning before the break of day,
We called upon the landlady to see what was to pay.
"There is fourteen and sixpence just for you two."
A five-pound note on the table my darling then she threw.

Then as we steered for Kendal, the weather it being dry,
And over yon wild mountain, went over her and I;
We had each a little bottle that was full to the top,
And when that we grew dry, we took each a little drop.

When we arrived at Kendal, being all dressed so fine,
New velvet cap and jacket, fine buckles they did shine;
We had each a long ribbon hung down from our cap.
There was nineteen bright sovereigns my darling in a slap.

The reason why we parted, I mean to let you hear.
She wanted me to go to Germany for to remain her dear,
But I not being willing all for to cross the sea,
Here's good luck unto my darling wherever that she be.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 06:26 PM

When I originally heard this song - so long ago I can't remember where or by whom- I distinctly remember however that I heard it as BLISS young buy a broom which made no sense at all and I assumed was a mishearing.
Last week, however, when persuing one of my favourite hobbies i.e. browsing in secondhand book shops I found the Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Words which included
"BLISSOM" - bleating with sexual desire
"Blissful Mr. Thimm danced blissom Miss Swint squealing over a ha-ha....    Theroux, Darconvilles Cat p.214

Well it makes sense to me!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,You Got It Right
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 11:16 PM

Yes..the Lish-Young is a young woman who is blithe and attractive. The story is that the madrigal musician met her along the road...and she asked him to follow her on her journey. Only God knows how far and to where. But they did get romatically involved. She also paid for the trip and the party.

She had money....

We don't know for how long they travelled....but we do know the last lyric and that he indeed missed her.

"Well the reason that we parted..I now should let you hear,
She started off for Germany right early the next year...
But me being unwilling-for to cross the raging sea,
here's a health unto my bonnie lass wherever she may be"

by that toast he was obviously drunk....lol
and he sounded like he 'bragged' about the encounter to his friends in the pub.

this sounds like traditional songs from England and Ireland..I think the traditonals get mixed up. All were songs by madrigal musicians and roving players many, many, many centuries ago. Some from England and some from Ireland. If anyone can definativly tell me where they are from then i'm game

anyone want to interpret John Barlycorn Must Die???


Frank the musicologist from Colorado


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Keith Cunningham
Date: 11 May 04 - 01:23 AM

She was a delicious young broom-seller. I don't see the problem....

KC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 11 May 04 - 10:09 PM

My grandmother grew up in the wilds of Derbyshire, and she called a dulcimer a 'miracle' and the things with the handle and levers - the stringed instrument with a wheel to make a drone the name of which totally escapes me - but she called that a 'music'

So - me with my music walking down the street - he played a hurdy gurdy!!

Maybe?

Anne


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 08:31 AM

Malcolm and Greg have between them given pretty much all the useful information there is about this song. There is an interesting new article by Roly Brown on the Musical Traditions website about William Graham, the Cumberland poacher, who is said to have written Lish Young Buy-a-Broom. The article deals instead with the story of William Graham's 1857 trial for killing a gamekeeper, and his subsequent transportation to Western Australia. The story is told in two little known broadside ballads, which appear to celebrate William Graham as a sort of local hero. One of the broadsides can be seen in the Bodleian Allegro Catalogue of Ballads ref. Frith c.19(55), while the other as yet unpublished ballad can be found in Carlisle library.

There is nothing to prove that the poacher William Graham was the author of the song Lish Young Buy-a-Broom. In 1953 Len Irving of Wreay, Cumberland, was recorded singing the song, as Greg has already mentioned above. Len Irving had been singing the song for forty years, and introduced it by saying that William Graham the Cumberland poacher was said to have written it. This might be only a local tradition, but at least it goes to show that nearly 100 years after his trial William Graham's fame endured enough for him to be thought of as the author of one of Cumberland's best loved songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Peter Taylor
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 06:01 PM

Geoff Wood is alive and well and attends the Grove Folk Club in Leeds, which he ran for many years. He has described how he recorded this song in the Gents' at the pub where he found the singer, this being the only place he could do it undisturbed, but even there the singer's wife kept banging on the door. Whether he was the first/only collector of this song is another matter, but certainly he has been credited with it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 07:20 PM

Interesting your mention of Geoff Wood and "collecting" this song. The terms "collecting" and "traditional" are being discussed elsewhere on Mudcat, and it is intriguing in this context. The Lish young Buy-a Broom was a universal pub song in the northwest of England, sung everywhere by the aboriginal population till at least the seventies(and still is in enclaves were the indigenous population congregate). So, in view of the universal populatity of the song, I am not all sure that "collecting" is a relvant term. I think "learnt" is the word. I learnt the Lish Young Buy-a-Broom singing it in pubs in the 60's. I am not sure that "collected" is the right term. I learnt Blowing in the Wind at the same time. I would not say "collected".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 12:21 PM

Following this thread after reading the article on William Graham, the Poacher on Musical Traditions website - and Matthew Edward's further comments about Len Irving on Pass the Jug Round album - I thought I might as well add my own two penn'orth. I was responsible for getting the archive recordings which make up Pass the Jug Round made into commercial recordings in the first place, first in vinyl in 1983 and then as a Veteran CD a couple of years ago. I did the sleeve notes for both (and please note Matthew, that my surname is Allan not Allen!) The insert with notes on songs and singers in the vinyl recording uses the picture of a man with a gun copied from the broadside of A New Song on William Graham which is in Carlisle library, by way (if anyone wants a photo of that ballad, I have one I can email).

Transcriptions of both Lish Young Buy a Broom and William Graham can also be found in the Frank Warriner collection in Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. The transcriptions were made by the late Stuart Lawrence of Dalton in Furness from Frank Warriner's own notebook, apparently dating from c.1930, of songs he got from variety of sources including the Denwood family of Cockermouth - and Folk Song Journals! Warriner later became more involved with dialect than folk song. He was one of the founders, with the late Lance Porter, of the Lakeland Dialect Society in 1939. Stuart Lawrence also transcribed a couple of broadside ballads in Porter's posssion, which included the one on William Graham (Bodleian version rather than Carlisle one, interestingly), the chap alleged by Len Irving to have written Lish Young Buy a Broom. Nice story if he did. Born in 1899, Irving lived at Wreay and was stationmaster there for many years.
      
I found on Veteran's website a transcription of the words of the Lish Young Buy a Broom (http://www.veteran.co.uk/VT147CD%20songs.htm)transcribed by John Howson, with song notes by Will Noble & John Cocking. It says 'Will first heard it sung years ago, by an old singer in the Lake District called Esme Smith, and then later heard the 'Pass the Jug' recordings which rekindled his interest in the song.'

I well remember Esme! A fantastic singer who was a fixture at the Blencathra Hunt annual shepherd's meets in the 1970s when I occasionally attended. It certainly seems to have been sung in many a pub in Cumbria over the years, whatever its provenance.

As an indigenous person of these parts myself, and one who has been singing, playing, learning, collecting and writing about Cumbrian folk music for over thirty years (greatly helped along over the years in the fiddle music research by one Greg Stephens - good on yer Greg!) I can also verify that the word 'lish' is still in use in Cumbria today, and does mean lithe and sprightly, as in the reply to the dialect question 'Hes t' ivver seen a cuddy lowp a five-barred yat?' which has it that:'It mun a been a gey LISH cuddy or a gey la'al yat!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Betsy
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 01:30 PM

I remember Geoff Woods from the Grove - he was known affectionately as the Professor.I got the song from him in the 60's and have been singing it regularly ever since - I don't think he ever made any great claims to "collecting" - probably "resurrecting" the song would be a better word, and there was a great shortage of English / Northern English songs in those days.
I sing (in relation to the 14/6d) "a Sovereign on the table she threw ", looking at some versions /comments above - a Fiver would have been an enormous amount of money in those days.
Also, a lot of reference to Cumberland regarding this song in this thread - surely Kirby Stephen was Westmoreland and a long way for poachers to venture, but I also appreciate that Westmoreland has been absorbed into Cunmbria these days.

As for foreign tradesmen/women coming to the North of England, up to the 1960's , French onion sellers were frequent visitors to Newcastle - apparently called Onion Johnnies ( absolutely true you dirty minded so and so's ) so selling brushes was just part of the same scene.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Anniecat
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 07:52 PM

I have an LP recorded by Jackie and Bridie in 1970 and one of the songs is called "Lish Young Biar". I can't remember how they introduced it at the folk club in Turville where I saw them, but don't remember any mention of broom sellers!
PS Weren't they great!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 07:25 AM

My apologies to Sue Allan for spelling her name incorrectly - I must have been thinking of the Ellen Valley Band! 'Pass The Jug Round' is one of the best recordings of traditional singers I've ever heard, and Sue's role in discovering, researching and issuing them deserves the gratitude of all lovers of such music.

Thanks also to Sue for posting the copy of the 'New Song on William Graham the Poacher' at Musical Traditions (William Graham). It looks well worth singing.

Greg mentioned above how little research has been done into Cumbrian music and song, which is odd considering that it has to be nearly the most visited part of Britain over the last two hundred years. But in some ways the songs have stayed alive without the attention of the folk song movement.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 08:46 AM

IN reply to you Matthew, there's actually been a lot of research done by me into Cumbrian music and song: it's just that not a lot of it has been published. I have, over the years, published a bit in local publications including Cumbria Life magazine and a local folkie publication, plus the odd article in English Dance & Song and other national folk mags ... but none of those recently. Bands such as Greg Stephens' Boat Band (and his former band Crookfinger Jack) have also kept alive the tunes by playing and recording them, as have the late-lamented Ellen Valley Band, Cumbrian band Striding Edge ... and undoubtedly others too.

It is my intention to pull all my thirty years worth of research together within the next few years in order to publish a book on Cumbrian folk music, dance, song, folk plays etc. There's certainly more than enough material, it's just that I have to spend so much time earning my living as well!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM

Sue, thats excellent news that you are planning to publish your material on Cumbrian music. I can appreciate that it will take a lot of time, but it will be well worth waiting for.

I rather hoped Greg would come by to add something to this thread, but perhaps there isn't a great deal more to say on the subject of Lish Young Buy-a-Broom.

However as Sue has mentioned Frank Warriner's collection in the VWML its worth pointing out that the version of the song there is so different from any of the other printed or sung versions that it would have to be described as a creative remaking.

Out of interest though, here is an unflattering description of Buy-a-Broom sellers from around 1825, (scroll down the page) in the Electronic Edition of William Hone's Every-Day Book, 1825-1826.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,crucialmusic
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM

There is now the CRAIG DUGGAN version to add. A CD called Songs of Cumbria to be found on iTunes and http://cdbaby.com/cd/craigduggan.
I hear Craig is planning a Volume 2 so anyone with suggestions can email him via the CDBaby website as I don't have any current contact details


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Subject: For Sue Allan -RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Jonnette
Date: 11 May 08 - 04:32 PM

Dear Sue Please contact me on jonnette@magicmail.co.za. I am most interested in your interest of Cumbria and it's music. The Denwoods of Cockermouth are the ancestors of my husband. Kind regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Oz Childs
Date: 09 Aug 14 - 07:10 PM

What a wonderful lot of research on one of my favorite Tim Hart/Maddy Prior songs! I just assumed that the buy-a-broom was a local product. Women who made brooms and sold them along their road are mentioned in Northumbrian song ("buy broom besoms"). But my assumption had been that most sellers of besoms (brooms) were *old* women, not "lish" at all.

Now I know about the Bavarian girls. That is clearly what prompted the song Hart and Prior sang, which first appeared in print circa 1860 -- maybe earlier, for all I know.


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