Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home

DTStudy: The Basket of Eggs


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Brisk Butcher / Ten Dollar Bill (10)
Leicestershire Maid / Leistershire Maid (7)
chamber maid stiffed for money (8)
Tune Add: The Basket of Eggs (4)

In Mudcat MIDIs:
Basket of Eggs
Basket of Eggs (from The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs)

Alan of Australia 14 Jan 00 - 06:42 AM
Joe Offer 16 Jan 03 - 02:07 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Jan 03 - 02:31 PM
dick greenhaus 16 Jan 03 - 02:37 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Jan 03 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Q 16 Jan 03 - 05:29 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Jan 03 - 12:14 PM
pavane 18 Jan 03 - 02:54 AM
pavane 18 Jan 03 - 03:01 AM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Jan 03 - 10:13 AM
pavane 19 Jan 03 - 04:01 AM
pavane 19 Jan 03 - 04:10 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Oct 11 - 10:12 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Oct 11 - 12:31 PM
Jim Dixon 26 Oct 11 - 01:07 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Jan 22 - 01:40 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Jan 22 - 02:31 PM
Lighter 20 Jan 22 - 03:25 PM
GUEST 22 Jan 22 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Julia L 22 Jan 22 - 04:16 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Jan 22 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Julia 23 Jan 22 - 06:25 PM
Share Thread
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum Child
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:

Subject: Penguin: The Basket Of Eggs (tune only)^^
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 06:42 AM

From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's submission of the tune of The Basket Of Eggs can be found here.

Previous song: The Banks Of The Sweet Primroses.
Next Song: Benjamin Bowmaneer.

Alan ^^

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:07 PM

I see we don't have much on this sog, so I thought it might be interesting to see what we can dig up.
-Joe Offer-
This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


Down in Sandbank fields, two sailors they were walking,
Their pockets were both lined with gold.
And as together they were talking
A fair maid there they did behold.
With a little basket standing by her
As she sat down to take her ease.
To carry it for her one of them offered
The answer was: "Sir, if you please".

One of these sailors took the basket.
"There's eggs in the basket, please take care:
And if by chance you should out-walk me
At the Half-way house please leave them there."
Behold these sailors, they did out-walk her,
The Half-way house they did pass by.
The pretty damsel she laughed at their fancy
And on the sailors she kept her eye.
When these two sailors came unto an ale-house,
There they did call for a pint of wine.
Saying: "Landlord, landlord, what fools in this nation!
This young maid from her eggs we've twined
O Landlord, landlord, bring us some bacon
We have these eggs and we'll have some dressed."
Behold, these sailors were much mistaken
As you shall say when you hear the rest.

'Twas then the landlord he went to the basket
Expecting of some eggs to find.
He said: "Young man, you're much mistaken,
Instead of eggs I've found a child."
Then one of them sat down to weeping
The other said: "It's not worth while.
Here's fifty guineas I'll give to the baby
If any woman will take the child."
The pretty young damsel she sat by the fire,
And she had a shawl drawn over her face.
She said:"I'll take it and kindly use it
When first I see the money paid."
One of the sailors threw down the money
Great favor to the babe was shown.
"Since it is so, then let's be friendly
For you know this child it is your own."

"Don't you remember a-dancing with Nancy
As long ago as last Easter day?"
"Oh yes and I do and she pleased my fancy
So now the fiddler I have paid."
One of the sailors went up to the basket
And he kicked the basket o'er and o'er.
"Since it is so, may we all be contented
But I'm hanged if I'll like eggs any more!"

from Penguin Book of English Folksongs
@sailor @baby @trick
filename[ BASKETEG

PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.
Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index.

Basket of Eggs, The

DESCRIPTION: Two sailors offer to carry a girl's basket. She says it contains eggs. The sailors go to an ale-house. The landlord opens the basket and finds a baby. The sailors offer to pay any woman who will take the child. The girl takes the money and the child
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 28(166))
LONG DESCRIPTION: Two sailors, out walking, spy a young girl and offer to carry her basket for her. She accepts, telling them it contains eggs, and asking them to leave it for her at the Half-way House. The sailors, laughing at the maid's foolishness, go to an ale-house and order up bacon to go with the eggs they have stolen. The landlord opens the basket and finds, not eggs, but a baby. Appalled, the sailors offer 50 guineas to any woman who will take the child. The girl (sitting in the corner) takes the money and the child, then informs the sailor that he is the child's father. The sailor accepts his responsibility, but angrily kicks the basket, swearing he'll never like eggs anymore.
KEYWORDS: seduction money humorous baby sailor trick landlord
FOUND IN: Britain(England (Lond,South,West),Scotland (Aber,Shetland))
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Greig #100, pp. 2-3, "The Foundling Baby" (2 texts)
GreigDuncan2 307, "The Foundling Baby" (8 texts, 8 tunes)
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, pp. 18-19, "The Basket of Eggs" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacSeegTrav 49, "Eggs In Her Basket" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord, pp. 144-145, "The Foundling Child" (1 text)

Roud #377
Minty Smith, "The Basket of Eggs" (on Voice11)
Bodleian, Harding B 28(166), "Basket of Eggs" ("Through Sandbach fields two sailors walking"), W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824
cf. "Quare Bungo Rye" (baby in basket motif)
cf. "The Child in the Budget" (baby in basket motif)
cf. "The Parcel from a Lady (Under Her Apron)" (plot)
cf. "I Wish My Granny Saw Ye" (plot)
cf. "The Brisk Young Butcher" (plot)
cf. "The Oyster Girl" [Laws Q13] (mysterious--read female--"box" motif)
The Sailor's Child
Two Sailors Walking
File: VWL018

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Bibliography
Go to the Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2011 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:31 PM

At Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

Basket of eggs Printed between 1820 and 1824 for W. Armstrong [Liverpool]. Harding B 28(166)

See also EGGS AND BACON in the DT.

Roud 377.

The DT entry credits neither collector nor source for the "Penguin" set. The song was noted by Ralph Vaughan Williams from Henry Burstow of Horsham, Sussex, in 1903, and was first published in The Journal of the Folk Song Society, vol.II (issue 7) 1905; p.102. Only one verse was printed, and at the moment I don't know where the editors of the Penguin Book got the rest of the text. Burstow did write down a number of his songs, so perhaps that's it. He published an autobiography, Reminiscences of Horsham, in 1911.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:37 PM

There's a family of this story: Quare Bungle Rye, Christmas Goose and, of course, Basket of Eggs.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 03:11 PM

The set of Quare Bungle Rye (Roud 2404) in the DT has acquired as hero a sailor (likely borrowed from Basket of Eggs) instead of the usual exciseman or just "I", but I wouldn't really consider the songs to be particularly related, though the story is similar. The luckless protagonist there is a complete stranger, and not the father of the child. Broadside copies can be seen at the Bodleian, as Bung Your Eye.

Equally, The Christmas Goose or The Brisk Butcher (Roud 167) although also based on the same basic joke, is "family" only in the loosest sense, really.

See also these discussions, which include variants and links to broadside examples:

Leistershire Maid [sic]

Manchester cornstalk

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 05:29 PM

Malcolm guessed correctly: in my copy of "the Penguin Book...., the credit given is "Sung by H. Burstow, Horsham, Sussex (R. V. W. 1903)."

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 12:14 PM

What I meant was that only one verse of the song as it appeared in the Penguin book was taken from the Journal, and at the moment I don't know if the other verses came from Burstow or from some other (un-named) source. There are a number of vexed questions of the kind relating to Lloyd and Vaughan Williams' editing of the song texts, which was by no means as transparent as Lloyd claimed in his introduction. As an extreme example, nobody, not even Lloyd, knew where RVW got the Blacksmith text they published. Not from the singer who supplied the tune, at any rate.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
From: pavane
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 02:54 AM

There is also this in the Bodley collection, dating from about 1700

The country girl's policy: or, The Cockney outwitted

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
From: pavane
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 03:01 AM

Another one from the Bodley collection (printed between 1736 and 1763)

The one above is the goose variant, this one has the basket of eggs, so they both date back to the 1700's.

Bite upon bite: or, The miser outwitted by the country lass

(I had to look again when I saw Sucking pig with an old 'long' S!)

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 10:13 AM

The Country Girl's Policy [W and C Dicey, Bow-Church-Yard, London: Douce Ballads 3(17b)] rather belongs with Bung Your Eye / Quare Bungle Rye than The Basket of Eggs or Brisk Young Butcher / Christmas Goose, I'd have thought, having much the same story (baby palmed off on complete stranger). Bite Upon Bite [also Dicey: Douce Ballads 3(4a)] is closer though more complex; I wouldn't know if there's any direct connection.

Roy Palmer (Bushes and Briars, Llanerch, 1999) mentions a printed set of Basket of Eggs which appeared in The Man of War's Garland of 1796 as Eggs and Bacon; this appears to be the earliest known example of the song proper. There is a copy of the Garland in the Harding collection at the Bodleian (Chapbooks A. 15, no. 19. Wehse 196).

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
From: pavane
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 04:01 AM

The Leicester Chambermaid in the Bodley collection does not use the basket ploy at all, but just gives the baby to the father as his change from the sovereign he paid her 12 month previously.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket Of Eggs
From: pavane
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 04:10 AM

Actually, the sovereign that he cheated her out of the next morning. I am sure I have seen that elsewhere as a song, under a different title. I think this may be a different but related song, not a version.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: BASKET OF EGGS (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 10:12 AM

From a broadside in the Bodleian collection, Harding B 28(166):


Through Sandbach fields two sailors walking,
Their pockets being lin'd with gold,
And as together they were walking,
A pretty young woman they did behold.

A little basket standing by her,
She sat down to take her ease,
To carry it one of them ask'd her,
Her answer was, sir, if you please.

The sailor he took up the basket,
My basket's full of eggs, take care,
And if you chance to overwalk me,
At the half-way house, pray leave them there.

The sailors they soon overwalk'd her,
The half-way house they passed by,
When she saw that, she stepp'd up lighter,
And upon them she kept her eye.

They went into another ale-house,
And called for a pint of wine,
Says they what fools are in this nation,
A woman's left her eggs behind.

Come, landlord, bring us up some bacon,
Here's some eggs, let's have them dress'd,
Yet these two sailors were mistaken,
So you'll say when you hear the jest.

One of them stept up to the basket,
Thinking there some eggs to find;
But these two sailors were mistaken,
Instead of eggs there was a child.

The sailor he sat down a fretting,
To fret, says he, is all in vain,
For fifty pounds I'll give this baby,
If any body will it maintain.

A woman standing by the fire,
And hearing what the sailor did say;
I'll take your child as soon as another,
If down the money you will pay.

The sailor did pay down the money,
To speak, kind sir, I hope I'm free;
To tell the truth and not dissemble,
The father of the child you be.

To tell the truth and not dissemble,
The child it is both thine and mine,
As I was poor and loath to starve it,
To drop it yonder was my design.

Alas, said he, is this young Nancy,
That I danc'd with last Easter-day,
O yes, kind sir, and for your fancy,
The fiddler now at last you pay.

The little basket standing by them,
The sailor kick'd it o'er and o'er,
Since it is so I must be contented,
I never shall like eggs any more.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: BITE UPON BITE (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 12:31 PM

From a broadside in the Bodleian collection, Douce Ballads 3(4a):

[I have modernized the punctuation, adding quotation marks, etc.]

Miser Outwitted by the Country Lass,

1. You pretty young maidens, I'd have you draw near.
Attend to this ditty, which I shall declare.
'Tis of a young West-country maid,
Who' rais'd her fortune by the pranks she has play'd.
This maid she lived with a young 'squire,
She being both charming, brisk, airy(?), and young.
He used his endeavour, and at last gain'd her favour,
And thus for to court her the squire begun.

2. "You sweet lovely creature, if you'd but consent
To give me your maidenhead, I do protest
I'll cloath you, my dear, like a lady of fame.
In pearls and rich jewels my love shall be drest.
Be no longer coy, my dear creature," he cry'd,
"But yield up your charms with a heart and good-will,
For when I've enjoy'd I ne'er shall be cloy'd,
But I'll adore and admire you still."

3. The thoughts of that treasure the girl did invite,
Then freely her maidenhead she did resign;
But soon her fair beauty began for to fade.
Her belly grew big within a little time.
This maid was forced her service to quit.
Because that her squire was both gallant and gay,
She dare not make known, or her father to show,
But patiently took the kind favour of fate.

4. She went to her mother, and there she lay in,
In private not known to the rest of her kin.
The child being born, and a daughter so fair,
They christened it Maidenhead, I do declare.
"Now, daughter," says the good old woman,
"I'd have you ride up to fair London town,
And see if your maidenhead there you can sell.
Pray bring it not back if you sell it for a crown.

5. "Here's the old mare; it's blind with one eye,
So take her and saddle her instantly.
With eggs and butter the hampers I'll load.
The same you may sell to keep you on the road."
The girl soon agreed to take the young babe.
In one of the hampers the child she laid down,
This same maidenhead. "Come, before I return,
I warrant I'll sell thee for more than a crown."

6. She rode all the day till evening drew on.
At length came three gentlemen riding along.
One was an old miser; his age was threescore.
He had a colt's tooth, for he loved a whore.
The old man he cry'd, "You sweet lovely creature,
Oh! where are you going, pray let me hear?"
"To London," she said, "to sell my maidenhead,
For I am weary of it I declare."

7. "You are a sweet creature," the old man he said.
"Pray what's the price of your maidenhead?"
She answer'd, "Fifty pound is the sum,
And if it's e'er sold, the money I'll have down."
"Oh! fifty pound," reply'd the old miser.
"I'm startled to hear you ask such a price,
But I swear, charming creature, you make my chops water,
For I'm for a bit that's handsome and nice.

8. "So here's forty guineas I'll freely lay down."
She says, "I'll not bite you so much as a crown."
The old man he said, "If I must pay so dear,
I'd have the butter and eggs I declare."
"Well, that you shall," reply'd the girl,
"So to the next inn let's jog away."
But the miser reply'd, "You shall lay by my side,
My sweet pretty creature, till the break of day."

9. She answered, "I'll have the bargain made fair.
Your friends will both be witness there.
Before that I do alight from my mare,
I will have the money, I solemnly swear."
The other two gentlemen said to him, "Sir,
I'm sure for your fancy you pay a good price."
"So," says the old fellow, in wine being mellow,
"I tell you I love something handsome and nice."

10. At length they all four came riding to the inn.
Young Maidenhead to whimper she did begin.
"Oh! what's that alive in the hamper I pray?"
"A fine sucking pig, oh! yours," she did say.
"A noble bargain," said the old miser.
"The pig in the hamper I likewise did buy."
The inn-keeper was sent for without more delay,
To witness the matter. The old man he cry'd:

11. "Sir, I've bought a bargain, as now you may see,
And you to the same must a witness be.
This damsel has sold me her maidenhead,
Besides the two hampers of butter and eggs,
And any thing else in the hampers may be.
So witness the matter I pray as you see."
As she sat on the mare, the money was paid there.
The girl said, "Sir, you're welcome heartily."

12. He lifted her down, and sat her on her legs,
Saying, "Hostler, take care of her butter and eggs.
Likewise of our horses I'd have you take care.
Then next for the Maidenhead, my pretty dear."
Then without delay, they made no long stay,
But the old man he handed her into the room,
Saying, "My dear honey, you've got all my money.
The rest of the bargain I hope to have soon."

13. As they was at supper, and merrily sat,
The hostler came running up in a great fright,
Saying, "Sir, in the hampers you put in my care
You've something alive I solemnly swear."
"It's a young pig," the old man did say.
"Go fetch it up here without more delay,
For as I'm a sinner, it will serve us for dinner,
To morrow before we both go away."

14. "If that be a pig in the hamper of eggs,
I verily think it has got but two legs,
For if I'm not mistaken," the man did reply,
"I think it's a child in the hamper does cry."
"The fellow's a fool," the old man did say.
"Go fetch it up hither, and then I shall see,
For I've bought the hampers of butter and eggs
And any thing else in the hampers may be."

15. The hostler then to the stable went down,
And soon with the matter acquainted the groom.
They went to the hampers and watched the same.
They found little Maidenhead carefully laid.
The poor little babe began for to squall,
As they up stairs the hamper did haul,
Saying, "Sir, by my troth, a fine bargain you've bought."
The old man hearing the babe thus bawl,

16. He look'd on the mother, and thus he did say:
"How came this child in the hamper I pray?"
She said, "It's my Maidenhead, sir, which you've bought.
You've but your own bargain; it's your own fault."
"The Devil may go with the bargain," said he,
"And you are a jilt for thus biting of me.
But the money I gave you, I'll have ere I leave you,
If this is your bargain, pray take it from me."

17. "Not I," said the lass. "You the bargain did buy,
And I'll not receive it, no, not I."
The inn-keeper said, "Pray take up your child,
For you fairly have bought, and fairly paid for't."
"For pity's sake," reply'd the old miser,
"Pray stand on my side, for she's above paid."
"No," said the inn-keeper. "The child you must keep, sir.
No charge to the parish I mean to have laid."

18. The old man he took the child in his lap.
The inn-keeper's wife she gave it some pap.
The child it did squall; the old man did fret.
His friends they did laugh to see him thus bit.
At length in a passion he to him did say:
"A constable fetch without more delay.
The strumpet I swear shall go to the mayor.
The matter he'll decide I dare say."

19. The constable came, and the girl was fetch'd down,
To answer the thing to the mayor of the town,
But the best of the jest, as for truth it is said,
They made the old fellow to carry the babe.
The country folks all flock'd to the mayor,
To see the old man with the Maidenhead there,
And when they came in the lass did begin:
"Sir, if you the truth of the matter will hear,

20. "It's my first child; it come by-the-by.
I dare not," said she, "the father to own.
The child I nam'd Maidenhead, sir," she reply'd.
"My mother she sent me to fair London-town,
To see if my maidenhead there I could sell,
And this gentleman bought it as I for truth tell,
As these gentlemen can my witness be,
For they heard the bargain, and know't very well."

21. The old man he brings the child to the mayor,
Saying, "This is a lie, sir, I solemnly swear,
For it was her Maidenhead, sir, I did buy."
"Why then you've your bargain," the mayor did reply.
"Do you think, sir, I'd give fifty pound for this brat?
No, no, sir, you are much mistaken in that.
I thought for my treasure to have some pleasure,
For I really wanted a bit for my cat."

22. "A bit for the cat," then answer'd the mayor,
"I think a rare lump of flesh you have there.
Come, gentlemen, now the truth do not deny.
Pray was it her Maidenhead which he did buy?"
The gentlemen gave their oath to the thing,
And so did the master indeed of the inn.
The mayor said, "Old man, get a nurse if you can,
And send the poor girl to her mother again."

23. The old man he put the child to nurse in the town,
And fifty pound security he then did put down.
The girl home with joy to her mother did ride,
And shew'd her the gold. The old mother cry'd:
"I think you your Maidenhead, child, have well sold,
For here's a fine sight of silver and gold.
Since so lucky you have been then at it again.
I'd do it myself, if I was not so old."

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: BUNG YOUR EYE (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 01:07 PM

From a broadside in the Bodleian collection, Firth c.18(283):

[I have modernized the punctuation, adding quotation marks, etc.]


1. As a jolly exciseman was walking the street,
A buxom young girl he chancéd to meet,
And as he drew near, she says, "Will you buy?"
"Pray what do you sell?" Says she, "Bung-your-eye."

2. "But now to be serious, what have you got there?"
"'Tis honest Geneva, I vow and declare.
At the custom-house officers I look very sly,
And to give it a nickname, it's call'd Bung-your-eye.

3. "But as you're a gentleman, as you appear,
To leave my Geneva I vow and declare*.
Till I speak to a customer that's just pass'd by,
I will leave you in charge of my Bung-your-eye."

4. Now mark, my good friends, at what I'm going to mention:
To look in her basket it was my intention,
But in two or three minutes after, a young child did cry.
Then up in my arms I took young Bung-your-eye.

5. Then I took the child home without more delay,
And to have it christened I hasted away.
Says the parson, "I'll christen your child by and by.
Pray what is his name?" Says I, "Bung-your-eye."

6. "Bung-your-eye?" says the parson. "Why, that's an odd name."
"Why, yes, sir, it is, and an odd way it came,
For I thought all the people as they did pass by
Would think me the father of young Bung-your-eye."

7. Now all you excisemen that walketh the street
Beware of those girls if you chance them to meet.
With their honest Geneva they look very sly,
And they'll soon make you the father of young Bung-your-eye.

[Geneva = gin]
[* Harding B 16(40c) substitutes "I need not to fear"]

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: BUNGLE RYE (Paul Curran & Allan Cowell)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Jan 22 - 01:40 PM

My transcription from Spotify:

As recorded by Paul Curran and Allan Cowell on “Shanghaied” (2005)

It’s about a young sailor who’s out on the street,
Who once met a girl on a famed London street.
She carried a basket as she passed him by,
Said: “Jack, how do you fancy some quare bungle rye?”

CHORUS: Roddy-toddy right-fall-the-diddle-addle and toddle-die-day.

“Bungle* rye?” said the sailor. “Now what might that be?”
“It’s a new kind of liquor from far Germany,
Wrapped up in a basket and sold on the sly,
And the nickname they give it is the quare bungle rye.”

Jack gave her a guinea and thought nothin’ strange.
“Hold the basket,” said the damsel, “till I fetch your change.
And treat all your comrades as they pass you by
To a drop of strong whiskey called the quare bungle rye.”

Jack waited an hour and then thought it strange,
For the damsel, she never came back with his change.
He looked in the basket; the kid let a cry.
“Well, damn me!” says Jack. “This is quare bungle rye.”

Now to get the kid christened was Jack’s good intent.
For to get the kid christened to a clergy he went.
Says the clergy: “What name will the baby go by?”
“Well, damn me!” says Jack. “Call him Quare Bungle Rye.”

“Bungle* rye?” says the clergy. “Now, that’s a strange name.”
“It is then,” said Jack, “and a strange way he came.
Instead of strong whiskey as I chanced to buy,
Wrapped up in the basket was the quare bungle rye.”

So beware of the damsels you meet on the street.
Beware of the damsels, although they look sweet.
Look into the basket before that you buy,
In case they might slip ye a quare bungle rye.

- - -
* This word is probably wrong. I think it might be an Irish expression that I am unfamiliar with.

I don’t like the construction of verse 1 line 4: “Said: ‘Jack, how do you…?’”. It could be construed as “Said Jack: ‘How do you…?’” which is confusing.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket of Eggs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Jan 22 - 02:31 PM

The earliest version of Roud 377 is currently 'Luck in a Basket; or, The Biter Bit', printed for Sam Cook in Southwark, c1750. It's in the BL at ref 11631. aa. 20, also available in ECCO if you have access.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket of Eggs
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Jan 22 - 03:25 PM

Jim's version above is that of the Clancys with a few words changed.

I haven't heard the tune.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket of Eggs
Date: 22 Jan 22 - 08:11 AM

The Basket of Eggs · Minty Smith
Eggs In Her Basket · Martin Carthy,
Basket of Eggs · Jez Lowe · John Bowden · Linda Adams · Martin Carthy · Roy Harris

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket of Eggs
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 22 Jan 22 - 04:16 PM

here's a version from Maine which appears in our new book "Bygone Ballads of Maine- Volume 1- Songs of Ships & Sailors" now available from Loomis House Press. The tune is completely different than the others.

The Sailor Song
(aka The Basket of eggs/ Bung Yer Eye/Yump in your eye)
Sung by Mrs.Sadie Murphy Harvey of Monticello Maine September 30, 1941 Marguerite Olney Collector; Helen Hartness Flanders Collection

In Chamberlain Street two sailors were walking
Their pockets being lined with gold
As these two sailors together were talking
A pretty fair damsel they did behold

One of the sailors spied a basket
As she sat down to take her ease
And offering to carry it one of them ask-ed her
Her kind answer was "Yes, if you please"

One of the sailors picked up the basket
"It's full of eggs I pray you take care
And if by chance you should overwalk me
At the halfway house, pray leave them there"

The halfway house was soon walked to
The halfway house was soon passed by
But still this fair maiden she stepp-ed on lightly
And on the sailors cast her eye

These two sailors called into an ale house
They called for beer and a glass of wine
Saying "Oh what foes women are in this country-
A woman has left her eggs behind"

"Pray tell the landlord to bring on some bacon
For we have eggs all for to broil (boil?)."
But when this young sailor he opened the basket
Instead of the eggs he found a young child

One of the sailors set down to fretting
"To fret," said the other "It is all in vain
Here's fifty bright guineas I'll give to the maiden
If any women it will obtain

A woman standing by the fire
To hear what the sailors would have to say
Said, "I'll take the baby as soon as its mother
If down the money you will pay"

He paid her over and down the money
"You see, kind sir, I hope I'm free
But to tell you the truth without further conclusion
The daddy of the child you be."

"If this be you, my lovely Nancy,
That I danced with last Easter Day--"
"Oh yes, then, kind sir, and since you've had your fancy,
Oh now the fiddler you have paid."

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket of Eggs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Jan 22 - 10:22 AM

Excellent plug, Julia!
Can we have more details, please? How many volumes, price, where reviewed, etc? Sounds very interesting. Perhaps start a new thread.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Basket of Eggs
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 23 Jan 22 - 06:25 PM

Thanks Steve- it's just the one volume presently, being newly hatched though ten+ years in the making! It's over 160 songs with lyrics tunes & notes. We have a facebook page "Bygone Ballads of Maine". Will put up a specific thread asap

BTW, to avoid thread creep I'll mention that there is also a version of "Bung Yer Eye" as follows

Bygone Ballads of Maine Volume 1
Songs of Ships & Sailors p 160

Merchie Harvey, Houlton ME 9/28/1941
Helen Hartness Flanders Collection, Middlebury VT

Oh, there was a young gentleman walking the street.
A very fine damsel he chanced for to meet
And as she drew near him she says, will you buy?"
"Now what have you there?" and she said, Bung Your Eye."

Tura nah, Tura nah
Tura narand O-day.

"Oh, now to be serious, what have you got there?"
It's good Holland gin, sir, I vow and declare;
It's good Holland gin, sir, it is bye the bye
And an odd name they call it--it is Bung Yer Eye.

"How much like a gentleman you do appear."
"You can have my gin, lady, you need never fear."
While talking with a neighbor is just passing by
And I'll leave you in care of this young Bung Yer Eye.

Now the woman being gone and I fully bent
To open the basket it was my intent.
When I opened the basket, I heard a child cry,
When up in my face, popped this young Bung Yer Eye.

Now what has this jade of a woman got here?
Now fur my ginavy*, I'm afraid I'll pay dear.
The girls they all poke me as I passed them by
They'll say I'm the daddy of young Bung Yer Eye.

Now I took that child home as I heard people say
To get the child christened without more delay.
Said the parson, I'll christen your child bye and bye.
What name shall we call it?" Said I, "Bung Yer Eye."

"Bung Yer Eye," said the parson,"That is an odd name."
An odd name it is, sir, and an odd way it came.
Instead of ginavy, as I thought to buy,
I opened the basket, out popped Bung Yer Eye."

Now the very next day I was walking the street.
This very same damsel I chanced for to meet.
Now I cried to policeman jest as hard's I could cry,
Now stop that damned rascal. She's bunged both my eyes."

Upon comparing this version with a broadside from the Bodleian library, the word “ginavy” appears to be a corruption
of “Geneva” meaning “Dutch gin.” “Geneva” was derived from the word genever, the Dutch word for juniper, a
primary ingredient in the making of gin. Interestingly, a popular version of this song describes “the finest of whisky from
High Germany” aka Holland.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")

Mudcat time: 12 June 5:47 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 2022 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.