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Origins: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him

DigiTrad:
HUSBAND WITH NO COURAGE IN HIM
MY HUSBAND'S GOT NO COURAGE IN HIM (2)


Related thread:
Lyr Add: My Husband's Got No Porridge in Him (14)


GUEST,Anne 12 Jul 00 - 04:55 PM
Catrin 12 Jul 00 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 12 Jul 00 - 05:24 PM
GUEST 12 Jul 00 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 12 Jul 00 - 05:37 PM
Joe Offer 12 Jul 00 - 05:43 PM
Catrin 12 Jul 00 - 05:48 PM
Catrin 12 Jul 00 - 05:56 PM
Catrin 12 Jul 00 - 05:58 PM
Naemanson 12 Jul 00 - 06:42 PM
Snuffy 12 Jul 00 - 06:43 PM
Catrin 12 Jul 00 - 06:51 PM
Wolfgang 13 Jul 00 - 04:08 AM
Joe Offer 03 Aug 16 - 10:39 PM
Joe Offer 04 Aug 16 - 01:39 AM
Joe Offer 04 Aug 16 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 06 Aug 16 - 05:36 AM
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Subject: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: GUEST,Anne
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 04:55 PM

Can anybody tell me if the song "My Husband's Got No Courage in Him" is English or Scottish in origin? Or better yet, when and where it was published? Many thanks!


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Catrin
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 05:06 PM

I have this in a song book by Kathy Henderson with Frankie Armstrong and Sandra Kerr entitled 'My Song is my own - 100 women's songs'. Published by Pluto Press.

I have the lyrics too, if you need them. In the book, which is one of the best referenced I have come across it says....

"There is a broadside equivalent called the Scolding Wife's Vindication 'wherin she shows what just reasons she had to excercise severity over her insufficient husband...for he nothing at all would do'. The text of My Husband's Got No courage In Him is a collation of two verses collected by Cecil Sharpe, which appeared in James Reeves, The Idiom of the People"

I think that makes it English.

Hope that's of some help.

Catrin


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 05:24 PM

See ZN2114 in the broadside ballad index on my website for Martin Parker's version of 1638 (with notes). The text is given in the Scarce Songs 1 file (in the index under the traditional title). www.erols.com/.olsonw


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 05:30 PM

Maddy Prior and June Tabor sing it on Silly Sisters, I believe. I'll post it when I get home...


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 05:37 PM

Search for 'courage' on the Bodley Ballads website (Mudcat's Links) for the 18th century broadside version.


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 05:43 PM

Note that if you put [no courage] in square brackets in the blue search box on this page, you'll come up with two versions of the song - click here - Catrin and Guest, are your versions different? If so, please post what you've got.
It's a great song, but I guess it's not one I can sing...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Catrin
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 05:48 PM

Joe,

My version is the same as no 2 in the link you set up but with more verses. I'll write them here:-

As I walked out one summer's morning

To view the trees and leaves a-springing

I saw two maidens standing by

And one of them her hands was wringing

(Chorus)O dear O,

What


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY HUSBAND'S GOT NO COURAGE IN HIM^^
From: Catrin
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 05:56 PM

I think I need to start again - tried it before but don't think it worked - anyway.

MY HUSBAND'S GOT NO COURAGE IN HIM^^

As I walked out one summer's morning
To view the trees and leaves a-sprining
I saw two maidens standing standing by
And one of them her hands was wringing
Chorus Oh dear oh
Oh dear oh
My husband's got no courage in him
Seven long years I made his bed
Six of them I lay beside him And this morning I role with my maidenhead
For still he had no courage in him

(Chorus)

My husband he can dance or sing
Do anything that's not fit for him
But he cannot do the thing I want
For alas he's got no courage in him.

If he does not shortly try
A cuckold I am sure to make him
For let me do what e'er I will
I really can't put courage in him

I wish that he was dead and gone
And in the grave I'd quickly lay him
And then I'd try another one
That's got a little courage in him

So come all pretty maids where'er you be
Don't marry a man before you try him
Or else you'll sing a song like me
My husbands got no courage in him

(Joe - I think perhaps you're right about not wanting to sing this!)
Line Breaks <br> added, but I still won't sing the song....^^
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Catrin
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 05:58 PM

Me again!

I seemed to have problems with the format there - but I suppose it's not too difficult to work out where one verse stops and the next starts - I did try though

Catrin


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Naemanson
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 06:42 PM

Joe - Not only can we not sing this song but we hope the ladies in our lives will choose not to sing it either!


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 06:43 PM

Les Barker does a great parody as sung by Mummy Bear (of Goldilocks and the 3 bears), called "My husband's got no porridge in him".

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Catrin
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 06:51 PM

Joe

Before you (or anybody else) reminds me, I have just been to FAQ's to find the best way to post lyrics. Too late for this time - but I'll know for future. (erm, I think)

Catrin


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Wolfgang
Date: 13 Jul 00 - 04:08 AM

My husband's got no porridge in him

Wolfgang


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Subject: ADD: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Aug 16 - 10:39 PM

I used to hate it when Bruce Olsenh would refuse to post songs, and force us to look into has huge song files and indexes. Now I wish we had him back. I'm sure grateful he left his archive to us (it's in our QuickFiles dropdown menu. But since he's not here to stop me, here's the broadside he collected - Martin Parker's version of 1638.

[My husband has no courage in him]

A Penny=worth of Good Counsell.

To Widdowes, and to Maides,
This Counsell I send free;
And let them looke before they leape,
Or that they married be.
To the tune of Dulcina.

Of late it was my chance to walke,
for recreation in the spring,
Where as the fethered quisters
melodiously did sing.
    And at that tide
    I there espide
A woman faire her hands sate wringing;
    She wept apace,
    And cry'd "Alas!
My husband hath no fore-cast in him."

Quoth she, "When as I was a mayden,
I had store of suitors brave,
And I most coyly did reject them,
to take the man that now I have:
    But woe is me,
    That e'er I see
The face of him makes me thus singing;
    Most heavily
    I sing and cry,
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"His flattering tongue it did bewitch me,
faire promises to me he gave,
And said, I should have all things plenty,
but no such thing I'm sure I have:
    His purse is light,
    Nothing is right,
Although a portion I did bring him;
    Aye me! poor soule,
    Thus to condole!
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"Hee's not the man I tooke him for:
Alas! who would be so much tyed?
I tell you, friends, now seriously,
my husband he doth nought but chide:
    His lookes are sowre,
    And he doth lowre,
For nature no good parts hath gi'n him:
    For which I grieve,
    You may believe!
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"When he was a batcheler,
then who but he amongst the maids?
He went most neat in his apparell;
but now I finde his glory fades:
    So spruce he went,
    'Twould give content
To any maiden that could win him;
    He'd dance and sing,
    Wrestle and ring;
But now he hath no fore-cast in him.

"Some men unto their wives are loving,
and all content to them do give;
But mine is lumpish, sad, and heavy,
which is the cause wherefore I grive:
    If I prove kind,
    Some fault hee'l finde,
And says, he knowes where his shooe wrings him:
    In darke or light,
    By day or night,
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

    The second part. To the same tune.

"He keeps me short of everything,
no money he will give or lend;
'Tis fitting sometimes that a woman
should with a friend some money spend:
    I must sit here,
    With heavy cheere,
Although that I did something bring him:
    Which makes me thus
    To cry, alas!
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"He doth not use me like a woman,
and doth not care what clothes I have;
When other men's wives weare each fashion,
and are maintained rich and brave:
    Thus to the wall
    I may condole,
Although that this same song I sing him --
    Some counsell give,
    Me to relieve!
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"Eringo-roots I doe privide him,
with cawdles made of muscadine;
Yea, marrow-bones and oyster-pyes,
which all are dishes good and fine:
    And lobsters great
    For him to eat,
And yolks of eggs, these have I gi'n him:
    Doe what I can,
    Yet this same man
By no meanes will have fore-cast in him.

"He will not have me goe abroad,
yet seldome is himself at home;
He saith that I must be a house-dove,
I must not flye abroad and roame:
    When other wives,
    Doe lead brave lives,
They'l goe to playes, heare fidlers singing,
    And spend their coyne
    At ale or wine;
My husband hath no fore-cast in him.

"Thus, like the turtle, I sit mourning
because I have an unkind mate;
And fickle Fortune on me frowneth;
it is my destiny and fate:
    I hope hee'l mend
    And be more kind;
With sweet embraces I will cling him;
    Ile speake him faire
    To have more care
That he may have more fore-cast in him.

"But if I see hee will not mend,
come, tell me, widdow, maid, or wife __
What shall I doe in this same woe?
for I am weary of this life:
    My tongue Ile tune,
    It shall chime noone,
And in his eares a peale Ile ring him;
    I am put too't,
    And I will doo't,
Because he hath no fore-cast in him.
Finis. M[artin]. P[arker].

No publisher's imprint; probably trimmed off. Entered in the Stationers' Register to Henry Gosson on Apr. 9, 1638.

I haven't seen a copy of "My husband has no courage in him" earlier than traditional ones, but it seems to have been around by about 1735. The table of contents of the Elizabeth Cochrane Songbook (Harvard College MS Eng. 512) lists "My husband has no courage in him" at p. 47, but the leaf containing the song, pp 47-8 is missing. A traditional text with tune is in Frank Purslow's The Wanton Seed, p. 82.


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Subject: RE: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Aug 16 - 01:39 AM

MY HUSBAND'S GOT NO COURAGE IN HIM (O DEAR O)

As I I walked out one May morning
To view the fields and the leaves a-springing
I saw two maidens standing by
And one of them her hands was wringing.

CHORUS:
Oh dear, oh!
What shall I do?
My husband's got no courage in him.
Oh dear, oh!

All sorts of victuals* I did provide
All sorts of meats that's fitting for him
With oyster pie and rhubarb too
But nothing will put courage in him.

My husband can dance and caper and sing
Or do anything that is fitting for him
But he cannot do the thing that I want
Because he has no courage in him.

My husband's admired wherever he goes
And everyone looks well upon him
With his handsome features and well-shaped leg
But still he has no courage in him.

Seven long years I've made his bed
And every night I've laid aside him
But this morning I rose with my maidenhead
For still he has no courage in him.

I wish my husband he was dead
And in the grave I'd quickly lay him
Then I'd try some other one
That's got some little courage in him.

*pronounced 'vittals' which is what Purslow printed


Singer: Jesse Steer, Stratton, Dorset, November 1906

Source: The Wanton Seed: English Folk Songs from the Hammond and Gardiner Manuscripts
Revised by Malcolm Douglas and Steve Gardham
page 111


This version is very similar to the second version in the Digital Tradition - more-or-less the version recorded by the Silly Sisters.

There is a melody in the book - I'll transcribe it if requested.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Aug 16 - 01:53 AM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

My Husband's Got No Courage in Him

DESCRIPTION: (Two women meet); one laments, "(My) husband's got no courage in him." She describes all she has done to encourage his "courage," but all attempts have failed. (Even now she still has her maidenhead.) (She hopes he dies so she can find another)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1701 (broadside NLScotland, Ry.III.a.10(053))
KEYWORDS: wife husband sex disability
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Kennedy 213, "Rue the Day" (1 text, 1 tune)
GreigDuncan7 1367, "My Husband's Got No Courage in Him" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Reeves-Sharp 67, "O Dear O" (2 texts)
Silber-FSWB, p. 171, "The Husband With No Courage In Him" (1 text)
BBI, ZN2114, "Of late it was my chance to walke"
DT, NOCOURAG* NOUCOURG2

Roud #870
BROADSIDES:
NLScotland, Ry.III.a.10(053), "My Husband Has No Courage In Him," unknown, 1701
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Maids, When You're Young"
cf. "What Can a Young Lassie"
cf. "The Jolly Barber Lad" (theme)
cf. "The Old Man from Over the Sea"
NOTES: Although this sounds like it is just a woman's lament over an impotent (or homosexual?) husband, it's just possible that there is more going on. At least if you believe Mary Roach's book, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, (Norton, 2008). Failure to consummate a marriage of course could allow for an annulment -- and, in sixteenth and seventeenth century France, could call for more. Roach, pp. 149-152, told how a man could be sued by his wife for non-performance. In such a case, he had to prove, before witnesses, that he could produce an erection. If he failed, he could be fined and forbidden to remarry -- and the dowry he had gained upon marriage would be forfeit. The inability to "put up" could thus be extremely expensive as well as embarrassing. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
File: K213

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 06 Aug 16 - 05:36 AM

You can hear a version of this, as sung by Jimmy Young of Aultmore, Moray, on the CD "Hamish Henderson Collects" (Klyoe 107).


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