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Origins: 'Nuts in May' a trad(?) bawdy parody

DigiTrad:
NUTS IN MAY


Related thread:
(origins) Origins: Down by the Old Mill Stream (14)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Nuts in May (from Folk Songs of Old New England)


John M. 26 Jan 05 - 05:30 PM
Snuffy 26 Jan 05 - 07:50 PM
TheBigPinkLad 27 Jan 05 - 12:02 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jan 05 - 01:13 PM
Snuffy 27 Jan 05 - 08:05 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jan 05 - 03:13 AM
Flash Company 28 Jan 05 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,Jos 02 Mar 05 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,Duncan 08 Mar 17 - 12:08 AM
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Subject: Origins: 'Nuts in May' a trad(?) bawdy parody
From: John M.
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 05:30 PM

Hello everyone,

If you are easily offended, please STOP READING.   This thread is for mature audiences only.  Please don't post "dreadful song" or "worst song written" as you are not helping. 

Below is a bawdy song titled:  "Nuts in May"  (recording)


          Do you sing this song?  If so when/where did you learn it?


This seems to be a traditional(?) bawdy parody of Nuts in May.  Does the tune of that song match up with that found in the recording?


Any help is appreciated.

Sincerely,

John Mehlberg
john@mehlberg.com
~
My, mostly traditional, bawdy songs, toasts and recitations website: www.immortalia.com
~

NUTS IN MAY  (recording)

I took to gathering nuts in may, nuts in may, nuts in may
Down by the old mill stream.
But instead of gathering nuts in may,
I put her in a family way.
Down by the old mill stream.

Now you can't have it tonight
Though the moon is shining bright
And the starlight is glinting in your i-hi-hi-eye
Somebody is watching us, watching us, watching us
Down by the old mill stream

I took to gathering watercress, watercress, watercress
Down by the old mill stream.
But instead of gathering watercress,
I put her in a hell of a mess.
Down by the old mill stream.

Now you can't have it tonight
Though the moon is shining bright
And the starlight is glinting in your i-hi-hi-eye
Somebody is watching us, watching you and me
Down by the old mill stream

I took to gathering paper, paper, paper
Down by the old mill stream.
But instead of gathering paper,
I laid her down to rape her.
Down by the old mill stream.

Now you can't have it tonight
Though the moon is shining bright
And the starlight is glinting in your i-hi-hi-eye
Somebody is watching us, watching us, watching us
So let's go round the corner and do it on the sly.


Notes: This is transcribed from the Mighty Absalom Sings Bathroom Ballads LP which is part of the Sportsdisc rugby records series.

 

  • Sportsdic Records: Mighty Absalom
    • Mighty Absalom Sings Bathroom Ballads [ca 1967]

 


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Nuts in May' a trad(?) bawdy parody
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 07:50 PM

I know it as Gathering Flowers. Slightly different words, but tune basically as per recording, not Here we come gathering nuts in May on a cold & frosty morning tune.

We were gathering flowers, flowers, flowers
Down by the old mill stream.
We were gathering flowers,
Billed and cooed for hours.
Down by the old mill stream.

No you can't have it tonight
For the moon's shining bright
And the stars are twinkling in the sky-hi-hi-eye
Everybody's watching us, watching you and I
So let's go round the corner and have it on the sly


We were gathering rosemary, rosemary, rosemary
Down by the old mill stream.
We were gathering rosemary,
Swore that he would marry me.
Down by the old mill stream.

No you can't have it tonight
For the moon's shining bright
And the stars are twinkling in the sky-hi-hi-eye
Everybody's watching us, watching you and I
So let's go round the corner and have it on the sly


We were gathering watercress, watercress, watercress
Down by the old mill stream.
We were gathering watercress,
Left me in a hell of a mess.
Down by the old mill stream.

No you can't have it tonight
For the moon's shining bright
And the stars are twinkling in the sky-hi-hi-eye
Everybody's watching us, watching you and I
So let's go round the corner and have it on the sly


We were gathering nuts in may, nuts in may, nuts in may
Down by the old mill stream.
We were gathering nuts in may,
Left me in the family way.
Down by the old mill stream.

No you can't have it tonight
For the moon's shining bright
And the stars are twinkling in the sky-hi-hi-eye
Everybody's watching us, watching you and I
So let's go round the corner and have it on the sly


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Nuts in May' a trad(?) bawdy parody
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 12:02 PM

I learned and sang the non-naughty version of Nuts in May to a similar tune back in infant school.

Incidentally, 'nuts' is a corruption of 'knots' so "here we go gathering knots (of flowers) in May" makes a little more sense. Same corruption as 'doughnuts.'


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Subject: Origins: Nuts in May
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 01:13 PM

I hope you'll humor me and let me abscond with this message for information on the original song, which is located in the Digital Tradition here (click) The tune is the one I know of as "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" - not the same as what John has in his recording. Is John's tune also traditional for "Nuts in May"?
-Joe Offer-
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Gathering Nuts in May

DESCRIPTION: "Here we go gathering nuts in May, nuts in May, nuts in May, Here we go gathering... On a bright and pretty day." "Who will you have for your nuts in May?" "We'll have (a boy) for the nuts in May." A girl will "pull him across." Repeat for each player
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1894 (Gomme)
KEYWORDS: playparty courting harvest nonballad
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE,So)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Randolph 561, "Gathering Nuts in May" (2 texts, 1 tune, although the second, fragmentary, text may be unrelated)
Linscott, pp. 16-18, "Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, NUTSMAY

Roud #6308
RECORDINGS:
Tony Wales, "Four Children's Singing Games (Nuts in May)" (on TWales1)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" (tune)
Notes: Linscott explains, "This is certainly a dance survival from the May Day destivals of olden days.... The words are a corruption from 'knots of may,' the game is of English origin, and the tune a variant of the country dance melody 'Nancy Dawson.'" - RBW
File: R561

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Here's Linscott's version in Folk Songs of Old New England:

Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May

Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May, Nuts in May, Nuts in May,
Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May, on a cold and frosty morning.

Who shall we gather for Nuts in May, Nuts in May, Nuts in May,
Who shall we gather for Nuts in May, on a cold and frosty morning?

Oh, we''ll gather Helen Hubbard (or whomever) for nuts in May, etd.

Who shall we gather for nuts in May, etc.
    The Game
    There are two opposite rows of players. One side advances and sings; the other side replies. Each side chooses a player, one a "girl" and the other a "boy." At the second verse, the "girl" steps out of line; in the answering verse the "boy" chosen steps out of his line. If the "girl" chosen can be pulled by the "boy" across a line marked on the ground, she must join his side. The game begins again and continues till one side is depleted of players.

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Nuts in May' a trad(?) bawdy parody
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 08:05 PM

Joe, to my mind the traditional Nuts in May and Mulberry Bush are basically the same song, and definitely share the same tune.

A different tune is used for the song John calls Nuts in May and I call Gathering Flowers. I've never heard this tune used for the traditional (clean) Nuts in May.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Nuts in May' a trad(?) bawdy parody
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 03:13 AM

Thanks, Snuffy. That makse sense.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Nuts in May' a trad(?) bawdy parody
From: Flash Company
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:08 AM

We used to play this when I was at infant school, a Loooooong time ago!
Lyric was explained to us by our teacher as a corruption of 'Knots of May' i.e. Bunches of May Blossom (Hawthorn).

FC


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Nuts in May' a trad(?) bawdy parody
From: GUEST,Jos
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 06:39 AM

I heard this version (tune similar to the recording) in the Guildford/Godalming area about twenty years ago.

Down By the Old Mill Stream

        Let's go out tonight, tonight,
        The moon is shining bright tonight.
        I see a twinkle in your eye - aye aye aye
        Everybody's watching us, they're watching you and I
        Let's go round the corner and 'ave a bit on the si...
        Aye aye, tiddly aye aye aye . . .

He took her gathering roses,
Roses? Roses
Down by the old mill stream, aye aye aye
But while they were gathering roses
He took off all her clotheses
Down by the old mill stream.

        Let's go out tonight, tonight,
        The moon is shining bright tonight.
        I see a twinkle in your eye - aye aye aye
        Everybody's watching us, they're watching you and I
        Let's go round the corner and 'ave a bit on the si...
        Aye aye, tiddly aye aye aye . . .

He took her gathering nuts in May,
Nuts in May? Nuts in May
Down by the old mill stream, aye aye aye
But instead of gathering nuts in May
He put her in the family way
Down by the old mill stream.

        Let's go out tonight, tonight
        The moon is shining bright tonight.
        I see a twinkle in your eye - aye aye aye
        Everybody's watching us, they're watching you and I
       Let's go round the corner and 'ave a bit on the si...
       Aye aye, tiddly aye aye aye . . .


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Nuts in May' a trad(?) bawdy parody
From: GUEST,Duncan
Date: 08 Mar 17 - 12:08 AM

I would add the verse:

We were gathering snowballs, snowballs, snowballs
Down by the old mill stream
Instead of gathering snowballs
I introduced my own balls
Down by the old mill stream.

Used to sing this with the Aberystwyth Town Football team reserves on the way back from Central Wales league games. 1978-80.


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