To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
6 messages

Lyr ADD: Old Mother Crawley

22 Jan 23 - 02:23 PM (#4163209)
Subject: Lyr Req: Old Mother Crawley
From: Greum

I hope this has not already been asked; I did several searches.

Does anyone have the lyrics for Old Mother Crawley (Roud 1057)?


22 Jan 23 - 04:33 PM (#4163217)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Mother Crawley
From: Steve Gardham

EFDSS website VWML Indexes. Put in the title and voila! It's unique to that collection, also published in the various editions of The Wanton Seed and Reeves's The Everlasting Circle. Collected from George Lovett of Winchester in August 1906 by George Gardiner GG/1/7/401.

Some kind elf might do you a blue clicky if you're not au fait with the VWML site.

22 Jan 23 - 08:56 PM (#4163233)
Subject: ADD: Old Mother Crawley
From: RTim

Old Mother Crawley - Geo. Lovett, Winchester.


Oh, come all you young seaman, I’d have you beware
Of Old Mother Crawley I’d have you take care.
Of old mother Rogers so call-ed by name
She goes a bum boating that noted fine game

- And sing too-ral-li-day, rite-too-ral-lay
- Rite-roo-ral-lad-dy, rite too-ral-li-day

Our ship has arrived brought up in the sound
The Tailors & the bumboats they all flock around
Alongside comes Mother Crawley with her bumboat of store
You’re welcome my children to Plymouth once more.

She hands up the soft tack & butter also
And what else is wanted straightforward she’ll go
There’s soft tack, there’s butter, there’s sugar, there’s tea
I know you young lads have been looking for me.

Soft tack is two shillings and butter is four
Two pounds of sausages 5 shillings more
Six eggs fourteen pence come boys (be quick,) for I’m thronged
Which makes twelve & tuppence, so Jack jog along.

Early next morning on the quarterdeck she appears
Pity kind gentle folks both far & near
Your men owes me money you see by this paper
They’ll pay the girls first, they swear all by their maker.

And as for you boatswain, I’m pretty well sure
You’ll settle with me first & pay off your score
For it’s this I will promise & that I will do
They are far better slops than you get from the Jew. (Few?)

Our ship shes got orders for Bounty Bay
The girls & the bumboats must all lose their pay
Our anchor’s apeak, our ship she’s wore round
Farewell Mother Crawley, likewise Plymouth Sound.

If ever we live to see Plymouth once more
We’ll make Mother Crawley’s house for to roar
We’ll sweat her gin bottle as we’ve oft done before
Maintopsail be with Mr. Fore pay the score.

According to Purslow - Lovett’s repertoire consisted entirely of Irish songs!
- although this one is an exception!?!?!?! And is unique?

22 Jan 23 - 09:02 PM (#4163235)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Mother Crawley
From: RTim

Regarding George Lovett....It seems he was in Winchester Union (Workhouse) when collected, but earlier in his life he was one of a dozen or so ex-seaman who lived at "The Abbey" at Beech near Alton...this was a Priory run by The Order of St. Paul, and it is suggested he was born in South Australia.

Tim Radford

23 Jan 23 - 12:06 AM (#4163241)
Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: Old Mother Crawley
From: Joe Offer

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index listing for the song:

Old Mother Crawley

DESCRIPTION: At Plymouth Mother Crawley welcomes a ship and offers goods to sailors. The next day she asks for her pay and complains that sailors pay their girls first. "Our ship she's got orders for Botany Bay, The girls and the bumboats must all lose their pay"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1906 (Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle)
KEYWORDS: commerce ship shore drink food whore sailor
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle 99, "Old Mother Crawley" (1 text)
Roud #1057
NOTES [67 words]: Bumboat: [noun] "a boat that brings provisions and commodities for sale to larger ships in port or offshore 'I bought a bunch of the tiny Azores bananas from a ~ under the side -- F.M. Ford.' 'Nelson's sailors had their ~ women who used to swarm aboard by rope's end and anchor chains -- H.W. Baldwin'" (source: Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, 1976). - BS
Last updated in version 2.7
File: ReCi099

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 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

Tim posted the version from The Everlasting Circle above. Singer was Geo. Lovett, Winchester. The sambe version is also in Purslow's Wanton Seed

24 Jan 23 - 02:01 PM (#4163436)
Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: Old Mother Crawley
From: Greum

Thanks chaps