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Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'

20 Nov 00 - 04:42 PM (#344144)
Subject: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,

i am currently researching music for my touring 'wench' show -- i have racked my brain out trying to find new material (other than 'roll your leg over' and things of the same ilk) for us to perform.

anyone? help?

specificaly - i am searching for the lyrics and tune to a bawdy song about three king's daughters... ? i think the tune is called 'purity, chastity and virtue.'

of course - any other suggestions for material would be most graciously accepted... :) kate k

Digital Tradition Keywords Page (click) - search for "bawdy"

20 Nov 00 - 04:55 PM (#344149)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

you might want to check out


as well

BTW - @bawdy brings up 252 hits in the digital tradition.

20 Nov 00 - 04:57 PM (#344151)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'

Check Ebay for Ed McCurdy's and Oscar Brand's Bawdy Ballads. They usually haver a few copies on sale.

20 Nov 00 - 05:07 PM (#344157)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

my first posting somehow got lost....

if you have any contacts at NYRF check them for the purity, charity, virtue song. I am told it originated somewhere around there and is still sung there. You can check with folk from the PA ren-faire as well if you have an "in" - they also perform it.

and my reference to "@bawdy" was the suggestion to put @bawdy into the DT search box -

20 Nov 00 - 05:16 PM (#344164)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

and - funny as this question may seem, Do you know me? or at least, does your partner know me? Just curious.

20 Nov 00 - 05:34 PM (#344171)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,

i would suppose that it is possiable that i do know you -- i meet a lot of people during the faire season (now with the addition of the louisiana festival - it would seem that we can pretty much work year round) i perform at great lakes medieval faire, king richard's faire, louisianna + am scheduled to perform several places in florida, texas & georgia... and i've only been doing this for a year & 1/2... my partner has been 'on circut' for three years ... who knows? i'll stop waxing on -

the next question -- i've gotten a lot of hits as far as lyrics are concerned -- with two problems. a.) most of these are 'male perspective' and b.) where the heck do i find sheet music? the oral tradition is all well and good... however. :)

thank you all for your help so far! kate

20 Nov 00 - 05:34 PM (#344173)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: mousethief

I have a copy of "The Erotic Muse: bawdy American folksongs" (published by University of Illinois Press). I'd be happy it to sell you at cost. I paid $8 plus tax for it, and shipping would be around $2. It's in great shape except the DJ is gone and there is a small tear in the cloth on the spine.


20 Nov 00 - 05:50 PM (#344186)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,JackM

I recommend Nine Times a Night. What a great song! Lyrics are in the database here. It was recorded by Frankie Armstrong and more recently by John Roberts and Tony Barrand on their Present From the Gentlemen CD.

20 Nov 00 - 08:10 PM (#344230)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

ell - if you are who I think you are, tell Lyra hi! if not, "never mind"

yes - the majority are male oriented. The maids conjuring book might do though....and there are some others which could be adapted.

if a tune is listed in the DT - then you can go to the mirror site at click here where you can get a gif of the music to download and print out. (Or send $5 to Dick Greenhaus at the digital tradition for the latest DT which will also print out music)

20 Nov 00 - 08:24 PM (#344232)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

Two magicians might work - hmmmm, wonder if you could rework it to have the woman be the aggressor?

20 Nov 00 - 09:17 PM (#344246)
From: Catrin

THE LAST LAY OF MATTY GROVES ----------------------------

A holiday, a holiday and the first one of the year,
Lord Darnell's wife had gone to church, the gospel for to hear.
When the service it was done and all walked out of doors,
Her wicked eyes did rove about and on a hostler's lad did pause!

"Come home with me young Matty Groves, she whispered in his ear,
Come home with me and sleep with me till morning's light is here -

These words came from this site. I emailed them and was told it was written by 'lewtrah' who did not want his/her real name to ne used, but was fine about it being circulated.

I assume you know the tune....

Good luck,

Catrin I'll pay you well, little Matty Groves, to keep my back from the cold,
And to give me something warm inside, if I may make so bold."

Matty Groves was an honest man and he wanted to refuse
If he did as the lady bid, his master's trust he would abuse;
"Oh, I can't come home, I daren't come home and sleep with you tonight
By the rings on your fingers I can tell you are Lord Darnell's wife"

"So what that I'm your master's wife, you master's not at home,
My husband's out in the farthest fields and this night I'm alone."

Lady Darnell's maid she heard this talk for she was standing near,
Kitty Hopkins swore on her mother's grave the master himself would hear,
She gathered her skirts up to her knees and across the glebe she ran,
When she reached the broad millstream, she tore off her skirt and she swam.

Lord Darnell was in the far country, but yearlings were far from his mind,
He'd found himself a peasant lass and was taking her from behind;
So when his Lady's maid appeared Lord Darnell was not well pleased,
He'd only just got settled in and got his polestaff greased.

Kitty said as she reached Lord Darnell's side "Come home and look to your wife,
For she has taken some common hostler's lad into her bed tonight!"
Her master swore that he'd reward Kitty Hopkins handsomely,
He unlaced her bodice and stroked her thigh as he sat her on his knee.

Lord Darnell took to his fastest horse and galloped hard for home,
When into his chamber at last he strode, his wife was not alone!
The pair had coupled and kissed all night and then they fell to sleep,
And when they woke at break of day, Lord Darnell stood at thier feet.

"Tell me how do you like my fine feather-bed and how do you like my sheets?
And how do you like my lady-wife who lies in your arms asleep?"

"Very well do I like your feather bed, very well do I like your sheets,
Best of all I do like your fair lady who lies in my arms asleep"

"Get up, get up," Lord Darnell cried, "Get up and fight for your life,
For I'll not slay an unarmed man, though he lies in the arms of my wife;
So get you up little Matty Groves and all of your clothes put on,
For it shall never be said in Old England that I slew a naked man."

"I can't get up" said Matty Groves "I've been getting it up all night,
A full eight hours I've been getting it up at the bidding of your wife!
Nay I can't get up and I'll not get up, for I hear the tone of your words,
And I have only a pocket knife against your two fine swords"

"Truly I have two fine swords and they cost me deep in my purse,
You shall take the better of them and I shall take the worse
And you shall have the very first blow and strike it like a man,
Then I will strike the very next blow and I'll kill you if I can!"

Matty he struck the very first blow and pierced Lord Darnell's side
Lord Darnell struck the very next blow, and young Matty Groves, he died.
Lord Darnell lifted up his wife and he sat her on his knee,
"Now tell me who you liked the best, that hostler's lad or me"

Sat on his knee, his lady spoke, her manners not so mild,
"Do you think your own withered stick would ever get me with child?"
Lord Darnell was shocked right to his heart when he heard her speak so free:
"I'd rather a kiss from dead Matty's lips than you or your finery."

In anguish her husband pushed her aside and took of his swords the best,
Before his wife could speak again, he sheathed it in her chest.
Lord Darnell he went red in the face and loudly he did bawl,
He'd struck his wife right through the heart and pinned her against the wall.

"As you shared my own feather bed, so you'll share a pauper's grave,
But you'll be buried at the top, for you were a noble lady."
Then he called for his lady's maid, he called her to his side
"Your mistress sought the single thing her husband couldn't provide,

Had I not known about Matty Groves, she have might have borne a son
And knowing not his parentage, I'd have raised him as my own,
But Kitty Hopkins you were keen upon my cock to ride,
And called me home to end the tryst, thus childless I shall die."

"A grave, a grave," Lord Darnell sighed, "to put these lovers in
But bury my lady at the top for she was of noble kin."

20 Nov 00 - 09:19 PM (#344247)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Catrin

I don't understand why, but my message went in the middle of the song, instead of the end.....(?)

Oh well

21 Nov 00 - 06:59 AM (#344380)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Ship'scat

If, by bawdy you mean only delicately or suggestively naughty, then don't visit these sites from the hash and rugby traditions

or this site

21 Nov 00 - 08:17 AM (#344409)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: John P

There are some books you may want to look for:

"Merry Songs and Ballads Prior to the Year 1800", five volumes, edited by John S. Farmer, Cooper Square Publishers, 1964. This is a wonderful collection of dirty songs, mostly from the Renaissance. No music given, but there are great titles, like "Thomas You Cannot" (1603), "My Thing is My Own" (1707), or "The Merrie Ballad of Nash His Dildo" (1601)

"The Bqwdy Beautiful Book", compiled by Molly Bennett, 1992. Email me and I'll give you the address that I have for her. This is a collection Renn Faire / SCA favorites. Melodies included.

"Roll Me Over", Edited by Harry Babad, Oak Publications, 1972. Lots of good songs, all with music, divded into sections of Renaissance songs, Scots songs, Irish songs, songs of the sea, etc.

"The Dirty Song Book", by Jerry Silverman, Stein and Day Publishers,1982. Lots more songs, all with music.

As for the other questions, many songs can be gender switched with interesting results. Most need some degree of rewriting if you do this, but it's fun and educational. My wife and I used to sometimes switch roles ourselves, instead of changing the song -- I would take the women's lines and she would take the men's. It added to the humor to have her stamping and spitting, and me cooing and primping. Well, if you're going to do this kind of music I guess you have to play to some fairly broad sterotypes.

For the lyrics with no music, you can find melodies that you already know that fit the words -- there are only about 3 or 4 rhythm and rhyme schemes in most traditional music, maybe less in bawdy songs. Or you can grab dance tunes, slow them down a bit, and use them for songs. Most lyrics will fit either a jig or a reel.


21 Nov 00 - 09:21 AM (#344449)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

found a list of the songs in "Bawdy Beautiful"

Better Thief

Six Nights Drunk - see "our goodman" in the DT

There Was an Old Farmer

Maids When You're Young - you know this one

The Handsome Cabin Boy - in the DT

Bantam Cock

Johnny Be Fair - you know this too, yes?

God Bless The Human Member

Bonnie Black Hare - pretty sure this is in DT

Three Drunken Maidens - Shanough knows it if you don't

The Widow & The Fairy

The Lusty Young Smith - at cantaria site lusty young smith

The Lass With The Delicate Air

Dundee Weaver

Chastity Belt

The Ultimate "Bawdy" Song

Other ones I can think of:

The cooper of Dundee

The Two Magicians here

Friar of Great Renown

21 Nov 00 - 09:31 AM (#344455)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: kendall

If you pick up Oscar Brands bawdy sea songs, I suggest you get a sailor to translate his made up words that dont make sense, into real sea going terms. He obviously has not been to sea.

21 Nov 00 - 10:10 AM (#344478)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Mrrzy

OOh, I have a lot of Oscar Brand's Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads but I never heard of this seafaring one! I always learn something here, gotta love it...

21 Nov 00 - 10:24 AM (#344488)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Dave the Gnome

I reckon there are some good bawdy playground songs as well - and sung with a kids style smutty giggle makes them even funnier

Part of an Oldham Tinkers playground set -

My brother Billy's got a ten foot willy
and he showed it to the girl next door.
She thought it was a snake and she hit it with a rake
and now it's only five foot four...



21 Nov 00 - 11:05 AM (#344527)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Bat Goddess

Another of my favorites is Robert Burns' "Nine Inch Will Please a Lady" -- fer gawd's sake don't listen to the version on the recent Merry Muses of Caledonia CD. Haven't a clue as to where they got the melody.

Ed Cray's books are a good source. (The Erotic Muse) He also wrote a few bawdy ballad books in the '60s anonymously and under the name of (damn! I can't remember and the book is misfiled). D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy, of course, for period pieces. (As well as all the "When Dalliance Was In Flower" LPs mentioned above.)

Joe Bettencourt (Ioseph of Locksley) has several great collections on-line for SCA use.

There is also a bawdy song list. PM me and I'll send you sign up info. There's a lovely Brit lady named Llewtrah whose hobby is collecting rugby songs and writing parodies, sometimes of traditional songs. She posts quite often.

Bat Goddess

21 Nov 00 - 11:09 AM (#344528)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,

mmario- yes - it is who you are thinking of. tho' i still have no idea who this is... i will tell lyra that you said 'hi.' kate

21 Nov 00 - 11:10 AM (#344531)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Bat Goddess

Oh, other recordings to find include "Bird In the Bush" on Topic, a compilation (Frankie Armstrong, Anne Briggs, A.L. Lloyd) of English bawdry and Arthur Argo's "A Wee Thread o' Blue" I think only on LP (released late '60s-early '70s). Lovely stuff on both.

Has anyone mentioned "My Husband Has No Courage In Him" and "An Old Man Came Courting Me"?

Bat Goddess

21 Nov 00 - 11:13 AM (#344532)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,

hey alex- yes... i would be interested in talking to you about that book - what songs are contained in it? email me... kate

21 Nov 00 - 11:17 AM (#344535)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,

ah - 'an old man came courting me - hey, ding-doorum down - an old man came courting me - me being young..." yes? that is called 'maids when you're young' and we already perform the song in two of our shows... unless it's not the song i'm thinking of? if it isn't - what are the lyrics? i always like a song mocking the elderly and their lack of sexual prowess... tee-hee. i'm in such a weird mood. k

21 Nov 00 - 11:28 AM (#344545)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

*sob* She doesn't remember me...of course you did spend most of the time talking with cousin Nigel while I spoke with Lyra. Frank/Nigel says he's mailing a tape off to you today - I am - at KRF as here "MMario" Do you want the knight and the unicorn song?

21 Nov 00 - 11:36 AM (#344550)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Catrin

Bat Goddess - Llewtrah wrote the last lay of Matty Groves which I posted earlier. Very clever.

21 Nov 00 - 02:40 PM (#344690)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Bat Goddess

Oops, "An Old Man Came Over the Sea" not "An Old Man Came Courting Me." It's on Bird in the Bush. Don't have time now to check DT or post my words. Gotta run out the door to work. Later!

Llewtrah's name is Sarah and she also has a website devoted to cats. In real life she's a software quality assurance person. Writes wonderfully bawdy stuff, too.

Bat Goddess

21 Nov 00 - 02:42 PM (#344691)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

An old man came over the Lea???

21 Nov 00 - 03:14 PM (#344710)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Jeri

Fine, but does Llewtrah have a web page with song lyrics and links to other bawdy sites? You betcha! "Smutty Songs, Dirty Ditties, Lewd Lyrics, Filthy Filks & Bawdy Ballads"

21 Nov 00 - 03:27 PM (#344716)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,

mmario- i'm sure that she does remember you -- i remember frank -- i think i just got an email from him a couple of days ago... :)

however - lyra and i aren't working together anymore... she's up in boston now - resting. (i think) but - we still talk frequently... i'll pass along the message.

yes - i would love the knight and unicorn song... :) kate

21 Nov 00 - 03:37 PM (#344720)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

jpg has been sent

21 Nov 00 - 07:21 PM (#344836)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Snuffy

Llewtrah is of course Hartwell backwards

21 Nov 00 - 09:58 PM (#344894)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,Lynn T

There's also this one, that I must have learned 25 years ago in the SCA:

I have me a furzebush, my own finest jewel
Where all my fine pheasants do play.
And if you'd go a-shooting, as shooting's in season
I'll tell ye, love, how to proceed.
You raise your gun up, you bring it to bear,
Then shoot when you're ready, you're sure to succeed.

I have me a fishpond, my own finest jewel,
Where all my fine fishes do play.
And if you'd go a-fishing, as fishing's in season
I'll tell ye, love, how to proceed.
You raise your rod up, you bring it to bear,
[oh dear, now I can't remember the last line! I'm sure you can reel in something!]


22 Nov 00 - 08:11 AM (#345026)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,

does anyone know the actual words to the 'phesant plucker' limerick? i'd love to use that in my show... kate

22 Nov 00 - 08:24 AM (#345035)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Snuffy

Do you mean this? But it's not a Limerick.

I'm not a pheasant plucker
I'm a pheasant plucker's son
I'm only plucking pheasants
Till the pheasant plucker comes

Wassail! V

22 Nov 00 - 06:03 PM (#345362)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Catrin

Its a tongue twister.

22 Nov 00 - 07:54 PM (#345417)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

and there are several other verses - there's the pheasant plucker's wife, and I believe one about his dog.

22 Nov 00 - 08:29 PM (#345442)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

pheasant plucker is here in DT it's one of the "missing tunes" - I'm not at work so I can't check to see if it has been found yet. But if it has, I can provide the music. if it hasn't - hey, we'll put out a mudcat cry for help.

22 Nov 00 - 08:49 PM (#345457)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,

yep - that was the one i meant... i've used the 1st verse as a tt in my voice classes - but, i did hear that there were other verses...

thanks! happy turkey-day! kate

22 Nov 00 - 09:05 PM (#345462)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Oversoul

Seeker? See my thread from last fall. These bed-wettin' bottom feeders had a feeding frolic with my call for "Humorous Sex Songs". Don't sleep on the wet spot!

23 Nov 00 - 10:39 AM (#345680)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MMario

dave's thread is here

23 Nov 00 - 01:01 PM (#345693)
Subject: Lyr Add: BIG COSGROVE
From: NicP

"Big Cosgrove" is one of the better recent additions to the tradition of bawdy ballads come from a duo called His Worship and the Pig. It is a sad tale of a man who, though vertically challenged was compensated for this in other areas. The words follow:


This ballad was composed in a place called Abbey Holton,
But this one's not a Child Ballad. This one's an adult 'n.
Turn off your hi-fi and TV, likewise the cursed Nintendo.
I'll sing a song comprising mainly filth and innuendo.

Come and listen to a stirring tale of passion and of power.
There's only forty verses, so it scarcely lasts an hour.
Concerning great Lord Wildblood and his lovely Lady Jane,
And a man called Big Jack Cosgrove, of great renown and fame.

Now he wasn't called Big Cosgrove 'cos he had the strength of two.
He was only four foot eight in height and six stone six wet through.
Though small of frame, he held that name because reputedly
His bright brown sword, it wasn't all that hung down to his knee.

Now it came upon a Whitsuntide, a Sunday dour and dull.
Big Cosgrove he rode into town and he was on the pull.
And Lords and Ladies they came down from boudoir and from battle
To dance, romance and catch, perchance, a glimpse of Cosgrove's tackle.

Lord Donald and Lord Ingram came, Lord Wildblood and his missus.
Lord Lovell and Lord Bateman's wives were exchanging showbiz kisses,
When it seemed Big Cosgrove was delayed, or might not show at all.
The crowd all cried, "Ee, Jack, you're late," but that was premature.

Well, he burst into the party and he gave an awful cry,
For his armour bright was much too tight and pinched 'twixt groin and thigh.
And there was music on the stage and stains of stirring song.
Big Cosgrove strode, a tiny giant, through that milling throng.

Well, it fell out on a holiday, as it oft-times had before,
But he quickly put it away again and hoped nobody saw.
And he strode up to Lady Jane, said, "Lady, are you dancing?"
She said, "Kind Sir, if you're asking, then yea, verily, I'm dancing."

Well he took her by the lily-white hand with fingers long and small,
For the other one was short and fat, and not very nice at all.
And he clutched her to his breastplate 'til she chastised and implored,
"Your weapon does provoke me." He says, "Nay, lass, that's me sword."

He joined her in a quick quadrille, both vigourous and rough.
With lusty looks she struts her funky medieval stuff.
And breathlessly she whispers in the dance's dying seconds,
"Your sword doth still provoke me." He says, "Nay, lass, that's me weapon."

Now the hall was decked that eventide with horns and brazen trumpets,
But he hadn't gone for music, but to see the brazen strumpets.
And some went down in velveteen, and some went down in lace.
When Lady Jane went down, it put a smile on Cosgrove's face.

They arranged to meet up later in a secret lovers' tryst.
Well, Jane turns up a half-hour late, and Jack turns up half pissed.
At the height of passion, Lady Jane cries, "I hear someone coming!"
Said Jack, "It isn't me love. It must just be the plumbing."

But her husband bursts into the room, exuding might and main.
He says, "You've kissed my wedded wife, you cad, you knave, you swine."
Said Jack, "I will deny that charge in front of a solicitor.
In fact, about the only thing I haven't done is kissed her."

Up speaks the Lord: "I have two sword to cut through flesh and bone,
And I shall have the best of them, and you can get your own."
And the very first blow that Cosgrove struck just nicked Lord Wildblood's neck.
And the very first blow that Wildblood struck laid Cosgrove on the deck.

Jane pulled away from Wildblood, and she rushed to Cosgrove's side.
She placed her naked nubile form before his fading eyes.
Miraculous effects occurred, though not the ones desired.
He was laid down and bolt upright at the moment he expired.

So it came to pass Big Cosgrove, he went to his God unbidden.
Well, they bought a lovely coffin, but they couldn't get the lid on.
So they had the box extended and it made the strangest scene
'Cos it looked like they were burying a wooden submarine.

Now, Big Cosgrove he was buried in Ye Olde Robin Hood,
But the grave it wasn't deep enough the way it had been dug.
But they buried Cosgrove anyway, and rather than dig more,
They left him with his periscope protruding through the floor.

And people would trip over it when going to the bar.
They spilled their drinks and skinned their knees. They spat and cursed and swore.
"You can do yourself an injury on that," they would all say.
"Why don't you saw it off and throw the bloody thing away?"

But the landlord wouldn't do it, for he'd promised Lady Jane
That Cosgrove had a resting-place where'er he could remain.
And so he nailed a seat on top, the sentimental fool,
So when Lady Jane is in the mood,
You'll find her in Ye Robin Hood,
Still dressed in all her mourning lace
With a look of pleasure on her face,
Just sitting in her favourite place
On Big Jack Cosgrove's stool.

I have collected similar songs, but this one seems the most fitting for this thread.

24 Nov 00 - 12:51 AM (#345910)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,

hey- happy turkey day... i'm off tomorrow to louisiana ren fest - i will be using several 'new' tunes in our bb show there... thank you to all for your help. see y'all in a couple of weeks! kate

24 Nov 00 - 12:05 PM (#346111)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Wincing Devil

The Art of the Bawdy Song by the Baltimore Consort has one of my Favorites:

My friend John has a thing that is long
My friend Mary has a thing that is hairy

Cats and Women: no matter what you tell them, they do as they please..

24 Nov 00 - 05:25 PM (#346215)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

"My man John" can be found in the Scarce Songs 1 file on my website,, along with a lot of other bawdy songs from manuscripts, broadside ballads, and songbooks (See Scarce Songs 2 file for more).

You will also find "Nash's Dildo" there from a manuscipt (not those used by Farmer in 'Merry Songs').

The original broadside text of "My thing is my own" can be found on the Bodley Ballads website by putting 'Traps Delight' in the Browse box. [Wood E 25(30), ZN1181 in the broadside ballad index on my website]

27 Nov 00 - 11:01 AM (#347012)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE GUILLOTINE
From: MMario

Huzzah! lookee what I found...


Once there were princesses three,
Purity, Virtue and Chastity
Purity, Chastity, Purity, Chastity, Purity...
and Virtue

But their names did not agree,
with the lusty nature of the three
Their father would not trust to luck,
in warding off a royal . . .

Fa-la-la, fa-la-la, fa-la-la, fa-la-la,
fa-la-la, fa-la, la LA

The king welded on his daughters three,
belts to insure virginity
And in each belt was placed a lock,
with-a-blade-to-chop an intruders...

Diddle-dum, diddle-dee, diddle-dum, diddle-dee,
diddle-dum, no dummy he.

Off their father went to war,
leaving Purity, Chastity, Purity, Chastity, Purity,
and Virtue . . .

Fa-la-la, fa-la-la, fa-la-la, fa-la-la,
fa-la-la, fa-la, la LA

When the king returned from war,
He summoned his knights, all seven score
And ordered all to drop their pants,
to see if each still had his lance

Sing hey, nonny, nonny,nonny. . .

The king could not believe his eyes,
not one knight retained his prize
Save the brave and bold Sir Nick,
the one and only knight who had his...

Derry down, derry down, derry down, derry down,
derry down, hang derry derry down

"Nick," said the King, "as you have been true,
I give my kingdom half to you.
And one daughter to be wed,
what say you, Nick?"

And Sir Nick said:

Fa-wa-wa, fa-wa-wa, fa-wa-wa, fa-wa-wa,
fa-wa-wa, fa-wa,wa WA!!!

23 Dec 02 - 02:25 PM (#852689)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,lucky

Where did you find this? It's great. Do you know where I can find the tune?

24 Dec 02 - 04:38 AM (#853003)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Nigel Parsons


"I'm not the pheasant plucker,
I'm the pheasant plucker's mate
And I'm only plucking pheasants
'Cos the pheasant plucker's late!"


24 Dec 02 - 04:27 PM (#853247)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Cluin

I heard it as:

I'm not a pheasant plucker,
Nor a pheasant plucker's son,
But I'll pluck pheasants
`Til the pheasant plucking's done.

24 Dec 02 - 06:42 PM (#853312)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'

There was an album released by Tony Brittain and Isla Cameron called "Songs Of Love Lust And Loose Living"/. I t came out in the 60s and was on one of the premier folk labels, perhaps Topic?

05 Feb 03 - 06:12 PM (#883521)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Charley Noble

Just received the two volume Vance Randolph "Unprintable" collection: ROLL ME IN YOUR ARMS and BLOW THE CANDLE OUT via

What joy! Finally two volumes of unexpurgated songs, many of which we've been forced to sing in the expurgated version for years because of the moral taste of song collectors, the academic world, or publishers. I may still choose to sing the expurgated versions, but it will now be a personal choice.

Charley Noble

05 Feb 03 - 10:52 PM (#883696)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: masato sakurai

There has been a related thread:

'Unprintable Songs'.


05 Feb 03 - 11:27 PM (#883718)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: MikeOQuinn

MMario, you asked about a female-perspective version of the Two Magicians...

There's a group called 'The Ravens', who I don't think perform together anymore, who did a version of the song ending like this (I think)

Then the lady, she ran into the house, and she became a bed
Then he became a silk coverlet and over her he spread
Then the lady, she became a moth, and ate a little thread
And when he turned back to a man, he'd lost his little head (HA!)

I've not heard it in long enough that I'm not entirely sure if that's it, but something like that would work, no?


06 Feb 03 - 08:13 AM (#883907)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Charley Noble

Thanks, Masato. I had forgotten which recent thread these titles came up in and the "unprintable" Mudcat search engine still will not fire up!

Charley Noble

06 Feb 03 - 07:33 PM (#884386)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Joe_F

Speaking of female perspectives, there is, or was, a group in Boston called The Bawdy Ladies (Anne Goodwin, Anabel Graetz, Linda Lombardi), which used to perform a variety of stuff in odd venues, and which issued, in 1986, a tape called _The Bawdy Ladies' Book_, containing the following songs, all amusing & some seldom heard:

Three Drunken Maidens
Christmas Goose
Johnny Be Fair
Eppie Morrie
Sorry the Day
Wife's Lament
Home Dearie Home
Malurous Qu'o Uno Fenno
Maids When You're Young
Nine Times a Night
Isabel and the English Monuments
I Lay with an Old Man
Foolish, Incredibly Foolish
You Were Only Fucking While I Was Making Love
Kitchen Man
Man in the Moon

The last is a women's version of "Roll Your Leg Over".

06 Feb 03 - 10:01 PM (#884454)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Abby Sale

Enjoy, Charley. You will find many, many happy surprises in there. Not just the texts...the unexpected settings.

06 Feb 03 - 10:56 PM (#884487)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: masato sakurai

I've found this book on the net and just ordered it.

Bawdy Ballads and Dirty Dities from Ontario and Newfoundland
by Goldstein (Edt).
January, 2003
Wilfrid Laurier Univ Pr; ISBN: 0889203849


07 Feb 05 - 12:03 AM (#1401318)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,Steve

Where can I get "When Daliance was in Flower " Albums?

07 Feb 05 - 01:15 AM (#1401343)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Nerd


You will find that that book is not yet available. I am in fact editing the manuscript, and it has not been through music editing or layout yet! It has been delayed several times, which I suppose is why it's already on their website as being available!

07 Feb 05 - 02:00 AM (#1401360)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Steve -
there were four LP's in Ed McCurdy's "Dalliance" Series (When Dalliance Was In Flower and Maidens Lost Their Heads), Volumes I, II, III, and Son of Dalliance. You can find a new Best of Dalliance (click) compilation at It's a limited edition, only 2,500 copies made. It's expensive, but it's a first-class production with 28 cuts. You can get it at Amazon ($25), but it's cheaper ($20) if you order it direct from Rhino. It's also available at Collectors' Choice, While you're at it, you may want to pick up the Rhino Handmade albums from Jean Ritchie and Theo Bikel.
-Joe Offer-

07 Feb 05 - 07:12 PM (#1402014)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,Rev. Vicar

Dirty beasts, all of you.

25 Mar 05 - 06:20 AM (#1443346)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,Jack-

I am searching for the lyrics to a ballad 'Tiddly Winks', I was told that there were many versions......all I know of the ballad I am after goes like....

Tiddly winks old beam
Have you ever kissed a queen
Have you have seen a sailor
Eat a can of sardines
Said the Captain of the lugger
To another filthy bugger
Lets have another drink
Before the ship goes down

Any help will be appreciated........thank you....Jack

25 Mar 05 - 09:24 AM (#1443452)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Fred (Beetle) Bailey

Am I the only Mudcatter with a copy of "Count Palmiro Vicarion's Book of Bawdy Ballads"? It was printed in France (of course) in 1961 by The Olympia Press, 8 rue de Nesle, Paris 6 and smuggled into the bible-thumpers belt in the bottom of my brother's seabag after a North African (I think) tour of duty. (Can anyone imagine a more seminal gift for a barely adolescent guitar-banger?) The binding failed long ago and I may have lost a few pages but there's 65 listed in the table of contents -- only a few with a sparse melody score.

The Count's frontspiece:
"To those who have written, are writing, and who will write them, together with those who have the sensibility and courage to publish them, this collection is fondly dedicated. And may they drop dead who secretly read and publically burn them -- or else begin their real education."

It's an amazing collection of scatalogical and sexual humor that stands head and shoulders (so to speak) above the respected journeyman works of Mr. Silverman and Brand and others mentioned above.

Anyone know where I can get a fresh copy?

Failing that, I'll trade lyrics of any of the 65 for any others that I don't have -- or any such deal -- let's keep this Folk Heritage alive!

25 Mar 05 - 10:28 AM (#1443493)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: GUEST,Joe_F

Guest Jack: Search the Forum under "balls hang low" for plenty of versions.

--- Joe Fineman

||: There are three kinds of economists: crackpots, hired liars, and John Kenneth Galbraith, who is an old man. :||

25 Mar 05 - 02:18 PM (#1443676)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Tcrier

Heard a Verse of Pheasant Plucker in a World Town Crier Competition Show in Shanklin Isle of Wight in 1991.

The Town Criers performing were doing a rendition of "I Am A Lumberjack"

25 Mar 05 - 02:24 PM (#1443684)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

Try this site mate....
Yours, Aye. Dave (known to sing a few of these the odd time or two)

04 Dec 17 - 12:15 PM (#3892210)
Subject: RE: Help: Help finding 'bawdy ballads?'

We wrote that song, mmario.1980 ny renfaire.
Sherry Nehmer