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Origins: The Foggy Foggy Dew [bachelor]

04 Jan 05 - 10:56 PM (#1371655)
Subject: origins:the foggy (foggy) dew
From: GUEST,Jim

This may start an i/net melt down, BUT; what are the origins behind "The Foggy Foggy Dew" (once I was a bachelor...)? where/when first collected,etc.

04 Jan 05 - 11:00 PM (#1371658)
Subject: RE: origins:the foggy (foggy) dew
From: GUEST,Jim

and secondly, why was she so upset when she went to his bedside as he was taking his weavers sleep?!

04 Jan 05 - 11:08 PM (#1371659)
Subject: RE: origins:the foggy (foggy) dew
From: Malcolm Douglas

Already explained in previous discussions here. See FAQ, particularly with reference to using the onsite search engine (top of every page, labelled "lyrics and knowledge search").

04 Jan 05 - 11:29 PM (#1371671)
Subject: RE: origins:the foggy (foggy) dew
From: Amos


In the main Forum window, try putting "Foggy Foggy Dew" into the search panel and reviewing the different threads and database listings that come up as a result.


05 Jan 05 - 12:58 AM (#1371723)
Subject: RE: origins:the foggy (foggy) dew [bachelor]
From: Joe Offer

I looked through a number of threads and crosslinked all the "foggy" threads to this one. I think I found three basic songs - this "When I Was a Bachelor" one, an Irish rebel one from 1916, and an Irish love song that was sung by John McCormack in 1913. I added to most of the thread names so people could tell which thread discusses which song - but I may be mistaken in some of the renaming. I didn't find any one thread that gives comprehensive information on the "bachelor" song, so maybe this thread would be a good place for it.
-Joe Offer-
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry for this particular "Foggy Foggy Dew":

Foggy Dew (I), The (The Bugaboo) [Laws O3]

DESCRIPTION: The singer courts the girl and takes her to bed "to keep her from the foggy dew." In the morning they go their separate ways. In due time the girl bears a son. The further course of the song varies; in some texts he marries her, in some she dies
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1689 (broadside, EngBdsdBA Pepys 5.250)
KEYWORDS: courting seduction weaving pregnancy bastard
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,Ro,SE,So,SW) Britain(England(Lond),Scotland(Aber)) Canada(Newf,Ont) Australia
REFERENCES (30 citations):
Laws O3, "The Foggy Dew (The Bugaboo)"
GreigDuncan7 1495, "The Foggy Dew" (7 texts, 7 tunes; excludes 1495d)
Reeves-Sharp 33, "The Foggy Dew" (8 texts)
Kidson-Tunes, p. 167, "The Foggy Dew" (1 fragment)
Palmer-ECS, #93, "The Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
RoudBishop #44, "The Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 105, "The Foggy Dew" (4 texts plus a fragment, 2 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 99-101, "The Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 105A)
Randolph-Legman I, pp. 257-263, "The Foggy Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cray, pp. 61-64, "The Foggy Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Logsdon 38, pp. 203-206, "The Boogaboo" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 137, "The Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris, #84, "The Bugaboo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cambiaire, pp. 57-58, "A Gentleman's Meeting (Down by Yon Riverside" (1 text, which starts out as "Pretty Little Miss" [Laws P18] but ends with 'The Foggy Dew (The Bugaboo)" [Laws O3]; Roud lists it as a version of Laws P18, but it appears that the larger part of the text is O3 -- though the material in the middle could be from either)
Sandburg, pp. 14-15, "Foggy, Foggy Dew"; 460-461, "The Weaver" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Combs/Wilgus 107, pp. 183-184, "The Bugaboo" (1 text)
Hubbard, #53, "Fear of the Buggerboo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 174, "The Foggy Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 43, "The Foggy Dew-I"; 44, "The Foggy Dew-II" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
ThompsonNewYork, pp. 421-422, "The Buggery Boo" (1 text)
Meredith/Covell/Brown, pp. 123-125, "The Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 518-519, "Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke-Ontario 43, "The Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnett, pp. 37-38, "Foggy, Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
PBB 83, "The Foggy Dew" (1 text)
Darling-NAS, pp. 126-137, "The Foggy Dew" (1 text)
Fireside, p. 32, "The Foggy, Foggy Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 159, "The Foggy, Foggy Dew" (1 text)
BBI, ZN2840, "When first I began to court" (?)

Roud #558
Bob Atcher, "Foggy, Foggy Dew" (Columbia 20538, 1949)
Mrs Freeman Bennett and Mr Everett Bennett, "Foggy Dew" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
Phil Hammond, "The Foggy Dew" (on FSB2, FSB2CD)
Bradley Kincaid, "The Foggy Dew" (Decca 12024, n.d.)
A. L. Lloyd, "The Foggy Dew" (on Lloyd3, Lloyd5, Lloyd12)
Pete Seeger, "Foggy Dew" (on PeteSeeger32)
Doug Wallin, "The Foggy Dew" (on Wallins1)

EngBdsdBA 22085, Pepys 5.250, "The Fright'ned York-shire Damosel" or "Fears Dispers'd by Pleasure" ("When first I began to court"), I. Millet (Little-Brittain), 1689, accessed 08 Dec 2013.
cf. "Sligo Town" (theme, floating lyrics)
cf. "Boodie Bo" (theme and many lines)
NOTES: This ballad should be [called] "The Foggy, Foggy Dew" to distinguish it from the Irish lyric love song "The Foggy Dew."
The original of this ballad is traced to a broadside ballad dating to 1815 in the collection of the antiquarian bookseller John Bell of Newcastle now in the King's College Library. See A.L. Lloyd, Folk Song in England (London, 1967). - EC
It will be observed, however, that the item ZN2840 in the Broadside Index dates to 1689. I have not been able to verify whether this is actually "The Foggy, Foggy Dew" itself or something similar. - RBW
In the very closely related "Boodie Bo" the singer has Boodie Bo dress in white (like a ghost) to frighten the girl he had courted unsuccessfully. When they go to bed and she starts to leave Boodie Bo returns and frightens the girl again. The story continues from there.
Reeves-Sharp #33 is a composite of four texts; the remaining six texts are in the discussion of the ballad on pp. 45-57. Page 45 has a text from Folk Songs from Somerset for which Sharp and Marson note, "Mr Marson has re-written the words, retaining as many lines of Mrs Hooper's song as were desirable." Reeves-Sharp: "In fact no more than six of the twenty-seven lines are more or less as dictated by the two sisters ...." and prints the original.
The Pepys [broadside] entry resolves item ZN2840 in the Broadside Index. This is "The Foggy Dew." The girl is afraid because "on the stairs she saw a spright it was the Bogulmaroo." The usual sexual encounter follows -- "we lay abed next day till ten" -- but they marry the next day "and did her pleasures renew ... ev'ry time she smiles on me I think of Bogulmaroo." The "Boodie Boo" is closer to Pepys than is Laws O3. One feature that both Pepys and "Boodoe Bo" lack is the common "Foggy Dew" verse "All through the first part of the night We did sport and play And through the latter part of that night She in my arms did lay." - BS
Ruth Binney, Nature's Way: lore, legend, fact and fiction, David and Charles, 2006, pp. 244-245, briefly sums up the legends about boggarts and bugaboos: "The bug-a-boo, also called the bodach or bugbear, will, it's said, kidnap naughty children. It comes down the chimney with no warning. Like the boggart, it probably gets its name from the Middle English word bogge, meaning 'terror.'" Yet boggarts are also reported at times to be helpful. That perhaps applies here: The bugaboo got the girl in trouble but the ending is happy. - RBW
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We have so many songs named "Foggy Dew" in the Digital Tradition. I particularly like this one and its unusual tune. Wish I knew where it came from. I think it's Carthy - is it?


When I was a bachelor, I lived all alone
I followed the roving trade
And the only thing that I ever did wrong
Was I courted a fair young maid.

I courted her for a summer season
And part of the winter too
And many's the night she rolled in my arms
All over the foggy dew

One night as I lay on my bed
As I lay fast asleep
She came to me at my bedside
And bitterly she did weep

She wept, she moaned, she tore her hair
She cried what shall I do
For tonight I'm determined to sleep with you
For fear of the foggy dew

All through the first part of that night
How we did sport and play
And through the second part of that night
She in my arms did lay

And when the daylight did appear
She cried I am undone
Oh hold your tongue you silly young thing
For the foggy dew is gone

Supposing you should have a child
Would make you laugh and smile
And supposing you should have another
Would make you think a while

And supposing you should have another
And another one or two
T'would make you leave off those foolish young tricks
That you played in the foggy dew

I loved that girl with all my heart
I loved her like my life
But in the second part of that year
She became another man's wife

I never told him of her faults
And I never intend to do
Nor of the times she rolled in my arms
All over the foggy dew

recorded by John and Tony on Dark Ships
and Sandy and Caroline Paton
DT #333
Laws O3
@love @courtship
filename[ FOGGYDEW

Don't miss the thread on the East Anglian version (click) of this song.

02 Mar 09 - 11:10 PM (#2579940)
Subject: Lyr Add: FOGGY DEW (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon

I had a tough time deciding which thread to add this to!

From the Bodleian Library allegro Catalogue of Ballads, Harding B 11(394) "between 1819 and 1844":


Printed and sold by J, Pitts, Wholesale Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials; Sold also by T. Goodwin, 204, White Chapel Road, near the London Hospital.

[1] When I was a batchelor, early and young,
I followed the weaving trade,
And all the harm ever I had done,
Was courting a servant maid;
I courted her the summer season,
And part of the winter too,
And many a night I rolled her in my arms
All over the foggy dew.

[2] One night as I lay on my bed,
As I laid fast asleep,
There came a pretty fair maid,
And most bitterly she did weep,
She wept, she mourned, she tore her hair—
Crying, alas what shall I do,
This night I'm resolved to come to bed with you,
For fear of the Foggy dew.

[3] It was in the first part of the night
We both did sport and play,
And in the latter part of the night,
She slept in my arms till day.
When broad day-light did appear,
She cried I am undone.
Hold your tongue you foolish girl
The foggy dew is done.

[4] Suppose that we should have a child,
It would cause us to smile;
Suppose that we should have another,
It would make us laugh awhile;
Suppose that we should have another,
And another one too;
It would make you leave off your foolish trick,
And think no more of the foggy dew.

[5] I love this young girl dearly,
I loved her as my life;
I took this girl and married her,
And made her my lawful wife;
I never told her of her faults,
Nor never intend to do,
But every time she winks or smiles
I think of the foggy dew.

[Another version, Harding B 11(2691), seems to have been cleaned up a bit.]

26 Jun 10 - 01:05 AM (#2934973)
Subject: ADD Version: The Foggy Foggy Dew (Sandburg)
From: Joe Offer


When I was a bach'lor, I lived by myself,
I worked at the Weaver's trade;
The only, only thing I did that was wrong
Was to woo a fair young maid.
I wooed her in the winter-time,
And in the summer, too;
And the only, only thing I did that was wrong,
Was to keep her from the foggy, foggy dew.

Oh, I am a bach'lor, I live with my son;
We work at the weaver's trade;
And ev'ry single time I look into his eyes,
He reminds me of the fair young maid.
He reminds me of the winter-time
And of the summer too;
And the many, many times that I held her in my arms,
Just to keep her from the foggy, foggy dew.

Source: Carl Sandburg, American Songbag (1927), page 14-15

Sandburg's notes: This arrangement is from a song rather widely known, which I heard first from Arthur Sutherland and his bold buccaneers at the Eclectic Club of Wesleyan University. A middle verse is censored from this version as being out of key and probably an interpolation. At least, it is what they call apocryphal and of the twilight zone. Observers as diverse as Sinclair Lewis, Sherwood Anderson, Arthur T. Vance, and D.W. Griffith say this song is a great condensed novel of real life. After hearing it sung with a guitar at Schlogl's one evening in Chicago, D.W. Griffith telegraphed two days later from New York to Lloyd Lewis in Chicago, "Send verses Foggy Dew stop tune haunts me but am not sure of words stop plead do this as I am haunted by the song."

Interesting notes.

26 Jun 10 - 02:34 AM (#2934993)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Foggy Foggy Dew [bachelor]
From: Deckman

YES Joe ... quite interesting notes! bob(deckman)nelson