As Ah was walking down old Green Lane, Ah met a collier lad,
’E winked at me with ’is bonny blue eye, ’n asked me to be ’is darling wife.
Ah said, “No, no, Ah’m far too young, far too young for you.”
“The younger you are, the better for me, not quite sixteen years of age.”
’E took me away and ’e locked me up, just like a bird in a gilded cage,
An’ now Ah’m the mother of a child, not quite seventeen years of age.
Now all ye lasses tek a tip from me, never let a feller get an inch above your knee;
If you do you’ll be just like me, always having kids in twos and threes.
This is a traditional song
This song was collected by A.E.Green and is still today being sung by Mick Haywood, now of Whitby, from singers he heard around the Batley area in the 1960s and 1970s.
Mr. Green reports that Lily Hill from who he recorded the song learnt the song aurally during her teens from women picking in a rag-picking shop where she worked.
The song is one concerned with seduction or abduction, with a final verse giving warning to others, not uncommon in folk song.
The first three verses are a localised variant of The Distressed Maid, Roud 564. See Abroad as I was walking at library.efdss.org/archives/cgi-bin/search.cgi then enter in search GG/1/10/589. The last verse occurs in later versions of Rosemary Lane, Roud 269, usually under the title Bell-Bottom Trousers.