The Merchant's Son and the Beggar Wench

 
Performed by:
Steve Gardham
Recorded in:
Harrogate
Recorded on:
28/01/2007
Recorded by:
Mark Ellison
Genre:
Amatory
Keywords:
Clothing,
Deception,
Food,
Public houses,
Theft
 

Archival information

TYG:
65
Key:
G
Time Signature:
4/4
Roud id:
2153
Laws id:
Master title:
The Merchant's Son and the Beggar Wench
Places Cited:
York,
Hull

Lyrics

1
You gallants all, I pray draw near,
And you a pleasant jest shall hear,
How a beggar wench of Hull
A merchant’s son of York did gull.

Chorus:- Fa-la-la-la-la, Fa-la-la-la.

2
One morning on a certain day
He clothed himself in rich array,
And took with him as it was told,
The sum of sixty pounds in gold.

3
So mounting on a prancing steed,
He towards Hull did ride with speed,
Where in his way he chanced to see
A beggar wench of mean degree.

4
She aske`d him for some relief,
And said with tears of seeming grief,
That she had neither house nor home,
But for her living was forced to roam.

5
He seeme`d to lament her case,
And said, ‘Thou hast a pretty face;
If thou wilt lodge with me,’ he cried,
‘With gold thou shalt be satisfied.’

6
Her silence seemed to give consent,
So to a little house they went;
The landlord laughed to see them kiss,
The beggar wench, a ragged miss.

7
He needs must have a dinner dressed,
And called for liquor of the best,
And there they tossed off bumpers free,
The jolly beggar wench and he.

8
A dose she gave him as ’tis thought,
Which by the landlady was brought;
For all the night he lay in bed,
Secure as if he had been dead.

9
Then she put on all his clothes,
His coat, his breeches and his hose;
His hat, his perriwig likewise,
And seized upon the golden prize

10
Her greasy petticoat and gown,
In which she rambled up and down,
She left the merchant’s son in lieu,
Her bag of bread and bottle too.

11
Downstairs like any spark she goes,
Five guineas to the host she throws,
And smiling then she went away,
And ne’er was heard of to this day.

12
When he had took his long repose,
He looked about and missed his clothes,
And saw her rags lie in the room,
How he did storm, nay fret and fume.

13
Yet wanting clothes and friends in town,
Her greasy petticoat and gown
He did put on, and mounted straight,
Bemoaning his unhappy fate.

14
You would have laughed to see the dress
Which he was in , yet ne’ertheless
He homewards rode, and often swore,
He’d never kiss a beggar more.

Joined on the chorus by John Greaves, Mark Ellison and Ray Black.