Author Topic: Add: Twenty, Eighteen


Posted - 16 Mar 03 - 06:33 pm

Twenty, Eighteen

"Ho! yonder stands a charming creature,
Who she is I do not know,
I'll go court her for her beauty,
Until she do say yes or no."
Twenty, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen,
Twelve, ten, eight, six four, two, nought;
Nineteen, seventeen, fifteen, thirteen,
Eleven, nine and seven, five, three and one.

"Ho! Madam, I am come to court you,
If your favour I may gain;
And if you will entertain me
Perhaps I may come this way again."

"Ho! Madam I have rings and jewels,
Madam I have house and land,
Madam, I have wealth and treasures,
All shall be at your command."

"Ho! what care I for your rings and jewels?
What care I for your house and land?
What care I for your wealth and treasures?
All I want is a handsome man."

"Ho! first come cowslips and then come daisies,
First comes night and then comes day;
First comes the new love, and then comes the old one,
And so we pass our time away."

"Ho! the ripest apple is the soonest rotten,
THe hottest love is the soonest cold;
Lover's vows are soon forgotten,
So I pray, young man, be not so bold."

Source: Broadwood, L, 1893, English County Songs, London, Leadenhall Press


Words and music from Besthorpe, near Attleborough. Norfolk, quoted in the Musical Herald for September, 1891.

On the 4-LP issue of "A Song for Every Season", Bob Copper mentions this song as one that he used to sing (1st verse only) as part of a competition to sing the fastest song.

Database entry is here.


Posted - 16 Mar 03 - 09:49 pm

I find this a rather confusing song; it starts off as if it is going to be "Oh, No, John", includes a verse that looks like it is from "The Wraggle-Taggle Gypsies", then goes off to something like "Love is Pleasing"; all with a chorus that seems like a children's song.

Jon Freeman

Posted - 17 Mar 03 - 03:43 am

Interesting Dave. I learned the chorus (from someone caled Dave Baird, a Scotsman who used to sing in a couple of N Waels pub) in reverse order, sort of:

Nineteen, seventeen, fifteen, thirteen,
Eleven, nine and seven, and five, three one.
Twenty, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen,
Twelve, ten, eight, six four, two, none;

Then the extra.

Round and round go the wheels of fortune,
Round and round till it weries me.
Young wonmens hearts are so uncertain
Sad experience teaches me.


Edited By Jon Freeman - 17/03/2003 03:49:37

Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 17 Mar 03 - 04:59 am

Roud 146

Classified with No Sir; O No John; also Ripest [of] Apples; The Spanish Lady, and so on; though other examples of these are assigned to number 542 (Madam I am Come to Court You etc) so there is evidently a seriously blurred boundary between the various songs.

Widely found in England, the USA and Canada. Another set with the "twenty eighteen" chorus appeared in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, vol. I no. 3 1934, p.133; noted by Clive Carey from Mrs Hollingsworth and Fred Yeldham, Thaxted, Essex, in 1911; and Brian Matthews recorded another from George Townsend, Lewes, Sussex, in 1960. (Musical Traditions MT CD 304: Come Hand to me the Glass).

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