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Young Jack he was a journeyman
That roved from town to town,
And when he'd done a job of work,
He lightly sat him down.
With his kit upon his shoulder, and
A grafting knife in hand,
He roved the country round about,
A merry journey-man.

And when he came to Exeter,
The maidens lept with joy;
Said one and all, both short and tall,
Here comes a gallant boy.
The lady dropt her needle, and
The maid her frying-pan,
Each plainly told her mother, that
She loved the journey-man.

He had not been in Exeter,
The days were barely three,
Before the Mayor, his sweet daughter.
She loved him desparately;
She bid him to her mother's house,
She took him by the hand.,
Said she, "my dearest mother, see
I love the journey-man!"

Now out on thee, thou silly maid!
Such folly speak no more:
How can'st thou love a roving man,
Thoust ne'er seen before?
"O mother sweet, I do entreat,
I love him all I can;
Around the country glad I'll rove
With this young journey-man.

"He need no more to trudge afoot,
He'll travel with coach and pair;
My wealth with me - or poverty
With him content I'll share."
Now fill the horn with barleycorn,
And flowing fill the can:
Here let us toast the Mayor's daugter
And the roving journey-man.

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Source: Songs Of The West, S Baring-Gould

Baring-Gould notes:
Taken down, words and melody, from William Aggett, Chagford, and from James Parsons, Lew Down. An inferior version of the words is to be found among Cantach's Broadsheets, Ballads, B.M. (1162, h, vol. vii), also one printed in Edinburgh, Ballads (1750-1840, B.M. (1871, f.) Note what has been said relative to this tune, which is in the Aeolian mode, under I. "By chance it was," with which it is closely related.

More than ten editions can be found at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads as "(The) Roving Journeyman". A Catnach edition is:

Roving journeyman ("I am a roving journeyman ...")
Harding B 11(3355)
Printer: Catnach, J. (London)
Date: between 1813 and 1838
Imprint: J. Catnach, Printer, 2, Monmouth Court, 7 Dials
Illus. Ballads on sheet: 2
Note: Harding B 11(3353) is another impression.

Roud: 360 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

Related Songs:  By Chance It Was (melodic)

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