There was an old man and he lived in the West,
And his trade was a-cutting of broom, green broom;
He had but one son and his name it was John,
And he lied abed till 'twas noon, bright noon,
And he lied abed till 'twas noon.
The old man arose and to his son goes,
And swore he'd set fire to his room, his room,
If he would not rise and unbutton his eyes,
And away to the woods from green broom, green broom,
And away to the woods for green broom.
Then Jack he did rise and did sharpen his knives,
And he went to the woods cutting broom, green broom;
To market and fair, crying everywhere:
O fair maids, do you want any broom, green broom?
O fair maids, do you want any broom?
A lady sat up in her window so high,
And she heard Johnny crying green broom, green broom;
She rang for her maid and unto her she said:
O go fetch me that lad that cries broom, green broom,
O go fetch me that lad that cries broom.
Then John he came back, and upstairs he did go,
And he entered that fair lady's room, her room,
Dear Johnny, said she, O can you fancy me,
Will you marry a lady in bloom, in bloom?
Will you marry a lady in bloom?
Then John gave his consent, and unto the church went,
And married this lady in bloom, in bloom,
Said she: I protest there is none in the West
Is so good as the lad who sells broom, green broom,
Is so good as the lad who sells broom.
Sharp C and Vaughan Williams, R, A Selection of Collected Folk-Songs
The tune here was noted from John Farkell (75) at Bridgwater, Somerset, on the 10th April 1907. The text as given above also appeared in Sharp's One Hundred English Folksongs
(Boston, 1916) in substantially the same form. Mr Farkell's text as originally noted is in Karpeles, Cecil Sharp's Collection of Folk Songs
, Oxford 1974, I, 458 (No. 116A)
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six