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Gathering peascods,
Amidst the rows so green,
With bonny Bet, my queen;
Tossing the peascods
I' faith we had rare fun,
The work seem'd never done;
'Twas sweetest summer weather,
I plucked the peascods fast,
Then in her apron cast,
So being together,
Each turn I did not miss
To pluck as well a kiss.

Shelling of peascods
Beside the pretty wench,
A-seated on one bench;
Shelling of peascods
Into a maple bowl,
And she a merry soul;
So shelling without missing
A single pea, I said,
My labours must be paid
Only by kissing.
Fly winter! I were fain
'Twere peascods time again!

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Source: Sabine Baring Gould, 1895, Old English Songs from English Minstrelsie

This is taken from the selection of the eight volume work by Baring Gould of the same name, reprinted by Llanerch Publishers.

Notes are not given in the selection, but are in the full eight volume work to which I do not have access. Therefore I cannot give any information about the origins of this song.

I have known this tune for some thirty years or so, when I learnt the Playford dance , but the lyrics are nothing like so well-known. The dance is in the 1651 edition of Playford's "The English Dancing Master", a facsimile of which is available from EFDSS.


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