There was an old man lived out in the wood,
His trade was a cutting of Broom, green Broom;
He had but one son without thrift, without good,
Who lay in his bed till 'twas noon, bright noon.
The old man awoke, one morning and spoke,
He swore he would fire the room, that room,
If his som John would not rise and open his eyes,
And away to the wood to cut Broom, green Broom.
So Johnny arose, and he slipped on his clothes,
And away to the wood to cut Broom, green Broom,
He sharpened his knives, for once he contrives
To cut a great bundle of Broom, green Broom.
When Johnny passed under a lady's fine house,
Passed under a lady's fine room, fine room,
She called to her maid, "Go fetch me," she said,
"Go fetch me the boy that sells Broom, green Broom.
When Johnny came into the lady's fine house,
And stood in the lady's fine room, fine room,
"Young Johnny," she says, "Will you give up your trade,
And marry a lady in bloom, full bloom?"
Johnny gave his consent, and to church they both went,
And he wedded the lady in bloom, full bloom.
At market and fair, all folks do declare,
There is none like the boy that sold Broom, green Broom.
abc | midi | pdf
Source: Songs of the West S. Baring-Gould.
Baring Gould notes:
Words and melody taken down from John Woodrich, blacksmith; he learned both from his grandmother when he was a child. The Hon. J. S. Northcote sent me another version taken down from an old woman at Upton Pyne. Again, another from Mr James Ellis of Chaddlehanger, Lamerton; another from Bruce Tyndall of Exmouth, as taken down from a Devonshire cook in 1839 or 1840. This has the melody as the one from Upton Pyne. Woodrich's, is the brightest, the other the oldest. The same ballad to a different tune in "Northumbrian Minstrelsey," 1822 p98. The song is in D'Urfey's "Pills to Purge Melancholy," 1720, vi. p.100, in fourten verses with a different conclusion. Broadside versions by Disley and Such. Also in "The Broom Man's Garland in "LXXXII. Old Ballads" collected by J. Bell, B.M. (1621, C2) Mr Kidson obtained a version in North Yorkshire. Another is in "English County Songs," p88. In "Gammar Gurton's Garland," circ 1783, are three verses.
Roud: 379 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Related Songs: Green Broom(1) (thematic)