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As I travelled from the North Country
Seeking for good company,
It was good company I did find
There's nothing to equal it to my mind
Singing fol-le-diddle-lero, rite-fol-le-day
Whilst I in my pocket had one penny.

Oh! I saw two gentlemen playing at dice,
They took me to be some young nobleman nice,
As they sat a-playing and I looking on,
They took me to be some young nobleman's son,
Singing fol-le-diddle-lero, rite-fol-le-day
Whilst I in my pocket had one penny.

They asked of me if I would play,
I asked them what bets they did lay,
The one said a guinea, the other ten pound,
The bargain was made but no money laid down,
Singing fol-le-diddle-lero, rite-fol-le-day
Whilst I in my pocket had one penny.

I took up the dice and I gave it a spin,
It was my good fortune that time to win,
If I had-a lost and not had a-won
I should have had to throw my empty purse down,
Singing fol-le-diddle-lero, rite-fol-le-day
Whilst I in my pocket had one penny.

I stopped there that night and part of the next day,
When I thought it quite time to be jogging away,
I asked the landlady what was to pay,
She said, Give us a kiss, love, and then on your way!
Singing fol-le-diddle-lero, rite-fol-le-day
Whilst I in my pocket had one penny.


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Source: Marrow Bones, Ed Frank Purslow, EFDS, 1965

Notes:
Collected by Gardener (H.834) from William Tod, in Portsmouth Workhouse, Hants, Aug 1907

An English song which turns up under a number of titles such as The Hearty Good Fellow; The Little Grey [Black] Horse; One Penny, and so on. It has also been found in Ireland and Australia. Sharp and Baring-Gould collected sets, and it continues to turn up; Peter Kennedy recorded a number of versions in the 1950s, including one from Bob Arnold, who later became a household name as "Uncle" Tom Forrest in the BBC Radio rural soap-opera, The Archers.

The song appeared on broadsides as The Adventures of a Penny; there are three examples by Pitts at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads; the most legible is:

Adventures of a penny ├?┬áPrinted between 1819 and 1844 by J. Pitts, Wholesale Toy and Marble warehouse, 6, Gt. Saint Andrews Street, Seven Dials [London]. Harding B 11(3387)

Roud: 393 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Laws:
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