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"Good morning to you, my pretty maid".
"Twice good morning, kind sir", she said.
"Are you going a-milking all alone?"
"Oh yes", replied sweet lovely Joan.

Then he pulled out a purse of gold,
And said "pretty maid all this behold.
All this I'll give with me to wed."
Her cheeks they blushed like roses red.

"Now, noble knight, I pray you forbear,
But don't you make remarks on me.
Tomorrow night I'm going to be wed,
And my love shall enjoy my maidenhead."

'Twas then he made a solumn vow,
That he would wed, whether or no;
This he said to frighten Joan,
As she sat milking all alone.

"Give me the gold, sir, in my hand,
And I will be at your command;
For that will be more good to me
Than twenty husband, sir", said she.

Whilst he was looking for a bed,
She mounted on her milk-white steed.
He called, he called, 'twas all in vain;
She never looked back [at him] again.

She did not think herself quite safe
Until she reached her true love's gate;
She robbed him of his steed and gold
And left him the empty purse to hold.

Now it pleased her lover to the heart
To see how well she played her part.
"Tomorrow morning we'll be wed,
And I will be the knight instead."

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Source: Briars and Bushes (Vaughan Williams), Ed Roy Palmer, IBSN 1-86143-072-8

Collected from Mr William Hurr, Southwold, Sussex by Ralph Vaughan Williams,British Library MSS 54187/91, I, 354

Mr. Hurr's set was first printed in The Journal of the Folk-Song Society, vol.IV (issue 17), 1913: p.330. Only the first verse here, the second half of verse seven and the first half of verse eight, came from Mr. Hurr. The rest has been added from broadside texts, examples of which can be seen online at the Bodleian Library collection. For an example, see Harding B11(2226), printed by J. Catnach, 2, & 3, Monmouth Court, 7 Dials between 1813 and 1838

Roud: 592 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

Related Songs:  Sweet Kitty (thematic)

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