So here's to every young man who's fond of a lark,
And heres to every young maid who's up to the mark;
And when her lover press her she will make this remark:
"You may kiss me where you will, my love, but kiss me in the dark"
Young William was a handsome, a roving sailor boy,
And Sally was the girl he loved, his heart's delight and joy.
He threw his arms around her waist when she made this remark:
"You may kiss me where you will, my love, but kiss me in the dark".
A Captain overhearing these lovers discourse,
He thought that he might kiss the girl and she be none the worse.
He heard young William name the time to meet her in the park;
Say he, "I will go in his stead and kiss her in the dark".
Now the third night after, just at the close of day,
The captain had found out a plan to keep her love away;
With William's dress upon his back he's gone into the park
He rolled her on the dewy grass and kissed her in the dark.
So in full three months after, to William she was wed,
And in full six months after she safely got her bed.
Her husband he did wonder how it came within the mark,
But little he thought the captain had kissed her in the dark.
The captain stood godfather unto this lovely boy,
And threw him down five hundred pound which he does now enjoy;
And Sally smiles unto herself when thinking of the park,
When the captain rolled her on the grass and kissed her in the dark.
Bushes And Briars, Ed Roy Palmer, ISBN 1-86143-072-8
Collected from Mr Willy Knaggs, Duncombe Arms, Westerdale, 1904 by Vaughan Williams. The manuscript is at the British Library MSS 54187/91 III 6-7
There are a number of 19th century broadside examples at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads
as Kiss Me in the Dark
of which the oldest with a definite date is printed between 1840 and 1851
(Search Roud index at VWML)