John Appleby was a man's name, he lived near the sign of the Kettle,
His wife she was call-ed Joan Quiet, because she could scold but a little
John to the ale-house would go, Joan to the gin-shop would run;
John would get drunk with the women and Joan would get drunk with the men.
Now Joan she was no great eater, and John he wasn't a glutton;
And so for to tickle their jaws they bought 'em a sholder of mutton;
John in an angry mood caught the mutton up with his hand,
And out of the window he threw it while Joan she was at a stabd.
Now Joan she was at a stand, didn't know what to make of the matter,
So catching it up in her hand she after it threw the platter;
An old woman passing by and seeing the mutton there lay,
She caught up both mutton and platter and with it she ran away.
Now John he had got a full barrel well seasoned with home-grown hops;
And so for to finish the quarrel the question to Joan he pops:
"Shall we spicket the home-brewed, Joan, and all of our neighbours regale?
Although we have lost our mutton we have not lost our ale."
Then the neighbours came flocking in (O wasn't there just a commotion?)
With "Wastebutt" and most of his kin all aiming to get at the lotion.
They banged the old barrel about and pulled the spicket out too,
Saying "We'll all get drunk to-night, for what have we else to do?"
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Source: Lucy Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland. 1893, English County Songs, Leadenhall Press, London
From Samuel Willett, Cuckfield, Sussex, who got it from Kentish hop-pickers.
Lucy Broadwood wrote:
This is not improbably a political song, directed against Oliver Cromwell; Kent produced many squibs upon him, in which, beside being called a brewer, he was frequently described as a drunkard, together with his wife, who was nicknamed Joan. Compare this with "Oliver Cromwell"
Roud: 1292 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Related Songs: Oliver Cromwell (thematic)