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Collection of ballads, songsheets: The Barrow Girl

Collection of ballads, songsheets. 2 vols. London: J. Pitts, 1805­1840? University of Minnesota Libraries. WILSON Rare Books Quarto 820.1 Z. Vol. 1.

Half sheet.


The Barrow Girl.

Printed at J. Pitt's Wholesale Toy Warehouse
6 Great <S>t. Andrew <S>treet 7 <D>ials,
      Ye fair maids of London, who lead a single life
      I'd sooner be a barrow girl than a rich merchant's wife,
      For so early in the morning you hear me to cry,
      Artichokes and cauliflowers<,> pretty maids will you buy<.>

      There's a girl sits at Billingsgate I'll not mention her name<.>
      She's tall, and she<'>s sprightly, and she's fitting for the game,
      And she waits for her jolly waterman to row her back again.

      My husband's a quiet man, and a quiet man is he,
      All for to wear the horns, my boys contented he must be,
      I can find him at my leisure do the very best he can,
      While I go and take my pleasure with my jolly waterman<.>

      A waterman's trade, a trade that seldom fail<s>,
      Let it hail, rain, or sunshine, our boats are in full sail,
      Here's to your love and my love, and all true hearted souls,
      Likewise to my jolly waterman with a full flowing bowl.

Transcription and glosssary by Eric Welle.
    barrow girl  woman selling produce from a wheel-barrow
    Billingsgate one of the gates of London, and a fish market near it, frequented by mariners; renowned for its unrestrained and vulgar atmosphere
    waterman  a seaman, a mariner
    to wear the horns  to be cuckolded
    full flowing bowl  a brimming mug--implying that this song was meant to be sung in a pub

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Michael Hancher
Department of English, University of Minnesota
URL: <http://mh.cla.umn.edu/barrow.html>
Comments to: mh@umn.edu
Created 29 June 1997