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Collection of eighty street ballads: Country John

Collection of eighty street ballads on forty sheets, mostly with a woodcut printed at London, the majority by J. Catnach (1820ñ1830). London: n.p., n.d.

University of Minnesota Libraries. WILSON Rare Books Quarto 820.1 C683.

Pasted to left side of album leaf 6: half-sheet broadside containing "Country John."

<Image: small woodcut showing a country scene: in the foreground, a rooster silhouetted against the sky and a tree trunk to the left; a building showing in the background behind it.>

Country John

A country John in a village of late,
Courted young Dorothy, Bridget and Kate,
He went up to London to pick up a lass,
To show what a wriggle he had in his a...

<O> when he got there it was late in the night
Two pretty young damsels appear<ed> in his s<i>g<h>t
Said one to the other h<e>re's country John
We'd show him a trick before it be long

Then one stept up to him and gave h<i>m a b<o>b
And said honest fellow can you do the job,
What j<o>b do you mean, do you mean for to stitch,
Ga<d>zooks says the wench you're as good as wi<t>ch<.>

Then what is your pr<i>ce<,> be it little or much
I'm just in the humour to give you a to<u>c<h>,
I'm as handsome a girl as any in town,
Why dang it says he then I'll give thee a crown.

O where shall we go for to find a bed,
That I may enjoy your sweet maidenhead.
Why dang it says she there's <n>o bed to be found
But I'll show you f<in>e sport as I lie on the ground<.>

The bargain was made and he tipt her the c<o>in
She tipt him the glim in the heighth of his p<r>i<m>e
O then she got up and away she did run,
Saying Molly you w...., I've t<i>pt h<i>m the glim.

Then John he arose and how he did swear
He'd p... the whole town in spite of that w....
He knew that the women would <c>uckold the men
Says he I will p.. the whole town if I can.

There was old mother Jenkins he owd her a spite
He went and he s.... her the very same night
Because she denied him a touch on the grass
As good as his word he set fi<r>e to her ....

In a night or two after she p... her spou<s>e
And he p.. Dolly a milking her cows,
Then Dolly aro<s>e and run into the barn
And there she p... Roger a thrashing his corn<.>

Then Roger he p.. the innkeeper's maid,
And she p.. her master as its been said,
The innkeeper's wife she loved a young spark,
In less than a week she p.. parson and clerk

Oh, then were all in a woeful condition
They sent up to L<o>n<d>on to find a physician.
And when doctor Mendcock heard of their ills
He sent down amongst them a cart load of pills.

Basic transcription by Kirsten Culler.
Pointed brackets mark emendations (many letters have dropped out); ellipses marks as printed.

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Michael Hancher
Department of English, University of Minnesota
URL: <http://umn.edu/home/mh/country.html>
Comments to: mh@umn.edu
Created 15 April 1997