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The New Gipsy Laddy

Collection of eighty street ballads on forty sheets, mostly with a woodcut printed at London, the majority by J. Catnach (1820–1830). London: n.p., n.d. University of Minnesota Libraries. WILSON Rare Books Quarto 820.1 C683.

Broadside pasted to album leaf 29, containing "The New Gipsy Laddy" (left column), and "The New Riggs of the Races" (right column).

The New Gipsy Laddy

J. Catnach, Printer, 2, & 3, Monmouth-court, 7 Dials.

OF a rich young lady I'm going to tell,
Who lov'd a gipsy young laddy well;
While she was playing on her gay guitar,
The young gipsy laddy, the young gipsy laddy did her tender heart ensnare.

The young gipsy laddy made the grove to rin<g>,
He to her tune a lay of love did sing,
He sung so sweetly to her gay guitar,
That the young gipsy laddy, the young gipsy laddy did the lady's heart ensnare.

When the song was over she stood amaz'd,
Thro' her parlour window down the grove she gazed;
Her bosom heav'd when she play'd again,
For the gipsy laddy, for the gipsy laddy's voice it fill'd her heart with pain.

When the gipsy laddy did repeat his lay,
It confus'd the lady, she could not play:
Her gay guitar then she laid aside,
When the gipsy laddy, when the gipsy laddy from her window she espied.

The young gipsy increas'd her love,
He gave her a glance ere he left the grove,
She sent her servant with a written line,
To the gipsy laddy, to the gipsy laddy to let him know her mind.

Then the gipsy laddy an answer sent,
Saying, dearest lady I now lament,
For fear I should your ruin prove,
For a gipsy laddy, for a gipsy laddy is not worthy of your love.

When at night the lady to her chamber went,
On her gipsy laddy her thoughts were bent
For fear her parents would him disdain,
For her gipsy laddy, for her gipsy laddy he<r> heart was full of pain.

Next morn the lady appear'd dismay'd,
Her tender mother unto her said—
My dearest daughter tell me your pain,
And I'll endeavour, and I'll endeavour to restore your health again.

She then to her mother told the truth,
That a gipsy laddy was her favorite youth;
Then to tell her husband the mother ran,
That a gipsy laddy, that a gipsy laddy his daughter's heart had won.

When her father found she was sore dismay'd,
My darling daughter, to her he said,
<Si>nce love's the cause, you shall soon rejoice,
Tho' a gipsy laddy, tho' a gipsy laddy my darling is your choice.

Then for the parson and the youth they sent,
And crown'd this couple with sweet content;
So they both live happy in Devonshire,
The young gipsy laddy, young gipsy laddy & his rich young lady fair<.>

Basic transcription by Eric Welle. Pointed brackets mark emendations.

A professedly new and comic reworking of a traditional song, "The Gypsie Laddie" (Child no. 200), known in many tragic variants.

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Michael Hancher
Department of English, University of Minnesota
URL: <http://umn.edu/home/mh/newgipsy.html>
Comments to: mh@umn.edu
Created 5 May 1997
Revised 25 July 1998