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Another one collated from versions in Sharp's One Hundred English Folksongs and My Song Is My Own (in turn collated from Child no. 112 and other versions collected by Sharp), with some minor edits of my own. Much like the Crafty Maid, this is another self-confident, humorous tale of brains versus brawn, with some bonus verses where she proceeds to take him down a peg after reaching safety.
There was a brisk young farmer, kept sheep upon the hill,
And he went out of a May morning to see what he could kill.
He gazed high and he gazed low, he gave an underlook,
And there he saw a lady fair a-bathing in the brook.
Oh, it’s aye, the dewy morning, blow the winds aye-oh,
Blow the winds of a dew morning, how sweet the winds do blow.
“It’s fitter for young ladies to be sewing their silken seams,
Than it is to be out on a May morning a-swimming against the stream.”
“It’s fitter for young farmers to mind their own at home,
Than it is to be out on a May morning to watch young ladies swim!”
“Oh, do not touch my mantle, and leave my clothes alone,
But take me out of the water and carry me to my home.
Oh, take me to my father’s house and you may sit me down,
And you shall have my maiden head and fifteen hundred pounds.”
Now when she came to her father’s gate, she knocked all at the pin;
None was so ready as the waiting maid to let this fair maid in.
Now when the gate was open, so nimbly she turned about,
Saying, “Here I am a maid within, and you’re a fool without!”
“There is a cock in father’s barn, he never trod a hen,
He flies about and flutters his wings, and I think you’re one of them.
There is an herb in father’s garden, some do call it rue,
It causes girls in autumn time to have a laugh at you.
Oh, my mother’s got a pretty flower, she calls it Marigold,
And if you will not when you may, you shall not when you would.”
from The Fairest Flower of Womankind,
released April 28, 2017
Vocals: Lindsay Straw
Concertina & Harmony Vocals: Benedict Gagliardi
Harmony Vocals: Armand Aromin