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Jim Dixon Lyr Add: The Carman's Whistle (6) Lyr Add: THE CARMAN'S WHISTLE 08 Oct 21


This is the complete bawdy version.

These lyrics were transcribed by me [JD] from a broadside at the Bodleian Library website, where there are two nearly identical copies: Douce Ballads 1(32b) and Douce Ballads 1(38a), both classified as Roud Number V18821 and dated “between 1689 and 1709.”

The Courteous Carman,
and the
Amorous MAID:
or,
The Carman’s Whistle.

What here is penn’d in this same pleasant Story,
Doth only tend unto the C A R M A N’s Glory,
Who did relieve a Maiden in Distress,
And brought her Joy in midst of Heaviness;
He was Couragious, and of Mettle good,
As by this Story may be understood.


To the Tune of, The Carman’s Whistle: or, Lord Willoughby’s March, &c.

[1] As I abroad was walking
  by the breaking of the day,
Into a pleasant meadow
  a young Man took his way,
And looking round about him,
  to mark what he could see,
At lenth he ‘spy’d a fair Maid
  under a mirtle-tree;

[2] So comly was her countenance,
  and smiling was her cheer,
As though the Goddess Venus
  herself she had been there,
And many a smirking smile she gave,
  amongst the leaves so green,
Although she was perceivéd,
  she thought she was not seen.

[3] At length she chang’d her countenance,
  and sung a mournful song,
Lamenting her misfortune,
  she staid a Maid so long:
There’s many that be younger,
  that long time have been wed,
Which makes me think that I shall dye,
  and keep my maiden-head.

[4] Sure young Men are hard hearted,
  and know not what they do,
Or else they want for complements
  fair Maidens for to woe[woo]:
Why should young Virgins pine away,
  and lose their chiefest prime,
And all for want of Sweet-hearts,
  to chear us up in time?

[5] The young Man heard her ditty,
  and could no longer stay,
But straight unto this Damosel
  with speed he did away;
He nimbly stept unto her,
  which made her for to start,
But when he once embrac’d her,
  he joy’d her very heart.

[6] Sweet-heart, he said unto her,
  why do you so complain?
If you’ll be rul’d by me
  I’ll play you such a strain,
As uses for to give content,
  when as true Lovers meets,
It is much like to that they call
  the shaking of the sheets.

[7] Strike up, quoth she, and spare not,
  I prithee use thy skill,
For why I greatly care not
  if I thy mind fulfil.
The Carman then most nimbly
  unto this sport did settle,
And pleaséd her most bravely,
  for he was full of mettle.

[8] When he had plaid unto her
  one merry note or two,
Then was she so rejoycéd
  she knew not what to do:
O God-a-mercy Carman,
  thou art a lively Lad;
Thou hast as rare a whistle
  as ever Carman had.

[9] Now if my Mother chide me,
  for staying here so long;
What if she doth, I care not,
  for this shall be my song:
Pray Mother be contented,
  break not my heart in twain,
Although I have been ill a while
  I shall be well again.

[10] And thus this loving Couple
  did oftentimes embrace,
And lovingly did prattle
  all in that flowry place:
But now the time of parting
  began for to draw near,
Whereas this jolly Carman
  must leave his only Dear.

[11] He took his leave most kindly,
  and thus to her did say,
My Dearest, I will meet thee
  next time I come this way.
Away this bony[bonny] Carman went
  a whistling of his note,
And there he left this fair Maid
  a brushing of her coat.

[12] Now fare thee well, brave Carman,
  I wish the[thee] well to fare,
For thou didst use me kindly
  as I can well declare:
Let other Maids say what they will,
  the truth of all is so,
The bonny Carman’s whistle
  shall for my mony[money] go.

London: Printed by and for W. O. and are to be sold by C. Bates, in Pye-corner.


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