The English And Scottish Popular Ballads

by FRANCIS JAMES CHILD.

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281A: The Keach I the Creel


281A.1	 A FAIR young may went up the street,
	 Some white-fish for to buy,
	 And a bonnie clerk's faen in love wi her,
	 And he's followed her by and by, by,
	 And he's followed her by and by.
281A.2	 'O where live ye, my bonnie lass,
	 I pray thee tell to me;
	 For gin the nicht were ever sae mirk
	 I wad come and visit thee.'
281A.3	 'O my father he aye locks the door,
	 My mither keeps the key;
	 And gin ye were ever sic a wily wight
	 Ye canna win in to me.'
281A.4	 the clerk he had ae true brother,
	 And a wily wight was he;
	 And he has made a lang ladder,
	 Was thirty steps and three.
281A.5	 He has made a cleek but and a creel,
	 A creel but and a pin;
	 And he's away to the chimley-top,
	 And he's letten the bonnie clerk in.
281A.6	 The auld wife, being not asleep,
	 Heard something that was said;
	 'I'll lay my life,' quo the silly auld wife,
	 'There's a man i our dochter's bed.'
281A.7	 The auld man he gat owre the bed,
	 To see if the thing was true;
	 But she's ta'en the bonny clerk in her arms,
	 And coverd him owre wi blue.
281A.8	 'O where are ye gaun now, father?' she says,
	 'And where are ye gaun sae late?
	 Ye've disturbd me in my evening prayers,
	 And O but they were sweet!'
281A.9	 'O ill betide ye, silly auld wife,
	 And an ill death may ye die!
	 She has the muckle buik in her arms,
	 And she's prayin for you and me.'
281A.10	 The auld wife being not asleep,
	 Then something mair was said;
	 'I'll lay my life,' quo the silly auld wife,
	 'There's a man i our dochter's bed.'
281A.11	 The auld wife she got owre the bed,
	 To see if the thing was true;
	 But what the wrack took the auld wife's fit?
	 For into the creel she flew.
281A.12	 The man that was at the chimley-top,
	 Finding the creel was fu,
	 He wrappit the rape round his left shouther,
	 And fast to him he drew.
281A.13	 'O help! O help! O hinny, now, help!
	 O help, O hinny, now!
	 For him that ye aye wished me to
	 He's carryin me off just now.'
281A.14	 'O if the foul thief's gotten ye,
	 I wish he may keep his haud;
	 For a' the lee lang winter nicht
	 Ye'll never lie in your bed.'
281A.15	 He's towed her up, he's towed her down,
	 He's towed her through an through;
	 'O Gude assist!' quo the silly auld wife,
	 'For I'm just departin now.'
281A.16	 He's towed her up, he's towed her down,
	 He's gien her a richt down-fa,
	 Till every rib i the auld wife's side
	 Playd nick-nack on the wa.
281A.17	 O the blue, the bonnie, bonnie blue,
	 And I wish the blue may do weel!
	 And every auld wife that's sae jealous o her dochter,
	 May she get a good keach i the creel!

281B: The Keach I the Creel


281B.1	 As bonnie may went up the street,
	 Some sweetmeats for to buy,
	 There was a young clerk followed after her,
	 And followed her by and by, by,
	 And followed her by and by.
281B.2	 'It's bonnie may, where do you stay?
	 Or where is 't that you be?
	 Oh if the night be neer so dark,
	 Awat I'll come and visit thee.'
281B.3	 'My father locks the door at een,
	 My mother keeps the key;
	 Gin ye were neer sic a rovin blade,
	 Ye canna win in to me.'
281B.4	 The young clerk has a young brither,
	 And a wily wag was he;
	 He's made to him a long ladder,
	 Wi thirty steps and three.
281B.5	 And he's put it to the chimney-top,
	 And the creel he's put on a pin,
	 And he's put it to the chimney-top,
	 And he's let the young clerk in.
281B.6	 The auld wife she was standing by,
	 She heard a word was said;
	 'I could lay my life,' said the silly auld wife,
	 'There's a man in oor dochter's bed.'
281B.7	 The auld man he cam doun the stairs
	 To see if it were true;
	 The young clerk was lying in bonnie may's arms,
	 And she's covered him oer wi blue.
281B.8	 'Where are you goin, dear father?' she says,
	 'Where are you going so late?
	 You stopped me of my evening prayers,
	 And oh, but they were sweet!'
281B.9	 'The deil tak you, ye silly auld wife,
	 And an ill death may ye dee!
	 For your dochter was lyin wi the book in her arms,
	 And she's praying for you and me.'
281B.10	 The auld wife still standin no far by,
	 Still hearin a word, she said,
	 'Ye may say as ye like, ye silly auld man,
	 There's a man in oor dochter's bed.'
281B.11	 I dinna ken what's taen the auld wife's fit,
	 But into the creel she flew;
	 The young clerk['s brither] being at the chimney-top,
	 He found the creel was fu.
281B.12	 He's thrown the rope out-owre his shouther,
	 And to him he did draw;
	 He's drawn her up, he's drawn her doun,
	 He's drawn her through and through.
281B.13	 Till the auld wife she began to cry,
	 I'm just departin noo!
	 But aye he drew her up and doun,
	 And drew her through and through.
281B.14	 He's drawn her up, he's let her doun,
	 He's gien her evendoun fall,
	 Till every rib on the auld wife's side
	 Played nick-nack on the wall.
281B.15	 It's O the blue, the bonnie, bonnie blue,
	 I wish the blue may do weel!
	 For every auld wife that is jealous o her dochter
	 May be rockit to the d---l in a creel!

281C: The Keach I the Creel


281C.1	 As I gaed down to Collistown,
	 Some white-fish for to buy, buy,
	 The cunning clerk he followed me,
	 And he followed me speedily, ly,
	 And he followed me speedily.
281C.2	 Says, Faur ye gaun, my dearest dear?
	 O faur ye gaun, my dow?
	 There's naebody comes to my bedside,
	 And naebody wins to you.
281C.3	 'Your brother is a gallant square-wright,
	 A gallant square-wright is he;
	 Ye'll gar him make a lang ladder,
	 Wi thirty steps and three.
281C.4	 'And gar him big a deep, deep creel,
	 A deep creel and a string,
	 And ye'll come up to my bedside,
	 And come bonnily linken in.'
281C.5	 The auld gudemand and auld gudewife,
	 To bed they went, to sleep;
	 But wae mat worth the auld gudewife!
	 A wink she coudna get.
281C.6	 'I dreamd a dreary dream this night,
	 I wish it binna true,
	 That the rottens had come thro the wa,
	 And cutted the coverin blue.'
281C.7	 Then up it raise the auld gudeman,
	 To see gin it was true;
	 And he's gane to his daughter dear,
	 Says, What are ye doing, my dow?
281C.8	 'What are ye doing, my daughter dear?
	 What are ye doing, my dow?'
	 'The prayer book's in my hand, father,
	 Praying for my auld minnie and you.'
281C.9	 The auld gudeman and auld gudewife,
	 To bed they went, to sleep;
	 But wae mat worth the auld gudewife!
	 But aye she wakend yet.
281C.10	 'I dreamd a dreary dream this night,
	 I wish it binna true,
	 That the cunning clerk and your ae daughter
	 Were aneath the coverin blue'
281C.11	 'O rise yoursell, gudewife,' he says,
	 'The diel may had you fast!
	 Atween you and your ae daughter
	 I canno get ae night's rest.'
281C.12	 Up then raise the auld gudewife,
	 To see gin it was true,
	 And she feel arselins in the creel,
	 And up the string they drew.
281C.13	 'Win up, win up, gudeman,' she says,
	 'Win up and help me now!
	 For he that ye gae me to last night,
	 I think he's catchd me now.'
281C.14	 'Gin Auld Nick he has catchd you now,
	 I wish he may had you fast;
	 As for you and your ae daughter,
	 I never get kindly rest.'
281C.15	 They howded her, and they showded her,
	 Till the auld wife gat a fa,
	 And three ribs o the auld wife's side
	 Gaed knip-knap ower in twa.

281D: The Keach I the Creel


281D.1	 'MY father he locks the doors at nicht,
	 My mither the keys carries ben, ben;
	 There's naebody dare gae out,' she says,
	 'And as few dare come in, in,
	 And as few dare come in.'
281D.2	 'I will mak a lang ladder,
	 Wi fifty steps and three,
	 I will mak a lang ladder,
	 And lichtly come doun to thee.'
281D.3	 He has made a lang ladder,
	 Wi fifty steps and three,
	 He has made a lang ladder,
	 And lichtly come doun the lum.
281D.4	 They had na kissd nor lang clappit,
	 As lovers do whan they meet,
	 Till the auld wife says to the auld man,
	 I hear somebody speak.
281D.5	 'I dreamed a dreem sin late yestreen,
	 And I'm feard my dream be true;
	 I dreamd that the rottens cam thro the wa,
	 And cuttit the covering blue.
281D.6	 'Ye'll rise, ye'll rise, my auld gudeman,
	 And see gin this be true;'
	 'If ye're wanting rising, rise yoursel,
	 For I wish the auld chiel ahd you.'
281D.7	 'I dreamed a dream sin late yestreen,
	 And I'm feard my dream be true;
	 I dreamd that the clerk and our ae dother
	 War rowed in the covering blue.
281D.8	 'Ye'll rise, ye'll rise, my auld gudeman,
	 And see gin this be true:'
	 'If ye're wanting rising, rise yoursel,
	 For I wish the auld chiel had you.'
281D.9	 But up she raise, and but she gaes,
	 And she fell into the gin;
	 He gied the tow a clever tit,
	 That brought her out at the lum.
281D.10	 'Ye'll rise, ye'll rise, my auld gudeman,
	 Ye'll rise and come to me now,
	 For him that ye've gien me sae lang till,
	 I fear he has gotten me now.'
281D.11	 'The grip that he's gotten, I wish he may haud,
	 And never let it gae,
	 For atween you and your ae dother
	 I rest neither nicht nor day.'

Next: 282. Jock the Leg and the Merry Merchant






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