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Fair Maid of Islington

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Fair Maid of Islington

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Fair Maid of Islington

There was a fair maid of Islington
As I heard many tell
And she was going to Londontown
Her pears and apples to sell
As she was going along the road
A vintner did her espy
And what shall I give, fair maid,
Says he, One night with you to lie?

If you would lie with me one night
You must give me five pound.
A match  a match, the vintner said
And so let this go round.
When he had lain with her all night
Her money she did crave.
O no, O no, the vintner said
The devil a penny you'll have.

This maid she made no more ado
But to the justice went:
This vintner hired a cellar of me
And will not pay the rent
Then straight the justice for him sent
And asked the reason why
That he would pay this maid no rent
To which he did reply

Although I hired a cellar of her
And the possession was mine
I ne'er put anything into it
But one small pipe of wine
This fair maid being ripe of wit
She straight replied again
There lay two butts at the cellar door
Why did you not roll them in?

The justice told the vintner plain
If he a tenant be
He must expect to pay the price
For he could not sit rent-free
And when the maid her money got
She put it in her purse             .
And clapped her hand o'er the cellar
And swore it was never the worse.

from Sedley Seeds of Love
tune: Sellinger's Round or Caper and Ferk It
  tune by William Byrd in 17th century
text from 1744 broadside
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