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Keach on the Creel

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Keach on the Creel

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Keach on the Creel

A fair young maid went up the street
Some white fish for to buy
And a bonnie clerk's fallen in love with her
And he's followed her by and by

  Rickity too dum da
  Too dum da
  Rickity too dum da

O where live you my bonny lass
I pray you tell me true
And though the night be ne'er so dark
I will come and visit you

My father locks the door at night
My mother keeps the key
And though you were ne'er such a roving blade
You canna win in to me

But the clerk he had a young brother
And a wily wight was he
And he has made a long ladder
With thirty steps and three.

He has made a cleek but and a creel
And the creel he's put on a pin
And he's away to the chimbley top
And he's letten the bonny clerk in

Now the old wife couldna sleep that night
Though late late was the hour
I'll lay my life, says the silly old wife
There's a man in our daughter's bower

The old man he got out of bed
To see if the thing was true
But she's taken the bonny clerk in her arms
And covered him with the blue

O what are you doing my daughter dear
What are you doing my doo?
I'm praying on my prayer book
For my silly old mammy and you.

Pray on pray on my ae daughter
And see that you do it right
For if ever a woman went out of her reason
Your mother'll go this night

The de'il take you you silly old wife
An ill death may you die
She has the good book in her arms
And she's praying for you and me

The old wife still lay waking yet
Then something more was said
I'll lay my life says the silly old wife
There's a man in our daughter's bed

Rise up again my old goodman
And see if this be true
If you're wanting rising, rise yourself
For I wish the old chiel had you

Then up she rose and down she goes
And into the creel she flew
And the clerk's brother at the chimbley top
He found the creel was fu'

He's hauled her up he's hauled her down
He's gi'en her a right down-fall
Till every rib in the old wife's side
Played nick-nack on the wall

O help me now my old goodman
O help me now my doo
For him that you wished me with this night
I think he's gotten me now

Gin Old Nick has catched you now
I wish he may hold you fast
For atween you and your ae daughter
I never get any rest

O hey the blue the bonny blue
And I wish it may do well
And every old wife that wakes at night
I wish her a keach in a creel

Child #281
From Seeds of Love, Sedley.
Note: the story dates back to European folk tales of the 14th
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