Little Cobbler, The

DESCRIPTION: The butcher goes to London; his wife takes the cobbler to her bed. When a policeman shows up, she invites him into bed while the cobbler hides beneath. The butcher then arrives with the cobbler still hidden. The butcher finds and punishes the cobbler
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1906 (JFSS)
KEYWORDS: seduction trick bawdy humorous hiding
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South))
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Copper-SoBreeze, pp. 224-226, "The Little Cobbler" (1 text, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly1 30, "The Little Cobbler" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 197, "The Cunning Cobbler" (1 text, 1 tune)
RoudBishop #78, "The Cunning Cobbler" (1 text, 1 tune)
VaughanWilliams/Palmer, pp. xv-xvi, "The Cobbler" (1 text)
Purslow-Constant, pp. 15-16, "The Cobbler and the Butcher" (1 text, 1 tun)

Roud #174
RECORDINGS:
George Spicer, "The Cunning Cobbler" (on FSB2, FSB2CD)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Boatsman and the Chest" [Laws Q8] (plot) and references there
NOTES: The Copper version of this piece appears, from the initial verse, to be very closely related to "The Major and the Weaver" [Laws Q10] . The Kennedy version, however, is distinct. I suspect the Copper version is a cross-fertilization.
Vaughn Williams observed that the piece must be modern (because of the policeman), and remarks "It is a modern example of the kind of fun we find in Chaucer's 'Clerk of Oxenforde.'"
This and similar songs are sometimes traced back to a story in Boccaccio (seventh day, second story: Gianella, Peronella, and her husband). But the story is really one of the basic themes of folktale, and doubtless predates Boccaccio as well as these songs. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: CoSB224

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