Gathering Rushes in the Month of May (Underneath Her Apron)

DESCRIPTION: Girl gathers rushes and bears a child, wrapping it in her apron. The baby cries; her father asks who the father was and where it was conceived, vowing to burn the place. The father was a sailor; she conceived "by yonder spring, where the small birds sing"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1860 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(401))
KEYWORDS: pride sex accusation questions childbirth pregnancy baby father lover sailor clothes
FOUND IN: Britain(England(North,South))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 103, "Three Maids a Rushing" (1 text)
Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle 132, "Three Maids a Rushing" (1 text)
Gardham-EastRidingSongster 23, pp. 30-31, "Underneath Her Apron" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #899
Anne Briggs, "Gathering Rushes in the Month of May" (on BirdBush1, Birdbush2, Briggs3, Briggs4)
Jack Elliott, "Was It In the Kitchen?" (on Elliotts01)

Bodleian, Harding B 11(401), "The Bonny Boy from Underneath My Apron" ("As a pretty fair maid was going up the stairs"), A. Ryle and Co. (London), 1845-1859
cf. "Gathering Rushes" (theme of rushing and seduction)
NOTES [67 words]: The Elliott version has the young man as a miner, not a sailor; it is mixed with "Never Let a Sailor Get an Inch Above Your Knee"; see "Rosemary Lane" for discussion of *that* mess. - PJS
Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle (in the notes for "Gathering Rushes"): "'Rushing' is in the lingua franca of folk song frequently a metaphor for female sexual adventure, as ploughing, sowing and reaping are for male." - BS
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File: DTundrap

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