Yorkshireman in London, The
DESCRIPTION: The singer arrives in London and offers to see a girl home. When they arrive at a whorehouse he tries to leave. She picks his pocket but he had put fish-hooks there and they strip her finger of her ring. He sells the ring.
EARLIEST DATE: before 1813 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(3202))
KEYWORDS: ring theft trick humorous whore
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber)) US(Ro)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
GreigDuncan2 298, "The Yorkshireman in London" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
Lyle-Crawfurd1 26, "The Yorkshire Rambler" (1 fragment)
Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 95, "I'm Yorkshire Though in London" (1 text)
Hubbard, #55, "A Yorkshire in London" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(3202), "Quite Politely" ("When first in Lunnun I arriv'd"), J. Evans (London), 1780-1812; also Harding B 28(69), "When First in Lunnon I Arriv'd"; 2806 c.16(290), Harding B 25(2123), "Yorkshireman in London"; Harding B 28(280), "The Yorkshire man in Lunnon"; Johnson Ballads 963, Douce Ballads 4(57), Harding B 16(216c), Harding B 16(284c), Harding B 36(10) View 2 of 2, Harding B 11(62), Harding B 11(63), Harding B 11(1237), Harding B 11(3033), Harding B 11(3034), Harding B 11(3035), Harding B 11(3274), "Quite Politely"
When First in London
The Rigs of London
NOTES: The major theme here is of the not-so-simple country bumpkin. The listener, like the whore, is fooled. The singer, we think, is taken in, "'midst heavy rain and thunder," by the whore by "a dismal tale, how she was scar'd wi' thunder." When they arrive at her door "twenty lasses, aye, or more, Came out to have a better gloat, at bumpkin, as they call'd me" while other "folks cried poor lad he's undone." There must be other songs with this theme but none come to mind. - BS
There are quite a few on the general theme. "The Zebra Dun" [Laws B16] is about a cowboy who knows more than he appears to. The "Biter Bit" theme is common, found e.g. in "The Baffled Knight" [Child #112]. Australia and New Zealand have several songs about immigrants who refuse to be fooled by the locals. I can't think of anything involving this trick with a ring, or indeed outwitting a prostitute. - RBW
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