Adam in the Garden
DESCRIPTION: After Eve broke "the great command" she kissed Adam "with his apron on." Everywhere now a pretty maid happily kisses her love with his apron on. At Mason Lodge meetings each appears after "five steps that he must take" with his jewels and apron on.
EARLIEST DATE: before 1820 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 17(1b))
KEYWORDS: love courting marriage Bible ritual clothes
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Greig #153, p. 2, "The Apron"; Greig #148, p. 2, "Wi' His Apron On"; Greig #40, p. 2, ("When Adam in the garden woned") (3 fragments)
GreigDuncan3 471, "Wi' the Apron On" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
Bodleian, Harding B 17(1b), "Adam in the Garden" ("When Adam in the garden was"), J. Pitts (London), 1802-1819; also 2806 c.18(2), "Adam in the Garden"; Harding B 25(1231), "On Masonry"
cf. "Wi' His Apron On" ("And he kissed his lass wi' his apron on")
cf. "The Courting Coat" ("And I rolled into bed with my kettle smock on on")
cf. "Adam in Paradise" (theme: Adam and Eve's conjugal relations)
I Kissed My Love wi' His Apron On
NOTES [271 words]: Broadside Bodleian Harding B 17(1b) is the basis for the description.
The final half-line of some of the verses describes the mason "wi' his apron on." Greig #40 "Wi' His Apron On," p. 2, notes that the phrase "wi' his apron on" has a masonic reference as in the song -- "When Adam in the garden woned Along with his companion Eve ... She was never ashamed, nor could she be blamed To kiss her love wi' her apron on." See also "The Bible Story" and references there, "Adam in the Garden," and the "Freemason's Song (II)." - BS
Both "Wi' His Apron On" and "Adam in the Garden" have the "Wi' his apron on" line, and for a time I lumped them on this basis. But Ben Schwartz pointed out the large constellation of "Adam in the Garden" type lyrics which differ substantially in plot from "Wi' His Apron On," so they are now split, although the possibility of cross-influence must be allowed.
The mention of an apron in this context is interesting. The story of the Fall of Man is in Genesis 3, and in it, after they eat of the Tree of Knowledge, they use fig leaves to sew themselves some sort of clothing. The clothing is mentioned in Genesis 3:7. "Aprons" is the rendering of the King James Bible, but elsewhere it tends to use "girdle" to translate this root (four of the five other uses; the fifth uses "armor"). The Geneva Bible rendered it "breeches," a reaching also given by Wycliff ("brechis"). The New Revised Standard and Revised English Bibles read "loincloths." Thus it seems quite likely that this is a deliberate reference to Genesis. (Not that you would likely have doubted it if I hadn't written this long note.) - RBW
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