Buy a Broom
DESCRIPTION: The singer says she comes "to dear happy England in summer's gay bloom" and asks "fair lady, and young pretty maiden" to "buy of the wandering Bavarian a Broom" Use them to brush away insects. In winter she will return home. Spoken epilog.
AUTHOR: D.A. O'Meara and George Alexander Lee (source: GreigDuncan8)
EARLIEST DATE: 1827 (according to Scott); before 1830 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 15(37b))
KEYWORDS: travel England Germany work nonballad bug
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
GreigDuncan8 1845, "Buy a Broom" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Jon Raven, _The Urban and Industrial Songs of the Black Country and Birmingham_, Broadside, 1977, pp. 176-177, "Songs and Cries of the Wyrley Broom Selles" (2 texts, perhaps not genetically related to the other items listed here)
Bodleian, Harding B 15(37b), "Buy a Broom" ("From Teutschland I come with my best wares all laden"), T. Birt (London), 1828-1829; also Harding B 16(42b), Johnson Ballads fol. 129 [barely legible], Johnson Ballads fol. 126, Harding B 11(177), Harding B 36(20)[many illegible words], Harding B 11(972)[no spoken epilog], "Buy a Broom"
NOTES: GreigDuncan8 is a fragment; broadside Harding B 15(37b) is the basis for the description.
GreigDuncan8: Duncan speculates that "Teuchland" must have been from a printed source "which contained the word 'Deutchland' for Germany. The word would be pronounced very likely 'Deuchland' (with the gutteral 'ch'), but would soon be changed into 'Teuchland', as 'teuch' would suggest some meaning to the Scottish ear.'" Teutschland is already in the Bodleain Harding B 15(37b) text before 1830.
"The success of 'Buy a Broom' dated as far back as 1827, when a play called 'The Hundred Pound Note' was produced at Covent Garden...; and as to 'Buy a Broom,' the ballad sung by Madame Vestris in the character of Harriet Arlington, it was hummed by every one and became the rage. 'From Deutchland I come ...'" [source: Clement Scott, The Drama of Yesterday and Today (1899, London ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. I, pp. 122-123].
In 1826, Hone described "these poor 'Buy-a-Broom' girls": "These girls are Flemings. They come to England from the Netherlands in the spring, and take their departure with the summer. They have only one low, shrill, twittering note, 'Buy a broom?' sometimes varying into the singular plural, 'Buy a brooms?'" [source: William Hone, The Every-Day Book or Everlasting Calendar (1826, London ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. I, pp. 404-405]. - BS
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