Blackberry Grove

DESCRIPTION: The singer is eating blackberries when he spies a milkmaid. He asks to buy milk; she says the cow has kicked over the bucket. She hints that the loan of a shilling would be quickly repaid; he takes the hint, she takes the shillings, and he takes her
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1892 (Baring-Gould and Sheppard)
KEYWORDS: courting sex commerce farming money food animal worker
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Kennedy 122, "Blackberry Grove" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #9176
Ted Lambourine, "Blackberry Grove" (on FSBFTX13)
cf. "Harmless Young Jim" (innuendoes)
cf. "Buttercup Joe" (innuendoes)
cf. "The Spotted Cow" (theme)
cf. "Kitty of Coleraine" (theme)
cf. "Three Maidens to Milking Did Go" (theme)
One Michaelmas Morn
NOTES [133 words]: Not to be confused with "Pretty Betsy the Milkmaid (Blackberry Fold)," despite their sharing a milkmaid and blackberries. Incidentally, one of the reasons milkmaids were held in such romantic esteem was for their smooth, fair, and un-pockmarked skin, which came from their contact with cowpox and resultant immunity to smallpox. - PJS
Kennedy observes that the song dates itself to Michaelmas (September 29), a day on which hired workers finished their terms and were paid off. Thus the youth would have money to spend -- and the girl would have every reason to latch onto him *now* (even if it meant spilling the milk) before he left the vicinity.
I know of no version in which the two explicitly sleep together (and can't imagine Baring-Gould printing such!), but the implication is strong. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: K122

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