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)
DT, BLKBERGR*

Roud #9176
CROSS-REFERENCES:
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)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
One Michaelmas Morn
NOTES: 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
File: K122

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