DESCRIPTION: A woman is crossing Firelock Stile, she catches her clothes on a nail. A man is dazzled by the sight; she says if he'd like to play, the price is 20 guineas. Six weeks later "she gave him some fire to keep him from cold." He curses her and warns others.
EARLIEST DATE: 1953 (recorded by Harry Cox)
LONG DESCRIPTION: As a woman is crossing Firelock Stile, a nail catches hold of her clothes, and various private parts are exposed. A young man is dazzled at the sight; she tells him she's amazed at his gaze, but if he'd like to play, the price is 20 guineas. He would, he pays, they do, and six weeks later "she gave him some fire to keep him from cold." The young man curses her and warns others. Chorus: "On her rump-a-tump tooral tooral laddie-dy/Rump-a-tump tooral tooral day"
KEYWORDS: disease sex warning commerce bawdy whore
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Kennedy 173, "Firelock Stile" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harry Cox, "Firelock Stile" (on FSB2CD)
cf. "The Fire Ship" (plot) and references there
NOTES: A stile was a wooden "stepping-over" place used for crossing fences; per Kennedy, it afforded prostitutes a chance to display their charms without being arrested for indecent exposure. "Firelock," of course, refers to the effect of the clap the young man catches. - PJS
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.