My Husband's Got No Courage in Him
DESCRIPTION: (Two women meet); one laments, "(My) husband's got no courage in him." She describes all she has done to encourage his "courage," but all attempts have failed. (Even now she still has her maidenhead.) (She hopes he dies so she can find another)
EARLIEST DATE: 1701 (broadside NLScotland, Ry.III.a.10(053))
KEYWORDS: wife husband sex disability
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Kennedy 213, "Rue the Day" (1 text, 1 tune)
GreigDuncan7 1367, "My Husband's Got No Courage in Him" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Reeves-Sharp 67, "O Dear O" (2 texts)
Silber-FSWB, p. 171, "The Husband With No Courage In Him" (1 text)
BBI, ZN2114, "Of late it was my chance to walke"
DT, NOCOURAG* NOUCOURG2
NLScotland, Ry.III.a.10(053), "My Husband Has No Courage In Him," unknown, 1701
cf. "Maids, When You're Young"
cf. "What Can a Young Lassie"
cf. "The Jolly Barber Lad" (theme)
cf. "The Old Man from Over the Sea"
NOTES: Although this sounds like it is just a woman's lament over an impotent (or homosexual?) husband, it's just possible that there is more going on. At least if you believe Mary Roach's book, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, (Norton, 2008). Failure to consummate a marriage of course could allow for an annulment -- and, in sixteenth and seventeenth century France, could call for more. Roach, pp. 149-152, told how a man could be sued by his wife for non-performance. In such a case, he had to prove, before witnesses, that he could produce an erection. If he failed, he could be fined and forbidden to remarry -- and the dowry he had gained upon marriage would be forfeit. The inability to "put up" could thus be extremely expensive as well as embarrassing. - RBW
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