Major and the Weaver, The [Laws Q10]
DESCRIPTION: The weaver comes home suddenly, forcing the major (who is visiting his wife) to hide under the bed. The weaver goes out wearing the major's breeches, containing money and a watch. He claims the same right to the breeches as the major has to his wife
EARLIEST DATE: 1938 (Henry)
KEYWORDS: seduction trick bawdy humorous hiding
FOUND IN: US(NE,Ro,So)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Laws Q10, "The Major and the Weaver"
Beck-Maine, pp. 268-270, "The Miller and the Major" (1 text)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 91, "Lie Low" (1 fragment, 1 tune, a single stanza which can only tentatively be identified with this song)
Hubbard, #122, "In Bed with the Major" (1 text)
DT 522, WEAVWIFE
cf. "The Boatsman and the Chest" [Laws Q8] (plot) and references there
NOTES: The Copper text of "The Little Cobbler" appears to have cross-fertilized with this piece; the two are similar in plot, and the Copper version shares some words as well. But the extreme versions are distinct.
This and similar songs are sometimes traced back to a story in Boccaccio (seventh day, second story: Gianella, Peronella, and her husband). But the story is really one of the basic themes of folktale, and doubtless predates Boccaccio as well as these songs. - RBW
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