I Can Smoke a Pipe
DESCRIPTION: The singer loves the church, temple, bonnie lass, or can chew tobacco on a winter night, or is fit to serve the king. Then he can crack a biscuit, smoke a pipe and kiss a girl at night.
EARLIEST DATE: 1828 (Lyle-Crawfurd2)
KEYWORDS: courting food floatingverses playparty
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Bord))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Lyle-Crawfurd2 204, "I Love the New Kirk" (1 text)
Opie-Oxford2 73, "When I was a little boy My mammy kept me in" (2 texts; one of these is a fragment of Nicholson)
ADDITIONAL: Robert Craig Maclagan, The Games and Diversions of Argyleshire (London, 1900 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 79-80, ("Hullie go lee, go lee") (1 text, 1 tune)
James Orchard Halliwell, The Nursery Rhymes of England (London, 1843 ("Digitized by Google")), #293 p. 164, ("When I was a little boy my mammy kept me in")
cf. "Queen Mary (Auld Maid's Lament)" (floating verse)
cf. "Sailor Lad" (floating verse)
cf. "The Tailor and the Sailor" (floating verse)
NOTES: A verse from "Sailor Lad," Gomme 2.147-148 is common to the texts: "He daurna brack a biscuit, He daurna smoke a pipe; He daurna kiss a bonnie lass At ten o'clock at night." The verse is also in Nicholson, cited for "Queen Mary (Auld Maid's Lament)." The variable first verse fits neither Gomme nor Nicholson. Otherwise I would have lumped this with one of those. Effectively, I am lumping the rhymes that are one verse plus this floating verse because I haven't found another home for them.
In GreigDuncan1 57A, "The Tailor and the Sailor," as part of her rave about her sailor, the singer says , "He'll turn her east and turn her west an north and south an a' And bids me aye keep up my heart tho' he be far awa He daerna brak a biscuit, he daurna smoke a pipe He daurna kiss a bonnie lass at ten o'clock at night."
Yet another example is in Richard Eddy, History of the Sixtieth Regiment New York State Volunteers (Philadelphia, 1864), pp. 122-123. The author writes a letter for "William, my contraband." At the end of the letter William adds rhyming couplets beginning "As green as de leaves of de willow tree, Winchester ladies is hard to please"; lines about marriage and death; "If Miss Carter will think of me, I nebber will be forgotten. I can handle a musket, I can smoke a pipe...." - BS
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