At the Sign of the Apple (The Twig So Tender; The Tavern)

DESCRIPTION: "Once upon a time I visited A hostess neat and slender, A golden apple was her sign, Hung by a twig so tender, Do did-dle de la, la la la la, Hung by a twig so tender...." When the singer asks for a bill, (s)he is told there is none
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1916 (Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, p. 258, "At the Sign of the Apple" (1 text)
Randolph 669, "The Twig So Tender" (1 fragment, 1 tune)

Roud #7365
NOTES [72 words]: Randolph had but a single verse of this, and Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety only two, and neither is very revealing. Based on Randolph, I guessed it was about a visit to a whorehouse. Belden's additional verse just adds to the mystery; note the genders in the second line:
I asked my host to name my bill,
He smiled, and then said, "Nay, sir."
That house I'll always patronize
Whene'er I go that way, sir. - RBW
File: R669

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