Courting Coat, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer takes his girl to bed while still in his (pit boots/navvy boots/courting coat). She fears pregnancy ("the baby will come with his pit boots on"); he laughs it off -- but runs away, still wearing the boots. Women are warned to beware
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1907 (Reeves-Sharp)
LONG DESCRIPTION: The singer (shaves and) dresses up, (by the light of the moon) arrives at his girl's window, and takes her to bed while still in his (pit boots/navvy boots/courting coat). She fears pregnancy ("the baby will come with his pit boots on"); he laughs it off -- but runs away, still wearing the boots. Women are warned to "beware of them colliers who are easy and free"
KEYWORDS: courting sex warning pregnancy mining worker clothes
FOUND IN: Britain(England(North,South),Scotland(Aber,Hebr,High)) Ireland
REFERENCES (5 citations):
GreigDuncan4 787, "The Courtin' Coat" (2 texts plus a single verse on p. 541)
MacSeegTrav 34, "The Courting Coat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-Sharp 53, "The Kettle Smock" (1 text)
Kennedy 171, "The Bold English Navvy" (1 text, 1 tune plus a fragment in the appendix)
DT, NAVVYBTS* NAVVYBOT*

Roud #516
RECORDINGS:
Liam Clancy, "Navvy Boots On" (on IRLClancy01)
Mary Delaney, "Navvy Shoes" (on IRTravellers01)
A. L. Lloyd, "With Me Pit Boots On" (on Lloyd1) (on IronMuse1)
Jimmy McBeath, "The Bold English Navvy" (on Voice10)
James McDermott, "With the Old Navvy Boots On" (on IRHardySons)
Lal Smith, "The Bold English Navvy" (on FSB2 [misprinted as "The Bold English Navy"], FSB2CD)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Rambleaway" (lyrics)
cf. "Oh, No, Not I" (lyrics)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Kettle Smock
The Moon Shining Brightly
Navvy Boots
NOTES: Between plot and lyrics (the girl's greeting and warning; also the way the young man dresses up), this makes me think it might be a sailor's/miner's adaption of "Rambleaway." - RBW
It may well be related, but inasmuch as there are few lyrics in common, and "Pit Boots" and its relatives are always sung from the man's point of view whereas "Rambleaway" is usually from the woman's, I think they qualify as separate songs.
I don't see any connection with "Rambleaway" other than the fellow's character. I don't see any words that "Rambleaway" has in common with any versions of "The Courting Coat" I've seen. - PJS
In McDermott's version on IRHardySons the singer is, at the end, brought to court and forced to pay five bob a week support. - BS
Last updated in version 2.6
File: RcWMPBO

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.