Basket of Eggs, The

DESCRIPTION: Two sailors offer to carry a girl's basket. She says it contains eggs. The sailors go to an ale-house. The landlord opens the basket and finds a baby. The sailors offer to pay any woman who will take the child. The girl takes the money and the child
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 28(166))
LONG DESCRIPTION: Two sailors, out walking, spy a young girl and offer to carry her basket for her. She accepts, telling them it contains eggs, and asking them to leave it for her at the Half-way House. The sailors, laughing at the maid's foolishness, go to an ale-house and order up bacon to go with the eggs they have stolen. The landlord opens the basket and finds, not eggs, but a baby. Appalled, the sailors offer 50 guineas to any woman who will take the child. The girl (sitting in the corner) takes the money and the child, then informs the sailor that he is the child's father. The sailor accepts his responsibility, but angrily kicks the basket, swearing he'll never like eggs anymore.
KEYWORDS: seduction money humorous baby sailor trick landlord
FOUND IN: Britain(England (Lond,South,West),Scotland (Aber,Shetlands))
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Greig #100, pp. 2-3, "The Foundling Baby" (1 text plus 1 fragment)
GreigDuncan2 307, "The Foundling Baby" (8 texts, 8 tunes)
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, pp. 18-19, "The Basket of Eggs" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-Sharp 10, "The Basket of Eggs" (1 text)
Reeves-Circle 35, "Eggs in Her Basket" (1 text)
RoudBishop #4, "Bssket of Eggs" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacSeegTrav 49, "Eggs In Her Basket" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord, pp. 144-145, "The Foundling Child" (1 text)
DT, BASKETEG*

Roud #377
RECORDINGS:
Minty Smith, "The Basket of Eggs" (on Voice11)
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 28(166), "Basket of Eggs" ("Through Sandbach fields two sailors walking"), W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Quare Bungo Rye" (baby in basket motif)
cf. "The Child in the Budget" (baby in basket motif)
cf. "The Parcel from a Lady (Under Her Apron)" (plot)
cf. "I Wish My Granny Saw Ye" (plot)
cf. "The Brisk Young Butcher" (plot)
cf. "The Oyster Girl" [Laws Q13] (mysterious--read female--"box" motif)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Sailor's Child
Two Sailors Walking
File: VWL018

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.