Besom Maker, The
DESCRIPTION: The singer, a besom maker, out gathering broom, meets "a rakish squire," "Jack Sprat, the miller," and "a buxom farmer" and has [coded] sex with each. She has a baby and gives up besom making for nursing.
EARLIEST DATE: before 1845 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(244))
KEYWORDS: sex farming childbirth bawdy miller
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Reeves-Circle 55, "Green Besoms" (3 texts)
VaughanWilliams/Palmer, #77, "Bizzoms" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(244), "The Besom Maker" ("I am a besom maker, listen to my tale"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Harding B 11(245), Harding B 11(3283), Firth b.34(19), "The Besom Maker"
cf. "Buy Broom Besoms (I Maun Hae a Wife)" (chorus)
cf. "Fine Broom Besoms (When I Was wi' Barney)" (chorus)
cf. "The Miller and the Lass" (theme: sex and a miller; grinding corn as the metaphor)
NOTES [66 words]: The "code": "I wrote to him [the squire] the tune, I eased him of his gink"; "His [the miller] mill I rattled round, I ground the grits so clean, I eas'd him of his gink"; he [the farmer] plough'd his furrows deep, and laid his corn so low, He left it there to keep her, like green broom to grow." Then, "when the corn grew up to its native toil, A pretty sweet young baby soon on me did smile." - BS
Last updated in version 4.2
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 2019 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.