DESCRIPTION: Singer meets a lass at the Overgate; she eats as much as an elephant, then invites him to her bed. A policeman pushes him downstairs. He complains that he's lost his valuables; she retorts that she's lost her maidenhead "and that's a damn sight worse."
EARLIEST DATE: 1954 (recording, Belle Stewart)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Singer meets a lass at the Overgate (Dundee market) and takes her to a restaurant, where she eats as much as an elephant, then invites him to her house for the night. When he arrives, a policeman gives him a "whirly-jig" and pushes him downstairs. He complains that he's lost his waistcoat, watch and purse; she retorts that she's lost her maidenhead "and that's a damn sight worse." He envisions going home to Auchtermuchty and vows he'll never forget Dundee
KEYWORDS: sex robbery food humorous police warning money drink
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Porter/Gower-Jeannie-Robertson-EmergentSingerTransformativeVoice #51, pp. 207-208, "The Overgate" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 187, "The Overgate" (1 text plus another in the appendix, 1 tune)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 47, "The Overgate" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gatherer-SongsAndBalladsOfDundee 31, "The Overgate A"; The Overgate B"; 32, "The Beefcan Close" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
DT, OVERGATE* OVERGAT2*
Belle Stewart, "The Overgate" (on Voice20)
Belle Stewart & Hamish Henderson, "The Overgate" (on FSB2CD)
cf. "Seventeen Come Sunday" (tune, plot), plus all the other "seduced and robbed" songs
cf. "The Shift and the Apron"
NOTES [157 words]: Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland says that this may be based on "As I Roved Out" (his version of "Seventeen Come Sunday"). This is a bit strong; Kennedy has lumped obvious "Seventeen Come Sunday" variants under "The Overgate." But cross-fertilization certainly took place; the two share tunes, choruses, and theme. There are hints of elements from other songs of this type as well. - RBW
Yates, Musical Traditions site Voice of the People suite "Notes - Volume 20" - 15.1.04: "The song 'A Waukrife Minnie,' which Burns sent to the Scots Musical Museum (1790) would seem to be an antecedent of the song." That may be true of "Seventeen Come Sunday" [Laws O17], but I think that's as close as it comes. - BS
I've lumped two versions together here; in one (Belle Stewart's) the young man is chased out by a policeman, while in the other (Jeannie Robertson's) he hides his money but awakens in an alley. Still essentially the same story. - PJS
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