Beggar Wench, The

DESCRIPTION: A merchant's son meets a beggar girl; they go to bed and, being drunk, sleep soundly. She awakens first, takes his clothes and gear, and leaves. He awakes to find only the girl's clothes, which he puts on, swearing never to sleep with a beggar again
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1847 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 6(48))
KEYWORDS: sex theft clothes cross-dressing trick drink begging youth
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Greig/Duncan2 303, "The Merchant and the Beggar Wench" (7 texts, 4 tunes)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 338, "The Beggar Wench" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland1, p. 242, "Willie's Lyke-Wake" (1 fragment, two lines only, the second line of which is found in Child's "C" text of "Willie's Lyke-Wake" [Child 25], but a similar line is found in "The Beggar Wench," and the first line of this fragment, "Kind sir, if you please," may fit better with this piece)

Roud #2153
Davie Stewart, "The Merchant's Son [and the Beggar Wench]" (on FSB02, FSB2CD, Voice13)
Bodleian, Harding B 6(48), "The Merchant's Son, and the Beggar Wench of Hull ("You gallants all, I pray draw near"), J. Turner (Coventry), 1797-1846; also Douce Ballads 4(5), Douce Ballads 3(66b), "The Merchant's Son, and the Beggar-Wench of Hull"
cf. "The Shirt and the Apron" [Laws K42] (plot) and references there
The Merchant's Son
NOTES [30 words]: The plot is, of course, virtually identical to "The Shirt and the Apron" -- but as the protagonist is a merchant rather than a sailor, and the lady is a beggar, they get split. - PJS
Last updated in version 2.4
File: K338

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