Creeping and Crawling

DESCRIPTION: The young man, creeping and crawling, seduces the maid, taking a knife to cut the tie on her drawers. He leaves her to lament nine months later.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1907 (Sharp mss., a "Sally My Dear" version with the words bowdlerized)
KEYWORDS: bawdy childbirth sex seduction lament clothes
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South)) US(So) Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Randolph/Legman-RollMeInYourArms I, pp. 33-39, "Creeping and Crawling" (7 texts, 2 tunes)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 178, "The Knife in the Window" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-EnglishCountrySongbook, #76, "The Knife in the Window" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lehr/Best-ComeAndIWillSingYou 89, "Pretty Polly" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #329
James "Iron Head" Baker, "Crawling and Creeping" (AFS 717 A1, 1936)
Harry Cox, "The Knife in the Window" (on FSB2CD)
A. L. Lloyd, "Pretty Polly" (on BirdBush1, BirdBush2)
Asa Martin, "Crawling and Creeping" (Oriole 8452, 1935)

cf. "Hares on the Mountain" (tune)
Pretty Polly
The Snoring Maid
Lay Your Leg over Me Do
Nancy and Johnny
The Young Doctor
NOTES [97 words]: In England, this song regularly mixes with "Hares on the Mountain," with which it shares a tune. But the plots are different; I happily keep them separate though Roud lumps them. - RBW
The Lloyd recording provocatively contains the chorus "Lay your leg over me, over me, do" And at least one recorded version of "Sally, My Dear" -- an American one -- contains the "cutting the trousers" motif. So if "Sally, My Dear" is truly part of the "Hares on the Mountain" family, then "Creeping and Crawling" (or the "Pretty Polly" variant of it) is another link to "Roll Your Leg Over." - PJS
Last updated in version 5.2
File: RL033

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