Frolicksome Farmer, The
DESCRIPTION: The farmer pays his dairy maid to wait up for him on market days. One night his wife sends Betsey to her room and waits in the dark kitchen for her husband. The husband gives her money for sex. The wife dismisses Betsey and kicks her husband out.
EARLIEST DATE: 1904 (Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople)
LONG DESCRIPTION: The farmer has Betsey the dairy maid wait up for him when he comes home late on market days, and pays her half-a-crown for sex. One night his wife sends Betsey to her room and waits in the dark kitchen for her husband. Her husband does all the talking -- promising to buy a new gown -- and gives her the half-crown for sex. The next morning the wife gives Betsey the half-crown, tells her she has a gown coming from her husband, dismisses her, and kicks her husband out. Moral: "So all you cunning husbands that stay out late at night, Be always sure when you come home to choose candle light"
KEYWORDS: adultery sex farming money warning
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 55, "Lancashire Lass" (1 text)
Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 189, "The Frolicksome Farmer" ("'Tis of a brisk young farmer, in ---shire did dwel[l]"), J. Catnach (London), 1813-1838; also Harding B 11(4384), Harding B 17(101a), "The Frolicksome Farmer"
cf. "Crockery Ware" (theme: the hazards of sex in the dark)
cf. "The Butcher's Daughter" (theme: the hazards of sex in the dark)
cf. "Kiss Me in the Dark" (theme: the hazards of sex in the dark)
NOTES [107 words]: Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople would separate his "Lancashire Lass" text from "The Frolicksome Farmer" broadsides: "I have discovered no [other] text of this song, so that the obviously defective lines cannot be supplied. 'The Frolicksome Farmer,' a broadside ..., relates the same story in a fuller and rather more refined form." The "obvious defective lines" comment about "Lancashire Lass" refers to irregular rhyming and verses with missing lines. While almost no lines are shared between "Lancashire Lass" and the broadsides the story lines are so close that the former seems to me to be a badly remembered version of the broadsides. - BS
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