The Golden Glove

Bob Lewis: On Autumn Harvest ah09: Bob Lewis: Drive Sorrows Away. Recorded at the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2009.

A nobleman's daughter is due to marry a young squire but during the wedding ceremony she falls for the young farmer who has been chosen to give her away. She pretends illness and calls off the wedding. She then dresses in disguise in men's clothing, manages to meet the young farmer and discovers that he loves her. She gives him a gold embroidered glove that she says she has found. Once she is home again she announces she will marry the first man who finds her glove. The farmer brings the glove, she marries him and she tells him of the trick she has played. The ballad has been collected numerous times throughout the British Isles and in North America and was often printed on broadsides and in chapbooks (Roud 141; GD 1.166; Laws N20).

1: It’s of a young squire near Plymouth we hear,
Some nobleman’s daughter he courted so fair;
He asked for to marry her, it was his intent,
That all friends and relations might give their consent.

2: Now the time was appointed for their wedding day,
A young farmer was chosen to give the bride away;
But as soon as that lady this young farmer did spy,
It inflamed her heart, “Oh, my heart,” she did cry.

3: She then turned from that squire, it’s nothing she said,
Instead of getting married she took to her bed;
The thoughts of that young farmer they so ran in her mind,
That a way for to have him she quickly did find.

4: Coat, waistcoat and trousers she then did put on,
A-hunting she went with her dog and her gun;
She hunted all around where that young farmer did dwell,
Because in her heart she loved him so well.

5: Now she oft-times she fired but nothing could kill,
At length that young farmer, he came into the field;
For to discourse with him, it was her intent,
With her dog and her gun for to meet him she went.

6: “I thought you’d been at the wedding, the wedding,” she cried,
“To wait on that squire and give him his bride.”
“Oh no, I’d rather take a sword all in my hand,
And by honour I would gain her if ever she command.”

7: Now that lady was pleased for to find him so bold,
She gave him a glove that was flowered all in gold;
She told him she had found it while coming along,
As she was a-hunting with her dog and her gun.

8: Now that lady went home with her heart full of love,
She gave out a notice that she had lost her glove;
And the man that do find it and bring it to me,
Whoever he may be my husband shall be.

9: Now that farmer was pleased for to hear of this news,
With his heart full of love to that lady he goes;
“Dear honoured lady, I’ve picked up your glove,
I hope you are pleased and will grant me your love.”

10: “’Tis already granted,” the lady replied,
“I love the sweet breath of a farmer,” she cried;
“I’ll be mistress of my dairy and go milking my cow,
While my jolly young farmer is a whistling at plough.”

11: Now when they got married, she told of the fun,
How she went a-hunting with her dog and her gun;
And now she has got him so fast in her snare,
She’ll love him for ever I vow and declare.

c p 2010 Autumn Harvest :