The Squire and the Milkmaid

The Squire and the Milkmaid
Pretty Betsy was a milkmaid and a milkmaid was she,
With her milking pails round her she was low I agree;
“Do you want any milk pretty Betsy,” she said,
“Oh yes said the squire, step you in pretty maid.”
As sung by Danny Brazil, Gloucester 27 Apr 1966 (Springthyme 66.4.20). Also Lemmy Brazil, Gloucester 29 September 1967 (Springthyme 67.6.38). In: Shepheard, Peter. Folk Songs and Ballads of the Brazil Family of Gloucester (1967).

Pretty Betsy was a milkmaid and a milkmaid was she,
With her milking pails round her she was low I agree;
“Do you want any milk pretty Betsy,” she said,
“Oh yes said the squire, step you in pretty maid.”

“Step you in pretty fair maid and set down by me,
Let’s you and I get married if we can agree.”
“To get married to you sir, my age is too young, [Lines 3, 4 added from Lemmy
To get married to you sir my time is not come.”

Through fields and through meadows this young couple walked,
For to hear how the squire to the milkmaid did talk;
“It’s if you don’t ale out in yonders green field, [ale out ?
First love I will force you and then you I will kill.”

With kicking and struggling pretty Betsy got free,
And with his own weapon she’s pierced his body;
For she pierced his body and the blood it did flow,
And she left him laid bleeding near the blackberry fold.

Pretty Betsy went home with a tear in her eye,
“I have vownded the squire,” to the master she cried. [vownded: wounded
“I have vownded the squire in his body quite deep,
And I’ve let him laid bleeding near the blackberry fold.”

A carriage was sent for to fetch him home,
And likewise a doctor to heal up his vownds; [heal pronounced hale; vownds: wounds
They healed up his vownd and they put him to bed,
And the milkmaid was sent for to bind up his head.

Blue ribbons, blue ribbons, orange and green,
She’s dressed in blue ribbons she’s now to be seen;
He made her his lady in the room of a hall,
For it’s best to live honest if you’re ever so poor.


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