Underneath Her Apron

Underneath Her Apron
There was a little maiden sweeping of the room,
She undone her apron strings to give her belly room;
The old man gazed upon her said, “What have you been at?
Or what have you got underneath your apron?”.
As sung by Danny Brazil in the Tabard Bar, Gloucester 9 May 1966 (Springthyme 66.5.25 & 67.1.11). In: Shepheard, Peter. Folk Songs and Ballads of the Brazil Family of Gloucester (1967).

There was a little maiden sweeping of the room,
She undone her apron strings to give her belly room;
The old man gazed upon her said, “What have you been at?
Or what have you got underneath your apron?”

“Nothing dearest Daddy, nothing at all,” said she,
“It’s only a little gown it is too long for me;
To keep it from dangling down below my knee,
I’ve been and fold it underneath my apron.”

When her little babe was born, it was born without a Dad,
The old man in the corner he sadly smiled not glad;
And then he gazed upon her and this is what he said,
“For I know you had it underneath your apron.”

“Was it by a tinker or was it by a clown?
Or was it by a man who fought for England’s crown?” [fought pronounced fowt
“It wasn’t by a tinker, it wasn’t by a clown,
It was by the little sailor boy that ploughs the ocean round.”

“Was it In the kitchen or was it in the hall?
Or was it in the garden where the flowers grow tall?”
“It wasn’t in the kitchen, it wasn’t in the hall,
It was down the bottom of our backyard smick-smack against the wall.”

Come all you little maidens a warning take by me,
Don’t never trust a sailor an inch above your knee;
For if you do you surely rue he’ll pull your colours down,
And he’ll plant his union jack beneath your apron.


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