Summary

A popular ballad. The lyrics, taken from Roxburghe Ballads:

ALL in the merry month of may,
The maids a may-pole they will have,
Your helping hand I do crave;
For theres never a Man shall sup,
Till I have drank my cup,
For I am belov’d by all,
The great and the small.
For my name it is Arthur o’Bradley O.
      O rare Arthur o’B[r]adly,
      O fine Arthur o’Bradley, O.

And as I went forth one day,
I met a maid by the way;
I took her by the hand,
Desiring her to stand;
For ‘tis love conquers kings,
And a sorrowful heart brings,
For if you lov[’]d your mother,
Love me and no other.
      For my name, etc.

Then Arthur a wooing went.
To gain her friends consent,
And beauty he must have,
Because he is rich and brave,
His sweetheart had but one eye,
Her nose stood all awry,
Her mouth from ear to ear.
Her teeth as rotten as a pear,
With a hump upon her back,
For a crump she did not lack,
With bandy legs also,
A wheelbarrow may go through.
      And her name it was Draggletail Dorothy.

I’ll ask my mother’s leave,
So then they went with speed.
Good-morrow, mother said he,
You’re welcome son, said she,
One question of you I do crave.
Your Daughter for to have,
For I love her as my life,
And will make her my wife.
      For my name, etc.

The old woman cry’d,
And call’d her daughter aside,
O daughter sweet cries she,
What makes you so eager be?
To be a bumkin’s bride,
When better will lie by your side,
You lie, you old whore, cries he,
I can have as good as she.
      For my name, etc.

When death my father calls,
He vows to leave me all.
A wooden wedge and maul,
And a jolly clout withal;
With barrels, bukets, looms,
And a dozen of wooden spoons,
A cheese-fat and ladder,
With two chums laid together.
A basket and a wimble,
A pack-needle and thimble.
Nine barn rakes and a frail,
Besides an old cart-nail;
And at last falls to my lot,
A sweet old mustard-pot,
      For my name, etc.

And a wedding we will have,
So jolly, fine and brave,
I’ll bid my neighbours round,
One out of every town,
Old mother Hobbs of Spalding,
Moll Becks of Walding,
John Sly of Eversham,
Old Grace of Evengham;
Barbling Grey of Sutton,
Ralph Swill of Dutton.
      For my name, etc.

Then Arthur about her did walk
To interrupt her talk,
Adzooks mother, said he,
I can have as good as she.
My father in his will left me all,
When Death does him call,
Some good old looms,
With a dozen of wooden spoons.
And a dozen of buttons hanging upon a string,
One left-hand mitten, and an old curtain ring;
Spiggots and fausits five,
Besides an old bee hive,
With a chamber pot as good,
As ever was made of wood.
      For my name, etc.

References

Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.

1669