#01140 Print This Page
When I was young, scarce twenty-one, I followed a roving trade,
And all the harm ever I done was court a fair pretty maid;
I courted her a summer season, part of the winter, too,
And I ofttimes wished her in my arms out of the foggy dew.
One night as I lay on my bed she came to my bedside,
The tears rolled down her rosy cheeks, most bitterly she cried,
Wringing her hands, tearing her hair, crying, "What shall I do?"
"Pull off your clothes, jump in the bed out of the foggy dew."
Oh, all the first part of the night how we did sport and play,
And all the latter part of the night 'twas in my arms she lay,
Until the daylight did appear, crying, "What shall I do?"
"Arise, fair maid, don't be afraid, for gone is the foggy dew."
I took this girl, I married her, I thought I'd done my part;
She proved to me as a virtuous wife, I loved her to my heart.
I never told her of any of her faults or I never intended to,
But every time she laughs or smiles makes me think of the foggy dew.
"If I should have a child, my dear, 'twould cause us both to smile,
If I should have another, we'd wait a little while;
If I should have another, my dear, another, another, plus two,
We'd both give up to sow no more but think on the foggy dew.
Collected in 1958 from Mrs. Freeman Bennett [1908-2006] and Mr. Everett Bennett of St. Paul's, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.518-519, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.
Kenneth Peacock noted that this Newfoundland variant is similar to one collected by Cecil Sharp in England in 1904 and quoted in The Idiom Of The People by James Reeves who considers it "the oldest [variant] we possess." Several pages of Mr. Reeves' book are devoted to this one song, and he offers a fascinating theory regarding the origin and symbolic meaning of 'the foggy dew.'