#01425
The Crafty Boy (Greenleaf/Mansfield)
(The Crafty Farmer)
See also: The Yorkshire Boy (MacEdward Leach)
(The Yorkshire Bite)

There was an old farmer in Yorkshire did dwell,
And a pretty little Yorkshire boy he had for his man;
A pretty little Yorkshire boy he had for his man,
And for to do his business, his name it was John.
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

Oh, the farmer called down to his man John,
And unto him his man John he came;
Saying, "Take this cow to the fair today,
She's in proper good order and her I can spare."
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

Oh, the boy took the cow and away rode he,
The boy took the cow and away rode he;
He hadn't been long gone till he met two men,
When he sold them the cow for six pound ten.
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

Oh, the butcher he took the boy in for a drink,
Oh, the butcher he paid down the boy his jink;
And turning to the landlord, thus he did say,
"What shall I do with the money, I pray?"
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

"I will sew it in the linings of my coat, then," says he,
"For I'm afraid on the highway it's robbed I might be."
Says the man to himself, while drinking up his wine,
Says he to himself, "That money is mine."
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

Oh, the boy took his money and away rode he,
The highwayman followed after him also;
"You're well overtaken, young man," says he,
"How many mile further?" the robber did reply.
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

"Oh, four miles further," the boy did reply,
"Then jump on my horseback and jump up behind;
Then jump on my horseback and jump up behind."
So the boy jumped the horseback and away rode they.
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

Oh, they rode till they came to some dark lane,
Says the robber unto Jack, "I must tell you plain,
Deliver up your money without any strife,
Or instantly I will end your life."
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

Oh, the boy thought it was no time to dispute,
From the linings of his coat all the money he pulled out;
From the linings of his coat all his money he pulled out,
And among the long grass he scattered it about.
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

Oh, the robber he unlighted for to gather in his money,
But little did he think it was to his loss;
While gathering the money in his purse,
The boy jumped a-horseback and rode away with his horse.
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

"Oh," says the boy to the farmer, "I must tell you plain,
It's robbed I was by a highwayman;
And while he was gathering his money in his purse,
For to make you amends I brought home his horse."
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

Oh, the farmer he laughed whilst his two sides he hold,
"That's for a boy you was very bold;
And as for that villain you served him right,
And your name shall shine truly through Yorkshire bright."
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

In the pocket of the saddle was there to be found,
The gold and the silver of five thousand pound;
Says the farmer to the boy, "I must tell you clear,
Three parts of the money you shall have for your share.
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

"I will give you my youngest daughter to be your sweet wife,
Take her and live happy all the days of your life;
And my youngest daughter to be your sweet wife,
Take her and live happy all the days of your life."
Timmy right, fol de dol de dol de, right fol de dee.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an 18th-century British broadside ballad, The Yorkshire Bite [Laws L1] American Balladry From British Broadsides, pp.73-79 (G Malcolm Laws,1957). Also a variant of The Crafty Farmer [Child ballad #283] The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) edited by Francis James Child (Dover, 1965). Also a variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, Crafty Ploughboy; or The Highwayman Outwitted, published by H Such (London) sometime between 1849 and 1862, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Firth c.17(18) ....####
This variant was published at the Digital Tradition under file CRAFTYBY without a known source; however, GEST found the source to be the 1929 singing of Daniel W Endacott [1875-1940] of Sally's Cove, NL, published as #20 on pp.44-46, with the title The Little Yorkshire Boy (The Yorkshire Bite) in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland, by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, ©1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, ©1968, all rights reserved).

A variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock and published as The Yorkshire Boy in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.33-38, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also collected by MacEdward Leach, and published as #60, The Yorkshire Bite, in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast by The National Museum of Canada (Ottawa, 1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved. MacEdward Leach also collected a variant in 1951 from Francis (Frank) Knox [1918-?] of St Shott's, NL, which was published as The Yorkshire Boy in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).


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