#01522
The Elderman's Lady (Kenneth Peacock)

An elderman lived in the city,
And he keeped a beautiful maid;
And she being wonderful witty,
His fortune soon comely betrayed.

Her master came to her one evening,
And enticed her to sit on his knee,
Saying, "Many fine presents I'll give you,
If Nancy, my dear, you'll love me."

"I will neither trust you nor try you,
Neither you or no one in this place;
Neither you or no rogue in this nation
Shan't bring me to shame or disgrace.

"If I should prove child all by my master,
And he the same thing would deny,
My poor innocent baby must suffer,
And I in some prison must lie."

"Oh, Nancy, I'll take you to your mother
That lives in fair Dorsetshire;
Your poor innocent baby I'll smother,
And no one won't know it, my dear."

"Oh, you won't take me to my mother
That lives in fair Dorsetshire;
My poor innocent baby you won't smother,
That no one won't know it, my dear."

When he found he no way could delude her,
To the church he took her straightway;
He made her an elderman's lady,
Of a man who was aged and gray.

Oh, now she's an elderman's lady,
And she in her carriage do ride;
And he do keep servants to wait all on her,
And a footman to run by her side.

####.... Author unknown ....####
Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 from Mrs Charlotte Decker [1884-1967] of Parson's Pond, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.783-784, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that the word elderman could be either an alternative for alderman, or simply an older person of high social rank. In former times aldermen had much higher rank than they do nowadays (1965) and were often governors of whole districts or members of the nobility.

In a second, quite similar variant collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 from Isaac Freeman Bennett [1896-1981] of St Paul's, NL, Nancy's mother lives in Gloucestershire.



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