#01733
Green Broom (Maud Karpeles)

There was an old man and he lived in the west,
And his trade was a-cutting of broom, green broom;
He had but one son and his name it was John,
And he lied abed till 'twas noon, bright noon,
And he lied abed till 'twas noon.

The old man arose and to his son goes,
And swore he'd set fire to his room, his room,
If he would not rise and unbutton his eyes,
And away to the woods for green broom, green broom,
And away to the woods for green broom.

Then Jack he did rise and did sharpen his knives,
And he went to the woods cutting broom, green broom;
To market and fair, crying everywhere:
O fair maids, do you want any broom, green broom?
O fair maids, do you want any broom?

A lady sat up in her window so high,
And she heard Johnny crying green broom, green broom;
She rang for her maid and unto her she said:
O go fetch me that lad that cries broom, green broom,
O go fetch me that lad that cries broom.

Then John he came back, and upstairs he did go,
And he entered that fair lady's room, her room,
Dear Johnny, said she, O can you fancy me,
Will you marry a lady in bloom, in bloom?
Will you marry a lady in bloom?

Then John gave his consent, and unto the church went,
And married this lady in bloom, in bloom,
Said she: I protest there is none in the west
Is so good as the lad who sells broom, green broom,
Is so good as the lad who sells broom.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional variant of an English ballad collected in 1907 from John Farkell of Bridgewater, Somerset, and published as #49 in One Hundred English Folksongs, edited by Cecil Sharp [1859-1924] (Oliver Ditson Company, Boston, 1916). Also a variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Green Broom, published by W Armstrong (Liverpool) sometime between 1820 and 1824, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: 2806 c.17(156) ....####
A similar variant was collected by Maud Karpeles [1885-1976] and published as #76, Green Broom, in Folk Songs From Newfoundland (Faber & Faber, London, 1971).


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