#02300
The Yorkshire Boy - Var A (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: The Crafty Boy (Digital Tradition)

Click to jump down to Variant B

Click to jump down to Variant C

There was an old farmer in Yorkshire did dwell,
And a pretty little Yorkshire boy he had as well,
And a pretty little Yorkshire boy he had for his man
And for to do his business, his name it was John.
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

One day he called unto his man John,
And unto the farmer young John did come.
"Here is an old cow, you will take her to the fair,
She's in proper good order I vow and declare."
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

Jack went to the barn and he opened the door,
He led out the cow with the rope on her horns.
He had not been long gone when he met with three men,
And he sold them the cow for six pounds ten.
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

The day being warm he stopped for to drink,
And to the landlord he paid down his jink;
And turning to the landlord this he did say:
"What shall I do with my money, I pray?"
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

"Sew it in the lining of your coat," said he,
"For fear on the highway it's robbed you might be."
Said a man to himself oh a-drinking up his wine,
Said he to himself, "That money will be mine."
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

Jack put the money in his coat so safe,
And he walked along till it was quite late.
Said the robber to himself, "There's plenty of time,
I'll just sit here and finish my wine."
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

Then he jumped on his horse and away did ride,
Till four miles further young Jack he spied
Saying, "If you want to ride just jump up behind."
"Oh thank you," said Jack, "you are so very kind."
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

They rod' till they came to some dark lane,
Said the robber unto Jack, "I must tell you plain,
Deliver up your money without any strife,
Or instantly I will end your life."
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

Without any dispute Jack did as he was told,
From the lining of his coat he took all the gold,
From the lining of his coat all the money he pulled out,
And among the long grass he scattered it about.
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

Oh, the robber alighted down from his horse,
But little did he think it was to his loss,
And while he was gathering the money in his purse,
The boy jumped on horse-back, rod' off with his horse.
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

The robber cried out, "Stop, thief, stop!"
But Jack did not listen and away did hop.
It's home to his master he now did bring
Both bridle and saddle and many a fine thing.
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

Oh the girls they were standing in to the door,
They soon called the master all with a great roar.
The master he came out with an oath and a curse,
"My old cow she has been turned into a horse!"
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

Said the boy to his master, "I must tell you plain,
It's robbed I was in some dark lane,
While the robber was gathering the money in his purse
For to make up the remainder I brought home his horse."
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

Said the master to the boy, "You are not very old,
And being but a boy you were very bold,
And as for the villain you served him just right,
And your name shall be known through Yorkshire bright."
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

In the pocket of the saddle 'twas there to be behold,
Five thousand pounds in silver and gold,
A brace of pistols and jewels, I vow.
Said the master, "Young John, you have well sold the cow."
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

Said the master to young John, "I must tell you clear,
Three parts of that money you shall have for your share.
And as for the villain who lost all his store
Oh he can go and rob until he gets more!"
To me right fall the rall the dall,
the right fall the day.

This variant was collected in 1960 from Leonard Hulan [1881-1964] of Jeffrey's, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.33-35, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that much of the text of variant A was taken from a fourteen-verse variant by George William Decker [1878-1962] of Rocky Harbour, NL. Most other variants are of the shorter type like B and C below.


The Yorkshire Boy - Var B (Kenneth Peacock)

Click to jump up to Variant A

Click to jump down to Variant C

'Tis of an old farmer in London did dwell,
He had just one daughter and I loved her well;
When his cattle was gathered they had one to spare,
Saying, "Johnny, my boy, you must go to the fair."
Jack sung, "Fall the doll, fall the doll day."

He went to the barn and he opened the door,
He led out the cow with the rope on her horns,
And on his way going he met with three men,
Jack sold them the cow for sixteen pounds ten.
Jack sung, "Fall the doll, fall the doll day."

He went to the landlord and this he did say,
"Oh Where shall l hide all my money away?"
"You may sew it up in your coat-lining," said he,
"For feared on the way some robbers you'd see."
Jack sung, "Fall the doll, fall the doll day."

As Jack was out going along his own way,
He met with three robbers and this they did say:
"Come deliver up your money without any strife,
Or else with this knife I'll take your damned life."
Jack sung, "Fall the doll, fall the doll day."

Wrapped up in his coat-lining the money pulled out,
'Twas there on the ground where it was scattered about;
As the robbers was picking it up in their purse,
Jack said not one word but he jumped on their horse.
Jack sung, "Fall the doll, fall the doll day."

The robbers roared out and they bid him to stay,
Jack said not one word but he rode on his way,
Straight up to his master and this he did bring:
Horse, bridle and saddle, 'twas a very fine thing.
Jack sung, "Fall the doll, fall the doll day."

Wrapped up in the saddle and there did behold
A very large fortune of silver and gold,
Three braces of pistols, and jewels, I vow,
Saying, "Johnny, my boy, you've a-well sold the cow."
Jack sung, "Fall the doll, fall the doll day."

"Oh now for your bravery and courage today,
Now half of this money must go to your pay,
I will give you my daughter to make her your wife,
And you can crack on her all the rest of your life."
Jack sung, "fall the doll, fall the doll day."

This variant was collected in 1958 from Isaac Freeman Bennett [1896-1981] of St Paul's, NL by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.36-37, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that in another, very similar, eight-verse variant collected in 1959 from Mrs Clara Sophia Stevens [1916-1978] of Bellburns, NL, the last line reads:
"And you can play hop-scotch all the rest of your life."

The Yorkshire Boy - Var C (MacEdward Leach)

Click to jump up to Variant A

Click to jump up to Variant B

There was an old farmer in London did dwell
He had but one servant whose name it was John
The cows they were gathered, he had one to spare
Saying, "Johnnie, my boy, you must go to the fair."
Jackson, fol-de-rol, fol-de-rol dee.

He went down to the barn and threw open the door
And took out a cow, put a rope on her horns.
On his way to the market he met with three men
And he sold the milch cow for sixteen pound ten.
Jackson, fol-de-rol, fol-de-rol dee.

He went straight to the sheriff and this he did say,
"Where shall l put all this money away?"
"Sew it up in your overcoat lining," said he,
Afraid on the highway a robber may be.
Jackson, fol-de-rol, fol-de-rol dee.

Jack drove on home till he came to a lane
"And now," said a man, "I'll tell you here plain
Deliver your money without any strife
Or else with this knife I will end your sweet life."
Jackson, fol-de-rol, fol-de-rol dee.

He ripped open the lining, the money pulled out,
Among the long grass it scattered about;
While the robber was picking it up in his purse,
Jack made no delay, only drove with his horse.
Jackson, fol-de-rol, fol-de-rol dee.

He bawled and he shouted and he bid him to stay,
Jack made no delay but he drove on his way,
Drove home to his master without saying a thing,
A horse, bridle and saddle a valuable thing.
Jackson, fol-de-rol, fol-de-rol dee.

"And now by your honour and bravery this day
Half of this money to you I will pay.
I'll give you my daughter to be your fine wife
And you can live happy the rest of you life."
Jackson, fol-de-rol, fol-de-rol dee.

MacEdward Leach collected this variant in 1951 from Francis (Frank) Knox [1918-?] of St Shott's, NL, and published it in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Another 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.


####.... Author unknown. The three ballads above are all variants 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 variants of The Crafty Farmer [Child ballad #283] The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) edited by Francis James Child (Dover, 1965). And also variants 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) ....####
Click to jump up to Variant A

Click to jump up to Variant B

Click to jump up to Variant C

Another variant for comparison is The Crafty Boy, collected by the Digital Tradition without a known source as file CRAFTBY.

See more Child Ballad variants from NFLD.


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