#02914
Lish Young Buy A Broom (Shanneyganock) video
#1429: YouTube video by TheNewfoundlandMusic
©2016 ~ Used with permission ~

As I was a-travellin' in the north count-e-ry,
Down by Kirkby Stephen fair I hap for to be;
As I was a-walkin' up and down the street,
I met a little dancer with her tiny hands and feet.

She was right, I was tight,
everybody has their way,
It was the lish young buy-a-broom
that led me astray.

She kindly then asked me to go along the way,
Yes was the answer to her that I did say;
We each had a bottle filled up to the top,
Whenever we were feeling dry we took a little drop.

She was right, I was tight,
everybody has their way,
It was the lish young buy-a-broom
that led me astray.

Night comin' on, the good lodgings we did find,
Plenty of good food and tankards of good wine;
Good sheets and blankets just for we two,
So I rolled her in me arms,
and b'ys, wouldn't you do too?

She was right, I was tight,
everybody has their way,
It was the lish young buy-a-broom
that led me astray.

Early the next morning we rose to go our way,
Called for the landlord to see what was to pay;
Fourteen and sixpence just for ye two,
And a fiver on the table there
me darling then she threw.

She was right, I was tight,
everybody has their way,
It was the lish young buy-a-broom
that led me astray.

The reason that we parted I now will let you hear,
She started off for Germany right at the next year;
Me not being willing to cross the raging sea,
Here's a health to be a buy-a-broom
wherever you may be.

She was right, I was tight,
everybody has their way,
It was the lish young buy-a-broom
that led me astray.

She was right, I was tight,
everybody has their way,
It was the lish young buy-a-broom
that led me astray.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Lish Young Buy-A-Broom, published by J Harkness (Preston) sometime between 1840 and 1866, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 20(100) ....####
The video and lyrics above feature a variant arranged and recorded by Shanneyganock (Live at O'Reilly's, Vol.1, trk#8, 2000, recorded live at O'Reilly's Pub, St John's NL).

See more songs by Shanneyganock.

From the Community Website:
Kirkby Stephen - small town in the Upper Eden valley which was formerly in the old county of Westmorland, now Cumbria, a non-metropolitan county in northwest England, United Kingdom. This is an area of Cumbria much less well known than the Lake District, but equally appealing. A traditional market town of historic buildings, cobbled yards, quaint corners and interesting shops, it is surrounded by a landscape of pastoral rural scenery and wild uplands. Being remote from large towns and population centres, Kirkby Stephen has developed a strong and self-sufficient identity and a vibrant sense of community.

From Matthew Edwards as posted in the Mudcat Cafe:
In 1953, Len Irving of Wreay, Cumberland, was recorded singing this song. He had been singing it for forty years, and introduced it by saying that William Graham, the Cumberland Poacher, was said to have written it. Graham was tried in 1857 for killing a gamekeeper and subsequently transported to Western Australia.

From Wright's English Dialect Dictionary:
Lish - lithe, supple, nimble, agile, active.

From Tim Hart & Maddy Prior (Folk Songs of Olde England Vol. 1, 1968): Lish - in northern English dialect, possibly Cumbrian, meaning lithe or good looking.

From Souvenirs Of A Summer In Germany In 1836, Volume 2, by M F Dickson:
The dress of the women about here is exactly like that of the German broom-sellers in England.... Numbers of them used to be sent over from this neighbourhood to London; but of late the sovereign powers of Hesse, having sundry misgivings about trusting their fair subjects so far from paternal surveillance, have forbidden their going out of sight of the red and white stripe under heavy penalties.

From Keats by Andrew Motion, University of Chicago Press, 1999:
Foreign-looking women, from Holland or the Savoy, peddled their miniature brooms of poplar wood and cried: "Buy a broom! Buy a broom! A large one for a lady, a small one for a baby! Buy a broom! Buy a broom!"



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