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Now All You Lads

[ Roud 1210 ; Ballad Index CopSe226 ; trad.]

Now All You Lads is a song fragment from the repertoire of the Copper Family. It is printed in The Copper Family Song Book and in Bob Copper's book A Song for Every Season, but I don't know of any recording if it. They commented:

This was the shortest song Jim knew and he had developed a terrific speed in the chorus “Twenty, eighteen, etc.” and thereby frequently qualified for the free pint of beer offered by the landlord of the local inn to the first man to sing a song.

In fact, even if this ditty has its own Roud number, its first verse seems to be from the end of Poor Man's Sorrows (Roud 1572) and the counting verse can be found in Madam I Have Come to Court You (Roud 542).

Andy Turner learned Now All You Lads from the Copper Family and sang it as the August 6, 2015 entry of his project A Folk Song a Week.

Lyrics

The Copper Family sing Now All You Lads

Now all you lads that go a-courting
Mind which way you choose a wife,
For if you marry my wife's sister
You'll be a beggar for the rest of your life.

Twenty, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen,
Twelve, ten, eight, six, four, two, none,
Nineteen, seventeen, fifteen, thirteen,
Eleven, nine, seven, five, three, and one.