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The Foggy Dew

[ Roud 558 ; Laws O3 ; G/D 7:1496 ; Ballad Index LO03 ; Bodleian Roud 558 ; Mudcat 72234 ; trad.]

Everyman's Book of English Country Songs The Foggy Dew The Idiom of the People The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs The Seeds of Love The Singing Island Traditional Tunes Vaughan Williams in Norfolk Volume 2

Douglas Morling sang The Foggy Dew in a recording made by A.L. Lloyd for the BBC at The Eel's Foot in 1938/39. In was included in 2000 on the Veteran CD of traditional singing & music from The Eel's Foot, Good Order! Ladies and Gentlemen Please. Roy Palmer noted:

In 1689, the London printer, J. Millet, issued from Little Britain a sheet headed The Fright'ned York-shire Damosel, or, Fears Dispers'd by Pleasure. The twelve-verse ballad celebrates a man's successful wheeze to inveigle a woman into his bed when his friends frighten her by dressing up as a ghost, or ‘bogulmaroo’. This was probably just a tall story but it took hold and became The Foggy Dew, a sly and mellow song, though too strong for some: in the late 40s and early 50s the BBC banned from the air a record of Peter Pears singing Benjamin Britten's arrangement of the Suffolk version (HMV, D.A. 1873).

Phil Hammond of Holt, Norfolk, sang The Foggy Dew in a recording made by Peter Kennedy for the BBC on 3 November 1952. It was included on the anthology Songs of Seduction (The Folk Songs of Britain Vol. 2, Caedmon 1961; 12T158, 1968). Peter Kennedy noted:

The Foggy Dew an even finer and older piece than Blow the Candle Out, did not come into popular circulation until it was bowdlerised by Carl Sandburg and published as a coy gramophone performance by Benjamin Britten. Since then, the song has been much discussed and sung.

A number of theories about the meaning of this song have been offered. James Reeves points out that “foggy” in Middle English is a coarse, rank marsh grass and thus may stand for maidenhead, while “dew” probably represents virginity or chastity. It is perhaps more likely that the song had an Anglo-Irish origin and that “foggy dew” is an Englishman's attempt to pronounce the Irish orocedhu, which means “dark”, or “black night”. Young ladies reputedly like to be protected from the terrors of the dark. Robert Graves carried this orocedhu idea a step further with the suggestion that the verse has a double meaning, standing first for the black pestilence, which may have been abroad at the time of the song's composition, and second for the black habit worn by nuns. The girl, in such a case, may be asking for refuge from a nunnery.

This present text, perhaps the fullest and most rational yet discovered, came from a Norfolk soldier. Major Philip Hammond was a typical military bilingual speaker with an ability to “talk posh” on one hand and use the King’s English on parade, but amongst his fellow countrymen in the tavern he could converse in his own native Norfolk dialect. He claimed to have learned this version from a local tree feller. Since he could not remember the woodsman’s tune, he used the one popularised by Burl Ives and Benjamin Britten. However, among traditional singers in East Anglia, the most common tune is the one used by Robert Burns for his Ye Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon. Perhaps this air may have been attached to The Foggy Dew words in Scotland, as well.

Luther Hills with Mark Fuller sang The Foggy Dew in a recording made by Peter Kennedy in Luther's smithy at East Denn, Sussex, on 2 December 1952. It was included in 2012 on the Topic anthology of songs by Southern English traditional singers, You Never Heard So Sweet (The Voice of the People Series Volume 21). Shirley Collins noted:

Luther Hills sang this clear and charming version of The Foggy Dew uncluttered by the nods, winks and innuendos that normally attend this song, especially when sung by singers unsympathetic to or ignorant of the tradition.

Harry Cox sang The Foggy Dew in a recording made by Peter Kennedy in Catfield, Norfolk in October 1953 on the 1955 HMV album Folk Song Today, in 1965 on Cox's eponymous EFDSS album Harry Cox, and in 2000 on his Rounder anthology What Will Become of England?. Another recording made by Peter Kennedy at The Windmill, Sutton, Norfolk was released in 1960 on the EMI/HMV EP The Barley Mow: Songs from the Village Inn. Peter Kennedy noted in the Rounder anthology's booklet:

Harry Cox’s tune is the same one that Robert Burns used for his Banks and Braes of Bonny Doon. Possibly Burns appropriated his tune from a Border version of The Foggy Dew. Frank Kidson in 1891, heard a Yorkshire miner using it for The Foggy Dew and Cecil Sharp also found it to be commonly used for Somerset versions.

See Peter Kennedy, ed., Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (London, New York, Sydney, Cologne: Oak Publications, 1984), p. 393, for more on this topic.

A.L. Lloyd sang The Foggy Dew in 1956 on his Riverside album English Drinking Songs and on his Tradition album The Foggy Dew and Other Traditional English Love Songs, on the 1961 Topic reissue EP of English drinking songs, All for Me Grog, and on his Fellside anthology Classic A.L. Lloyd. He noted on the first album:

This true-life story is known in many forms. Sometimes the girl is frightened by a ghost: the “bugaboo”. Sometimes she seems disturbed by the weather: the “foggy dew”. Some say the foggy dew is a virginity symbol; others say the words are there by accident or corruption, and all the girl was pretending to be frightened of was ghosts. Whatever the case, she creeps to the roving bachelor for comfort, and gets what she came for. The Irish have it as a sentimental piece of blarney, the Scots as a brief bawdy guffaw; students have coarsened the song, and Benjamin Britten has refined it. The East Anglian country-folk have it straightest, and sing it without a laugh or a tear or a nudge in the ribs, just as it happened. The Foggy Dew is known all over Britain, yet rarely seen in its full form in print, which is odd, for the song is eminently decent in its best traditional forms. It's not a drinking song, but it's often sung in drinking places.

Shirley Collins recorded The Foggy Dew twice in 1958/59. The first version was published in 1960 on False True Lovers and in 2004 on her anthology Classic Collection; the other is the title track of her 1959/60 Collector EP The Foggy Dew and was also included in 2002 on her anthology Within Sound. Alan Lomax noted on the original recording:

From Cecil Sharp's English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, Volume II, [this] is one of the few of the frankly erotic songs so common in Southern England to survive more or less uncensored in American tradition. Its centre of dispersal seems to have been the Suffolk-Norfolk area, where it still can be heard being roared out in remote country pubs…

And ev-er-y time she cocks her leg,
I thinks of the fo–o–ggy de-ew.

This ribald variant has been frequently broadcast over the BBC, which in spite of its occasional stodginess, makes our American radio and television networks seem old-maidish. However, Miss Collins prefers the version that Sharp found in Calloway, Virginia. I quote her: “I think that this is the most beautiful version of the song to be found anywhere. To me, it's the only version that doesn't have a sneer behind it; it's truly tender and loving.” But James Reeves, the author of The Idiom of the People, says, “it has a rough coherence, but surely none of the subtlety or the emotional and psychological interest of English versions.”—and “it is an example of the hopeless confusion resulting from evident misunderstanding of traditional symbolism.” However, I'm sure for girls everywhere, the Virginian variant wins hands down…

Ewan MacColl sang The Foggy Dew in 1958 on his and Isla Cameron's Riverside album English and Scottish Love Songs. He also sang it in a live recording from St. Louis, Missouri in April 1986 that was released in 1990 on his Cooking Vinyl album Black and White.

Bob Roberts sang The Foggy Dew in yet another recording made by Peter Kennedy on his 1960 Collector EP Stormy Weather Boys! and in a recording made by Tony Engle at Ryde, Isle of Wight, in August 1977 on his Topic album Songs from the Sailing Barges. A.L. Lloyd noted:

The Foggy Dew, a standard folk song that survives particularly well in East Anglia, has its sense more obscured than elucidated by amateur folklorists, great seekers after symbolism, who aver that ‘dew’ = ‘virginity’. ‘Foggy’ is right.

Brian Mooney sang The Foggy Dew on the 1964 album Australian Folk Festival.

Bob Davenport sang The Foggy Dew in 1965 on the Columbia album Bob Davenport and the Rakes.

Sandy and Caroline Paton sang The Foggy Dew in 1966 on their Folk-Legacy album Folksongs and Ballads.

Hedy West sang The Foggy Dew in 1967 on her Topic album Ballads. This album was reissued in 2011 as part of her Fellside anthology Ballads & Songs from the Appalachians. A.L. Lloyd noted:

What’s the difference between a ballad and a song? Little enough: we call a song a ballad when it’s fairly long and has a strong story-line. The Foggy Dew is not all that long, and as it generally survives its narrative is modest, yet it just about sneaks into the ballad category. In the older versions of the piece, the plot is fuller. A young man fancies a girl who lives under the same roof, but he can’t get at her. He bribes a neighbour to dress like a ghost and frighten the girl into his bed. In this form, the song is usually called: The Bugaboo. The title and tag-phrase of ‘foggy dew’ which gave rise to wild interpretation, were only applied quite late in the song’s history. Said a Kentucky singer: “It’s a good song, just the words ain’t so nice. It’s just about the bugaboo, and everybody know about that.” Though common in the English countryside, it is relatively rare in American tradition, mostly circulating in the Appalachian and Ozark Mountains. Cecil Sharp found this version in Callaway, Va., in 1918. Part of the charm of this text lies in the young man’s fairness in resisting a double sexual standard.

Packie Manus Byrne whistled The Foggy Dew in 1969 on his eponymous EFDSS album Packie Byrne.

Bob Hart sang The Foggy Dew in 1969 in a recording made at home by Bill Leader. It was included in 2007 on his Musical Traditions anthology A Broadside. Rod Stradling noted:

A very well-known song all over the Anglophone world, with 134 instances in Roud. In its original form, an apprentice seduces his master's daughter with the help of a friend disguised as a ghost (or bugaboo). Somehow or other the term bugaboo became changed—at least in English versions of the song—into the phrase ‘the foggy dew’, sparking off all kinds of fanciful explanations for the meaning of this term. A full, and far more accurate, history of the song will be found in Bob Thomson's article The Frightful Foggy Dew (Folk Music Journal IV:1. 1980, pp.35-61).

Dan Tate sings Bugerboo on Far in the Mountains Volume 1. Doug Wallin sings The Foggy Dew on Smithsonian Folkways SFCD 40013, while an English version of the song can be heard on the album Songs of Seduction (Rounder 1778), where it is sung by Phil Hammond of Norfolk. The accompanying booklet notes for the latter were clearly written without knowledge of the Thomson article mentioned above. Burl Ives' well-known recorded version of the song was probably learnt from Carl Sandburg's American Songbag (1927), and has informed much of the US and UK oral tradition ever since.

Marie Little sang The Foggy Dew in 1971 on her Argo album Factory Girl.

Martin Carter sang The Foggy Dew in 1972 on his Traditional Sound album Ups & Downs.

Tom Gilfellon sang The Foggy Foggy Dew in 1972 on his Trailer album Loving Mad Tom.

Barbara Dickson sang The Foggy Dew in a folk club performance recorded in between 1969 and 1973. This was included in 2015 on her CD B4 Seventy-Four: The Folkclub Tapes.

Steve Pallant played The Foggy Dew on his melodeon at The Ship Inn at Blaxhall on 16 November 1973. This recording was released in the following year on the Transatlantic album of a “sing-song in a Suffolk pub”, The Larks They Sang Melodious.

Margaret Christl sang The Foggy Dew in 1976 on her Folk-Legacy album with Ian Robb, The Barley Grain for Me.

John Roberts and Tony Barrand sang The Foggy Dew in 1977 on their Folk-Legacy album of ballads of the supernatural, Dark Ships in the Forest. They noted:

Though hardly supernatural this ballad does have its elements of mystery, particularly in the meaning of the phrase “foggy dew”. Does it really symbolise virginity, or is it more properly the “bugaboo” of American variants? Here is our ghost, and one in all probability contrived by the artful lover, but we still don't know where the foggy dew comes from. This version of the song, however, does come from the vast repertoire of Harry Cox, of Catfield, Norfolk.

Dan Tate sang Bugerboo to Mike Yates at home in Fancy Gap, Carroll County, Virginia. on 11 August 1979. This recording was included in 2002 on the Musical Traditions anthology of Songs, tunes and stories from Yates' Appalachian collections, Far in the Mountains Volume 1. The notes to this song are quite similar to those of Bob Hart's above but Mike Yates added:

In Dan's version, verse 3 is a ‘stray’ from The Gypsy Laddie (Child 200). Dan's comment to me that the boatman “must have been a Lord or something” suggests that the stanza was present when Dan first heard the song.

Fred Jordan sang Foggy Foggy Dew in a recording made by Ian Russell on his 1991 EFDSS cassette In Course of Time. This track was also included in 2003 on his Veteran anthology A Shropshire Lad.

Ian Giles sang The Foggy Dew in 1995 on The Mellstock Band's Saydisc album Songs of Thomas Hardy's Wessex.

Graham Moore sang Foggy Dew on his 1995 album Tom Paine's Bones.

Roy Harris sang The Foggy Dew in 1997 at The White Lion folk club in Wherwell, Hampshire. This recording was released in 1999 on his WildGoose CD Live at The Lion.

Pete Harris sang The Foggy Dew in 1999 on his and Mick Ryan's WildGoose CD Hard Season. They noted:

Common as anything thirty years ago; this is a great song that is only rarely heard these days. It could have something to do with Kenneth Williams' parody of the Burl Ives version. Pete's version is definitely in the English country mode; and all the better for it! Pete learnt this so long ago that he can't recall the source.

Martin Carthy sang a much longer version than Lloyd with a tragic end—and which only shares two verses with Lloyd—in in 2004 on his album Waiting for Angels and live in December 2004 at Ruskin Mill. He noted on the first album:

Mike Waterson will occasionally sing The Foggy Dew to the tune which he learned from a recording of the stentorian Norfolk singer Phil Hammond. Mr Hammond was a country boy who had risen to the rank of Major in the British army and had learned this beautifully complete way of the song from an unnamed forestry worker and who, having forgotten the man's tune, had colonised the better known Britten/Pears version, and made it his own. It's not so much misunderstood as a song as utterly “not” understood—really because the standard version is so truncated. The tune here is from the incomparable Harry Fox who sang The Barley Straw to it. Harry Cox's singing in exquisite (always) but the sentiments of that song leave me not feeling too good, so I burgled its tune and this is the result.

Damien Barber recorded The Foggy Dew in 1995 for his album Boxed (which wasn't released before 2000).

Dave Burland sang The Shape of a Girl (The Foggy Dew) in 2001 on Ashley Hutchings' Topic CD Street Cries which comprises “a collection of dark traditional songs re-set in the present day”.

Jim Moray sang The Foggy Dew on Concerto Caledonia's 2001 CD Revenge of the Folksingers and on his 2016 CD Upcetera. He noted:

The tune here is the same as used by Benjamin Britten in his book Folksong Arrangements Vol. 3. I see it as a far sadder and less comedic song than Britten and Peter Pears did though, and I've altered the tune to fit.

Terry Yarnell sang Foggy Dew in 2001 on his Tradition Bearers CD A Bonny Bunch. He noted:

I first learnt a version of this song at junior school, probably taken from a Cecil Sharp collection. Later, I found other versions, one of which had the words;

So we jumped into bed
And I covered her head.

At that time I thought that this was a bit naughty and I liked the song very much. As I ‘grew up’ and matured, I realised that this was one of the finest of our traditional love songs, and have sung it ever since. The last verse is variable, (or has become so), and whether the girl marries me, the singer, or another, is often changed at the very last moment depending upon the mood at the time. As for the meaning of the term ‘Foggy Dew’, a rain-forest of paper has been used by our folklorists in attempts to explain the strange term. For those interested I would suggest A.L. Lloyd Folk Song in England; and James Reeves The Idiom of the People, for a start.

Magpie Lane sang Foggy Dew in 2002 on their Beautiful Jo album Six for Gold.

Both Bill Whaley & Dave Fletcher and Martyn Wyndham-Read sang The Foggy Dew in 2003 on the 2 CD anthology Song Links: A Celebration of English Traditional Songs and their Australian Variants. In both of these versions the girl gets pregnant too but they both have a happy ending.

Danny Spooner sang The Foggy Dew on his 2008 CD Brave Bold Boys. He noted:

This beautiful old English song was given the ‘nod, nod, wink, wink’ treatment by Peter Piers the counter tenor in the 1930s, which reduced a tender, loving folksong to the joyless bawdry of a late-night rugby club and it did the rounds of the Melbourne folk revival in the 1960s. Fortunately, the folk tradition also kept the song alive in this glorious version that I learned from the singing of Dave Fletcher and Bill Whaley, two fine English singers. Most areas of the British Isles boast a variant of this song.

Ex-Liverpool Spinner Mick Groves sang The Foggy Dew on his 2010 CD Still Spinning.

James Findlay sang Foggy Dew in 2011 on his Fellside CD Sport and Play. He noted:

And this is the cheeriest ‘death by childbirth’ song on the album! The theories surrounding the title and its meaning are legion, but I’ll leave that to the academics. I first heard a version sung by a good friend of mine, Graham Moore. However this is his tune, with the words taken from the book The Seeds of Love.

Snakefarm sang The Bachelor in 2011 on their Fledg'ling album My Halo at Half-Light.

Rob Williams sang Foggy Dew in 2012 on his CD of songs collected by Henry and Robert Hammond in 1905 from Jane Gulliford of Combe Florey, Outstanding Natural Beauty: Songs from around the Quantock Hills.

Ye Vagabonds sang The Foggy Dew in 2019 on their River Lea album The Hare's Lament. This recording won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2019 in the category Best Traditional Track. They noted:

Brian [Mac Gloinn] learned this version of the song first from a recording of A.L. Lloyd, but over time the words changed a little, and a few lines were swapped out from the version sung by our friend Mick O’Grady. There are much more complete versions of the song, which tell a lot more of the story’s details in many more verses, but this one leaves more to the imagination and Brian preferred to keep it that way.

Nick Dow sang The Foggy Dew on his 2020 album of love songs from the British Tradition, In a Garden Grove. He noted:

Collected by Nick Dow from Dick Corbett, Broadwindsor, Dorset. Dick was the landlord of the White Lion Pub. He called the song The Batchelor Song. The ‘Foggy Dew’ is a corruption of the ‘bugaboo’ or Bogie Man, hence the terrified and ill fated maiden. Dick considered The Foggy Dew to be a racy song. Burl Ives was thrown into jail for thirty days for singing a very close variant to the one included here. It did not stop him singing it, he included three verses in a Hollywood movie in 1946. Dick said he learned the song “somewhere down the way”. Interestingly the eighteenth century title for the song was The Batchelor Song the same as Mr Corbett's title. Dick Corbett's ashes were spread over Lewsdon Hill in Dorset, a carpet of bluebells in the summer and no doubt a bit of Foggy Dew in the winter.

Lyrics

Phil Hammond sings The Foggy Dew

O, I am a bachelor and I live alone, and I work in the weaver’s trade.
And the only, only thing that I ever done wrong was courtin’ a fair young maid.
I courted her one summertime, and all the winter too.
And the only, only thing that I never should 'ave done
Was to save her from the foggy, foggy dew.

I got that tired of living alone, I says to her one day,
“I’ve a nice little crib in my old shack, where you might safely lay.
You’ll be all right in the summertime, and in the winter, too,
And you’ll lay right warm and take no harm
Away from the foggy, foggy dew.”

“I don’t think much of this old shack, and I shall lonely be,
With only that poor old Cyprus cat to keep me company.
There’s a cricket singing on the hearth And what can that thing do,
If the night turn raw and the fire won't draw,
To keep me from the foggy, foggy dew?”

One night she come to my bedside, time I lay fast asleep.
She puts her head down on my bed, and she starts in to weep.
She yelled and cried, she well nigh die, she say, “What shall I do?”
So I haul her into bed and I cover up her head,
To save her from the foggy, foggy dew.

Says I, “My dear, lay close to me, and wipe away them tears,”
And I hauled her shift up over her head, and I wrapped it round her ears.
We was all right in the wintertime, and in the summer, too.
And I held her tight that live long night
To save her from the foggy, foggy dew.

“Now, lay you still, you silly young fool, and don’t you feel afraid,
For if you want to work with me, you got to learn your trade.”
I learned her all that summertime, and all the winter, too.
And truth to tell, she learned that well,
She saved us from the foggy, foggy dew.

One night I laid there, good as gold, and then she say to me,
“I’ve got a pain without my back, where no pain ought to be.
We was all right in the summer time, and in the winter, too.
But I’ve took some ill or a kind of chill,
From laying in the foggy, foggy dew.”

One night she start to moan and cry, says I, “What’s up with you?”
She say, “I never should 'ave been this way, if that hadn't 'ave been for you.”
I got my boots and trousers on, and I got my neighbour, too.
But do what we would, we couldn’t do no good,
And she died in the foggy, foggy dew.

So now I’m a bachelor, I live with my son, and we work at the weaver’s trade.
And every single time I look into his face, I see the eyes of that fair young maid.
It reminds me of the summertime, and of the winter, too.
And the many, many nights she laid in my arms,
Just to save her from the foggy, foggy dew.

Luther Hills sings The Foggy Dew

When I was a bachelor both early and young, I followed the weaving trade,
And all the harm that ever I done Was courting a servant maid.
I courted her all the summer season and a part of the winter, too.
Many a time I rolled her in my arms all on the foggy dew.

I courted her most dearly, most dearly as my life.
I courted her; I married her; made her my lawful wife.
I never told her of her faults nor I never intended so to do,
For every time she winked or smiled I thought on the foggy dew.

Now all the first part of the night how we did sport and play.
All the latter part of that night lay in my arms till day,
And when broad daylight did appear, she cried, “I am undone.”
“Hold your tongue, you foolish girl, the foggy dew’s all gone.”

If she should have a little child, how that would make us smile.
If she should have another one. we must lay back a while.
If she should have another one, another one or two,
We must lay back for ever, and think of the foggy dew.

Harry Cox sings The Foggy Dew

As I was an old bachelor I followed a roving trade
And all the harm that ever I done I courted a servant maid.
I courted her one summer season and part of the winter, too,
𝄆 And many a time I rolled my love all over the foggy dew. 𝄇

One night as I laid in my bed, a-taking my balm of sleep,
This pretty fair maid came to me, and how bitterly she did weep.
She wept, she mourned, she tore her hair, crying, “Alas, what shall I do?
𝄆 This night I resolved to sleep with you, for fear of the foggy dew.” 𝄇

Now, all the first part of the night, how we did sport and play,
And all the later part of the night, she in my arms did lay.
And when broad daylight did appear, she cried, “I am undone!”
𝄆 “O hold your tongue, you silly young girl, for the foggy dew is gone.” 𝄇

“Supposing that you should have one child, it would make you laugh and smile,
Supposing that you should have another, it would make you think awhile,
Supposing that you should have another, and another one or two,
𝄆 It would make you leave off these foolish young tricks and think of the foggy dew.” 𝄇

I loved that girl with all my heart, loved her as I loved my life,
And in the other part of the year, I made her my lawful wife.
I never told her of her faults, yet never intend to do,
𝄆 Yet many a time, as she winks and smiles, I think of the foggy dew. 𝄇

A.L. Lloyd sings The Foggy Dew Martin Carthy sings The Foggy Dew

When I was a bachelor young and bold,
I followed the roving trade.
And all the harm that ever I done,
I courted a handsome maid.
I wooed her all the summertime,
And a part of the winter too.
And the only harm that ever I done
Was to keep off the foggy dew.

Oh, when I was a bachelor early and young
I followed the weaving trade.
All the harm that ever I done
Was in courtin' a fair young maid.
I courted her in the summertime
And all through the winter too.
And the only thing I ever did wrong
Was keep her from the foggy dew.

Well, I got that tired of living alone,
I says to her one day,
“I've a nice little cot in my old shack,
Where you could safely lay.
You'll be all right in the summertime
And all through the winter, too,
You'll be snug and warm and you'll take no harm,
All out of the foggy dew.”

“Well, I don't think much to your old shack
As I will lonely be,
With only your old Cyprus cat
For to keep me company.
With crickets chirping in the hearth
But whatever can they do,
When the night turns raw and the fire won't draw,
To keep me from the foggy dew?”

It was all on one night about twelve o'clock,
When I lay fast asleep.
There came this maid to my bedside
And bitterly she did weep.
She wept, she moaned, she tore her hair,
And she cried, “What shall I do?”
So all that night I held her tight
Just to keep off the foggy dew.

One night she come to my bedside,
When I lay fast asleep.
She laid her head down on my breast
And she started in to weep.
She wept, she sighed, she well near died,
She cries, “What shall I do?
For this night I'm resolved to stay with you
Without of the foggy dew.”

Well all the first part of that night
How we did sport and play,
And all the latter part of that night
Snug in my arms she lay.
And when the broad daylight appeared
She cried, “I am undone!”
“Oh, hold your tongue, you silly young girl,
For the foggy dew have gone.”

“Oh lie down there, you silly young girl,
And wipe away those tears.”
Then I hauled her shift up over her head
And I wrapped it round her ears.
We were all right in the summertime
And all through the winter, too,
But I held her tight that livelong night
To keep her from the foggy dew.

I never told nobody her name
And damned be if I do,
But many's the time I think of that night
When I kept off the foggy dew.

“Oh lie down there, you silly young girl,
And don't you be afraid.
If you want to stay with me
You have to learn your trade.”
She learned all through the summertime
And all through the winter, too,
And truth to tell she learned that well,
She saved us from the foggy dew.

One night I laid there, good as gold,
When she starts unto me,
Says, “I've got a pain in below my back
Where no pain ought to be.
I was all right in the summertime,
And all through the winter, too.
But I take some ill or a kind of a chill
On account of the foggy dew.”

That night she started to moan and cry.
Says I, “What's up with you?"
Says she, “I never should have been this way,
If it haven't been for you.”
I put my boots and my trousers on
And I ran for my neighbour, too.
Do what we could, we couldn't do no good
And she died in the foggy dew.

I'm a bachelor now, and I live with my son,
And we work at the weaving trade.
Each time I look in his eyes I see
The eyes of that fair young maid,
Reminding me of the summertime
And of the winter, too,
And of the many times I rolled in her arms
All over the foggy dew.

Shirley Collins sings The Foggy Dew

I courted her all of the winter, part of the summer too,
All the harm that I have done was to court a pretty fair maid.

One night she came to my bedside as I lay fast asleep,
“Come to my arms, my pretty miss, get out of the foggy dew.”

She layed in my arms till broad daylight, and the sun begin to shine.
I turn my back on my own true love, “Goodbye, my love, I'm gone.”

Towards the first part of the year she took pale in the face.
And along the latter part of the year she grew bigger round the waist.

Along towards the end of the year, she brought to me a son.
“Oh, now you see as well as I what the foggy dew has done.”

I loved that girl with all my heart, I loved her as my life.
Yet every time the baby cries, I'd think on the foggy dew.

Bob Hart sings The Foggy Dew

When I was young and in me prime, I followed the weaving trade.
And the only harm that ever I done I courted a fair young maid.
I courted her in summer-time and in the winter, too.
And many the times I rolled that girl all over the foggy dew.

One night she came to my bedside as I lay fast asleep.
She laid her head upon me bed and bitterly she did weep.
She raved, she swore, she tore her hair, she cried, “What shall I do?
For the night I'm resolved to sleep with you for fear of the foggy dew.”

Now all the first part of that night, how we did sport and play.
And all the second part of that night, she in me arms did lay.
And when broad daylight did appear she cried, “I am undone!”
I said, “Hold your row, you foolish young girl, the foggy dew is gone.

“Now suppose that you should have a child, 'twould make you laugh and smile.
Suppose that you should have another, 'twould make you think a while.
Suppose that you should have another, another, another one, too.
'Twould make you give over your foolish young ways and think of the foggy dew.”

One night she woke with moans and groans, I said, “What's up with you?”
She said, “I should never have been this way if it hadn't a-been for you.”
I pulled my boots and trousers on, I got my neighbour, too,
But do what we would, we could do her no good, and she died in the foggy dew.

Now I am a bachelor, I live with me son, and we work at the weaving trade.
And when I look into her (his) eyes I think of that fair young maid.
I think of her in summertime and in the winter, too,
And of the times I held her in me arms for fear of the foggy dew.

John Roberts and Tony Barrand sing The Foggy Dew

When I was a bachelor I lived all alone,and I followed the roving trade,
And the only thing that I ever did wrong, I courted a fair young maid.
I courted her for a summer season, and part of the winter too,
And many's the times she rolled in my arms all over the foggy dew.

One night as I lay on my bed, as I lay fast asleep,
Oh, then she came to my bedside, and bitterly she did weep,
She wept, she moaned, she tore her hair, and she cried, “What shall I do?
For tonight I'm resolved to sleep with you, for fear of the foggy dew.”

All through the first part of that night, how we did sport and play,
And through the second part of that night she in my arms did lay,
And when the daylight did appear she cried, “I am undone!”
“Oh, hold your tongue, you silly young thing, for the foggy dew is gone.

“Well, supposing you should have one child, 'twould make you laugh and smile.
And supposing you should have another, 'twould make you think awhile,
And supposing you should have another, and another one or two,
That'd make you leave off them foolish young tricks that you played in the foggy dew.”

I loved that girl with all my heart, I loved her as my life,
But in the second part of that year she became some other man's wife,
But I never told him of her faults, and I never intend to do,
Nor of the time she rolled in my arms, all over the foggy dew.

Dan Tate sings Bugerboo

Come all you jolly boatman boys,
Dan Tate Who want to learn my trade.
The very first wrong I ever done,
Was courting of a maid.

I courted her the winter's night,
And a summer season too.
And when I gained her free good will
I knew not what to do.

Last night I lay in a fine feather bed,
With the squire and a baby.
Tonight I'll lay in a barn of hay
In the arms of Egyptian Daisy.

Wake up, wake up, my pretty little miss,
Wake up, for day has come.
Wake up, wake up, my pretty little miss,
For the bugerboo has gone.

Yes I went to see this little girl,
I loved her as my life.
I took this girl and I married her,
And she made me a virtuous wife.

But I never tell her of her faults,
And dog me if I do.
But every time the baby cries
I think of the bugerboo.

Acknowledgements

Martin Carthy's version was based on the text posted by Laura in the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Add: The Foggy Dew (from Martin Carthy) but changed quite a bit to the actual singing of Martin Carthy. Thank you!