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Lancashire Lass

[ Roud 4738 ; Ballad Index ReSh055 ; trad.]

Lancashire Lass was collected in 1904 by Cecil Sharp from Mrs Emma Overd in Langport, Somerset. Shirley Collins sang it accompanied by Dolly Collins on flute organ and Philip Pickett playing recorders on the sisters’ album For As Many As Will. This recording was also included on their 1992 anthology Fountain of Snow. A live recording from Dublin was included in 1998 on their CD Harking Back.


Shirley Collins sings Lancashire Lass

Here’s to the lass in Lancashire Town,
Here’s to the maid in the cadelico gown.
I vow and declare he lov-ed her so dear
Cause she did wear pretty caps upon her hair.
Fol the dol the dol the day

Master came home so late in the night,
Betsy came down for to light him with a light.
Master held her in his arms to drive away his scares
But Missus she saw them going upstairs,
Fol the dol the dol the day

Says Master to Missus, “I’m going out of town,”
Says Missus to Master, “Then I’ll send Betsy down.”
But late that night she sent Betsy to her bed,
Says, “I for your master will wait up instead.”
Fol the dol the dol the day

Twelve o’clock came and knock was at the door,
Missus went down for to see who was there.
And on the cold ground he tumbled her down
And into her pocket he slipped half a crown,
Fol the dol the dol the day

Horses in the stable a-making of a noise,
Master went out for to see what was the cause;
Missus crept upstairs laughing at the fun
To think that the master and Betsy was undone,
Fol the dol the dol the day

Early next morning the bell she did ring
When Betsy the servant she come running in,
Says, “Here’s a half crown your master gave to me;
I’m sure we all know it was intended for thee.”
Fol the dol the dol the day

She took her by the shoulders and led her to the door:
“There’s no room here for both a wife and a whore.
And that is the thing I cannot endure
For Master he never gives me half my share.”
Fol the dol the dol the day