> Tim Hart & Maddy Prior > Songs > Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve

[ Roud 1387 ; Ballad Index BrMa176 ; trad.]

Tim Hart and Maddy Prior recorded this catch in 1968 for their first duo album Folk Songs of Old England Vol. 1. The record’s sleeve notes comment:

This children’s song from the village of Stratton in Cornwall is sung to the peal of local Church bells and has probably been used to accompany their games for the past 300 years.

Verse 2 mentions Oliver Cromwell [leader of the Parliamentary Forces in the English Civil War who executed King Charles I in 1642], which dates the song previous to 1658, although Kidson believes its inception to have been earlier. This version was collected by Lucy Broadwood from the Rev. J. Shearm, Vicar of Stratton at the beginning of this century. A footnote to puzzled Campanologists. Maddy sings the tune.

Jon Boden sang Adam and Eve as the 23 March 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.


Adam and Eve could never believe that Peter the miller was dead
Shut up in a tower for stealing of flour
𝄆 And never could get a reprieve 𝄇

They bored a hole in Oliver’s nose and put therein a string
And drew him around about the town
𝄆 For murdering Charles our King 𝄇

(repeat first verse)