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Crafty Maid's Policy, The

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Performer: Hedges, William
Place Collected: Chipping Campden
Date collected: 1909 (10 Aug)
Collector: Sharp, Cecil
Roud Number: 1624

This joke has been around for many centuries. Broadsides and folklorists call it almost invariably “The Crafty Maid’s Policy”. Collected versions are rare but it was collected in 2012 from Freda Black, Hampshire gypsy.

Mr Hedges only sang one verse to Sharp, with some handsome variations on the tune. Did Mr Hedges not sing the rest out of embarrassment or did Sharp know anything that all the words were on a broadside? We will never know, but Sharp did collect versions elsewhere with the full words, sexual euphemism and all.


Notes by Gwilym Davies