To carry out a simple search, type the term that you want to find in the Search box next to the Advanced Search tab, and press enter.
For a more refined search of songs or tunes use the Advanced search function. To carry out a search on two or more terms at once, e.g. Collector+Roud Number, select each term as above and then click search.
Be sure to clear previous searches before starting a new one by clicking on the x next to each search term at the top.
Also known as “the Foolish Boy” or “The Swapping Song”, this theme of making swaps and each one a worse bargain than the previous one is very old and versions of it turn up in, for example, German folklore. It has also appeared in various nursery rhyme collections from the early 19th century onwards, but never as a broadside, so far as is known.
This is a hugely popular song with source singers, with myriad versions turning up in England, Scotland and across the Atlantic. It is still in oral tradition, with new versions still being collected.