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Butcher's Frolic, The

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Performer: Harding, James
Place Collected: Stow-on-the-Wold
Date collected: 1907 (28 Mar)
Collector: Sharp, Cecil
Roud Number: 167

Broadside versions of this go back to the mid 19th century where it is usually known as “The Leicestershire Chambermaid”. Sharp only noted one verse from Harding, possibly because he knew the rest of the story from broadsides or possibly because Harding considered the story to rude to sing to a respectable gentleman. Despite the Leicestershire connection, at least one broadside puts the action in Gloucestershire, with the added twist that the seduced chambermaid does not actually give birth herself but deceives her seducer (a squire, not a butcher) by producing her sister’s daughter, pretending it to be hers.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 22 June 2015