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Where are you Going to, my Pretty Fair Maid?

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Place Collected: Stanton
Date collected: 1907 (17 Nov)
Collector: Grainger, Percy
Roud Number: 298

A dialogue piece that goes back over 300 years, the earliest copy being a broadside of 1688 entitled “A merry new dialogue between a courteous young knight, and a gallant milk-maid”. In this song the couple end with a joyous marriage. It is also often quoted as a harmless nursery rhyme, but the folk imagination has created another version in which the dialogue takes a more sexual nature, and suggesting that the girl might get pregnant. Such was the version sung by the gypsy Danny Brazil. It is not known which direction Mr Newman’s version took as he did not give the words of the song to Grainger.


Notes by Gwilym Davies 30 June 2015