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Wing Wang Waddle-oh

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Alternative title: Swapping Song, The

Performer: Langsbury, Ken
Place Collected: Cheltenham
Date collected: 1994 (10 Oct)
Collector: Davies, Gwilym
Roud Number: 469

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.

Notes by Gwilym Davies