> A.L. Lloyd > Songs > The Pegging Awl
> Peter Bellamy > Songs > The Long Pegging Awl

The Pegging Awl

[ Roud 2126 ; Ballad Index RL280 ; trad.]

Harry Cox of Catfield, Norfolk, sang Long Peggin' Awl on Songs of Seduction (The Folk Songs of Britain Vol. 2, Caedmon 1961, Topic 1968).

This ballad was sung by A.L. Lloyd accompanied by Alf Edwards on concertina on the 1966 theme album The Bird in the Bush: Traditional Erotic Songs. He commented in the album's sleeve notes:

A rich category of erotic folklore concerns tradesmen and their tools: the miller and his grinding stones, the tinker blocking holes in pans, the itinerant weaver with his to-and-fro shuttle, the cobbler with his awl. Perhaps the while-you-wait aspect of these occupations allowed special opportunity for chatting-up the lady customers. This version was made known by the good old Norfolk singer, Harry Cox.

Peter Bellamy sang The Long Pegging Awl in 1969 on his second LP, Fair England's Shore. He commented in the album's sleeve notes:

Both The Long Pegging Awl and The Green Bed come from Harry Cox, the former being a short and amusing song with very thin disguise to its eroticism, and the latter being a very pleasing song, […]

Lyrics

A.L. Lloyd sings The Pegging Awl Peter Bellamy sings The Long Pegging Awl

As I was a-walking one morning in May
I met a young maid and her gown it was gay.
I step-ped up to her and back she did fall,
She want to be played with a long pegging awl.

As I was a-walking one morning in May
I met a pretty fair maid, her gown it was gay.
I stepped right up to her and back she did fall,
She want to be played with my long pegging awl.

I said, “Pretty fair maid, will you travel with me,
On to foreign countries, strange things for to see?
And I will protect you whate'er may befall
If you'll follow four love with the long pegging awl.

It was home to her parents she then went straightway
And unto her mother these words she did say:
“I'll follow my true love whate'er may befall,
I'll follow my love with his long pegging awl.”

Then it's home to her parents she then went straightway
And unto her mother these words she did say:
“I will follow my true love whate'er may befall,
I'll follow my love with his long pegging awl.”

“Oh daughter, oh daughter, how can you say so?
For young men are false as you very well know;
They'll tell you fine things and the devil and all,
And leave you big-bellied with the long pegging awl.”

“Oh daughter, dear daughter, how can you say so?
For young men are false as you very well know;
They will tell you fine stories, the devil and all,
And they leave you big-bellied with their long pegging awl.”

“Oh mother, oh mother, now do not say so.
Before you were sixteen, you very well know,
There was father and mother and baby and all,
You followed my dad for his long pegging awl.”

“Oh mother, dear mother, how can say so?
For before you were sixteen, you very well know,
There was father and mother and baby and all,
You followed my dad for his long pegging awl.”