> A.L. Lloyd > Songs > The Soldier and the Maid
> Louis Killen > Songs > One May Morning
> Steeleye Span > Songs > Seventeen Come Sunday
> John Kirkpatrick > Songs > Seventeen Come Sunday
> Waterson:Carthy > Songs > Balancy Straw / Seventeen Come Sunday / Whitefriar's Hornpipe

Seventeen Come Sunday / As I Roved Out / One May Morning /
The Soldier and the Maid

[ Roud 277 ; Laws O17 ; Ballad Index LO17 ; trad.]

A.L. Lloyd sang The Soldier and the Maid in 1956 on his Tradition album The Foggy Dew and Other Traditional English Love Songs.

Joe Heaney sang As I Roved Out in 1964 in a recording made by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. This was included in 2000 on his Topic 2 CD anthology The Road from Connemara.

Harry Cox sang Seventeen Come Sunday in a recording made by Peter Kennedy in between 1953 and 1956 on the 1965 EFDSS album Traditional English Love Songs.

Louis Killen sang One May Morning in 1965 on his Topic album Ballads & Broadsides. Angela Carter commented in the sleeve notes:

In the eternal springtime of English love songs a girl tries to fend off the advances of an importunate young fellow man by telling him that she is too young; but he proves to her the truth of the old saying, “when they're big enough, they're old enough.” Told from the point of view of the girl who, as in one American version, later brings forth a little baby boy after the statutory nine months—“and me not fifteen years of age”, the song can be intolerably poignant; most versions, though, are emphatically masculine as this bawdy guffaw. Hammond collected this treatment of a widespread theme in Dorset in the early years of the century, but it was deemed sufficiently indelicate to bring a blush to Edwardian cheeks and was duly doctored for publication. This is how Hammond heard it first of all.

Bob Hart sang Seventeen Come Sunday at home in Snape, Suffolk in July 1969. This recording by Rod and Danny Stradling was released in 2007 on his Musical Traditions anthology A Broadside. A later recording by Tony Engle from September 1973 was released in 1974 on the Topic album Flash Company.

The Broadside from Grimsby sang Seventeen Come Sunday on their 1973 Topic album The Moon Shone Bright: Songs and Ballads collected in Lincolnshire.

Jumbo Brightwell sang Seventeen Come Sunday in a recording made by Keith Summers in 1971-77 on the Veteran anthology Good Hearted Fellows: Traditional Folk Songs, Music Hall Songs, and Tunes from Suffolk. Mike Yates commented in the liner notes:

When the poet James Reeves included a text of Seventeen Come Sunday in the book The Idiom of the People (1958) he added the note, “The original of this song, whatever it was, shocked all other editors, from the eighteenth century onwards.” Reeves' text came from Cecil Sharp's manuscript and includes a verse that Sharp omitted when he printed the song in his English Folk Songs, Selected Edition, 1921, Volume 1:

I went unto her mammy's house, When the moon was shining clearly,
She did come down and let me in, And I laid in her arms till morning.

Clearly, such goings on were not to be encouraged! As Reeves said, the song was first encountered in the eighteenth century when Robert Burns found a set being sung by a girl in Nithsdale. Burns forwarded a slightly rewritten text to James Johnson, who included it in his The Scots Musical Museum (Edinburgh, 1787, 6 volumes) under the title A Waukrife Minnie (A Lightly-sleeping Mother). Broadside texts, from the 1820's or earlier, were printed in London by Pitts and Jennings and dozens of versions of the song have been collected throughout the English-speaking world. Cecil Sharp alone collected 22 versions of the song in southern England and there are 14 Scottish versions in the Greig/Duncan collection.

Steeleye Span—then including Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick— recorded Seventeen Come Sunday in 1977 for their tenth album, Storm Force Ten. And John Kirkpatrick played it again in concerts with the John Kirkpatrick Band that were released a year later on their live album Force of Habit. He commented in the liner notes:

Based on the version sung by the traditional Suffolk singer Bob Hart on the 1974 Topic LP Flash Company. I brought this song to the table when I was in Steeleye Span, and you can hear what we made of it on their 1977 recording Storm Force Ten. I was prompted to pair it with the dance tune, I think, because a couple of notes were the same as the song in one bar. The tune is called Johnny Get Your Hair Cut, and was included in The English Folk Dance & Song Society's Community Dance Manual No 6, first published in 1964. It's not very clear where the tune comes from, but we can be pretty sure it's American. There's a third part that we don't play. The riff is Martin Carthy's, and in Steeleye's version we ended it rather moodily with a long minor chord. Here we make it much snappier.

John Roberts and Tony Barrand recorded Seventeen Come Sunday in 1998 for their album Heartoutbursts: English Folksongs collected by Percy Grainger.

Waterson:Carthy—here Tim van Eyken, melodeon and vocals; Martin Carthy, guitar; Eliza Carthy, violin—recorded the two tunes Balancy Straw and Whitefriar's Hornpipe with the song Seventeen Come Sunday in between for their fourth album, A Dark Light. Martin Carthy commented in the album's notes:

Balancy Straw is a Morris tune from quite a few places including Ascot under Wychwood and Bledington which Liza found in the Journals of the EFDSS, and chose to play more as a reel or a quick hornpipe, and it was Tim who introduces us to Whitefriar's Hornpipe, one of those crooked tunes gracing the repertoire of John Kirkpatrick, whence he learned it. Seventeen Come Sunday is pretty much the standard way with the song but set by Tim to a Cornish tune and with the alternative ending chosen because of Tim's predilection for Rum. Lots of it.

Lyrics

Joe Heaney sings As I Roved Out Waterson:Carthy sing Seventeen Come Sunday

As I roved out on a May morning,
On a May morning quite early,
I met my love upon the way,
But oh lord she was early.

As I walked out one May morning,
One May morning so early,
There I spied a fair pretty maid
All in the dews up early.

Chorus (after each verse):
And she sang lilttle lidle diddle idle dum
And she hidle deedle dum
And she hidle deedle doo and she landy

“Where are you going, my fair pretty maid,
Where are you going, my honey”
Cheerfully she answered me,
“I've an errand for my Mummy.”

“Oh how old are you, my pretty fair maid?
How old are you, my darling?”
She answered my quite modestly,
“Sixteen come Monday morning.”

“How old are you, my fair pretty maid,
How old are you, my honey?”
Cheerfully she answered me,
“I'm seventeen come Sunday.”

“Do you want to marry me, pretty fair maid?
Do you want to marry me darling?”
She answered my quite modestly,
“Oh I would but for my mammy.”

“Will you take a man, my fair pretty maid,
Will you take a man, my honey?”
Straightaway she answered me,
“I dare not for my Mummy.”

“Won't you come to my house on top of the hill
When the moon is shining brightly?
I'll arise and I'll let you in
And my mammy won't he hearing.”

“But if you come round in the middle of the night
When the moon is shining clearly,
I'll lift the pin and let you in
And my Mummy shall not hear me.”

And I went up to the top of the hill
When the moon was shining brightly.
She arose and let me in
But her mammy wasn't hearing.

So I went round in the middle of the night
When the moon was brightly shining;
She lifted the pin and she let me in
And I lay in her arms till morning.

She took my horse by the bridle and reins
And let it to the stable.
“There is plenty of oats for the soldier's horse
As fast as he can eat it.”

She took me by her lily white hand
And let me to the table.
“There is plenty of wine for the soldier boy
As fast as he can take it.”

And she went up and dressed the bed,
she dressed it soft and easy.
I went up and I rolled her in,
“Oh my lassie are you able?”

And it's there we stayed till the break of day
And the devil a one did hear me.
I got up and put on my clothes,
“Oh my lassie I must leave you.”

Then she said, “Will you marry me?”
As she let me out in the morning.
“By you I'm one that's quite undone
If you leave me here in scorning.”

“Then when will you return again
And when will we get married?”
“When broken delft make Christmas bells,
it's then we will get married.”

Now a pint at night is my delight
And a gallon in the morning.
The old women are my heartbreak
But the young ones are my darling.

So now she's with her soldier bright
Where the wars they are alarming;
And her delight is to dance all night
And a pint of rum in the morning.

A.L. Lloyd sings The Soldier and the Maid Steeleye Span sing Seventeen Come Sunday

𝄆 As I went out on one May morning,
On one May morning early, 𝄇
I met a maid upon the way
And oh she was her mother's darling.

As I strolled out one May morning,
One May morning so early,
I overtook a handsome maid
And, my goodness, she was early.

Chorus (after each verse):
With me toorin ah, fol the diddle ah,
Starva lump fol the daddy o
Chorus (after each verse):
With me rue rum ra, whack fol the da,
Whack fol the diddle iddle lie do

𝄆 Her shoes was bright, her stockings white,
And her hair hung down her shoulder. 𝄇
She had a black and a rovin eye
And all her teeth they shone like silver.

Her shoes were black and her stockings were white
And her buckles they shone like silver.
She had a dark and rolling eye
And her hair hung over her shoulder.

𝄆 “Whre are you going, my pretty little miss,
Where are you going, my honey?” 𝄇
She answered me quite modestly,
“I'm on an errant for my Mummy.”

𝄆 “How old are you, my pretty little miss,
How old are you, my darling?” 𝄇
She answered me quite modestly,
“Well I'll be sixteen year come a Monday morning.”

“How old are you, my fair pretty maid,
How old are you, my honey?”
She answered me so cheerfully,
“Well, I'm seventeen come Sunday.”

𝄆 “Could you fancy a man, my pretty little miss,
Could you fancy a man, my honey? 𝄇
She answered me quite modestly,
“Well I daren't for my Mummy.”

“Could you love me, my fair pretty maid,
Could you love me, my honey?”
She answered me so tearfully,
“Oh, I can't because of Mummy.”

𝄆 “But if you'll come to my Mummy's house
When the moon shines bright and clearly, 𝄇
I will come down and let you in
So my Mummy shall not hear me.”

“But if you come to my Mummy's house
When the moon is shining brightly,
Oh, I'll come down and let you in
And my Mummy shall not hear me.”

𝄆 Oh I went to her mother's house
When the moon shone bright as dawning. 𝄇
She did come down and let me in
And she rolled im my arms till the morning.

So he went to her Mummy's house
When the moon was brightly shining;
And she came down and she let him in
And she rolled in his arms till the morning.

𝄆 About the hour of six o'clock
We heard the bugles blowing. 𝄇
The little gal gave a thrilling cry,
“Oh by Jiminy I am ruined!”

𝄆 “So now farewell, my pretty little miss,
And let this be a warning. 𝄇
The drum and fife is my delight
And I'll be back for your mummy in the morning.”

She says, “Kind sir, will you marry me?”
I says, “Oh no, my honey,
For the fife and drum is my delight
And I'm happy in the army.”

Acknowledgements and Links

Transcribed from the singing of Waterson:Carthy by Reinhard Zierke with a bit of help by Ivan Coates. Thank you!

See also the Mudcat CafĂ© thread Origins: Lloyd's ‘Soldier and the Maid’.