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Landlord and Tenant

[ Roud 1761 ; trad.]

Joseph Taylor sang Landlord and Tenant on Unto Brigg Fair, from a cylinder recorded in 1908 by Percy Grainger. The LP sleeve notes commented:

These fragments occur in the song that was collected from two visitors to Revesby when the famous Revesby Sword (or Plough?) Play was noted down at the end of the eighteenth century. It is printed (without tune) in the Folklore Journal VII (1889) and like the better known song of The Nobleman and the Thresher or The Servingman and the Husbandman is a duet—a form which is rather unusual in the folk song tradition of England since the demise of the sung and danced jigs of the Elizabethan / Jacobean period (though these were really urban, popular forms rather than folk songs) excepting for those portions of the Lincolnshire Plough play which are still remembered as sung dialogues. It should be noted that the above song of the landlord and tenant was not connected with the Revesby play but appeared as an additional entertainment after the play had been completed.

Lyrics

“If you will let your land, I will take it under hand
And I'll bring you your rent twice a year, twice a year,
And I'll bring you your rent twice a year.”

“Oh go you saucy blade, do not tell me how to sell,
Do not tell me of selling of me land,
Do not tell me of selling of me land.”

Acknowledgements

Dean Robinson's lyrics were copied from the liner notes of Unto Brigg Fair.