> Peter Bellamy > Songs > Firelock Stile

Firelock Stile

[ Roud 1780 ; Ballad Index K173 ; trad.]

Harry Cox of Catfield, Norfolk, sang the bawdy Firelock Stile to Peter Kennedy in 1953. This recording was released in 1965 on his eponymous EFDSS album Harry Cox and was included in 2000 on the Rounder CD re-issue of Songs of Seduction. Another recording made by Ewan MacColl in 1955 was included on his 2 CD Topic Records anthology, The Bonny Labouring Boy. Steve Roud commented in the latter album's liner notes:

Most earlier collectors would have refused to note such an outspoken bawdy song as this, even if the singers were willing to expose them to such moral danger. As far as we know, therefore, this song is unique to Harry Cox, and we cannot rely on other versions to help us date it. As in a number of other sexual encounter songs, the chap rues the event when he contracts a dose of vereral disease. Twenty bright guineas seems a little extortionate, or perhaps this is simply a ballad-writer's commonplace.

Peter Bellamy learned Firelock Stile from the singing of Harry Cox and sang it in 1975 on his eponymous LP Peter Bellamy. He commented in the album's sleeve notes:

This somewhat less-than-subtle piece of good natured bawdry comes from the repertoire of the great Norfolk traditional singer Harry Cox. It should not be assumed that it is representative of his material as a whole!

Lyrics

Harry Cox sings Firelock Stile Peter Bellamy sings Firelock Stile

So come all young men, come listen awhile,
I'll tell you what happened at Firelock Stile.
When a stump of a nail catched hold of her clothes,
She fell down, and she did expose her old
Rump a tump tooral looral addity,
Rump a tump tooral looral day

Well, come all young men and listen awhile,
I'll tell you what happened at Firelock Stile,
When a stump of a nail caught her clothes
And she fell down and she did expose her old
Rump a tump tooral looral addity
Rump a tump tooral looral day.

A gay young buck was standing by.
The sight of her quim that dazzled his eye.
She said, “Young man, I feel amazed
To see a young gentleman stand and gaze on my
Rump a tump tooral looral addity,
Rump a tump tooral looral day.”

Now a gay young buck he was standing close by
And the sight of her quim, well, so dazzled his eye
Said she, “Young man, I feel amazed
To see a young gentleman stand and gaze at my
Rump a tump tooral looral addity,
Rump a tump tooral looral day.”

She said, “Young man, if you mean what you say,
Twenty bright guineas in gold for to pay,
Twenty bright guineas in gold for to pay,
And then, young man, you may fiddle away on my
Rump a tump tooral looral addity,
Rump a tump tooral looral day.”

But she said, “Young man, if you mean what you say
And twenty bright guineas in gold was to pay,
And twenty bright guineas in gold you did pay,
Well then, young man, you can fiddle away on my
Rump a tump tooral looral addity
Rump a tump tooral looral day.”

That very soon he gave consent,
And into the woods together they went.
While he pre formed and she pre-tuned,
The boy and the beauty kept time to the tune on her
Rump a tump tooral looral addity
Rump a tump tooral looral day.

Well, very quick he gave consent
And into the woods together they went.
While he pre-formed and she pre-tuned
The boy and the beauty kept time to the tune on her
Rump a tump tooral looral addity
Rump a tump tooral looral day.

Now six weeks being over, as I have been told,
She gave him some fire to keep him from cold,
To keep him from cold by night and by day,
And he cursed the young damsel that learned him to play on her
Rump a tump tooral looral addity
Rump a tump tooral looral day.

But six weeks being over, as I have heard tell,
She gave him a fire to keep him from cold,
To keep him from cold, by night and by day,
He cursed the young woman what saw him to play on her
Rump a tump tooral looral addity
Rump a tump tooral looral day.

Now, all young men, come listen awhile,
I've told you what happened at Firelock Stile,
Or else like me you'll rue this day
You go into the woods for to learn to play on her
Rump a tump tooral looral addity
Rump a tump tooral looral day.