Digital Tradition Mirror

Birmingham Boys

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Birmingham Boys

In Birmingham town there lived a man
And he had such a lov-e-ly wife
And so dearly she loved company
As dearly as she loved life, boys, life
As dearly as she loved life

And this poor man he goes to sea
His living for to get
And where he spent one penny, she spent two
And it's all for the want of wit, boys, wit...

When this poor man came home from sea
It being late in the night
Enquiring for his own dear wife
Was his joy and his heart's delight, boys, light...

"Oh she's just gone to her sister's oh
Shall I go fetch her in?"
Saying, "Oh my dear, I will go myself
And ask myself to drink, boys, drink..."

As he was a-going along the road
He heard such a dis-a-mal noise
And who should it be but his own dear wife
Along with the Birmingham boys, brave boys,...

So this poor man stood thinking
His heart was nearly broke
Then he went back and sent the maid
While he prepared a rope, boys, rope...

Then she came jumping, skipping in
Gave him such a joyful kiss
Saying, "You're welcome home, kind husband, dear
Long time you have been missed, boys, missed...

So we'll bar the door so neat and snug
And let us go to bed
For the pain that do lay in my breast
I can no longer rest, boys, rest..

So he took a switch and he beat her so
Till she was wonderful sore
"Oh forbear, forbear," she cried, "Husband dear,
I'll never do so no more, no more..."

"For if you do, I'll make you rue
And curse the hour you were born
For deceiving of your husband dear
I'll make you wear the horn, boys, horn..."

So come all you women in Birmingham
And listen unto me
And don't you spend your money a-waste
When your husband is on the sea, boys, sea...

Printed in Kennedy Folksongs of Britain and Ireland
Recorded by Martin Carthy

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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