Give Me My Yellow Hose When I was a bachelor, I led a merry life, But now I am a married man, And troubled with a wife. I cannot do as I have done, Because I live in fear; If I but go to Islington, My wife is watching there. Give me my yellow hose again, Give me my yellow hose For now my wife she watcheth me, See yonder where she goes. But when I was apprentice bound, And my indentures made, In many faults I have been found, Yet never thus afraid, For if I chance now by the way A woman for to kiss, The rest are ready for to say, Thy wife shall hear of this. Give me my yellow hose, etc. Thus when I come in company, I pass my mirth in fear, For one or other merrily Will say my wife is there. And then my look doth make them laugh, To see my woeful case, How I stand like John-Hold-My-Staff, And dare not show my face. Give me my yellow hose, etc. Thus marriage is an enterprise, Experience doth show, But scolding is an exercise. That married men do know; For all this while there were no blows Yet still their tongues were talking, And very fain would yellow hose Have had her fists a walking. Give me my yellow hose, etc. This maketh bachelors to halt, So long before they wed, Because they hear that women now Will be their husband's head. And seven long year I tarried For Jackaman my wife, But now that I am married, I'm weary of my life. Give me my yellow hose, etc. But now I see she is so hot, And lives so much at ease, I will go get a soldier's coat, And sail beyond the seas; To serve my captain where and when, Though it be to my pain, Thus farewell, gentle Jackaman, Till we two meet again. Give me my yellow hose, etc. From Broadside Ballads, Vol 2, Folkways, 1961 AJS apr97
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!