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Kate and Her Horns You that in merriment delight, Pray listen unto what I recite So shall you satisfaction find, Will cure a melancholy mind. A damsel fair lived in Colchester, At length a clothier courted her Six months apace, both night and day But still this damsel answered: "Nay." At length this maid gave her consent To marry him, and straight they went Unto her parents then, and who Gave their consent and their liking too But see the cursed fruits of gold, He left his loyal love to hold Her grief and sorrow all compassed mind While he a greater fortune found A lawyer's daughter, fair and bright, Her parents joy and their hearts delight He did resolve to make his spouse, Denying all his former vows Kate knew each and every night He came to his true love, Nancy by name Sometimes at ten o'clock or more Kate to a tanner, went therefore She borrowed there an old cowhide With crooked horns, both large and wide With hairy hide horns on her head That near three feet asunder spread Kate to a lonesome path did stray, And at length, the clothier came that way He was so sorely scared of her, She looked so like old Lucifer And when he saw her long black tail He strove to run, but his feet did fail Kate quickly seized him by the throat And said with grim and doleful note You leave poor Kate, as I do hear To wed the lawyer's daughter dear You shall whether you will or no, Into my gloomy regions go Oh, Master Devil, spare my life, And I will make young Kate my wife See that you do, the Devil exclaimed Or else you'll hear from me again. He went to Kate and married her, For fear of doleful Lucifer Her friends and parents thought it strange That there was such a sudden change She never let her parents know, Nor any other person too Till they a year had married been, She told it at her lying-in It pleased the women to the heart, They said she fairly played her part Her husband laughed as well as they, It was a merry and a happy day. ----------------------------------------------------------------- This song is found as a broadside in Britain, although it appears not to have been collected from oral tradition there. This version is based on the set sung by the late George Edwards of Roscoe, N.Y., a Catskill singer with a fine repertoire of traditional ballads. It is printed in Norman Cazden's "Abelard Song Book." A very literary piece, it is interesting to note that this recent text is almost identical to the set given by the unknown soldier of Sandgate, Vermont, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, who published his Green Mountain Songster as long ago as 1823. It is also very close to another Vermont text, from Fred Atwood of Dover, collected by Margaret MacArthur in 1961. Recorded by John Roberts and Tony Barrand on "Mellow with Ale from the Horn", FHR-04 DT #452 Laws N22 DC
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!