The farmer’s daughter, song

Eddie Butcher, singing in English
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Oh, there were a farmer’s daughter
And she longéd for a baby
And she rolléd up a big grey hen
And she put it into the cradle oh.
Aye she rocked and aye she sung
And aye she rocked the cradle
Saying, – If it wasnae for your big lang neb
I would gie ye a draw of the diddy oh.


The snatches which comprise nos 17, 19 and 27 are all sung by Eddie Butcher to the same sprightly air, most commonly called ‘The rose tree’. Though they include the remnant of at least one full-length song (no 19.2), one verse tends to borrow another in a sequence upon which unity is impressed merely by the use of a melody announcing comic intent. so far as we know, ‘The farmer’s daughter’ is complete in eight lines. It is sung in the same way in its native Scotland, where the girl rolls her ‘father’s grey hound’ in a ‘plaidie’ and longs to ‘kiss [its] gabbie’ (B). For these ‘loose verses’ see  p. 24.