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The Fair Maid of Islington

Or: The London Vintner Over-reached

England.
Words: ca. 1744.
Tune: Sellenger's Round or Caper and Ferk It ,
written by William Byrd, late Elizabethan/ early 17th century.
MIDI


    There was a fair maid of Islington,
    As I heard many tell,
    And she was going to London town,
    Her pears and apples to sell.
    As she was going along the road
    A vintner did her espy.
    And what shall I give, fair maid, says he,
    One night with you to lie ?

         And what shall I give, fair maid, says he,
         One night with you to lie ?

    If you would lie with me one night,
    You must give me five pounds.
    A match, a match, the vintner said,
    And so let this go round.
    When he had lain with her all night,
    Her money she did crave.
    O no, O no, the vintner said,
    The devil a penny you'll have.

         O no, O no, the vintner said,
         The devil a penny you'll have.

    This maid she made no more ado,
    But to the justice went;
    This vintner hired a cellar of me
    And will not pay the rent.
    Then straight the justice for him sent
    And asked the reason why
    That he would pay this maid no rent.
    To which he did reply.

         That he would pay this maid no rent.
         To which he did reply.

    Although I hired a cellar of her,
    And the possession was mine,
    I ne'er put anything into it
    But one small pipe of wine.
    This fair maid being ripe of wit,
    She straight replied again,
    There lay two butts at the cellar door
    Why didn't you roll them in ?

         There lay two butts at the cellar door
         Why didn't you roll them in ?

    The justice told the vintner plain,
    If he a tenant be,
    He must expect to pay the price,
    For he could not sit rent-free.
    And when the maid her money got,
    She put it in her purse,
    And clapped her hand o'er the cellar door,
    And swore it was never the worse.

         And clapped her hand o'er the cellar door,
         And swore it was never the worse.