Little Man and Maid (The)

Find traditional instrumental music
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Little Man and Maid (The)


LITTLE MAN AND MAID, THE. English, Country Dance Tune (cut time). G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody is a song air adapted for a country dance. The lyric begins:

There was a little man
And he woo'd a little maid,
And he said, "Little maid, will you wed, wed, wed?
I have little more to say
Than 'will you, yea or nay?'
For least said is soonest mended-ded-ded-ded.

Then this little maid she said,
Little sir, you've little said
To induce a little maid for to wed, wed, wed.
You must say a little more,
And produce a little ore,
E're I make a little print in your bed, bed, bed.

The song was printed Thomas D'Urfey's Tea Table Miscellany (c. 1730's, and was attributed (in the 1764 edition) attributed in the 1764 edition to the Restoration wit, Sir Charles Sedley, who died in 1701. It later appeared in collections of children's rhymes and songs through the early 20th century, although with altered lyrics that replaced the mild sexual innuendo with more sanitized but violent images (see G. Legman's introduction to Sandra McCosh's book Children's Humor, 1976 [1]) The Sedley lyric was printed in Alfred Moffat's British Nursery Rhymes (and a Collection of Old Jingles) (p. 11), where is was taken from an unnamed 18th century songbook. Moffat employed a different melody than that given by the Thompsons.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 2), 1765; No. 64.

Recorded sources:




Back to Little Man and Maid (The)