O Jenny o Jenny where hast thou been

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O JENNY, O JENNY, WHERE HAST THOU BEEN. AKA and see "May Fair." English, Air (3/4 time). The air appears in John Gay's Beggar's Opera (1729, act i, Air IX) as "Oh Polly you might have toyed and kissed," sung by Mrs. Peachum and Polly. The original title above comes from a song by Thomas D'Urfey called "Willoughby Whim (The)" published in his Pills to Purge Melancholy, vol. 1; "O Jenny, O Jenny, where hast thou been?" is the first line of the song. As "May Fair" the tune can be found in Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Times (1859), although it dates to the early 18th century with that title. In more modern times it was known as a children's tune called "Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes," from the verses adapted to it by William Chappell. In early Scots collections it is used for the song "My Mither Says I Mauna."

D'Urfey's lyric goes:

Molly:
O Jeany, Jeany, where hast thou been?
Father and mother are seeking of thee,
Ye have been ranting, playing the wanton,
Keeping of Jockey company.

Jenny:
O Molly, I've been to hear Mill clack,
And grind Grist for the Family,
Full as it went I've brought home my Sack,
For the miller has tooken his Foll of me.

Molly:
You hang your Smickets abroad to bleach,
When that was done, where could you be?
Jenny:
I slipt down in the quickset Hedge,
And Jockey the Loon fell after me.

Molly:
My Father you told you'd go to Kirk,
When Prayers were done, where could you be?
Jenny:
Taking a Kiss of the Parson and Clerk,
And of other young Laddys some two or three.

Molly:
Oh Jenny, Jenny, what wilt thou do,
If Belly should swell, where wilt thou be?
Jenny:
Look to your self for Jockey is true,
And whilst Clapper goes will take care of me.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 52.

Recorded sources:




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