Annotation:Quoth John to Joan

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QUOTH JOHN TO JOAN. AKA and see “Wilson's Wild," "Wilson's Wilde,” "Wolsey's Wild." This early 17th century song relates a farmer's proposal wherein he enumerates his assets, a theme which has survived even to 20th century America where it resurfaces in the Old-Time song "All the Little Chickens in the Garden." The song was printed by Thomas D'Urfey in his Wit and Mirth; or, Pills to Purge Melancholy, vol. 3 (London, 1719-20, pp. 114-115), and begins:

Quoth John to Joan, wilt thou have me?
I prythee now, wilt? and I'ze marry with thee,
My cow, my calf, my house, my rents,
And all my lands and tenements:
Oh, say, my Joan, will not that do?
I cannot come every day to woo.

D'Urfey adapted his song from an older version, and sang it before Charles II at Windsor [c.f. De Vaynes & Ebsworth, The Kentish Garland, vol. 1, 1881, p. 142]. Two other period songs, using the same beginning lines, are "The Countryman's Delight" and "The North-Country Lovers; or, The Plain downright wooing between Joan and John."

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