The Fair Maid of Islington

or The London Vintner Over-reached

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Melody - "Sellenger's Round" or "Caper and Ferk It", William Byrd, early 1600s
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ca. 1744

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 ? :|

2. 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. :|

3. 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. :|

4. 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 ? :|

5. 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. :|

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