“Buttercup Joe”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1957 (recording, Tony Wales)
Keywords: courting love sex food
Found in: Britain(England(South))

Description

Singer prides himself on his plain tastes. In summer the girls like to romp and roll with rustic lads in the hay. His ladyfriend, Mary, a dairymaid, makes fine dumplings; he plans to "ask her if she won't supply/A rustic chap like I am."

Long description

Singer prides himself on being rustic with plain tastes; the gentry laugh at him, but he laughs at them in turn. In summer the girls like to romp and roll with rustic lads in the hay. His young woman, Mary, a dairymaid, makes fine dumplings; he plans to "ask her if she won't supply/A rustic chap like I am." Cho: "Now I can guide a plow, milk a cow, and I can reap and sow/Fresh as the daisies in the fields/and they calls I Buttercup Joe"

Notes

Wales's informant told him the words were being sung in Sussex in 1889, but offered no evidence, so I remain conservative in assigning an earliest date. I strongly suspect a music-hall origin. - PJS

Nonetheless, the song is fairly well established in English tradition, though it hasn't been printed much. I suspect there may have been one or two rewrites along the way; some of the versions vary a great deal. - RBW

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Roud #1635
  2. BI, RcButJoe