“Seventeen Come Sunday”

Alternate titles: “Sixteen Come Sunday”; “Flash Girls and Airy Too”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1792 (Burns)
Keywords: questions courting nightvisit
Found in: US(Ap,MA,MW,SE) Canada(Mar,Newf) Britain(England(Lond,North,South),Scotland) Ireland


The singer meets a pretty young girl. He gets acquainted by asking questions: "What are you doing?" "Where do you live?" "How old are you?" "May I visit you tonight?" She agrees to the meeting; they have their fun despite her mother's opposition


There are versions of this song which have mixed with "Trooper and Maid" [Child 299]; these generally file under that ballad and are sometimes known as "As I Roved Out." The Sam Henry text "My Darling Blue-Eyed Mary" has lost the key question about the girl's age, but the rest is clearly this song. - RBW

Also collected and sung by David Hammond, "As I Roved Out" (on David Hammond, "I Am the Wee Falorie Man: Folk Songs of Ireland," Tradition TCD1052 CD (1997) reissue of Tradition LP TLP 1028 (1959)) - BS

Cross references




  1. Laws O17, "Seventeen Come Sunday"
  2. Eddy 74, "My Pretty Maid" (2 texts)
  3. Warner 52, "Hi Rinky Dum" (1 text, 1 tune, much worn down; there is no nightvisit, and the two mutually decide against marriage)
  4. BrownIII 11, "Where Are You Going, My Pretty Maid" (2 texts, both very short)
  5. Lomax-FSNA 106, "How Old Are You, My Pretty Little Miss?" (1 text, 1 tune -- a badly eroded version)
  6. FSCatskills 128, "Where Are You Going, My Pretty Fair Maid?" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Creighton/Senior, pp. 164-165, "I'm Scarce Sixteen Come Sunday" (1 text plus 2 fragments, 1 tune)
  8. Creighton-Maritime, p. 32, "I'm Seventeen Come Sunday" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Creighton-SNewBrunswick 16, "Seventeen Come Sunday" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. Peacock, pp. 284-286, "I'll Be Seventeen Come Sunday" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  11. SharpAp 127, "I'm Seventeen Come Sunday" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
  12. Sharp-100E 61, "I'm Seventeen Come Sunday" (1 text, 1 tune)
  13. JHCox 126, "My Pretty Maid" (1 text)
  14. JHCoxIIA, #25, pp. 99-100, "The Modesty Answer" (1 text, 1 tune, in which the girl asks her mother if she may marry, is refused, and decides to run away to North Carolina and eat cream and honey!)
  15. SHenry H152, pp. 266-267, "I'm Seventeen 'gin Sunday"; H793, pp. 267-268, "As I Gaed ower a Whinny Knowe";(2 texts, 2 tunes)
  16. MacSeegTrav 44, "Seventeen Come Sunday" (1 text, 1 tune)
  17. Ford-Vagabond, pp. 99-102, "My Rolling Eye" (1 text, 1 tune)
  18. Darling-NAS, pp. 128-129, "Seventeen Come Sunday"; "When Cockle Shells Make Silver Bells" (1 text plus a fragment)
  19. DT 334, YONHIGH* ROCKYMT (TROOPRM2* -- apparently a cross between this piece and Child 299)
  20. ADDITIONAL: Maud Karpeles, _Folk Songs of Europe_, Oak, 1956, 1964, p. 45, 'Seventeen Come Sunday" (1 text, 1 tune)
  21. Roud #277
  22. BI, LO17