“The Parson and the Clerk”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1949 (recorded from Phil Tanner)
Keywords: virtue courting sin drink dialog humorous religious clergy worker
Found in: Britain(Wales)

Description

Parson preaches against sin; clerk wants to do it. Parson denounces coveting gold, saying it's his fate to be well-paid. Clerk says, "Give it to me." Parson deplores boys kissing hussies; clerk says "I've done it myself and they're fond of it too." Etc.

Long description

Parson preaches against various sins; clerk says he wants to do them. Parson denounces coveting gold, saying it's his fate to be well-paid. Clerk says, "Give it to me." He tells those sinned against to turn the other cheek; clerk says, "I'll break his nose." Parson deplores young boys kissing hussies; clerk says "I've done it myself and they're fond of it too." Parson preaches temperance; clerk says "I am awfully dry."

Notes

Verse 6 of this song runs, "I bid you work and pray, And don't do all your parson does, But do as your parson say." Compare Matthew 23:3 -- "Do and obey what [the scribes and Pharisees] tell you, but not what they do, for they preach but do not practice."

It will presumably be obvious that "clerk" is pronounced "clark." - RBW

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Kennedy 235, "The Parson and the Clerk" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #1154
  3. BI, K235