The singer overhears a couple talking; "it was concerning love." The young man, a weaver, is trying to talk the girl out of her affection for a tailor. He describes all the tailor's faults. She gives in and consents to marry him. (They live happily.)
Weaver and the Tailor, The Complete text(s) *** A *** As printed by W. H. Logan, The Pedlar's Pack of Ballads and Songs, pp. 407-409. Immediate source not noted; probably a broadside. As I was a-walking Down by yon shadey grove, I heard a couple talking, It was concerning Love. The young man being a weaver, The maid she proved coy, And he knew full well, by her discourse, She loved a tailor boy. "My dear, for to maintain you I'll make my shuttle fly, I'll wear my fingers to the bone, New fashions for to buy. I'll buy you silks and satins, And all things you do choose, I'll buy you all new fashions That you read of in the news." "O how can you maintain me, And you a journeyman? How can you maintain me When you have ne'er a loom? With your lee and your rubbing bone, Your knife instead of sheers; But I'll go and wed the tailor boy That needs neither read nor gear." "If you do wed the tailor boy, At his back you'll have to run, You'll have to dig potatoes, For work he can do none. You'll have to carry in the peats In a basket or a creel, While the tailor he sits on his bench Threading a bar of steel." "Hold your tongue of my tailor boy, He'll not do so to me, For when that he does go abroad, I'll take my liberty. And I will go a-gossiping In all places thro' the toun, And I will please my tailor boy When he comes home at noon." "When your tailor boy does come home, He'll clip off both your ears, He'll beat you with his lapping board, And snip you with his shears. He'll chide you for your idleness, The length of the whole day, And an iron goose you'll have to pluck, And cook in cabbage whey." "Hold your tongue of my tailor, He'll not do so to me, For Adam was a tailor When the world began to be. For Adam he made aprons Out of the leaves so fine, So ever since the world began, The tailor trade doth shine." "But if you saw your tailor lad When he sits all alone, You would take him for an ornament, For legs you can see none. Like a frog upon a beating stone He sits the live-long day, While the weaver he goes neat and trim, Amongst the ladies gay." "Oh ! ever since the world began, The tailors were the beaux, For at such fragments of a man, Girls ne'er turn up their nose." "I would not be a tailor's wife, For they are roving blades, And if you'd live a happy life, Look out in other trades."
Sam Henry discovered this piece with three different tunes in three different districts. It is not clear if it ever enjoyed popularity outside Ireland; Logan's text, while English, is a broadside. - RBW