“As Broad as I was Walking”


The singer sees a pretty maid "lamenting for her love." He courts her "in a rude and rakish way." She bids him stop, "crying out, Young man, for shame." Her lover is gone; she vows that if she can't enjoy him, "I will rejoice in a sweet and single life."


This really, REALLY reminds me of a Riley/Broken Token ballad. But since the stanza form does not match the more common Riley ballads, and since there is no reunion at the end, I have to classify it on its own.

The title, I imagine, is a corruption of "Abroad as I was Walking." - RBW

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 17(196a), "Modest Maid," J. Pitts (London), 1802-1819; also Johnson Ballads 915[last verse illegible], "Modest Maid"; Harding B 25(1310), "Nancy's Love for her Sailor"


  1. Copper-SoBreeze, pp. 230-231, "As Broad as I was Walking" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #1198
  3. BI, CoSB230


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1820 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 17(196a))
Found in: Britain(England(South))