“As I Walked Out (I) (A New Broom Sweeps Clean)”


A young man tells a girl, "Alas, I'm tormented, for love I must die." He begs her to come away with him. She tells him, "Were I to say yes, I would say 'gainst my mind." He curses her unkindness; he will marry a girl who loves him if he marries at all

Supplemental text

As I Walked Out (I) (A New Broom Sweeps Clean)
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

A New Broom Sweeps Clean

From Helen Creighton, Folksongs from Southern New Brunswick,
#40, pp. 93-94. Collected from Angelo Dornan, Elgin, N. B.

As I went out walking one morning in May
For to view the fair fields and the meadows so gay,
Abroad as I wandered I chanced for to hear
A young man lamenting for the loss of his dear.

Young girls are as false and as fickle as the wind,
For the one that proves true there is ten prove unkind,
They will smile on you sweetly be you ever so mean,
It's an old and true saying that a new broom sweeps clean.

(Stanzas 1, 4 of 4, but stanzas 2 and 3 are of 6 lines rather than
four; it seems likely that lines have been lost.)


Bodleian, Harding B 25(1325), "A New Broom Sweeps Clean" ("Why talk you of marriage, I have little wit"), Angus (Newcastle), 1774-1825; also Harding B 17(209a), "A New Broom Sweeps Clean" shares only its title, one similar verse, and dialog theme with this song. The similar verse -- with potential for floating -- is "I think it no wonder maids are fickle in their minds, Young men will deceive them be they ever so kind; They will court with strange sweethearts, be they ever so mean, It is an old saying that a new broom sweeps clean." - BS

Cross references


  1. SHenry H109, p. 357, "As I Walked Out" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Creighton-SNewBrunswick 40, "A New Broom Sweeps Clean" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ST HHH109 (Partial)
  4. Roud #2751
  5. BI, HHH109


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1925 (Sam Henry collection)
Keywords: love courting rejection
Found in: Ireland Canada(Mar)