“At the Sign of the Apple (The Twig So Tender; The Tavern)”


"Once upon a time I visited A hostess neat and slender, A golden apple was her sign, Hung by a twig so tender, Do did-dle de la, la la la la, Hung by a twig so tender...." When the singer asks for a bill, (s)he is told there is none


Randolph had but a single verse of this, and Belden only two, and neither is very revealing. Based on Randolph, I guessed it was about a visit to a whorehouse. Belden's additional verse just adds to the mystery; note the genders in the second line:

I asked my host to name my bill,

He smiled, and then said, "Nay, sir."

That house I'll always patronize

Whene'er I go that way, sir. - RBW


  1. Belden, p. 258, "At the Sign of the Apple" (1 text)
  2. Randolph 669, "The Twig So Tender" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  3. Roud #7365
  4. BI, R669


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1916 (Belden)
Keywords: whore
Found in: US(So)