“Green Broom”


Old broom-cutter tells his lazy son to get to work cutting broom. The boy does, then takes it to market to sell. A lady hears him, and has him brought in, where she proposes marriage to him. They wed, as the lady sings his praises.


Found in _Gammer Gurton's Garland_, according to Sharp, and also in _Pills to Purge Melancholy_. -PJS

Not to be confused with "The Broomfield Hill," also sometimes found under the title "Green Broom." - RBW


  • Bodleian, 2806 c.17(156), "The Green Broom," W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824; also Harding B 16(108a), Firth b.26(294), Firth b.25(38), Firth c.18(205), "Green Brooms"; Harding B 28(93), "Jack and His Brooms"


  • Sam Larner, "Green Broom" (on SLarner02)
  • Sean McDonagh, "Green Brooms" (on FSB3)


  1. Stokoe/Reay, pp. 104-105, "Broom, Green Broom" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Sharp-100E 49, "Green Broom" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Kennedy 223, "Green Brooms" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Karpeles-Newfoundland 76, "Green Broom" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. SHenry H147, p. 474, "Green Broom" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #120, pp. 98-99, "(There was an old man, and he liv'd in a wood)" (first half of the song only)
  7. Montgomerie-ScottishNR 166, "(There was an old man)" (1 fragment)
  9. ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #139, "Green Broome" (1 text)
  10. Roud #379
  11. BI, ShH49


Alternate titles: “Jack and His Brooms”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1720 (Pills to Purge Melancholy, under the title "The Jolly Broom-Man: Or the unhappy BOY turn'd Thrifty')
Found in: Britain(England(All),Scotland(Aber)) Ireland Canada(Newf)