“The Alderman's Lady”


An elderman promises a girl gifts in exchange for her love. She rejects him because he might reject her and their baby. He promises that he would take her to her mother and smother the baby. She refuses and he marries her.


Peacock points out that "elderman" may be "alderman" [so, in fact, several British versions - RBW] and that "in former times aldermen had much higher rank than they do nowadays and were often governors of whole districts or members of nobility." - BS

To back this up, "alderman" is derived from Old English "ealdorman," not related to Old English eorl="earl" but often confused with it; an ealdorman was a local governor or viceroy. - RBW


  1. Peacock, pp. 783-784, "The Elderman's Lady" (1 text, 2 tunes)
  2. Roud #2533
  3. BI, Pea783


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1958 (Peacock)
Keywords: marriage sex mother
Found in: Canada(Newf)