“The Fiddler's Bitch”


In this cante-fable, a captain wagers his ship against a fiddler's violin, betting that he can bed the fiddler's virtuous wife. The captain wins.


The unidentified melody in Randolph-Legman I is the blackface minstrel song "Polly-Wolly-Doodle." - EC

This plot, of course, occurs repeatedly in folklore and mythology (some versions of the account of the love affair of Aphrodite and Ares, first narrated in the Odyssey VIII.266ff., are similar) -- but one may doubt whether this bawdy version has any classical roots. - RBW

WBO reports, on the basis of the British broadside "The Merchant and the Fidlers wife," that "Legman's cante-fable designation is nonsense." - WBO,RBW

Cross references


  1. Randolph-Legman I, pp. 346-347, "The Fiddler's Bitch" (3 texts, 1 tune)
  2. BBI, ZN1521, "It was a Rich Merchant man"
  3. BI, RL346


Author: unknown
Found in: US(So)