“The Greasy Cook (Butter and Cheese and All, The Cook's Choice)”


The singer keeps company with a cook. One day she is about to send him off with cheese and butter when the master comes in. He hides in the chimney; the fire melts cheese and butter and sets them afire. The master douses him; he flees to a chorus of jeers


This and similar songs are sometimes traced back to a story in Boccaccio (seventh day, second story: Gianella, Peronella, and her husband). But the story is really one of the basic themes of folktale, and doubtless predates Boccaccio as well as these songs. - RBW

Cross references


  • Harry Cox, "The Greasy Cook" (on HCox01)
  • Sam Larner, "Butter and Cheese" (on SLarner02)


  1. Greenleaf/Mansfield 108, "Butter and Cheese and All" (1 text)
  2. Peacock, pp. 251-252, "Butter and Cheese" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Copper-SoBreeze, pp. 236-237, "The Cook's Choice" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Kennedy 129, "The Greasy Cook" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #510
  6. BI, CoSB236


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1920 (Greenleaf/Mansfield)
Found in: Britain(England(South)) Ireland Canada(Newf)