“The Maid and the Horse”


A maid walking in the cold meets three men riding. She tells one that she craves the thing that "sits between your two legs" to make her warm. He gets off his horse. She gets on his horse and rides off. He goes after her until she threatens to shoot him.


There is another broadside at Bodleian as "The Crafty Maid" [Come all you lads and lasses ..."] in which a farmer's daughter is hiding a rabbit between her legs to keep it warm and a lord "buys that between her legs"; unsatisfied with the rabbit he takes her to a justice who resolves the dispute in favor of the farmer's daughter.

There is yet another broadside at Bodleian as "The Frolicsome Maiden or The Gentleman Outwitted" which combines both Crafty Maid stories: it is a cold morning; she does offer to go with him in exchange for what is between his legs; he is unsatisfied by the outcome and takes her to a justice who rules in her favor.

Roud seems to consider these all as #1624.

Cf. "Handsome Shone the Dairymaid" [Crawfurd 115] (theme) in E. B. Lyle _Andrew Crawfurd's Collection of Ballads and Songs_ (The Scottish Text Society, Edinburgh, 1996) which is similar to "Lovely Joan." - BS

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 28(83), "The Crafty Maid" ("Come listen awhile and I will sing you a song"), W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824; also Johnson Ballads 323, Harding B 25(441), "The Crafty Maid's Policy"


  1. Peacock, pp. 214-215, "The Maid and the Horse" (1 text, 2 tunes)
  2. Roud #1624
  3. BI, Pea214


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 28(83))
Found in: Canada(Newf)