“The Major and the Weaver”


The weaver comes home suddenly, forcing the major (who is visiting his wife) to hide under the bed. The weaver goes out wearing the major's breeches, containing money and a watch. He claims the same right to the breeches as the major has to his wife


The Copper text of "The Little Cobbler" appears to have cross-fertilized with this piece; the two are similar in plot, and the Copper version shares some words as well. But the extreme versions are distinct.

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


  1. Laws Q10, "The Major and the Weaver"
  2. Flanders/Brown, pp. 91, "Lie Low" (1 fragment, 1 tune, a single stanza which can only tentatively be identified with this song)
  3. DT 522, WEAVWIFE
  4. Roud #1005
  5. BI, LQ10


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1938 (Henry)
Found in: US(So)