“The Quaker's Courtship”


The Quaker comes to court the girl. He offers her a ring and money; she tells him she wants a man to call her honey. He tells her she is pretty; she calls him a flatterer. He gives up; she tells him to "Find a Quaker girl to marry"

Supplemental text

Quaker's Courtship, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Eloise Hubbard Linscott, Folk Songs of Old New England, pp. 276-278.

"Madam, I have come a courting,
I'm for pleasure, not for sportin',
"I want none of your Quaker action,
  Fol lol lol lol lay,
You're enough to breed distraction,
  Fol lol lol lol, fol lol lay."

(3 additional stanzas)


The "courting songs" listed in the cross-references have cross-fertilized heavily; one should examine texts carefully to see where a particular variant belongs.

One form of this in particular, "Madam, I Have Come A-Courting," has worn down so much that it some versions almost no elements left to allow identification. An example is Buell Kazee's version:

Madam, I have come a-courting, Oh dear, oh dear me. Come a-courting, not a-sporting....

Well if that is your desire, Fa da link dum, fa da day, You can sit and court the fire....

I've a ring worth many a shilling... You can wear it if you're willing....

I'll not have your ring or money... Want me a man to call me honey....

Intermediate texts such as Belden's, though, imply that such items probably belong here. - RBW

Cross references


  • LOCSheet, sm1878 x0003, "The Quaker's Courtship," Alex Forbes (unknown), 1878 (tune)


  • Buell Kazee, [Madam, I Have Come A-Courting] (on Kazee01)


  1. Belden, p. 265, "The Quaker's Wooing" (1 text, lacking any reference to a Quaker but probably this)
  2. Randolph 362, "The Courting Song" (4 texts, 2 tunes, though Randolph's "A" text is rather tenuously related to the others); 363, "I'm Going Away to Texas" (3 texts, 1 tune, the "C" text appearing to belong here; "A" is I'm Going Away to Texas" and "C" is perhaps "The Quaker's Courtship" ))
  3. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 295-297, "The Courting Song" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 362C)
  4. BrownIII 4, "Madam Mozelle, I've Come Courting" (1 fragment, too short to identify with certainty but perhaps this song); 8, "The Quaker's Wooing" (1 text, also short)
  5. Linscott, pp. 276-278, "The Quaker's Wooing" (1 short text, 1 tune)
  6. Fowke/Johnston, pp. 154-155, "The Quaker's Courtship" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Creighton-NovaScotia 23, "Quaker's Courtship" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. Mackenzie 158, "The Quaker's Wooing" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. FSCatskills 36, "A Sport Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. Gardner/Chickering 176, "The Quaker Song" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
  11. Creighton/Senior, pp. 199-200, "Quaker's Courtship" (1 fragment, 1 tune, which might be either this or "Wheel of Fortune")
  12. Lomax-FSNA 12, "The Quaker's Courtship" (1 text, 1 tune)
  13. Botkin-NEFolklr, p. 587, "Quaker's Courtship" (1 text, 1 tune)
  14. LPound-ABS, 108, pp. 223-224, "The Quaker's Courtship" (1 text)
  15. ST R362 (Partial)
  16. Roud #716
  17. BI, R362


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1878 (broadside, LOCSheet sm1878 x0003)
Found in: US(MW,NE,So) Canada(Mar,Ont)