“The Widow of Westmoreland's Daughter”


The widow's daughter reports losing her maidenhead to a grenadier guard. The mother wants it back; the guard invites the girl to his wedding. The bride asks about her; she proves to have slept with another man. The guard marries the daughter instead

Long description

Widow prays her daughter might keep her maidenhead, but the daughter comes back having lost it to a Grenadier guard. The mother scolds; the daughter returns to the Grenadier, demanding her maidenhead back. The Grenadier obliges her by "put[ting] her head where her feet was before," then invites her to his wedding; the girl runs back to her mother and tells the story, saying she's a maiden again. The mother, not pleased, goes to the wedding with the daughter; the bride asks who it might be. The Grenadier replies that it must be the widow's daughter who ran home and told; the bride says she'd never do that; she lay with a man for 11 nights and never told anyone. The Grenadier at this point dumps the bride in favor of the widow's daughter "who ran home and told her mummy"


Lloyd notes that the song, never printed as of the time of recording [not quite true; Kinloch printed it in 1827 - RBW], had been offered to F. J. Child but was rejected for indecency. - PJS

Cross references

  • cf. "The Country Girl (The Fair Maid of the West" (theme of regaining maidenhead)


  • A. L. Lloyd, "The Widow of Westmoreland's Daughter" (on Lloyd1); "Widow of Westmorland's Daughter (on BirdBush1, BirdBush2) (Lloyd3)


  1. Kinloch-BBook I, pp. 1-3, "The Widow o' Westmoreland" (1 text)
  3. Roud #228
  4. BI, DTwidwst


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1827 (Kinloch)
Found in: Britain(England,Scotland)