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|This tune is also known as Brocklesby Fair and Young Ramble-away. The town is variously Brimbledon, Brocklesby, Brimbledown, Burlington and Derry Town. According to Kennedy they are probably all a corruption of Birmingham, which appears in an old broadside. The tune appears in William Baring Gould's 1891 collection. Ron Clarke notes the tune is from Somerset, England.
For a variant in both words and tune see:
As I was walking out to Burlington Fair
With top-hat and gaiters I'd ordered to wear
To meet all the lasses so buxom and gay
For I swore I was willing to ramble away.
And the very first step that I took to the fair
I saw pretty Nancy a-combing her hair
I tipped her the wink, and she rolled a dark eye
Thought I to myself, I'll be there by and by
The very fist step that I took in the dark
I took this girl, Nancy, to be my sweetheart
She smiled in my face and these words she did say
Are you the young fellow called Ramble-away?
I said, "Pretty Nancy, don't smile in my face
For I've not very long for to stay in this place
She packed up her clothes, farewell Birlingtonshire
She swore she would ramble she didn't care where.
My father and mother, they're both gone along
And when they return I will sing them a song
The song it will tell how their daughter's astray
She'll be gone on her travels with young Ramble-away
The summer is over and the winter is past
And pretty young Nancy grew stout round her waist
Her shoes wouldn't lace nor her apron strings tie
You see what you've done with your Ramble-away?
The autumn has passed and the winter has come
And the pretty girl Nancy's a lovely fine son
She huddled him and cuddled him,and cuddled him
and these words she did say
Grow up like your father and ramble away
Come, all you young maidens, wherever you be
With those jolly young fellows don't make over free
And come all you ramblers, and mind you take
Or else you'll get brambled at Burlington Fair.
|Lyrics and Information From
Folksongs of Britain and Ireland