Within a Furlong of Edinborough Town
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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These words were written by Thomas D'Urfey (1653-1723). D'Urfey was a famous English dramatist whose patrons included Charles II, James II and William and Mary (after changing his religion). He wrote 32 plays and some 500 songs. He published the several volume work, Wit and Mirth: or, Pills to Purge Melancholy, which included his work and others as well as older airs and ballads. The words and tune for this tune first appeared in Delicae Musicae in 1696.

These are the lyrics published in 1696 in Wit and Mirth: or, Pills to Purge Melancholy (and therefore don't exactly fit the music). For a later, "much altered" version, see Within a Mile of Edinburgh Town. The tune is sometimes attributed to Henry Purcell (who D'Urfey often collaborated with). However, according to some sources it was probably written by Jeremiah Clarke.*

'Twas within a furlong of Edinborough Town,
In the Rosy time of year,
when the Grass was down,
Bonny Jockey Blith and Gay,
Said to Jenny making Hay,
Let's sit a little (Dear) and prattle,
'Tis a sultry Day:
He long had Courted the Black-Brow'd Maid,
But Jockey was a Wag
and would ne'er consent to Wed;
Which made her pish and phoo,
And cry out it will not do,
I cannot, cannot, cannot, wonnot,
monnot Buckle too.

He told her Marriage was grown a meer Joke,
And that no one Wedded now,
But the Scoundrel Folk;
Yet, my dear, thou shouldest prevail,
But I know not what I ail,
I shall dream of Clogs, and silly Dogs,
With Bottles at their Tail;
But I'll give thee Gloves,
and a Bongrace to wear,
And a pretty Filly-Foal,
To ride out and take the Air;
If thou ne'er will pish or phoo,
and cry it ne'er shall do,
I cannot, cannot, cannot, wonnot,
monnot Buckle too.

That you'll give me Trinkets,
cry'd she, I believe,
But ah! what in return
must your poor Jenny give;
When my Maiden Treasure's gone,
I must gang to London Town,
And Roar, and Rant, and Patch and Paint,
And Kiss for half a Crown:
Each Drunken Bully oblige for Pay,
And earn an hated Living
in an odious Fulsom way;
No, no, it ne'er shall do,
for a Wife I'll be to you,
Or I cannot, cannot, cannot, wonnot,
monnot Buckle too.

Related Links
From Songs of Scotland
The Royal Edition, Volume I
*The Songs of Thomas D'Urfey
See Bibliography for full information.