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Broadside ballads entitled 'Child with Three Fathers' and 'Down by the Old Mill Stream'



With Three


You young lads and lasses draw near for a while,
And I'll sing yon a song that may cause you to smile,
Ab at a young man who a fair maid beguiled,
And how she obtained three fathers for her child,
        To my redly fal the di do, redly fal the day

Not far from this place lived a sporting young blade,
And he fell in love with a comely young maid,
He said her he loved, she believed sincere,
But what followed after you quickly shall hear.

When eight months were over and nine months were
This pretty fair damsel she had a young son,
It is the picture of its father the women all cried,
There's his eyes, nose, and mouth, he cannot deny it.

She sent for that young man to come speedily
For to see his young son , when he made this reply,
I never had dealings with her in my time,
Let her send for its father, the child's none of mine

Then she summoned him up in a very short while.
Determined to make him father the child
He bribed   two young men who did solemely swear ,
That all three of them kept company with that fa[ ].

O then says the Bailie, that alters the case,
Amongst you you've brought this young girl to disgrace,
To support her young baby the Bailie did say,
Two and Sixpence a week each of you will have to pay.

0, Bailie, O, Bailie, the two witnesses did cry,
What we said about the girl we confess was a lie.
A man or woman, for us, Sir, she may be.
Of the hall-crown now we hope you'll let us go free.

You must pay for the child, for according to law,
You've confessed to the act and I cannot withdraw,
You may all now go home and put up with your lot,
Young woman three fathers for your child you ve got.


Down by the


Mill Stream.

You must know that my uncle is a farmer,
Keeps a large farm in the west,
Whi e staying there I met a little charmer,
And many's a time I caressed
That girl so fair, with nut-brown hair,
Her equal ne'er was seen,
And where I met this little charmer
Was down by the old mill stream.


Down by the old mill stream,
There many happy hours I have seen,
Strolling day by day we passed the time
Down by the old mill stream.

Her father was the owner of a dairy,
Her brother worked the plough,
And whi e I used to roam with little Mary,
Her mother would milk the cow.
But her father said, we should not wed,
Wh'ch I thought rather mean;
As she could not be my wife she said she'd
end her life,
By drowning in the old mill stream.

How the old man laughed at his daughter,
Saying, I don't believe a word that you say
But when he saw her struggling in the water
He exclaimed, Do save her, pray.
But it was too late, she had met her fate,
Oh, what a terrible scene!
The old man cried as the neighbours tried
To pull her out of the stream.

At last they got her out of the water,
And some of the neighbours said,
Oh, Brown, you've been the ruin of your
For the girl is really dead.
He tore his hair, gave way to despair,
Ran away, never more was seen,
And now I'm told the dairy is sold
That stood by the old mill stream,

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Probable period of publication: 1860-1890   shelfmark: RB.m.143(036)
Broadside ballads entitled 'Child with Three Fathers' and 'Down by the Old Mill Stream'
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