The Tailorís Breeches

It seems that tailors are rarely treated well in folklore. The Tailor's Breeches, which the wearer manages to lose a little too enthusiastically, is no exception. This Dorset version is shorter than one known in the north of England, and was published by Frank Purslow in Marrowbones, his first selection of songs from the Hammond & Gardiner manuscripts.

It's of a brisk young tailor, a story I'll relate.
He lived at an inn called 'The Ram and the Gate'
'The Ram and the Gate' was the place where he did dwell
And wine and women's company he loved exceeding well
     So well, so well, so well my boys, so well.
     And wine and women's company he loved exceeding well.

One evening this young tailor had been drinking a jug of wine
Not being used to so much drink, it caused his face to shine
It caused his nose to shine like the rising sun
And he swore he'd have a bonny lass before the night was done
     Was done, was done, etc.

So he took her in his arms and he called her his dear honey
While they was a-talking, she was fingering of his money.
Fingering of his money, when the tailor smiled and said
"If you'll lend me your petticoats, I'll dance like a maid"
     A maid, a maid etc.

So the tailor took his breeches off and the petticoats put on
The tailor danced a dance while the lady sang a song;
The tailor danced a dance while she played a pretty tune
She waltzed the tailor's breeches right out of the room.
     The room, the room, etc.

"Oh, was ever a poor tailor undone as I'm undone?
My watch and my wallet and my breeches are all gone
If ever I dare go out, they'll call me "garden flower"
And if ever I get my breeches back I'll never dance no more.
     No more, no more, etc.

© Golden Hind Music