The Foggy Dew
Submitted by Nick Dow
Early in this century, Nick Dow and his wife visited The White Lion at Broadwindsor. Nick writes, “The landlord was Dick Corbett, a prolific singer. The button accordion was played by ‘Flash’ Phelps, and the numerous locals were entertained by two brothers, Doug and Sam Phillips.
“I was able to record the whole evening. The repertoire consisted of a catholic selection of songs, from the hit parade to the music hall, from country music to folk song proper. Dick Corbett, an ex-military man sporting a large handlebar moustache, regaled us with old favorites from his service days. ‘Widdicombe Fair’ was followed by ‘I Am the Music Man.’ Then, with no warning, Dick produced three verses of ‘The Foggy Dew,’ and as if by prior arrangement, Doug and Sam Phillips, singing in unison, gave voice to ‘The Ball of Yarn,’ with Flash Phelps playing for all he was worth.
“The Phillips brothers then launched into a selection of music hall songs. Some were reasonably well known. ‘Fireworks,’ written by T.W. Connor, was followed by ‘Slap Bab’ and the less common ‘Nobody Noticed Me!,’ sung originally by Jack Pleasance, the shy comedian, famous for his song ‘I’m Shy, Mary Ellen.’”
I am a bachelor, I lives by myself, and I work at the weaver's trade
The only thing I ever did wrong was to woo a fair young maid
I wooed her in the summertime
And part of the winter too
And the only thing I ever did wrong was to save her from the foggy foggy dew.
One night as I lay on my bed as I was fast asleep
She came that night to my bedside and bitter did she weep
She wept, she cried
She damn near died
Says I, "What can I do?"
So I took her into bed and covered up her head
Just to save her from the foggy dew.
In the first part of that night, how we did sport and play
In the second part of that night, she in my arms did lay
When broad daylight did appear
She cried, "I am undone!"
"Hold your tongue, you silly young fool
The foggy dew, he's gone."
"When will you come on, my love? When will the child come on?"
"When the winter leaves they turn to green and the summer ones come on."
When nine long months were gone and past,
I cried, "What can I do?"
For as she begun to bear my son
She died from the foggy dew.
Now still a bachelor, I lives with my son
We work at the weavers trade
Every time I look into his eyes, he reminds me of that fair young maid
He reminds me in the summer time
and part of the winter too
Of the many times I held her in my arms
To save her from the foggy, foggy dew.
Nick Dow has been singing and collecting Traditional Folk Songs for over forty years. Nick has gleaned songs from the West Country, and been given songs by the Travelling people with whom he has lived and worked.