Click on arrow to hear the song performed by Derek B. Scott, Professor of Critical Musicology, University of Leeds, to his own piano accompaniment c. 1980.

According to Professor Scott, songs about young boys outnumber those about girls, partly because girls are seen as vulnerable outside the home. In this song, a rich boy is too weak to play with his friends in his beautiful garden, and a beggar maid watches out for him regularly through the garden gate. As the harmonium joins the piano accompaniment, they both go homeward together, but perhaps not to the home they expected. This ballad was one of Frederic Cowen’s biggest successes, and has words by the prolific lyricist Frederic Weatherly..


Scott, Derek B. The Singing Bourgeois: Songs of the Victorian Drawing Room and Parlour. 2nd ed. Aldershot, Hampshire; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001.

Last modified 22 August 2011