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The earliest known example of this song found in oral currency was printed by William Alexander Barrett in his Folk Songs of England (London: Novello. 1891, number 42 page 73). The book is very hard to obtain and, since it is out of copyright, we include the song here. The tune is very different from Mrs Marina Russell's: for those who are not fluent readers of staff notation, we have added midi renditions. The piano accompaniment, of course, is very much of its time.


Melody with piano accompaniment

A Jug of This

A Jug of This: staff notation from Barrett, English Folk Songs, 1891

  You tipplers all, as you pass by,
  Call in and drink, if you be dry,
  Call in and drink, think it not amiss
  To pawn your jerkin for a jug of this.

Now I am bound to the Spanish shore,
Where thundering cannons loud do roar,
Crown my desire, fulfil my wish,
A pretty girl and a jug of this.

  When I'm grown old, and scarce can crawl,
  With my grey beard, and my head all bald,
  Transform me then into a fish,
  That I may swim in a jug of this.
You mariners all, if you have a crown,
You are welcome here to sit all down,
Come, spread, my lads, your money brisk,
And pop your noses in a jug of this.
When I am dead and in my grave,
And all my sorrows are past and fled,
Crown my desire, fulfil my wish,
Place on my tomb, A jug of this.

"A copy of this song was printed in one of the Little Warblers, printed by Ryle, of Seven Dials, about 1838. It may be older. The melody was taken down from the singing of a farm labourer at Melksham, Wilts in 1857."

The song has only rarely been reported. Beside this version, Henry and Robert Hammond noted two in Dorset: one from William Haines of Sherbourne, Dorset, in July 1906 and one —with fragmentary words, according to them— from Mrs Marina Russell of Upwey, Dorset, in February 1907. The example in Classic English Folk Songs uses Mrs Russell's tune with a collation —perhaps— of the two texts. Note, however, the following:

Although Henry Hammond referred (Journal, III 1907, 116) (11) to Marina Russell's "fragmentary words", it appears that none of these were actually recorded. Steve Gardham of Hull draws our attention to a note appended by Frank Purslow to the Hammond MSS, stating:

"Hammond noted no text at all from Mrs Russell, and it was Haines who he thought said 'mourners' to judge from his notebook (D.VI p 108). The words printed in the Penguin book are an edited version of W[illia]m Haines's text (D580).
It is just possible, though, that a variation in the wording of the last verse may be Mrs Russell's, but Hammond does not say anything to this effect."

More recently, Gwilym Davies has recorded a set from Ray Driscoll of Gloucestershire (1998 and 2000).

Beside the songster referred to above, the song appeared on broadsides during the first half of the 19th century. Editions by Pitt of Seven Dials can be seen at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

[A] Jug of This

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