Both sexes give ear to my fancy,
In praise of sweet woman I sing confined not to Doll, Sue, or Nancy,
The mate of the beggar or king. When Adam was first a-creatated ,
And lord of the universe crown’d , His happiness was not completed ,
Until that a helpmate was found.
A garden was planted by Nature ,
Man could not produce in his life. But no rest had he till his Creator
Discovered he wanted a wife He had horses and foxes for hunting
Which most men love dearly as life No relishsome food was a wanting
But still — he was short of a wife.
As Adam was resting in slumber.
He lost a small rib from his side. And when he awoke — twas in wonder.
To See a most beautiful bride. In transport he gazed upon her.
His happiness now was complete He praised the bountiful Donor,
Who to him had given a mate.
She was not taken out of his head, sir,
To rule and to triumph in man. Nor was she took out of his foot, sir.
By him to be trampled upon. But she was took out of his side, sir.
His equal co-partner to be; So, united is man with his bride sir,
Yet man is the top of the tree.
Then let not the fair be despisèd
By man , as she’s part of himself. Let woman by man be a-prized
As more than the world full of wealth. A man without woman’s a beggar,
Tho’ by him the world we’re possess’d But a beggar that’s got a good woman
With more than the world is he bless’d .
Below is a Scottish variant called Auld Adam
For a later American version of this song, click here
The earliest lyrics of this song go back to the 1700s possibly, but even the earliest songbook with these words says that they where taken from the older generation as the song was long since out of print.
The tune survived through oral singing,
Tts tune has been used for “Farewell Ye Green Fields” and the play “The Tragedy of Tragedies, or Tom Thumb (1734) for the song “In Hurry, Posthaste for License.”
All other information can be found in
“Songs and ballads of the West : a collection made from the mouths of the people”
page xl & 212 here
Songs and ballads of the West : a collection made from the mouths of the people
Also Page 231 of this book under the name “Old Adam”
Ballads and songs of the peasantry of England, taken down from oral recitation and transcribed from private manuscripts, rare broadsides and scarce publications