Child's Ballads

Week 12: England - Assignments - Reading - Resources - Images


When I Come Home The Other Night (Child 274)

Listening time: (8 minutes)

CHILD 274 versions A-B: This is another comic ballad, about a man who comes home, thoroughly drunk - and very surprised at what he finds when he gets home!

AUDIO RECORDING

VERSE 1
When I come home the other night
So drunk I couldn't see
I found a horse in th stable
Where my horse ought'a be
So, I says to my wife,
Explain this thing t' me
How come a horse in th stable
Where my horse ought'a be

O, you blind fool, ya crazy fool
Can't ya plainly see
It's only a milk cow
My Grandma sent t' me

Well, I've roamed th whole world over
A thousand times 'er more
But a saddle on a milk cow
I never saw b'fore

VERSE 2
O, when I come home the other night
So drunk I couldn't see
I found a coat on th coat rack
Where my coat ought'a be
So, I says to my wife,
Explain this thing t' me
How come a coat on th coat rack
Where my coat ought'a be

O, you blind fool, ya crazy fool
Can't ya plainly see
It's only a crazy quilt
My Grandma sent t' me

Well, I've roamed th whole world over
A thousand times 'er more
But buttons on a crazy quilt
I never saw b'fore

VERSE 3
O, when I come home the other night
So drunk I couldn't see
I found a head on th pillow
Where my head ought'a be
So, I says to my wife,
Explain this thing t' me
How come a head on my pillow
Where my head ought'a be

O, you blind fool, ya crazy fool
Can't ya plainly see
It's only a cabbage head
My Grandma sent t' me

Well, I've roamed th whole world over
A thousand times 'er more
But a mustache on a cabbage head
I never saw b'fore

AUDIO RECORDING

VERSE 1
Well, I came home the other night
Just drunk as I could be
Found a hat on my hat rack
Where my hat ought to be
Now, come my little wifey
Explain yourself to me
How come that hat on my hat rack
Where my hat ought to be

Well, you blind fool, you drunken fool
Can't you never see
That's just a milk pail
My granny gave to me

Well, I've travled this world over
A hundred miles or more
But a sweat band in a milk pail
I never did see before

VERSE 2
Well, I came home the other night
Jest drunk as I could be
Found a coat on my coat rack
Where my coat ought to be
Now, come my little wifey
Explain yourself to me
How come that coat on my coat rack
Where my coat ought to be

Well, you blind fool, you drunken fool
Can't you never see
That's just a blanket
My granny gave to me

Well, I've travled this world over
A hundred miles or more
But pockets in a blanket
I never did see before

VERSE 3
Well, I came home the other night
Just drunk as I could be
Found a head on my pillow
Where my head ought to be
Now, come my little wifey
Explain yourself to me
How come that head on my pillow
Where my head ought to be

Well, you blind fool, you drunken fool
Can't you never see
That's just a cabbage head
My granny gave to me

Well, I've travled this world over
A hundred miles or more
But whiskers on a cabbage head
I never did see before

VERSE 4
Well, I came home the other night
Just drunk as I could be
Found a horse in my horse stall
Where my horse ought to be
Now, come my little wifey
Explain yourself to me
How come that horse in my horse stall
Where my horse ought to be

Well, you blind fool, you drunken fool
Can't you never see
That's just a milk cow
My granny gave to me

Well, I've travled this world over
A hundred miles or more
But a saddle on a milk cow
I never did see before

VERSE 5
Well, I came home the other night
Just drunk as I could be
Found some boots under my bed
Where my boots ought'a be
Now, come my little wifey
Explain yourself to me
How come them boots under my bed
Where my boots ought'a be

Well, you blind fool, you drunken fool
Can't you never see
That's just a bed pan
My granny gave to me

Well, I've travled this world over
A hundred miles or more
But spurs on a bed pan
I never did see before

VERSE 6
Well, I came home the other night
Just drunk as I could be
Found some things in my room
Th sum of one, two, three
Now, come my little wifey
Explain yourself to me
How come them things in my room
Th sum of one, two, three

Well, you blind fool, you drunken fool
Can't you never see
That's just my sisters
That came to visit me

Well, I've travled this world over
A hundred miles or more
But britches on your sisters
I never did see before


Questions. Make sure you can answer these questions about what you just read:

  • what information is the woman trying to hide from the man?
  • how does he keep seeing through what she says?
  • which of the wife's tricky statements if your favorite?

Source: From The Max Hunter Folksong Archive (weblink) and Lesley Nelson's Child Ballad website (weblink). See also Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898). Weblink.


Modern Languages / Anthropology 3043: Folklore & Mythology. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
Page last updated: October 9, 2004 12:52 PM