Common as a broadside as well as in aural tradition, the "amorous encounter" song was more popular with singers than with collectors, who often considered such lyrics unfit or unworthy of publication. This one became well known to Grainger aficionados through his 1912 chorus arrangement. It comes from Mr. Fred Atkinson of Redbourne,
As I walked out on a May morning, on a May morning so early,
I overtook a pretty fair maid just as the day was a-dawning.
With a rue-rum-ray, fol-the-diddle-day,
Her eyes were bright and her stockings white, and her buckling shone like silver,
She had a dark a roving eye, and her hair hung over her shoulder.
"Where are you going, my pretty fair maid? Where are you going, my honey?"
She answered me right cheerfully, "I've an errand for my mummy."
"How old are you, my pretty fair maid? How old are you, my honey?"
She answered me right cheerfully, "I'm seventeen come Sunday."
"Will you take a man, my pretty fair maid? Will you take a man, my honey?"
She answered me right cheerfully, "Ooh, I dare not for my mummy."
"But if you come round to my mummy's house, when the moon shines bright and clearly,
I will come down and let you in, and my mummy shall not hear me."
So I went down to her mummy's house, when the moon shone bright and clearly,
She did come down and let me in, and I lay in her arms till morning.
So, now I have my soldier-man, and his ways they are quite winning.
The drum and fife are my delight, and a pint of rum in the morning.