Though hardly supernatural this ballad does have its elements of mystery, particularly in the meaning of the phrase "foggy dew." Does it really symbolize virginity, or is it more properly the "bugaboo" of Amarican variants? Here is our ghost, and one in all probability contrived by the artful lover, but we still don't know where the foggy dew comes from. This version of the song, however, does come from the vast repertoire of Harry Cox, of Catfield, Norfolk.
When I was a bachelor I lived all alone,and I followed the roving trade,
And the only thing that I ever did wrong, I courted a fair young maid.
I courted her for a summer season, and part of the winter too,
And many's the times she rolled in my arms all over the foggy dew.
One night as I lay on my bed, as I lay fast asleep,
Oh, then she came to my bedside, and bitterly she did weep,
She wept, she moaned, she tore her hair, and she cried, "What shall I do?
For tonight I'm resolved to sleep with you, for fear of the foggy dew."
All through the first part of that night, how we did sport and play,
And through the second part of that night she in my arms did lay,
And when the daylight did appear she cried, "I am undone!"
"Oh, hold your tongue, you silly young thing, for the foggy dew is gone.
"Well, supposing you should have one child, 'twould make you laugh and smile.
And supposing you should have another, 'twould make you think awhile,
And supposing you should have another, and another one or two,
That'd make you leave off them foolish young tricks that you played in the foggy dew."
I loved that girl with all my heart, I loved her as my life,
But in the second part of that year she became some other man's wife,
But I never told him of her faults ,and I never intend to do,
Nor of the time she rolled in my arms, all over the foggy dew.