Lyrics: Nic Jones

Oh it's of a wealthy tailor, in London town did dwell,
And he had a handsome wife, and her name was Mary Bell

She's gone to the butcher, a joint of meat to buy,
"What is your will?" dear woman, the butcher did reply

Well, the joint of meat it was cut down, refuse it she did not,
And straight way she goes and she puts it in the pot

And when the tailor he come in, she told him what she had,
The poor tailor jumped for joy, his heart was very glad

"Husband, dear husband, I'll tell you what must be"
"Tomorrow night the butcher - he has to lie with me"

"You take a broadsword in your hand, and under the bed go"
"And the first man that enters, then, be sure to run him through"

"Oh I never handled sword or gun my dear and loving wife"
"And butchers, they are bloody dogs, I think he'll have my life"

"Oh don't you be down-hearted, with courage stout and bold - "
"And if the butcher you'll become, you'll wear a chain of gold"

And the butcher's thinking it was time to see the tailor's wife,
And thinking they might form a plot or trick to take his life,

He takes a brace of pistols with powder and with ball,
"And the first man that molests me now, by jove I'll make him fall!"

And the windy butcher, he come in, she takes him by the hand,
She led him to the bedchamber, as I'm a joker-man

He takes a brace of pistols and lays them on the bed,
The poor tailor's struck with fear - he lay as if quite dead

And the butcher's taken off his clothes a-going into bed,
How he was struck when he did spy one of the tailor's legs!

"Is this your husband's dog?" he says "I'll shoot for to fright"
"Spare my life!" the tailor cries, "and you can have my wife!"

Sung by Nic Jones on "Ballads and Songs"