“The Ale-Wife and Her Barrel”

Alternate titles: “The Ale-Wife, the Drunken Wife”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1931 (collected by Peter Buchan)
Keywords: marriage abandonment commerce drink nonballad wife
Found in: Britain(Scotland(Aber))

Description

Singer's wife is an ale-seller and drunkard. She goes to market with her barrel; all know that he can't keep her out among men. Chorus: "The ale-wife, the drunken wife/The ale-wife she deaves me/My wifie wi' her barrelie/She'll ruin and she'll leave me"

Notes

Despite its long history, this song does not seem to have spread outside Aberdeenshire. - PJS

References

  1. MacSeegTrav 110, "The Ale-Wife and her Barrel" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #6031
  3. BI, McCST110