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Foggy Dew, The - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

The Foggy Dew comes in two very different, and - frankly - completely unrelated varieties.  The Foggy Dew on this page is a verging-on-lewd English folk song that was included in a broadside in 1815, but which is probably a lot older - several versions were collected by Cecil Sharp.  It was bawdy enough to land Burl Ives in jail for singing it during the 1940s, which, from the viewpoint of the early twenty-first century, seems more than a little ludicrous.  There are also several distinct and different Irish songs that go by the name of the 'Foggy Dew', one of which tells the story of the 1916 Easter Rising from an Irish Republican point of view.

Chords

Verse

E                                         A

When I was a bachelor I lived all alone,

B7                                             E
     I worked at the weaver's trade.

E                                                    A
And the only, only thing that I did that was wrong

             B7                          E
Was to woo a fair young maid.




Chorus

   B7                          E

I wooed her in the winter time,

B7                              E
Part of the summer too;

E                                                    A                                  F#7
And the only, only thing that I did that was wrong
           
             B7                                                  E

Was to keep her from the foggy, foggy dew.


A three-and-a-half chord song (the F#7 being the half) that has its tongue firmly in its cheek, the Foggy Dew should bring a smile to your audience's face.

Lyrics

When I was a bachelor I lived all alone,
I worked at the weaver's trade.
And the only, only thing that I did that was wrong
Was to woo a fair young maid.

I wooed her in the winter time,
Part of the summer too;
And the only, only thing that I did that was wrong
Was to keep her from the foggy, foggy dew.

One night she knelt close by my side
When I was fast asleep;
She threw her arms around my neck
And then began to weep.

She wept, she cried, she tore her hair -
Ah, me, what could I do?
So all night long, I held her in my arms
Just to keep her from the foggy, foggy dew.

Again I am a bachelor - I live with my son;
We work at the weaver's trade;
And every single time that I look into his eyes
He reminds me of that fair young maid.

He reminds me of the wintertime,
Part of the summer too,
And of the many, many times that I held her in my arms
Just to keep her from the foggy, foggy dew.

Other English Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs