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Song

Our Goodman 100th in 1927

Written by
Publication date
1776
Language
English
Comments
"Our Goodman" [Roud 114; Child 274; G/D 7:1460; Henry H21ab; Ballad Index C274; Bodleian Roud 114; Wiltshire 888, 921; trad.] is a Scottish and English humorous folk song. It describes the efforts of an unfaithful wife to explain away the evidence of her infidelity. The song appeared in David Herd's 1776 compilation Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs. In it a husband (goodman) comes home to find a strange horse there. When he asks his wife what the horse is doing there she calls him stupid and blind, and says that it is a milk cow her mother sent her. The man retorts that in all his travels he never saw a saddle on a cow. The song has many lyrical variants and is known by different names including "Three/Four/Five/Six/Seven Nights Drunk", "Coming Home Late", and "Shickered as He Could Be". It's also sung in America as "Cabbage Head".

In the version known as "Seven Nights Drunk" (made famous by The Dubliners), each night is a verse, followed by a chorus, in which the narrator comes home in a drunken state to find evidence of another man having been with his wife, which she explains away, not entirely convincingly. Interestingly, despite the title, on The Dubliners single release they only sing the verses of the first five nights as apparently the label felt the verses of nights six and seven were too lewd to get airplay.
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