I was scrolling randomly around Yet Another Digital Tradition Page, which is usually not the greatest method because many wonderful songs have silly or unexceptional titles. But then I came across a song called The Bold Librarian. Hello, awesome!
Oh, some, they like the sailor man when he comes back to shore,
And some they like the beggar man that begs from door to door,
And some, they like the soldier man with his musket and his can,
But my delight can read and write, he’s the bold librarian.
Now, this librarian, he rode out all in the dewy morn,
And he met with the farmer’s daughter and loudly he blew his horn.
“Come in my bold librarian, I’ll make thee a pot of tea.
For my father and mother have gone to town and there’s nobody here but me.”
“I have a book for your mother, dear, called Love that dare not speak,
And another for your father, called Gunfighters of Mustang Creek,
But nothing I have for you, my dear,” the librarian did say,
“But anything you shall request you shall have it right away.”
“Oho!” said this maiden bold, a-glowing all o’er with fire.
“Is it true that you can bring your readers anything they desire?”
“Oh, yes,” said the bold librarian, “Oh, yes, indeed I will.
Take me to your chamber and there I’ll show you all my professional skill.”
So they went upstairs together and they laid down on the bed,
And he showed her every detail from A unto Zed,
‘Til he couldn’t classify her under maidens anymore.
She cried, “Such dynamic service I’ve never had before.”
Now this librarian he arose and put on all his clothes,
And from out of his pocket he drew a handful of gold,
“Take this, my dearest Polly, for thee and thy baby.
In truth it’s from the Book Fund, but I’ll give it all to thee.”
“Oh come, my bold librarian, oh won’t you marry me?”
“Oh no, my dearest Polly, such things can never be,
For married I am already to a quiet little thing.
I’ve a first and second edition and a third coming out in spring.”
“But dost thou truly love me?” the farmer’s daughter said.
“What d’you mean,” said the librarian, “Just because we’ve been to bed?
In my most high profession, love and sex cannot combine,
[sung nonmetrically or just spoken]
Because SEX is 612.6 and LOVE, which I classify under virtues not
otherwise accounted for, is 179.9
Come all you pretty fair maids, this warning you must heed:
You must marry some simple ploughboy who can neither write nor read.
For he may be poor and humble, but he’ll love you the best he can.
And have naught to do with that roving blade who drives the library van.
And if you go for your holidays to that village on the border
And you hear a little boy call the cows in alphabetical order
“Come along, little Annie and Betty and Connie and Daisy and Ethel and Fran”
Then you will know it must be the son of the bold librarian.
Copyright Joy Rutherford 1976, with slight adjustments to the words
*giggle* *giggle* *giggle* OK, I’m immature, but I love this. Although I admit I don’t know enough about library cataloging systems to say anything about the SEX and LOVE line.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to chase down the referenced tune, Sullivan’s John, but I found a pointer to Spancil Hill, which is well-known enough to have a Wikipedia page. And hey, the tune of Spancil Hill fits the words of The Bold Librarian, so I’m running with it. (This is the sort of goose-chasing that happens when I try to ferret out an obscure traditional tune while the Music Library is closed.)