Mudcat Café message #3898937 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3898937
Posted By: Steve Gardham
11-Jan-18 - 04:48 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
This may not be the case here, but in earlier centuries, indeed by many today, beggars were often portrayed as very wealthy people, who deliberately dressed in rags and went onto the streets to beg but in reality were living in big houses. Whether there was any truth in this I much doubt it. Recently on our local radio a taxi driver called in to say that he regularly picked up one of these street beggars from his house daily to take him to his begging spot. Again I very much doubt this. These street beggars generally are ignored. I rarely see anyone give them anything and nowadays we are encouraged to give to the homeless organisations instead which most philanthropic people do. Aggressive beggars are soon dealt with.

This ballad may well have been meant as a dig at beggars, at least partially.