I 'Hem' When I Cleave

D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1719

This is a 3-part round. When the three parts are sung, and the "Hem!" is properly
grunted - high for the woman's part and low for the man - it sounds downright lewd.


Young Colin, cleaving of a beam,
At every thumping, thumping blow cried "Hem!"     
[a grunt]
And told his wife, and told his wife,
And told his wife, who the cause would know,
That "Hem!" made the wedge much further go.

Plump Joan, when at night to bed they came,
And both were playing at that same,
Cried: "Hem! Hem! Hem!
Prithee, prithee, prithee Colin do!
If ever thou lov'dst me, dear, Hem! now."

He laughing answered "No, no, no!
Some work will split, will split with half a blow!
Besides, now I bore, now I bore, now I bore,
Now, now, now I bore.
I Hem! when I cleave, but now I bore!"


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