A Smuggler’s Song

(notes by Philip Holberton and Donald Mackenzie)



Published with “Hal o’ the Draft“, in Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906).

See also “Poor Honest Men”.

Peter Bellamy’s rendition can be found here.

Notes on the Text

[Verse 1 Line 3] Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie:  Oliver Goldsmith: “She Stoops to Conquer” (1773): ‘Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no fibs.’

[‘Verse 1 line 7]  Brandy for the parson: later used as the title of a short story about brandy smuggling and its film adaptation.  [D.H.]

[Verse 2 Line 4] brishwood:  Sussex dialect for brushwood.

[Verse 4 Line 1] King George’s men: soldiers or excise-men hunting the smugglers.

[Verse 6 Line 3] Valenciennes: lace, originally produced (c. 1705-80) in the town of that name in Northern France.



©Philip Holberton and Donald Mackenzie 2020 All rights reserved