Jon says, “I learned this from the Steeleye version (sung by Martin Carthy). It occurs to me that traditional song doesn’t amount to much of an endorsement of married life.” A fair point. I wonder what the percentage of “and they all (both) lived happily ever after” songs is? It can’t be very high and I reckon two or three of what’s gone up here to date. This is a fairly daft tale of double, double crossing with a joke about marrow bones at its heart – as the marrow comes out of the bones when boiled it leaves a hollow centre, in which you can see nothing at all. A common enough tale it seems to be with Irish, English and American variants. Mainly Norfolk has Steeleye and more and Mudcat has this thread and this post, which refers to a quote in Mark Twain.
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