by Anonymous / Unidentified Author
Translation © by Wijtse Rodenburg

The Ballad of Green Broom
Language: English 
Available translation(s): DUT
There was an old man lived out in the wood,
And his trade was a-cutting of broom, green broom,
He had but one son without thought without good
Who lay in his bed till 't was noon, bright noon.

The old man awoke one morning and spoke,
He swore he would fire the room, that room,
If his John would not rise and open his eyes,
And away to the wood to cut broom, green broom.

So Johnny arose and slipp'd on his clothes
And away to the wood to cut broom, green broom,
He sharpen'd his knives, and for once he contrives
To cut a great bundle of broom, green broom.

When Johnny pass'd under a Lady's fine house,
Pass'd under a Lady's fine room, fine room,
She call'd to her maid: "Go fetch me," she said,
"Go fetch me the boy that sells broom, green broom!"

When Johnny came into the Lady's fine house,
And stood in the Lady's fine room, fine room,
"Young Johnny" she said, "Will you give up your trade
And marry a lady in bloom, full bloom?"

Johnny gave his consent, and to church they both went,
And he wedded the Lady in bloom, full bloom;
At market and fair, all folks do declare,
There's none like the Boy that sold broom, green broom.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Wijtse Rodenburg) , title 1: "Brem, groene Brem...", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Brem, groene Brem...
Language: Dutch (Nederlands)  after the English 
Er woonde een man ergens diep in 't bos
voor de kost sneed hij Brem, groene Brem...
Hij had maar een zoon, 'n nietsnut gewoon...
die lag in z'n bed heel de dag, heel de dag...

De man, op 'n morgen, werd wakker vol zorgen...
de fik gaat er in, verhief hij z'n stem, luide stem...
als zijn John nu niet opstaat en eind'lijk op weg gaat
naar 't bos om te snijden de Brem, groene Brem...

Dus John uit de veren, en gleed in z'n kleren
en naar het bos om te snijden de Brem, groene Brem...
Met z'n messen geslepen, klaar lukte 't hem zowaar
te snijden een bundel met Brem, groene Brem...

Zo passeerde die Johnny 't huis van een deftige dame..
liep langs de statige ramen, van die deftige dame,
die riep naar haar meid: "Zeg breng hem naar mij,
breng me dat jong met de Brem, groene Brem... hé, breng me dat jong!"...

Zo kwam Johnny in 't huis van de dame,
hij stond in 't boudoir van de dame, de deftige dame...
"Johnny, jongen", zei ze, "Wil jij je baan eraan geven
en trouwen met 'n dame in de bloei van d'r leven?"....

Johnny vond 't wel best, in de kerk ging de rest...
Hij trouwde de dame in de bloei van haar leven:
En op markten en feesten, daar weten de meesten:
er gaat niets boven dat joch; met z'n Brem, groene Brem...


  • Translation from English to Dutch (Nederlands) copyright © by Wijtse Rodenburg, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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