Following on from our previous song The Highwayman Outwitted, Sovay is a similarly resourceful lady who checks up, in an unusually assertive manner, on her true love’s worth.
Henry Hammond collected the song from Mrs Young, Long Barton, Dorset, in July 1906. Two verses – the garden scene and the reason for the robbery – came from Mrs Crawford, West Milton, Dorset, in May 1906. Broadside printers give the heroine’s name as Sylvie or Sophie, which don’t rhyme nearly so well.
The arresting illustration, which certainly gained my attention, is by Anthony Summey.