Faithful Nancy

It may not seem feasible that someone could be separated from one’s true love for three years and not be certain it’s him/her when they met again. But people in the 1800s began work, whether in factory, on farm or the sea, at a very young age indeed, and three years separation would change one’s appearance from child to adult.

Henry William Bayntun a sailor at 13.
19th century Lancashire factory girls

Job Francis (71) sang Faithful Nancy to Cecil Sharp at Shipley, Sussex, 22 April 1908. I have no idea what ‘pleats and tallies’ are in the final verse. Explanations welcome!

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