My Husband’s a Mason

This is a humourous ditty that has been found in print in a similar form back in the early 18th century as was considered to already be traditional at that time!  It was known by various names and has undergone various transformations over the years and by the late 19th and throughout the 20th century is encountered as “Hey Jig A Jig”, “Follow Your Man”, “Follow The Band”, and even, I am told, as “The Bawdy Balladeers” (by the band The Royal Chessmen, who also call it “My Husband”) whereas the a capella trio The Bawdy Balladeers themselves call it “Professions”.  This version presented is an example of an older version – it likely did not have a chorus as most of these songs did not, but rather would merely be presented and if you also knew it, you would sing along to the simple, almost nursery-rhyme style melody; the chorus part is of a style that would have been added later.  As with pretty much all folk music, the lyrics change according to the person presenting the song; in the case of this song, various versions have different actions for the same profession from other versions, and the song invites your own interpretations, much like mine below.  Some variations will set the listener up for a bawdy conclusion but suddenly conclude with an innocent line… there does seem to be a practice in English and Scottish bawdy songs of old to suggest and then redirect, but from the books I have in my collection from 1784, 1800, and 1802 of bawdy ballads and ditties, songs blatantly describing situations, the sex act itself, and profane language would suggest that coy side-stepping and metaphors were by no means the expected common practice in situations where one might sing these songs in socially appropriate settings; suggestive endings such as “at night he comes home and drinks tea” appear to have become the norm by the beginning of the Victorian era.

Jos. Morneault

My Husband's a Mason - melody

My husband’s a mason, a mason, a mason,
A very fine mason is he!
All day he lays bricks, lays bricks, lays bricks.
At night he comes home and lays me!

Tra la la – Tra la la!
At night he comes come and lays me !

My husband’s a farmer, a farmer, a farmer.
A very fine farmer is he!
All day he ploughs fields, ploughs fields, plough fields
And then he comes home and ploughs me!

Tra la…

My husband’s a sailor, a sailor, a sailor.
A very fine sailor is he!
All day he climbs ropes, climbs ropes, climbs ropes
And then he comes home and climbs me!  (Sometimes we say “ties” instead)

Tra la…

My husband’s a carpenter, a carpenter, a carpenter
A very fine carpenter is he!
All day he bangs boards, bangs boards, bangs boards.
At night he comes home and bangs me!

My husband’s a horseman, a horseman, a horseman.
A very fine horseman is he!
All day he mounts horses, mounts horses, mounts horses
At night he comes home and mounts me!

My husband’s a butcher, a butcher, a butcher,
A very fine butcher is he!
All day he stuffs sausage, stuffs sausage, stuffs sausage.
At night he comes home and stuffs me!

My husband’s a miner, a miner, a miner,
A very good miner is he!
All day he drills holes, drills holes, drills holes,
And then he comes home and drills me!

** My husband’s a baker, a baker, a baker,
A very fine baker is he!
All day he whips cream, whips cream, whips cream,
And when he comes home he whips me!

My husband’s a plumber, a plumber, a plumber
A very fine plumber is he!
All day he screws pipes, screws pipes, screws pipes.
At night he comes home and screws me!

*My husband’s a chandler, a chandler, a chandler.
A very fine chandler is he
All day he’s away, he’s away, he’s away
And everyone comes and does me.

#My husband’s a woodsman, a woodsman, a woodsman.
A very fine woodsman is he!
All day he splits wood, splits wood, split wood,
And then he comes home and splits me!

***My husband’s the barkeep. The barkeep, the barkeep.
A very fine barkeep is he!
All day he taps kegs, taps kegs, taps kegs,
And then he comes home and taps me!

##My husband’s a Dutchman, a Dutchman, a Dutchman,
A very fine Dutchman is he!
All day he plugs dikes, plugs dikes, plugs dikes
And then he comes home and plugs me!

My husband’s a postman, a postman, a postman.
A very fine postman is he!
All day he licks stamps, licks stamps, licks stamps,
And then he comes home and licks me!

My husband’s a lawyer, a lawyer, a lawyer
A mighty fine lawyer is he!
All day long he fucks you, he fucks you, he fucks you
And at night he comes home and fucks me

My husband’s a chanteyman, a chanteyman, a chanteyman.
A melodious chanteyman is he!
All night he sings songs, sings songs, sings songs,
And then he comes home and he sleeps.

*Thank you Ben Parker

**Thank you to Laura of the trio The Bawdy Balladeers!

*** Thank you Ian Basilone!

# Thank you Mike Baldi!

## Thank you, Mr. Falbowski!

7 thoughts on “My Husband’s a Mason

  1. Dave Livesay

    When I learned this, the last line of every verse was, “And when he comes home he drinks tea.”

    1. JosMorn Post author

      Yeah, the switching to a metaphor for the joke in this song appears to have begun during the Regency Period when a sense of “a proper past” compelled printers and singers alike to go more underground with bawdy songs and literature. The “drinks tea” became the standard for this song thereafter and continued through the 20th century in the variations such as “Hey Jig a Jig”.

  2. Laura

    I meant to also mention that we made up loads of versus for that song. The sillier the better.
    My husband’s a baker… all day he whips cream.
    My husband’s a chandler… all day he dips wicks.
    …and so on…

  3. Laura

    Just a quick note to say hello and confirm that yes – The Bawdy Balladeers was the name of the trio with whom I used to perform and we did, indeed, sing a version of this song we called “Professions” and instead of the blatantly obvious punch line at the end of each verse, we sang “drinks tea”… as in “and at night he comes home and *pause* drinks tea.”

    1. JosMorn Post author

      Excellent, Laura! I’m pleased that you found our site! I might make some changes to the page over the weekend based on your suggestions, thank you!


  4. Steve Johnson

    My husband’s a baker, a baker, a baker,
    A master baker true is he
    All day he fills the dough, fills the dough, fills the dough
    And when he cums home he fills me!


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