A Lusty Young Smith

James Bell

Work In Progress

  1. A Lusty Young Smith
"Red hot grew his iron, as both did desire..."


This is a song about fucking. I mean… I can’t really think of anything else to say about it. I used to say it was also an interesting insight into 17th Century metallurgical techniques, but that was obviously just for comic effect. A woman meets a blacksmith, asks him if he’d like to work at her ‘forge’ — a bit of nudging and winking follows, and then they have sex repeatedly, and the song ends. Sometimes it’s the simple things. This is, incidentally, one of many traditional songs in which the woman initiates the encounter, and by god she doesn’t let it stop until she has got what she came for. Perhaps living in the past wasn’t all bad? Source: Thomas D'Urfey's Wit and Mirth: Pills to Purge Melancholy


A lusty young smith at his vise stood a-filing, His hammer laid by but his forge still aglow, 
When to him a buxom young damsel came smiling 
And asked if to work at her forge he would go. 
      With a jingle bang, jingle bang, jingle bang, jingle, 
      With a jingle bang, jingle bang, jingle, hi ho “I will,” said the smith, and they went off together, Along to the young damsel's forge they did go. 
They stripped to go to it, 'twas hot work and hot weather; She kindled a fire and she soon made it glow. 
      With a jingle bang, etc. Her husband, she said, no good work could afford her; His strength and his tools were worn out long ago. The smith said, “Well mine are in very good order, And now I am ready my skill for to show.”       With a jingle bang, etc. Red hot grew his iron, as both did desire, 
And he was too wise not to strike while 'twas so. Said she, “What I get, I get out of the fire, So pray thee, strike hard and redouble the blow.” 
      With a jingle bang, etc. Six times did his iron by vigorous heating, Grow soft in her forge in a minute or so And as often was hardened, still beating and beating, 
But each time it softened, it hardened more slow.       With a jingle bang, etc. The smith went to go; said the dame, full of sorrow, “Oh, what would I give could my husband do so! Good lad, with your hammer come hither tomorrow, But, pray, won’t you use it once more before you go?”       With a jingle bang, etc.

Credits & Copyright

Traditional, adapted by James Bell. Recorded and released by James Bell in June 2018. (P) House of Lyra.