If not, it's basically the story of how a fellow is raising his kids based on the cautionary tales of English Folk ballads. Which pretty much sum up as "Sex leads to pregnancy, death, or both. For that matter, most things lead to death, especially love, drink, and siblings."
You can see where I was going with this.
Anyway, the discussion produced a great many funny things, such as this excellent line:
(Montrose fought on the King's side, as he saw it, which wasn't always the way the King saw it).
Also, some great original compositions by John M. Ford and others. Since I don't know how many people read so deep in the comments, I thought I'd post some of the more original ones here.
Folk Burma Shave signs, courtesy ajay:
You shall not screw
For God won't like it
If you do
If you make off
With others' stuff
The LORD is prone
To cut up rough
A heap of trouble
Keep Sunday free
And watch your stubble
You may not covet
You think you'd love it
I know a lot of people on my flish know the story of Tam Lin, so I figured this would be interesting:
First came James MacDonald, with:
Going by Carterhaugh worked out okay for young Janet, but things didn't go quite as well for Ann, Brenda, Carrie, Dagmar, Elanor, Frieda, Gail, Heidi, or Inge. Mantle green, gold ring, or maidenhead, every one of 'em.
This provoked John M Ford to first:
While one is pleased for Janet, it's something of a loss that she wasn't Zoë. We could have had an illustrated lyric book in the Gorey fashion, The Carterhaugh Cuties.
On the other hand, perhaps There is a Story Behind This:
Out then spak the Queen o Fairies,
And a ragin' Queen was she:
"Sing not a' she, ye balladeers,
And let yon rootkit play,
For she's taen awa the bonniest verse
Since Leonard Cohen's day.
"But had I kend, Tam Lin," she says,
"How craftin' gaes agley,
I wad hae taen my pencil blue,
We fain had stopp't at J."
The Carterhaugh Cuties
A is for Ann, who a grey eye attracts
B is for Betsy, unclear on the facts
C is for Chris, who at least argued well
D is for Daisy, who never did tell
E is for Ellen, who'd never been close
F is for Fay, who bought rings by the gross
G is for Gilly, whose smile was a candle
H is for Hilda, who got quite dismantled
I is Isolde, who went down with laughter
J is for Jill, who was tumbled right after
K is for Kay, who was certain and sure
L is for Lynn, who strayed off the coach tour
M is for Molly, untied from her beau
N is for Nora, who never said No
O is for Olive, whose caution was small
P is for Peg, who liked Ewan MacColl
Q is for Quinn, who was startled but pleased
R is for Rosie, whose kirtle got creased
S is for Susan, who went with a nod
T is for Tessa, who woke feeling odd
U is for Ursula, old for her years
V is for Vicky, who dates balladeers
W is for Wanda, who asked and who got
X is for Xenia -- well, X marks the spot
Y is Yolanda, who needed some force
While Z's clever Zoë, who bet the right horse.