"Three Pretty Maidens" is another item that I was presented with by Brian Kelly
sometime in the early 1990's as a photocopy from a North English chapbook, he himself not being able to do anything with it. It is an eleven-verse recital of one of three maiden who contrived to get herself pregnant whilst a-gathering rushes. What the other maidens were up to the song does not say. They must have had spent a long time a-gathering rushes as our heroine comes home with a little son rolled underneath her apron. And that is all in the very first verse, folks!
She spends the next ten verses at first trying to conceal her child and then defending herself from an irate father. In the last verse, she informs us of just exactly where her son was conceived, to be precise ... down in yonder grove where willow buds do grow, there I met him (her sailor lad lover) in the dew of a May morning.
How lovely! I wonder how many modern wenches manage to get themselves pregnant on May dew mornings.