Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Buy a Broom"

The other day the refrain "Buy a broom, buy a broom, buy a BROOM" ran through my head, & I recalled learning this folk song back in High School. Looked it up, & there are several versions:

Buy a Broom (traditional)
From Deutschland I come with my light wares all laden,
To dear happy England in summer's gay bloom;

Then listen, fair lady young pretty maiden,

Come buy of the wand'ring Bavarian a broom.

Buy a broom!
Oh, buy of the wand'ring Bavarian a broom.

There's one for the pretty lady, and one for little baby,
and one for the parlour, and one for the hall,
here are brooms for the cottage and brooms for the mansion,
and here you will find one for each and for all.
Buy a broom!
come, buy of the wandering Bavarian a broom!

When winter draws nigh, for my own land departing,
my toil for your favours again I´ll resume,
and while gratitude's tear in my eyelid is starting,
bless the time that in England I cried, Bye a broom!
Buy a broom!
come, buy of the wandering Bavarian a broom!

An alternate version has a the same first line, but the an extra 'buy a broom' in each chorus, & different ending:

Oh! buy of the wand'ring Bavarian, a Broom,
Buy a broom, buy a Broom, (
SPOKEN) buy a Broom
Oh! buy of the wand'ring Bavarian a Broom,

To brush away insects that sometimes annoy you,
You'll find it quite handy t
o use night and day,
And what better exercise pray can employ you,
Than to sweep all vexatious intruders aw
Ere winter comes on for sweet home departing,
My toils for your favor again I'll resume,
And while gratitude's tears in my eye-lids
are starting,
Bless the time that in England I cried buy a Broom

(SPOKEN) � Yes I shall go back to my own country, and tell them there that I sold all my wares in England, singing,

O' mein lieber Augustin, Augustin, Augustin,
O' mein lieber Augustin, Alles ist weg,
Book ist weg, Stock ist weg,
Auch ich bin in dem Dreck,

O' mein lieber Augustin Alles ist weg.

(Coat is gone, Staff is gone, alas, I lie in the dirt; oh, my friend Augustine, all is gone)

Remember O du leiber Augustine?

Other verses of 'Poor dear Augustine' include the 'girlfriend' being gone - which connects to the next version, a different 'twist' on the theme of seduction & being left - from the young man taken in by "Lish Young Buy-A-Broom" - " As I was a-walkin up and down the street, A pretty little buy-a-broom I chanced for to meet." & here's Clannad on U-Tube, singing this ballad.

Ah, the broom q
uest; I haven't quite decided whether to order, or to try to see them first!
In response to my inquiry about besoms
, Therman from Broom Magic wrote: "Thanks for your interest. The besom (round) broom is more of an old world style of broom. It is a little softer brush because it is left untrimmed. This seems to be the broom of choice for those that intend to use it more for ceremonial or ritual such as a handfasting. It is functional but not nearly so much as the "Shaker" (flat) broom. The Shakers were some of the first commercial broom shops in the US and invented a vice in the 1840's so that the brooms could be sewn flat. It is a bit stiffer and sweeps a broader area than the besom. This broom is definitely more functional.

"Also, the carved wooden dustpans are not available at this time and
won't be for the foreseeable future. We actually harvest all of these raw materials ourselves in the Ozark Mtns.and unfortunately the place where we get the wood for the dustpans was hit by a category 4 tornado last year. I'm not sure when it might be available again."
(How sad! Let's send a bit of land blessing & healing to that bit of woods!)

Here's a Besome blog :) with a link to a Besom maker in the UK whose besoms were used in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, & a definition from a coaster found in Scotland:
besom (biz-um) bisom Dialect, chiefly Scot. ~n. 1. obstreperous girl or woman; female upstart [as in “Dinnae pou’ yer brither’s hair, ya wee besom”].
woman of low moral standing; a hussy (“Thon yin’s a right mucky besom”).
broomstick or scourge; any broom made from loose twigs.
a comet or its tail.

I'm leaning toward a shaker style broom, for practical . . . & perhaps one of the besoms in a bit as well. Any votes on which colour??
My son & his littles were here this weekend, & I asked if he'd make me a broom hook - he does some horse shoe & other metal crafts - his wife sells lovelies on her etsy shop 'angelbums' - hmm, wonder if he's going to put any of his goodies on?
Angie gave me a sweet little poly clay (over a glass bottle) vessel for Christmas! It now holds a vanilla
bean, steeping in some good (Korbel) brandy.

Found more handmade broom shops - for those farther East looking for a good broom (& they all ship!): Chris in Kentucky has a nice selection, & is willing to make the 'broom of your dreams!' He began his own business at 14 (in college now), makes kids brooms & mops as well, & this sweet little 'cake tester' - so one can use a 'clean' broomstraw for this task! My dad liked to balance a broomstraw on a watermelon to test for ripeness :)
Chris uses hemp to bind his brooms (which he imports from Bavaria - since the US gov. hasn't 'allowed' farmers here to grow hemp for cordage purposes since WWII.)

Hockaday brooms (Tenn.) - great story of how a family farm (with broom making a Winter sideline activity) turned over time, into full time broom making operation. Again, a wide variety of brooms, made on the equipment grandpa made himself! There's even a very lightweight 'beauty shop broom!'

Another Kentucky broom shop - also a family business, begun by
"Mr. Rollie", the broomman. Some lovely spiral handled brooms here!


Genie Sea said...

I might have missed this, but I am curious about your fascination with brooms. I am itching to find out! Please sweep away my curiosity. :)

Anonymous said...

What a cool broom post!!
I think you should get an orange one!!
And I love that first pic!

Dia said...

Tee hee!
Thanks Genie - here are some of the reasons - 1) being a Virgo (so tenacious & inquisitive), with disseminating moon (just past full - wanting to share what i've learned :) 2) wanting a 'good tool' where possible 3) my mo-in-law, who was more interested in art, crafts, science etc than housekeeping, but HAD to have a Brown Beauty broom 4) knowing those weren't around (being made locally) 5) working on the 100 mile diet (trying to buy local as much as possible! Esp food, but what else?) 6) the fun of exploring what other options exist! . . .
found a new website last nite -
a European article on broom plants, some fascinating info that will find its way into another post!

Boho Mom - those are the most like my dear brown beauties!! Thanks for the input :)

Her Speak said...

Beautiful song! I'd never heard it before, thank you for sharing it with us. :) I love love brooms! I always go to fairs and see stands full of them and can't help but pet them a little. On a starving college student budget, a gorgeous handmade broom isn't in the cards--but someday I'd love to own a beautiful magickal broom. In the meantime, I made my own "apartment sized" version out of willow.

Wonderful post!
Much Joy, Many Blissings~*

This Guy said...

Loving the brooms - mine came from the dollar store, I need to get a find a nice one ;)

So, this is really wierd, but my grandmother used to sing "O du leiber Augustine" when we were kids.... the song has ALWAYS stuck in my head, never knew how to spell the damn thing to look it up so i am SO glad I found it here!!!