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DTStudy Donnybrook Fair / Widdecombe Fair

DigiTrad:
BEGGARS TO GOD
DONNYBROOK FAIR
TOM PIERCE (TAM PEARSE)
WIDDECOMBE FAIR


Related threads:
Ballad Tom Pierce (28)
Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands) (28)
(origins) Origins: Widecombe Fair (13)
Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair (12)
Chords Req: Widdecombe Fair (9)
REQ: Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all... (3)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Malligan Fair ((Noted by Mrs. G.H. Daly from Mrs. Williams, Colston Almshouses, Bristol, c.1940 bars 9 & 10 repeat as necessary)


Chris Amos 04 Jun 02 - 04:22 AM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Jun 02 - 10:32 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 04 Jun 02 - 08:56 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Jun 02 - 09:25 PM
GUEST 04 Jun 02 - 10:44 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jun 02 - 01:06 AM
wes.w 05 Jun 02 - 09:53 AM
nutty 05 Jun 02 - 10:04 AM
Declan 05 Jun 02 - 11:55 AM
wes.w 05 Jun 02 - 12:17 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Jun 02 - 12:29 PM
Declan 05 Jun 02 - 12:42 PM
Chris Amos 06 Jun 02 - 01:59 AM
Wolfgang 26 Jun 02 - 09:05 AM
Joe Offer 19 Feb 03 - 05:12 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Feb 03 - 07:12 PM
mg 19 Feb 03 - 08:34 PM
Joe Offer 15 Dec 04 - 06:24 PM
Georgiansilver 15 Dec 04 - 06:47 PM
MartinRyan 15 Dec 04 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Niel Wright 21 Mar 09 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,charlie in sothwick 24 Oct 09 - 06:40 PM
Young Buchan 25 Oct 09 - 07:30 AM
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Subject: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: Chris Amos
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 04:22 AM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


DONNYBROOK FAIR

The first time I went to Donnybrook fair,
I met an old pal that I knew there,
The old pal's name was Ben,
And his old woman's name it was Old Mother Bendigo,
Hotten ti hottenti addi io addi
O come and lie close to me now.

The next time I went to Donnybrook fair,
I met an old pal that I knew there,
The old pal's name was Shake,
And his old woman's name it was Old Mother Shake-a-leg,
Hotten ti hottenti addi io addi
O come and lie close to me now.

The next time I went to Donnybrook fair,
I met an old pal that I knew there
The old pal's name was Nuts,
And his old woman's name it was Old Mother Funny Nuts,
Hotten ti hottenti addi io addi
O come and lie close to me now.

The last time I went to Donnybrook fair,
I met an old pal that I knew there
The old pal's name was Sticks,
And his old woman's name it was Old Mother Fiddlesticks,
Hotten ti hottenti addi io addi
O come and lie close to me now.


From Bushes and Briars, Occomore and Spratley
Collected from William Sparkes
filename[ DONNYBRK
Tune file : DONNYBRK

CLICK TO PLAY
RG
apr97




PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.

Traditional Ballad Index: no entries found.


This song was collected in Essex, although I don't know the year. The Fair it refers to took place outside Dublin and was finally disbanded in 1855.

One could speculate that the song was brought to Essex by one of the many itinerant Irish labourers who came over to the eastern counties of England to help with the harvest in the 19th century. Clive Woolf, who was assistant librarian at Cecil Sharp House some years ago believed that these people also helped to form the lyrical singing style in these counties that can be heard in the recordings made by collectors such as Grainger.

There are a number of other Irish songs that have found their way into the English tradition, The pride of Kildare, Polly on the Shore etc.

Does anyone have any more information about the singer, William Sparkes, I can find nothing on the net.

The history of the fair can be found here

A list of historic fairs Click here

A bad painting of the fair Click here

A bad rendition of the song Click here


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Donnybrook Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 10:32 AM

Two songs noted by Thomas Wood from William Sparkes appeared in The Journal of the Folk Song Society, vo.VIII issue 33, 1929; Donnybrook Fair and The Spanish Fight. Wood wrote:

"I have spent some time during this year (1928-9) in trying to find folk-songs in the Stour valley. The results are not large. I have so far found only two men who were able to give the tunes and texts of songs in anything like a complete form. They are both farm hands, and have lived in the Bures district all their lives. The first is Maurice Cardy, 70, of Bures St. Mary, the other William Sparkes, 50, of Hobbs' Well, Mount Bures. Both of them speak the beautiful north Essex dialect, with its careful sounding of the "h", the softening of the "er" into "ar", the inevitable use of "that" for "it", and the translation of all tenses into the present, with the plural ending. Both have some idea of singing, and both were much interested in what I wanted, when I had carefully explained what I was after. Cardy works for me for part of the year, when another man is required about the place, and Sparkes works on this land (which is rented by a neighbouring farmer) so that I see them constantly and had heard these songs many times before I noted them down. I have given them as sung, except that I have not attempted to show the vocal inflections."

Of Donnybrook Fair, Wood commented:

"It was sung by William Sparkes in the highest alto I have ever heard, with great vigour, and much emphasis was laid on the punning surnames of the old pal's wife."

Anne Geddes Gilchrist added the following notes:

"Here is a modernised relic of an old cumulative song, known in Scotland as The Beggars of Coldingham Fair (see Chambers' Popular Rhymes of Scotland, where it is reprinted from Tait's Magazine, X, 121), and in the north of Ireland as Craigbilly (or Crebilly) Fair (see Ulster Songs and Ballads, 1925, collected by H. Richard Hayward). The Scottish version begins:

The first time that I gaed to Coudingham fair
I there fell in with a jolly beggare;
The beggar's name, O, it was Harry,
And he had a wife, and they ca'd her Mary;
O Mary and Harry, and Harry and Mary,
And Janet and John;
That's the beggars one by one;
But now I will gie you them pair by pair,
All the brave beggars of Coudingham fair.

A pair of new names is introduced into each verse, so that what seems to be the refrain or chorus is lengthened to suit. The Antrim version from Ulster Songs begins:

As I went up to Craigbilly fair
Who did I meet but a jolly beggar,
And the name of this beggar they called him Rover,
And the name of his wife it was Kitty-lie-over;
There was Rover and Rover and Kitty-lie-over,
There was Rooney and Mooney,
And Nancy and Francey,
And Lily and Billy,
And Jamie and Joe,
And away went the beggar-men all in a row.

This version, also, piles up the names in successive verses. Mr. Haywood states that the fair of Crebilly (locally pronounced Craigbilly) was held annually until quite recent times; the charter for it being granted by Charles I to the O'Haras of Crebilly House. In past times Crebilly fair was noted, he says, for the vast number of beggars it attracted. Donnybrook fair, which gives the title to the Essex version, was also a famous -indeed notorious- gathering -the "Bartholomew" of Dublin, as it has been called- but was suppressed about a hundred years ago, as the result of the rioting and drunkenness which prevailed at it. Dr. Wood's jolly tune is a curious blend of Villikins and his Dinah, something Irish, and an old English song, I wonder when I'm to be married. "

The full text of Coldingham Fair is in the DT:

BEGGARS OF COUDINGHAM FAIR

In the 1950s, Peter Kennedy recorded two versions; one, Widdliecombe Fair, from Harry Cox of Catfield in Norfolk (1953), is given in full in Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (1975 and 1984); the other, Monaghan Fair, from Francis McPeake of Belfast (1952), is quoted in part. He learned it at a dance in County Antrim at the turn of the century. Jean Ritchie and George Pickow have also recorded it from him.

Versions have also been found in Suffolk in the 1960s (As I Was a-Going to Barningham Fair) and in Nottinghamshire in the 1980s (Widdlecombe Fair). James Orchard Halliwell (The Nursery Rhymes of England, 1846), printed an unprovenanced text, The Beggars of Ratcliffe Fair, where the beggars all have Welsh names; Kennedy quotes it in part.

Note that this Donnybrook Fair is not related to the song The Humours of Donnybrook Fair, nor is the tune related to the well-known jig Donnybrook Fair.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 08:56 PM

Many thanks for all that Malcolm. (Hope you see my post before it's wiped!) I had assumed Francis McPeake was born around 1895-1900 from the state of him when I met him in the 1970s. Did I underestimate his age?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 09:25 PM

I wouldn't care to guess, but I wouldn't be surprised if he varied the story from time to time! Jean might be able to add some information on that score; I hope she sees this thread.

I'll try to post some additional material tomorrow.It might be a good idea to consider this thread as dealing also with Coudingham Fair, as it's also in the DT and there's no known tune for it; a cross-reference would be helpful at any rate.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 10:44 PM

See also "Monaghan Fair" and the late 16th century fragment "Derry's Fair" in Scarce Songs 1 at www.erols.com/olsonw.


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Subject: DTStudy BEGGARS OF COUDINGHAM FAIR
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 01:06 AM

BEGGARS OF COUDINGHAM FAIR

The first time that I gaed to Coudingham fair,
I there fell in with a jolly beggare;
The beggar's name, O, it was Harry,
And he had a wife, and they ca'd her Mary;
   O Mary and Harry, and Harry and Mary,
   And Janet and John;
   That's the beggars one by one;
   But now I will gie you them pair by pair,
   All the brave beggars of Coudingham fair.

The next time that I gaed to Coudingham fair,
I there fell in with another beggare;
The beggar's name, O, it was Willie,
And he had a wife, and they ca'd her Lillie;
   And Harry and Mary, and Willie and Lillie,
   And Janet and John,
   That's the beggars one by one;
   Now I will gie you them pair by pair,
   All the brave beggars of Coudingham fair.

The next time that I gaed to Coudingham fair,
I fell in with another beggare;
The beggar's name, O, it was Wilkin,
And he had a wife, and they ca'd her Gilkin;
   And Harry and Mary, and Willie and Lillie,
   And Wilkin and Gilkin, and Janet and John;
   That's the beggars all one by one;
   Now I will gie you them pair by pair,
   All the brave beggars of Coudingham fair.
________________________________________________________

Chambers PRS (1847), 197; (1870), 40, from Tait's
Magazine, x.121; Montgomerie SNR (1946), 113 (No. 142).
Cf. Dean-Smith, s.v. Donnybrook: refs. to FSJ 1941, 77-
8; pt. 33, 132-4.

@Scots @beggar
filename[ COUDFAIR
MS



PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.

Tune: None


Traditional Ballad Index:

Widdicombe Fair (II)

DESCRIPTION: Singer goes to a fair at Widdicombe (or Coldingham, Ratcliffe or Monaghan). There he meets with a jolly beggar and his wife. The singer then lists all the pairs of beggars he's met at the fair
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1826 (Tait's Magazine)
KEYWORDS: commerce begging moniker wife husband nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South,West)) Ireland
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Kennedy 289, "A-Going to the Fair" (1 text plus assorted fragments in appendices, 1 tune)
DT, COUDFAIR DONNYBRK*

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Tom Pearce (Widdicombe Fair I)" (lyrics)
cf. "Under the Greenwood Tree" (form) and references there
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Widdliecombe Fair
The Beggars of Coldingham Fair
The Beggars of Ratcliffe Fair
Beggars of Coudingham Fair
Monaghan Fair
Widdliecombe Fair
Notes: Variants of this song are used as the chorus for "Tom Pearce (Widdicombe Fair I)." It lacks, however, the plot about the horse, so I've separated them. - PJS
Looking at this, I can't help but think there is a cumulative version somewhere in its ancestry. But I haven't found it. Some of the versions, such as that of the McPeake family, also feel a bit like "Dame Durden." - RBW
File: K289

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: wes.w
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 09:53 AM

Just to note: 'Donnybrook Fair' - NOT a trad version - was recorded in the 1960s by the Irish group 'Dr Strangely Strange' on their 'Kip of the Serenes' LP.

If 'The Fair it refers to took place outside Dublin and was finally disbanded in 1855' some memory of it still remained for over a century, unless it also gave its name to a place.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: nutty
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 10:04 AM

The Bodleian has another version of Donny-Brook Fair circa 1855.

Donny-Brook Fair


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: Declan
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 11:55 AM

Donnybrook is indeed a place, now a posh leafy suburb on the south side of Dublin (Dublin 4). It is incidentally where the Irish broadcasting service RTE has its headquarters.

I presume people will be aware that a donnybrook is a slang word for a fight - no doubt because of some of the goings on at the fair.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: wes.w
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 12:17 PM

Declan -
Is there anyway that the 'Fair' itself has been preserved in a place name or anything? The words of this 1960s modern song talk about going down to 'Donnybrook Fair'. Any ideas?


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Subject: ADD: Maligan Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 12:29 PM

Beside the Donnybrook Fair mentioned by Nutty (not a version of this, but a different song sharing its title) there are two quite separate songs called Humours of Donnybrook. None of them, though, is related to the song under consideration here; as we can see, the name of the fair differs radically in almost every version known; the Donnybrook localisation is known in one example only, and would seem not to have appeared on broadsides.

Bruce Olson's article linking the 16th. century Derry's Fair with Coldingham Fair and Monaghan Fair, with some detail on Francis McPeake's performance of the song and a final verse from him not recorded by Peter Kennedy, can be seen at his website as mentioned above:

Derry's/ Monaghan Fair

Bruce also mentions the following, which I had forgotten to include in the list I gave earlier:

MALIGAN FAIR

(Noted by Mrs. G.H. Daly from Mrs. Williams, Colston Almshouses, Bristol, c.1940)

As I was going to Maligan Fair,
Who should I meet, but an old beggar there.
This beggar's name was Igo,
And his wife's name was Old Mother Bendigo;
There goes Igo, old Mother Bendigo,
'Pon me honour and Teddy!
And Kitty is close to me now.

As I was going to Maligan Fair,
Who should I meet, but an old beggar there.
This beggar's name was Stick,
And his wife's name was Old Mother Fiddlestick;
There goes Stick, and Old Mother Fiddlestick,
There goes Igo, old Mother Bendigo,
'Pon me honour and Teddy!
And Kitty is close to me now.

Subsequent verses follow the same, cumulative pattern:

This beggar's name was Wax,
And his wife's name was old Mother Ball o' Wax...

This beggar's name was Shake,
And his wife's name was old Mother Shake-a-leg...

This beggar's name was Drum,
And his wife's name was old Mother Beat-a-Drum...

This beggar's name was Long,
And his wife's name was old Mother Run-along...

This beggar's name was Cock,
And his wife's name was old Mother Shuttlecock...

Journal of the English Folk Song and Dance Society, vol. 4, number 2, 1941. Frank Howes, the then editor, added this note:

"We owe the recovery of this song to the bombardment of Bristol. Under the Bristol Holiday Scheme Mrs. Williams, who lives in the Colston Almshouses, went to stay at Churchdown in Gloucestershire. Her hostess, Mrs. Molly Cockayne, who has contributed the song to us, suspected from her interest in singing that she might know some traditional songs. In due course Mrs. Williams produced Maligan Fair, which she sang with appropriate gestures. She is now over 70, but remembers clearly what she heard sung when she was a girl."

The Roud Folk Song Index assigns Roud number 666 to this group.

A midi of the tune for Maligan Fair can be heard via the following link. Could you transfer it to the Mudcat Midi Pages at some point, Joe?

Maligan Fair (midi)

Bars 9 and 10 are to be repeated as required.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: Declan
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 12:42 PM

Wes,

I'm not aware that Donnybrook Fair is a place name, but its something that would be in the local tradition. If you talked about Donnybrook Fair to most people in Dublin thry would know what you were talking about.

It may be that the song and particularly the tune name (its a very well known jig) have helped to keep the memory alive. Also its quite possible that the fair, although officially disbanded in the 1850s continued unofficially well after this date.

From what I've heard of Dr. Strangely Strange they were a very aptly named band indeed !

I have a vague recollection of reading a lot about this fair somewhere at some stage - perhaps in one of Colm O Lochlainn's books. If I can dig it out this everning I'll be back with more information tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: Chris Amos
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 01:59 AM

Malcolm,

Many thanks for the info on William Sparkes and the rest. These study threads are good, one of those ideas were you think, should have thought of that years ago.

Chris


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 09:05 AM

On CD 7 of the 20 CDs 'Voice of the people' series this song can be heard as 'Widdlecombe fair'.

Wolfgang


Thread #48219   Message #1045892
Posted By: Joe Offer
01-Nov-03 - 02:45 PM
Thread Name: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
Subject: ADD Version: Widdlecombe Fair

In another thread, there was a request for a tune for a song called "Widdlecombe Fair." I don't know if this is the song they're seeking, but it's an interesting variation of "Widdecombe Fair" that ought to be posted in this DTStudy.

WIDDLECOMBE FAIR
  1. (And) As I was a-going to Widdlecombe Fair
    Jolly old cobbler I met there.
    This old cobbler his name was Wax.
    His old woman was Old Mother Balls of Wax.
    And there was Wax, Old Mother Balls of Wax
    Johnny and jumping Joan,
    Jolly companions every one.

  2. fiddler / Sticks/ Fiddlesticks
  3. tinker / Pots / Piddle Pots
  4. tailor / Pins / Prickle Pins
  5. weaver / Cox / Shuttlebox
  6. baker / Balls / Bags Of Balls
  7. butcher / Rump / Rumpatump

Recorded by the singer, Tom Brown his home in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, mid-1980's

Source: volume 7 of the CD collection Voice of the People, "First I'm Going to Sing You a Ditty: Rural Fun and Frolics."


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Subject: ADD: Stow Fair
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 05:12 PM

IanC posted this in another thread, and I think it appears to belong with "Donnybrook Fair." Same with Widdecombe Fair, right? It gets a little confusing. The Traditional Ballad Index divides "Widdicombe Fair" into two entries - one that names all the people so-and-so met at the fair, and the other "Tom Pearce" version with the dead horse. Ian's "Stow Fair" has both elements.
-Joe Offer-
Thread #39820   Message #571663
Posted By: IanC
14-Oct-01 - 05:22 AM
Thread Name: Supernatural Ballads....??
Subject: Lyr Add: STOW FAIR (sung by Bob Arnold)

Here's one for you, Jean. Not so ghostly, but it's got an Uncle Tom Goblin

    STOW FAIR
    (from the singing of Bob Arnold)

    Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your old mare,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your old mare,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your old mare ...

    With:
    Bill Brewer, Jack Stewart, Terry Hopkins, Mick Joseph, Harry Hillop,
      Tom Bowling, Dick Chapman, Len Paxwain
    And your Uncle Tom Goblin and all
    With your Uncle Tom Goblin and all

    Tom Pearce's old mare has gone to Stow Fair,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare has gone to Stow Fair,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare she ha' gone to Stow Fair ...

    Tom Pearce's old mare her be tumble-down dead,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare her be tumble-down dead,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare her be tumble-down dead ...

    Tom Pearce's old mare, her'll have to be buried,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare, her'll have to be buried,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare, her'll have to be buried ...

Bob learned this Cotswolds variant of "Widdecombe Fair" from his friend Harry Albino, also a well-known

Oxfordshire folk singer. It is recorded on "Mornin' All", Bob Arnold, ARGO ZFB83 (Decca Record

Corporation, 1972). Bob was better known, before his death, for playing the gamekeeper Tom

Forrest in the radio programme "The Archers". The tune is somewhat different from the Widdecombe fair

tune, though there is something in common. Stow Fair was originally a hiring fair and still survives as a horse fair. Widdecombe Fair was revived in the 1970s by (among others) Bob Cann.

Cheers!
Ian

Tom Pearce (Widdicombe Fair I)

DESCRIPTION: The singer asks Tom Pearce to lend his old mare to go to the fair. Tom wants the horse back soon, but it is slow in returning, for it has taken sick and died. (Now the horse's ghost can be seen haunting the moors at night)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1889
KEYWORDS: horse ghost travel
FOUND IN: Britain(England) Canada(Ont)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Kennedy 308, "Tom Pearce" (1 text, 1 tune)
OBB 171, "Widdicombe Fair" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 398, "Tam Pierce" (1 text)
DT, WIDDECOM* TAMPRCE*

RECORDINGS:
George Maynard, "Lansdown Fair" (on FSB10)
Bill Westaway, "Widdicombe Fair" (on FSB10)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Widdicombe Fair (II)" (lyrics)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Bedford Fair
John Jones's Old Mare
Stow Fair
File: K308

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 07:12 PM

That's a version of the well-known Widdecombe Fair, and not really related to the subject of this thread; though the choruses are in both cases cumulative. As I mentioned earlier, most examples of the "Beggars" song are localised to all sorts of different places, and one strand has picked up "Widdlicombe", quite likely from the other song. Probably one song-group has borrowed from the other -and vice-versa- at various points; but I wouldn't (at the moment) go as far as the Traditional Ballad Index does in implying a significant relationship.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair
From: mg
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 08:34 PM

it's also mentioned in "If I were a blackbird.."...he promised to take me to Donnybrook fair, to buy me red (blue?) ribbons to bind up my hair.. mg


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair / Widdecombe Fair
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 06:24 PM

Mudcat Help & Trouble Forum

Please correct the words to Widdecombe Fair

 Messages posted to topic:


Subject: Please correct the words to Widdecombe Fair
From: abadgery@neptune.on.ca
Date: 13-Dec-04 - 08:59 PM

The words that have been sung in north Devon and Somerset for many years may be seen in the attached website.The words that are quoted in Mudcat bear no resemblance to any that I have ever sung or heard before. Alan

http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/w/widdecom.html


Subject: RE: Please correct the words to Widdecombe Fair
From: Jeri
Date: 13-Dec-04 - 09:52 PM

The lyrics of the version (from the singing of the Spinners) posted on the above website are closer to Tom Pierce (Tam Pearse) in the DT, although the last verse isn't in the DT version.

The version of Widdecombe Fairthat Jean Ritchie collected from Bill Westaway is quite a bit different, but an interesting version.


Subject: RE: Please correct the words to Widdecombe Fair
From: Malcolm
Date: 15-Dec-04 - 02:04 AM

The DT text, though cursed with "skirlins" and "rattlins", is very close to the set that appeared in Baring-Gould's Songs of the West (1905). It omits a verse, but so does Susanne's text also referred to. The song has been quite widespread in the South of England, and is often localised to other places. There is no single "correct version".


WIDDECOMBE FAIR

Tom Pierce, Tom Pierce, lend me thy gray mare
Ri fol lol the dol diddle i doe
That I may ride up to Widdecombe Fair
With Phil Lewer, Jan Brewer, Harry Hawkins, Hugh Davy
Philly Whitpot, George Pausley, Dick Wilson, Tom Cobbley and
all, Here is Uncle Tom Cobbley and all

Oh when shall I see my gray mare home again?
Ri fol lol the dol diddle i doe
By Friday night or Saturday morn
With Phil Lewer, Jan Brewer, Harry Hawkins, Hugh Davy
Philly Whitpot, George Pausley, Dick Wilson, Tom Cobbley and
all, Here is Uncle Tom Cobbley and all

Oh Friday night was past and Saturday was come
Ri fol lol the dol diddle i doe
Tom Pierce's old gray mare was not a come home
With Phil Lewer, Jan Brewer, Harry Hawkins, Hugh Davy
Philly Whitpot, George Pausley, Dick Wilson, Tom Cobbley and
all, Here is Uncle Tom Cobbley and all

Tom pierce he went up on a high hill
Ri fol lol the dol diddle i doe
He saw his old mare down making his will
With Phil Lewer, Jan Brewer, Harry Hawkins, Hugh Davy
Philly Whitpot, George Pausley, Dick Wilson, Tom Cobbley and
all, Here is Uncle Tom Cobbley and all

So how did you know it was your old mare
Ri fol lol the dol diddle i doe
Her one foot was shoed and the other three bare
With Phil Lewer, Jan Brewer, Harry Hawkins, Hugh Davy
Philly Whitpot, George Pausley, Dick Wilson, Tom Cobbley and
all, Here is Uncle Tom Cobbley and all

The wind whistles hard on the moor of a night
Ri fol lol the dol diddle i doe
Tom Pierce's gray mare he appeared ghastly white
With Phil Lewer, Jan Brewer, Harry Hawkins, Hugh Davy
Philly Whitpot, George Pausley, Dick Wilson, Tom Cobbley and
all, Here is Uncle Tom Cobbley and all

Then all the night long we heard shirklins and groans
Ri fol lol the dol diddle i doe
Tom Pierce's gray mare he was rattling his bones
With Phil Lewer, Jan Brewer, Harry Hawkins, Hugh Davy
Philly Whitpot, George Pausley, Dick Wilson, Tom Cobbley and
all, Here is Uncle Tom Cobbley and all

So this is the end of my shocking affair
Ri fol lol the dol diddle i doe
I've give you the career of Tom Pierce's old mare
With Phil Lewer, Jan Brewer, Harry Hawkins, Hugh Davy
Philly Whitpot, George Pausley, Dick Wilson, Tom Cobbley and
all, Here is Uncle Tom Cobbley and all

@English @animal @kids
Sung by Bill Westaway on Jean Ritchie Field Trip - England
filename[ WIDDECOM
TUNE FILE: WIDDECOM
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair / Widdecombe Fair
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 06:47 PM

As Mary Garvey says, Donnybrook Fair is mentioned in "If I was a blackbird" which can be heard on "Cantaria" website..a most beautiful song.
www.chivalry.com/cantaria/
then go to alphabetical list.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair / Widdecombe Fair
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 07:08 PM

The "Donny-brook Fair" song given in the broadside link from nutty earlier in this thread, is nowadays usually known as "Ellen Brown" or "The Charming Ellen Browne"

Regards


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair / Widdecombe Fair
From: GUEST,Niel Wright
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 05:49 PM

MARY E RICHMOND AND WIDDICOMBE FAIR

The New Zealand poet Mary E Richmond CBE (born Taranaki 1853, died Wellington 1949) seems to have recorded a significantly different version of the folksong Widdicombe Fair while living in Somerset in 1907-08. In her play with music LOST AND FOUND or THE MOTHERLY’S Luck staged in Wellington New Zealand in 1911, Mary E Richmond gives a version of Widdicombe Fair that is obviously independent of the Barington-Gould /Quiller-Couch texts in significant ways. The full stage production papers including music are extant in the Turnbull Library manuscript section at the National Library of New Zealand. Compare the version sung by Bill Westaway. Here is Mary E Richmond’s version.

WIDDICOMBE FAIR
Devonshire Song

Jan Pearce, Jan Pearce, will you lend us your mare?
All along down along lane and a lee,
For to go to Widdicombe Fair
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davie, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.

And when shall I see my old mare again
All along down along lane and a lee
On Friday night or Saturday morn
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davie, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.

Oh, Saturdays come and Saturdays gone
All along down along lane and a lee,
And yet that old mare has never come home,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davie, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.

They went to the top of Widdicombe Hill
All along down along lane and a lee,
There lay the old mare a-making her will,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davie, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.

This was not the end of this horrid affair,
All along down along lane and a lee
For at night you may meet the ghost of that mare
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davie, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.

Oh, then you may hear the saddest of moans,
All along down along land [sic] and a lee,
The mare trotting onward still rattles the bones
Of Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davie, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.
Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair / Widdecombe Fair
From: GUEST,charlie in sothwick
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 06:40 PM

you are all so wrong i know the widdecom song if you know the men they are such good fun seven of them devon cornwall yes x x x i have the men on a bench signed i love them x x


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Donnybrook Fair / Widdecombe Fair
From: Young Buchan
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 07:30 AM

It has long occurred to me that this song (Donnybrook not Widdecombe)is one of the most corrupted songs in the folk canon, and a vivid example of how the folk process of oral transmission and improvisation, which usually enhances songs, can occasionally destroy them.

Unless I miss the point entirely, this began as a humerous song. The humour lies in meeting a person with a standard surname, which then unexpectedly turns out to be the end of a longer expression:
Dix    Fiddles Dix/Fiddlesticks
Long   Runner Long/Run-along
Potts Piddlepots

But then people started to miss the idea and added verses which do not work, either because the first word is not a standard surname (Necks/Dirty necks), the second expression is not a standard one, hiding the original (Balls/Bags of balls), or entirely reversed (Rump/Rumpitump).

What you end up with is versions like one collected in East Anglia where the original point has been completely lost in favour of a new one (Necks/Dirty necks, Feet,Dirty feet, Knees, Dirty knees etc. etc.)

I hesitantly guess from the deeper levels of corruption which seem to appear in many East Anglian versions that the song is indeed originally Irish, that it was increasingly corrupted as it travelled across, and that the inhabitants of Silly Suffolk merely tried to localise it by giving it a title such as Barningham Fair. Having been born and bred in Barningham, I recall the occasional fete worse than death, but no Fair.


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