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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleWiltshire labourers
Roud No.21218
Collected FromHowse, Alfred
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 521
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 26th February, 1916, p 3, Part 20, No. 9
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Come all you gallant labourers, and listen to my song,
It's concerning of the labouring class, 'twill not detain you long;
Who, nobly standing out, my boys, for wages that is fair,
In Fovant, and in Codford, and in Barford, Wiltshire.


So here's to every labouring man who nobly stood their ground,
And by their roguish masters never will be trampled down.

Verse 2

In Stratford and in Woodford, and Newton true and bold,
InDurnford, and in Lake, my boys, as I've been lately told,
In Amesbury and Durrington, and Bulford, brave and true,
In Netheravon they've inclined to bring their Masters to.


Verse 3

In Bourton, and in Liddington, Lydiard and Minety too,
In Wanborough and Hinton, like gallant soldiers true,
Stand up you lads of Chippenham and Lacock one and all,
Recollect the time is coming when your Masters they must fall.


Verse 4

How can a man maintain a wife and poor young children too,
In Barwick or in Bishopstone? It's more than he can do
On six or seven shillings a week; it's starving by degrees,
But the time will come when every son of Wiltshire shall be freed.


Verse 5

In peace and quietness my boys, in Ramsbury they intend,
In Overton and Clatford, the gallant labouring men,
In Fifield and Marlboro', and Lockeridge of fame,
They'll stand out for their wages from Swindon up to Calne.


Verse 6

May God protect the Ogbourne lads, for they are true and bold!
At Highworth and in Cricklade they are worth their weight in gold:
The sons of Wootton Basset, and of Sutton, as you see,
Are like the lads of Malmesbury, who're determined to be free.


Verse 7

Here's to Cherhill and Long Compton, and Hilmarton not behind,
In Lyneham and in Clack, my boys as we shall quickly find,
In Purton and in Stratton, and Wroughton as we hear,
They stand true to each other from Warminster to Mere.


Verse 8

Now in Bishop's Cannings, and in Potterne, it is said,
They'll do a fair day's labour for a fair day's wages paid,
Each labouring man shall get his rights, and that's before it's long,
Fair play's a jewel any day. How can you say it's wrong?
Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: WGS: 'here we have a song written by a rustic, evidently by a local leader at the time of the agricultural disturbances of the middle of the last century. It is, in reality, little more than a catalogue of place names, connected with an exhortation to the workers to stand out for better wages and conditions. It is, at the same time, of some interest, and I think it abundantly supports me in what I have said concerning the folk songs, i.e. that they could not have emanated from the illiterate population of the countryside. Words obtained from an old ballad sheet given to me by Alfred Howse, Latton.

Note 2

The Ms only contains Verse 1 and the chorus. Verses 2 - 8 are from WGS as is the attribution to Alfred Howse of Latton.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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