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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleOld Bob Ridley o
Roud No.753
Collected FromSutton, John
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 48
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 20th May, 1916, p 3, Part 31, No. 3: Williams, A: Folk songs of the Upper Thames, 1923 p 224, 225
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Here's old Bob Ridley come again,
Some other wonders to explain;
Of all the sights that he has seen,
And what he's done and where he's been.


I am old Bob Ridley O,
I am old Bob Ridley O,
I am Mr Bob Ridley O.

Verse 2

The first time I got a licking,
'Twas in the field a cotton picking;
It made me laugh, it made me tingle,
Upon my words, it made me tremble.


Verse 3

Now I'm come to chalk the challenge out,
I don't care to who nor what about;
There are of men a very few,
Can do the things that I can do.


Verse 4

Talk of swimming, if I wish,
I could lick the fastest fish;
But what's the use for me to talk,
He'd swim from London to New York.


Verse 5

As for the running of a race,
There's none could touch me in the place;
I ran a race with lightning flash,
And licked the lightning all of a smash.


Verse 6

At shooting I was just a blade,
A clipper at my gun trade;
Throughout the States I couldn't be matched,
I shot the birds before they were hatched.


Verse 7

I once went out on an old thief's trail,
I loaded my gun with along spiked nail;
I missed the thief - so swift went he,
But I nailed his shadow to a tree.


Verse 8

At boxing I was sure to gain,
Ten thousand times I licked Jack Keen;
For winning of the belt unfair,
Next time I'm going to belt Tom Sayer.
Print Song Lyrics
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'This is of American origin; the song was very popular throughout the Thames Valley. I have met with several different versions, it is not of great age. Words of John Sutton, Arlington, Bibury.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'This is of American origin; the song was very popular throughout the Thames Valley. I have met with several different versions. Words of John Sutton, Arlington, Bibury.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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