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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleOld Dorrington
Roud No.281
Collected FromMackie, Elizabeth Harriet Mrs.
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 101
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 20th November, 1915, p 2, Part 8, No. 9
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Old Dorrington was a most terrible Turk,
As I've often heard people say;
He swore he'd do more work in an hour,
Than his wife would do in a day.

Verse 2

"Upon my word," said the good old dame,
"I'm willing, any hour,
If thou all day in the house wilt stay,
I'll go and drive the plough.

Verse 3

But thou must feed the brindle sow,
And the little pigs in the sty,
And thou must milk old Tiny the cow,
Or Tiny will go dry.

Verse 4

And thou must watch the speckled hen,
Or she will lay astray;
And don't forget the hank of yarn,
That I spun yesterday."

Verse 4

So the good old dame, with whip in hand,
Went out to drive the plough;
And the old man took the milking pail,
And went to milk to cow.

Verse 5

Tiny winced and bounced about,
"Whoa, Tiny," and "Wutt, Tiny," and "Drat the cow, be still!
And if ever I milk such a maggoty cow again,
'Twill be much against my will."

Verse 6

He went to serve the brindle sow,
And the little pigs in the sty;
When he knocked his head against the post,
And nearly knocked out his eye.

Verse 7

He left the cream to stand in the churn,
While he went to fetch a clout;
And, e'er massy knew, in came the old sow,
And slushed in her snout.

Verse 8
He turned to find a whirling stick,
Surprising so to see -
"More harm thy snout will do in an hour,
Than I can mend in three."

Verse 9

And he forgot the speckled hen,
And she went and laid astray;
And he never once thought of the hank of yarn,
The old woman had spun yesterday.

Verse 10

Just at that moment in came the old woman,
And thus in haste she spoke -
"John, John, the old horse is on his back in the pond,
And the plough and the tackle are broke."

Verse 11

So old Dorrington swore by the sun and the moon,
And all of the green leaves on the tree;
If his wife would but take to the indoors again,
He never would grumble at she.
Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'Obtained of Mrs Mackie, Lechlade, who learned it while a school girl on the banks of the Thames, about 1860. I have also met with it at Hinton Parva, Wiltshire where it was sung by the Clargo family a hundred years ago. I think the version is incorrect, though it is the best I could get. I have an idea there should be another stanza or two.'

Note 2

In Verse 2 Line 2 the original text read:

'I'm willing, to avow,

In Verse 4 Line 2 the original text read:

Or she will go astray

In Verse 7 Lines 1 and 3 the original text read:

He went to serve the brindle sow

He knocked his head against the post

In Verse 1 Line 2 the original text read:

And thus unto him spoke

Note 3

Hinton Parva, Little Hinton is in the civil parish of Bishopstone.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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