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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleHere's first to those farmers
Roud No.876
Collected FromSmith, Alfred [Alf] [Shepherd]
LocationWatchfield
CountyBerkshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 1 - Indexes, lecture notes, Berkshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Bk 25
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 19th February, 1916, p 3, Part 19, No. 9: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 104
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Here's first to those farmers who do sell the corn,
And they are as big rogues as ever were born,
They are never contented, but still they have none,
If the land were to yield fifty bushels for one.

Chorus

Sing fol the rol laddle dee,
Sing fol the rol laddle i day.

Verse 2

Now the next rogue I found was a thief in a mill,
Out of other folks bags his own for to fill;
And all his delight was in taking of toll -
One with a dish and the other with a bowl.

Chorus

Verse 3

Now here's next to those bakers who did it complete,
And all their delight was the poor for to cheat;
The bread we do eat it does us much harm,
It's mixed with white alum, bean meal and bad barm.

Chorus

Verse 4

Now, if you go to those butchers for a bit of good meat,
Be sure and watch the butcher, or else he will cheat;
He'll cock up his scales and he'll make them come down,
He'll swear it is weight if it wants half a pound.

Chorus

Verse 5

Now, if you go to those landlords for a drop of good ale,
'Twill be either too sharp, too flat or too stale;
And if his customers grumble he'll say - "I don't care!
I'm certain that mine is the very best beer."

Chorus

Verse 6

Now, we're pinched in our bellies and pinched in our clothes,
And the shoemaker pinches us up in our toes;
Now I think we all have good reason to sing,
And to see all those rogues on the gallows to swing.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'This piece is similar in subject matter to 'Bonny Old England O' given above. It is also old, though obviously, I cannot assign it to a particular date. As a piece of satire it is interesting: no doubt it correctly represents the feelings of the many poor at a time when they were pressed by want and hard circumstances. Obtained of Alfred Smith, Watchfield, Berkshire.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'An old song though I cannot assign it to a particular date. As a piece of satire it is interesting: no doubt it correctly represents the feelings of the many poor at a time when they were pressed by want and hard circumstances. Obtained of Alfred Smith, Watchfield, Berkshire.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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