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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleOn Compton Downs
Roud No.2407
Collected FromHaydon, Shadrach [Shepherd]
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Oxfordshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Ox 197
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 8th January, 1916, p 2, Part 13, No. 14
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Once I was a shepherd boy, kept sheep on Compton Downs
About two miles from Isley, 'twas called a market town;
When we rise all in the moon, when daylight does appear,
Our breakfast we do get, to our fold we all do steer.

Verse 2

When we come to our sheepfold we merrily pitch them round,
And all the rest part of the day we sail the downs all round;
When we get upon the down, gazing ourselves all round,
We see the storm is rising and coming on all around.

Verse 3

There we stand in our wet clothes, shivering with the cold,
We dare not change our garments till we've drove our sheep to fold;
Now the storm is over, and that you may plainly see,
I'll never keep sheep on the downs any more, for there's neither bush nor tree.
Print Song Lyrics
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'An old shepherd song, local to the Berkshire Downs between Wantage and Streatley, and one of the very few that were obviously written by rustics. Obtained of Hadrach Haydon, Bampton, late of Hatford and Lyford, Berkshire.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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