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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleThree jolly butchers
Roud No.17
Collected FromUnknown
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 344
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 29th January, 1916, p 2, Part 16,No. 2: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 276
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

A story, a story I'll tell, concerning of butchers three,
Ilson, Bilson and Johnson - I've told you who they be:
As they were riding along, all on some market day,
With five hundred pounds in their pockets, as they had to pay away.

'Oh, stop your horse,' said Johnson, 'for I heard a woman cry.'
Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: WGS: 'This favourite of the oldest of the old men of the Thames valley I have often met with. The variations are many, but unimportant. At Standlake, Oxfordshire, the first verse mentioned three butchers instead of two. Obtained of Thomas King, Castle Eaton, who recently died in his 99th year.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'This favourite of the aged men of the Thames valley I have often met with. The variations are many, but unimportant. Obtained of Thomas King, Castle Eaton. Also heard at Standlake, Oxfordshire.'

Note 2

The WGS / FSUT versions omit the last line.

Note 3

Williams' main source in Standlake was Henry Potter from whom he collected seven songs, from Solomon Ayres he collected only one.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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