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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleWhen Joan's ale was new
Roud No.139
Collected FromUnknown
LocationAston
CountyOxfordshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 507
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 1st April, 1916, p 3, Part 25, No. 2: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 276 – 278
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

There were seven jovial fellows,
Came over the hills together,
Came over the hills together,
For they were a jovial crew;
They called for bottles and glasses of sherry,
And sat themselves down to be merry,
And sat themselves down to be merry,
When Joan's ale was new my boys,
When Joan's ale was new.

Verse 2

Now the first to come in was a soldier,
With his firelock over his shoulder,
With his firelock over his shoulder,
To join the jovial crew;
He swore he would fight for England's ground,
Before the nation should be run down,
Before the nation should be run down,
When Joan's ale was new my boys,
When Joan's ale was new.

Verse 3

The next to come in was a dyer,
He sat himself down by the fire,
He sat himself down by the fire,
To join the jovial crew;
The landlord told him to his face,
The chimney corner was his place,
And there to sit and dye his old face,
When Joan's ale was new my boys,
When Joan's ale was new.

Verse 4

The next to come in was a hatter,
And not one could be blacker,
And not one could be blacker,
To join the jovial crew;
He threw his hat upon the ground,
And swore that he would spend a crown,
And boldly drink their healths all round,
When Joan's ale was new my boys,
When Joan's ale was new.

Verse 5

The next to come in was a mason,
Whose hammer wanted new facing,
Whose hammer wanted new facing,
To join the jovial crew;
He threw his hammer against the wall,
And wished that churches and chapels might fall,
For that would make work for masons all,
When Joan's ale was new my boys,
When Joan's ale was new.

Verse 6

The next to come in was a tinker,
Likewise no small beer drinker,
Likewise no small beer drinker,
To join the jovial crew;
"Have you any old pots or kettles to fettle?
My rivets are made of the very best metal,"
Good Lord! How his hammer and pincers did rattle!
When Joan's ale was new my boys,
When Joan's ale was new.

Verse 7

The next to come in was a tailor,
With his bodkin, shears and thimble,
With his bodkin, shears and thimble,
To join the jovial crew;
They sat and called for ale so stout,
Until the poor tailor was quite spun out,
Then off he went and pawned his coat,
When Joan's ale was new my boys,
When Joan's ale was new.


Verse 8

Then in came a rag man merry,
And a rag bag he did carry,
And a rag bag he did carry,
To join the jovial crew;
They sat and called for pots and glasses,
Till they were all as drunk as asses,
And they burnt the rag man's bag to ashes,
When Joan's ale was new my boys,
When Joan's ale was new.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms: 'Although this song has been very common and popular it is not generally known to be of considerable age. It dates probably from the seventeenth century and figures in many collections. We have below two versions. The first was that usually sung south of the Thames; the second was used in the Cotswold villages of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. The song is met with in several corrupt forms and the singer's usually substitute 'Jones' ale' for 'Joan's ale'. This is in ignorance of the original word. Copy obtained of E Warren, South Marston, Wiltshire.'

Williams, Alfred: WGS: 'Although this song has been very common and popular it is not generally known to be of considerable age. It dates probably from the seventeenth century and figures in many collections. We have below two versions. The first was that usually sung south of the Thames; the second was used in the Cotswold villages of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. The song is met with in several corrupt forms and the singer's usually substitute 'Jones' ale' for 'Joan's ale'. This is in ignorance of the original word. Copy obtained of Edwin Warren, South Marston, Wiltshire.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'Although this song has been very common and popular it is not generally known to be of considerable age. It dates probably from the seventeenth century and figures in many collections and there are several versions in the Thames Valley. Copy obtained of Edwin Warren, South Marston, Wiltshire.'

Note 2

On the second manuscript sheet Williams has noted, 'South Marston and Aston'.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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