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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleJolly red herring
Roud No.128
Collected FromIles, Elijah
LocationInglesham
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 360
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 11th March, 1916, p 3, Part 22, No. 13: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 167
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

What do you think I made of my red herring's head?
The very best oven that ever baked bread,
Besides quarterns, half quarterns, and all other fine things;
Don't you thing I made much of my jolly herring?

Chorus

Of all the fish that swim in the sea,
The red herring is the king for me.

Verse 2

What do you think I made out of my red herring's eyes?
Forty jackdaws and fifty magpies,
Besides linnets and larks, and all other fine things.
Don't you think I made much of my jolly herring?

Chorus

Verse 3

What do you think I made out of my red herrings gill?
Bottles of medicine, and boxes of pills,
Besides medicines and pills, and all other fine things.
Don't you think I made much of my jolly herring?

Chorus

Verse 4

What do you think I made out of my red herring's guts?
Forty bright women, and fifty bright sluts,
Besides prudents, and sluts, and all other fine things;
Don't you think I made much of my jolly herring?

Chorus

Verse 5

What do you think I made of my red herring's ribs?
Aylesbury great tower, and Aylesbury great bridge,
Besides bridges and towers, and all other fine things;
Don't you think I made much of my jolly herring?

Chorus

Verse 6

What do you think of my red herring's tail?
The very best ship that ever set sail,
Besides sailcloth, and rigging, and all other such things;
Don't you think I've made much of my jolly herring.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS / FSUT: 'Perhaps this is imperfect. I have heard it at Cricklade, Longcot, and Sevenhampton. The words I obtained of the late 'Wassail' Harvey, Cricklade, and Elijah Iles, Inglesham.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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