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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitlePoor old horse
Roud No.513
Collected FromEggleton, John
LocationBlunsdon
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 312
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 18th March, 1916, p 3, Part 23, No. 5: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 156
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Once I was clothed in linsey woolsey fine,
My mane it did hang down and my coat it did shine,
But now I'm growing old, and nature does decay,
My master frowns upon me and these words I heard him say -

Refrain

'Poor old horse! You must die!'

Verse 2

Once I was kept on the best of corn and hay
That in the fields could be grown, or in any meadows gay,
Bit now it is not so, there is no such food at all,
I am forced to nip the short grass that is underneath the wall.

Refrain

Verse 3

I used to be kept all in the stable warm,
To keep my tender body and my flesh from all harm,
But now I am turned out all in the fields to go,
To face all kinds of weather, in hail, rain, frost or snow.

Refrain

Verse 4

My hide unto the huntsman so freely I will give,
My body to the hounds, for I'd rather die than live;
So shoot him, cut him, skin him, to the hounds we'll let him go,
For he's neither fit to ride upon, nor in any team to draw.

Refrain
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms: 'The difference here is not very great, but it is a difference. I believe another verse is wanting. Words obtained of John Eggleton, Blunsdon, Wiltshire. In Bell's 'Songs of the English peasantry' this is called the 'Mummer's song', and it is said that one of the company was dressed in the hide of a horse, and that the horses jaws were snapped together at the end of the chorus.'

Williams, Alfred: WGS: 'The difference here is not very great, but it is a difference. There is a lost stanza. I believe that another verse is wanting. Words obtained of John Eggleton, Blunsdon, Wiltshire. In Bell's 'Songs of the English peasantry' this is called the 'Mummer's song', and it is said that one of the company was dressed in the hide of a horse, and that the horses jaws were snapped together at the end of the chorus.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'The difference here is not very great. I believe another verse is wanting. Words obtained of John Eggleton, Blunsdon, Wiltshire. In Bell's 'Songs of the English peasantry' this is called the 'Mummer's song', and it is said that one of the company was dressed in the hide of a horse, and that the horses jaws were snapped together at the end of the chorus.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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