The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150631   Message #3510572
Posted By: Mick Pearce (MCP)
30-Apr-13 - 08:09 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: John Wesley's Coat
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: John Wesley's Coat
I think this has some verses related to the Bohunkus and Josephus/Old Grimes/Two sons were brothers song. Some verses were quoted by Barbara Brown in this thread: Origins: Two sons were brothers.

Here's a version. If you let me know if it's the right song I'll post the tune too.



John Wesley was a minister who lived in days of yore.
He often wore an old brown coat as buttoned up before.
  As buttoned up before, as buttoned up before,
  He often wore and old brown coat as buttoned up before.

John Wesley had another coat of quite a different kind.
Instead of buttoning up before, it buttoned up behind.
  It buttoned up behind, it buttoned up behind,
  Instead of buttoning up before, it buttoned up behind.

  (other verses similarly)

John Wesley had an old grey mare as rough as you could find
And each time he got on her back she kicked 'un off behind.

John Wesley had a little ghost appeared all ghastly white.
It used to climb up his bed post and frighten him at night.

John Wesley had another ghost of quite a different hue.
Instead of clambering up the post it clambered down the flue.

John Wesley had three daughters fair and they was tall and thin.
He took them to the river's bank and pushed the buggers in.

There came along three farmers' sons and they was strong and stout.
They saw them struggling in the stream and pulled the buggers out.

John Wesley had an old straw hat without nor crown nor brim.
It wouldn't have been much use to thee, and 'twas no use to him.

Source: Richards & Stubbs The English Folksinger, Collected by Bob Patten, Lynton, Devon, 1970s

The notes say: Bob Patten's singer, who wished to remain anonymous, comments: 'It depended for its humour on a sort of sly anti-climax in each verse and no doubt reflected the traditional farmer's animus to the growth of Methodism in these parts'. We can't pretend to understand all the satire of the song, although its cumulative effect in performance is to make Wesley look highly ridiculous. The tune is oftenused in Cornwall for 'The Old Grey Duck' and 'The Seven Joys of Mary'.