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Folklore: Singing in a Yorkshire pub, 1820s

Lighter 23 Nov 11 - 06:34 PM
Lighter 23 Nov 11 - 06:40 PM
theleveller 24 Nov 11 - 08:02 AM
Lighter 24 Nov 11 - 09:14 AM
GUEST 24 Nov 11 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,GUEST: theleveller 24 Nov 11 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Tonguefish 25 Nov 11 - 01:07 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Singing in a Yorkshire alehouse, 1820s
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 06:34 PM

The following anonymous passage is from a piece called "The Yorkshire Alehouse," in the "New-York Literaty Gazette and American Athenaeum" (Aug. 12, 1826), p. 269. The landlord speaks to a newcomer:

"Will you sit in the parlour by yourself, and look at my paintings till dinner is ready? There is the portrait of Squire Musgrave's brown horse Cubal, that won the Irish and English plate, and which the old ballad says was begotten by Belzebub, and could speak like a Christian. I remember some words of the song myself, sir. (Sings.)

" And when that they came to the middle of the course,
Cubal to hias rider began to discourse;
Saying, 'Come, pretty rider, pray tell unto me,
How far in the distance Miss Sportly may be.'
The rider look'd back, and replied with a smile,
'I think she's about the space of half a mile.'
'So — stick to your saddle, my boy, never fear;
You'll never be beat by the gallant grey mare.'

"So you see, sir, the song bears the story out. I gave long Saunders, the ballad pedlar, a good supper, and a night's quarters, for a copy of it to hang up by the picture. And here is a painting of the ram of Derby — it has been celebrated in song too, sir. I have a club of the best wits of the district, who meet here, and sing the merry song of the Ram, sir. I can touch a verse or two of it myself, sir, to oblige a north-country gentleman — you are all pipers and ballad-makers, I am told: it must be a merry country - but cruel cold, sir. Shall I give you a slice of the Ram, sir, as the president of the witty club says. (Sings.)

" As I went into Derby,
Upon a market day,
I saw the finest ram, sir,
Was ever fed on hay.
This ram was fat behind, sir;
This ram was fat before;
This ram was a hundred yards round,
And I'm sure it was no more.

"The horns which grew on this ram, sir,
Were fifty cubits high;
And the eagles made their nests there,
I heard the young ones cry.
The butcher who kill'd this ram, sir,
Was drowned in the blood;
The boy who held the bowl, sir,
Was swept away in the flood.

"...So I will cease, sir. ...A dry road makes a drouthy passenger, that's my motto, so look in...."


(Cubal, Skewball, Cue-ball, what's the difference?)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Singing in a Yorkshire pub, 1820s
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 06:40 PM

The piece appeared earlier in "The London Magazine" (July, 1823).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Singing in a Yorkshire pub, 1820s
From: theleveller
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 08:02 AM

What was the name of the pub and where was it?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Singing in a Yorkshire pub, 1820s
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 09:14 AM

The alehouse is called "The George and Dragon" and the landlord's (presumably fictitious name) is given as "Gilbert Gauntree."

Though the piece was printed anonymously, it was later attributed to the Scotsman Alan Cunningham.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Singing in a Yorkshire pub, 1820s
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 09:48 AM

Yes, I've found the article and from the description given I'm pretty sure that it's in Langstrothdale in the Yorkshire Dales (Langstrothdale Chase was a hunting ground of the Percys). After a bit of detective work I think the pub could be the George Inn in Hubberholme. Next time I'm up that way I'll have a drive around to see if there's one that fits the description better (it actually sounds like The Green Dragon in Hardraw, which I know well, but he doesn't mention the famous Hardraw Force waterfall and that's a bit further north).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Singing in a Yorkshire pub, 1820s
From: GUEST,GUEST: theleveller
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 10:20 AM

Above was me - don't know what's happening but my cookie has disappeared and I can't log in. Weird!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Singing in a Yorkshire pub, 1820s
From: GUEST,Tonguefish
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 01:07 AM

I was staying Green Dragon in Hardraw in the summer. A fantastic pub. After spending 5 nights in the parlour drinking Theakstons with the locals, I can certainly confirm that the 'best wits of the district' still meet there.


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