The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #82243   Message #1507415
Posted By: GUEST,The Boorder Cock.
22-Jun-05 - 06:43 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Napoleon's Defeat (from Frank Harte)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Napoleon's defeat
When a fighting cock is being prepared for a 'main' it is most important that his leg muscles be in perfect condition. Part of the training to achieve this is to fix a swing, not with a board to sit on, but an iron bar between the ropes. The fighting cock is then put mounted on the bar and his feet are tied to the bar. The swing is then pushed backward and forward and this movement makes the cock constantly adjust his positing to remain upright thereby strenghting his leg muscles until they are as tough as iron.

The line sung by Frank Harte 'Napoleon like a bantam cock sat mounted on a bar,' is a perfectly correct line. It also lets us know that the balladmaker was also an aficionado of the cock fighting or he would not have written a line like the one under discussion.

The practice of cock fighting, although declared illegal, is still carried on in semi-secret along the border counties where the battles are between the North and the South, with quite a substantial amount of money being wagered on the outcome of 'the main.'

There are are a number of ballads written Ireland and England about cock fighting.