The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93813   Message #1810965
Posted By: Joe Offer
16-Aug-06 - 05:07 AM
Thread Name: ADD/Origins: The Mare and the Foal
Subject: ADD Version: The Mare and the Foal
The Mare and the Foal

The old clerk in the parish I know very well,
He often do toll the eight o'clock bell;
He went to the ale house and got a full pot,
And forgot the old church for to lock-a-lock lock.

Ri-lo ri-riddle la-liddle
La diddle la diddle-i-day

A mare and a foal they ran in great speed,
The mare from the Bible began for to read,
"Stay," said the foal, "before you begin,
Whatever you pray for I'll answer Amen."

"We'll pray for the millers who grind us our corn,
For they are the biggest rogues that ever were born;
Instead of one sackful they'll take two for toll,
May the devil take millers," "Amen" said the foal.

"We'll pray for the bakers who bake us our bread,
They'll take a small loaf and then hurl at your head;
They'll rip it and squeeze it at every roll,
May the devil take bakers," "Amen" said the foal.

"We'll pray for the tailors, for they are no men,
They'll buy an old coat and they'll sell it again;
They'll rub it and scrub it and darn up a hole,
May the devil take tailors," "Amen" said the foal.

"We'll pray for the publicans who draw us our liquor,
Small measure they like, they can fill us the quicker,
If you ask them for best beer they'll draw you the small,
May the devil take publicans," "Amen" said the foal.

"We'll pray for the butchers, for they are great cheats,
They'll buy an old cow and they'll sell it young meat.
My their fingers be burnt into cinders of coal,
May the devil take butchers," "Amen" said the foal.

Notes: like "The Rigs of the Time," this song was collected in East Anglia by the composer, E.J. Moeran.

source: Palmer, English Country Songbook

Click to play

The same version is in the English Folksinger, by Richards & Stubbs; and also in Peter Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland. Kennedy says Cecil Sharp believed that "The Soldier and the Sailor" is an updated version of "Mare and the Foal."