The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #3003   Message #3170440
Posted By: Richard from Liverpool
14-Jun-11 - 10:16 AM
Thread Name: Songs about getting older?
Subject: RE: Songs about getting older?
How's about this one? Speaks very clearly of the ravages of old age.

Poor Old Horse
Song performed by mummers in the 'Old Horse' play, recorded particularly in Yorkshire around Derbyshire - it made its way into the cities via printed broadsides

Once I was reared in a stable so warm
To keep my tender limbs free from any pain or harm
There's no such usage now, nor can be found at all
I'm forced to travel on a winter's night through hail or rain or snow
Poor old horse! Poor old horse!

My food it was once of the best corn and hay
That grew in all the fields or in the meadows gay
But now I am grown old and scarsely can I crawl
I'm forced to eat the coarsest grass that grows against the wall
Poor old horse! Poor old horse!

My clothing was once of the shining superfine
Then I stood in my stable and did in my glory shine
But now I am grown old and nature does decay
My master frowns upon me and this I hear him say
Poor old horse! Poor old horse!

"He is old and he is cold, and he is both dull and slow
He has eaten up my hay, and has spoiled all my straw
Nor either is he fit to draw in with my team –
Take him and whip him" is now my master's theme
Poor old horse! Poor old horse!

To the huntsman now shall go my old hide and shoes
Likewise my tender carcass the hounds will not refuse
My body that so lately had run so many miles
Over hedges, ditches, brooks and bridges, fences, gates and stiles
Poor old horse! Poor old horse!

(I have recorded a rough and ready version of this song to a tune collected in Liverpool by Frank Kidson: )