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Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)

DigiTrad:
BENJIE MET THE BEAR
HENRY KING
JIM
MATILDA
SUSSEX DRINKING SONG


Related threads:
Happy! - July 27 (Hilaire Belloc) (11)
Lyr Add: Pelagian Heresy, Belloc (12)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Sussex Drinking Song [Hilaire Belloc] (Lyrics and tune from The Four Men: A Farrago, by Hilaire Belloc, 1911)


GUEST,DFP 28 Jul 09 - 03:33 PM
Leadfingers 28 Jul 09 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,DFP 28 Jul 09 - 04:32 PM
Valmai Goodyear 28 Jul 09 - 06:58 PM
Artful Codger 29 Jul 09 - 03:39 AM
Waddon Pete 29 Jul 09 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Steve Rudd 20 Feb 10 - 05:36 PM
Joe Offer 20 Feb 10 - 10:31 PM
Joe Offer 20 Feb 10 - 10:54 PM
Artful Codger 21 Feb 10 - 12:36 AM
Artful Codger 21 Feb 10 - 12:39 AM
Joe Offer 21 Feb 10 - 01:04 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 21 Feb 10 - 02:03 AM
Artful Codger 21 Feb 10 - 02:43 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 21 Feb 10 - 04:54 AM
Acorn4 21 Feb 10 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,Steve Rudd 21 Feb 10 - 06:35 AM
Joe Offer 21 Feb 10 - 05:40 PM
Vic Smith 22 Feb 10 - 06:58 AM
Old Vermin 22 Feb 10 - 07:00 PM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 23 Feb 10 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,graham skeggs 03 Mar 10 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 04 Mar 10 - 02:06 AM
GUEST,graham skeggs 04 Mar 10 - 07:59 AM
Vic Smith 04 Mar 10 - 08:34 AM
Barbara 04 Mar 10 - 02:38 PM
Artful Codger 04 Mar 10 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 04 Mar 10 - 11:46 PM
Barbara 03 Aug 11 - 12:36 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: SUSSEX DRINKING SONG (Hillaire Belloc)
From: GUEST,DFP
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 03:33 PM

I'm trying to confirm a song's author. I am certain Hilaire Belloc wrote "West Sussex Drinking Song," the first line of which is "They sell good beer at Haslemere". It was published by Belloc in 1910, in his Verses (search for "Haslemere" in this reprint).

What seems to be a very different song, one that never mentions Haslemere and has different lyrics and chorus and rhythm altogether, is called "Sussex Drinking Song." Mudcat attributes this one to Belloc. It was apparently sung by Ian Robb on the Finest Kind's Lost in a Song, as Track #5, though I don't have a copy and don't know if its liner notes clear any of this up (or if maybe Robb sings the "Haslemere" version!).

I think there may have been a mix-up back in 1997 when "Sussex Drinking Song" was added to Mudcat.

Did Belloc really write *both* of these songs? If not, who wrote the non-West, Haslemere-free "Sussex Drinking Song"?

Here's the "West Sussex Drinking Song" lyrics, definitely by Belloc, that I don't find mentioned on Mudcat or listed at DigiTrad.
They sell good beer at Haslemere
And under Guildford Hill.
At Little Cowfold, as I've been told,
A beggar may drink his fill:
There is a good brew in Amberley too,
And by the bridge also;
But the swipes they take in at Washington Inn
Is the very best beer I know, the very best beer I know.

Chorus:
With my here it goes, there it goes,
All the fun's before us;
The tipple's aboard and the night is young,
The door's ajar and the barrel is sprung,
I am singing the best song ever was sung
And it has a rousing chorus.

If I were what I never could be,
The master or the squire:
If you gave me the hundred from here to the sea,
Which is more than I desire:
Then all my crops should be barley and hops,
And should my harvest fail
I'd sell every rood of mine acres, I would,
For a bellyful of good ale, a bellyful of good ale.

With my here etc.

If my blue clicky above works, you can see that Mudcat's "Sussex Drinking Song" is not this song (and if it's a variant, it varies a whole hell of a lot from Belloc's original). So who did write "Sussex Drinking Song"?

I hope some of that makes sense. Any & all help hugely appreciated!

---Delicate Flower Princess


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Subject: RE: Sussex Drinking Song - w/ no Haslemere?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 03:57 PM

Trayto sings this , in the Wyndham read setting , and tells me it IS Belloc and can be found The Four Men Clickie
WITH another tune , and also in Bob Coppers book Across Sussex with Belloc


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Subject: RE: Sussex Drinking Song - w/ no Haslemere?
From: GUEST,DFP
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 04:32 PM

Thank you, Leadfingers! The Four Men is in public domain and online, so I can see for myself that "Sussex Drinking Song" is in it here.

Thank you thank you!

---DFP


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Subject: RE: Sussex Drinking Song - w/ no Haslemere?
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 06:58 PM

Both poems are definitely by Belloc.

Valmai


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Subject: Tune Add: [SUSSEX] DRINKING SONG (Hillaire Belloc)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 03:39 AM

In The Four Men Belloc also provides a tune for the [Sussex] "Drinking Song":

X:1
T:Drinking Song
C:Hilaire Belloc
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:F
c|F2F F2G|A2A A2F|A2G A2B|c2c c2c|d2d f2d|1 c2A F2G|Acc (cB)A|G3 z3 :|
|2 c2A F2A|GGF F2G|F2G A2F|G2A B2G|A2B Hc2A| GFF F2F|F3 F3|]

In Verses Belloc also wrote a "Drinking Song" and a "Drinking Dirge". I imagine he included even more in other works.


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Subject: RE: Sussex Drinking Song - w/ no Haslemere?
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:09 AM

I have sung this song since 'discovering' it in a book bought at a second hand book shop many moons ago. I use the tune from "The Four Men" (An excellent book, by the way.)

The verses in the Digitrad seem to have got a bit muddled in their spelling. The first verse is:

"On Sussex Hills where I was bred,
When lanes in autumn rains are red,
When Arun tumbles in his bed,
And busy great gusts go by;
When branch is bare in Burton Glen
And Bury Hill is whitening, then,
I drink strong ale with gentlemen;
Which nobody can deny etc.

The Arun, for those not in the know, is a lovely Sussex river which skirts the atmospheric Arundel Castle before reaching the sea at Littlehampton.

Hope that helps,

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: Lyr Add: Sussex Drinking Song
From: GUEST,Steve Rudd
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 05:36 PM

There are a few mispers in this:

It's when ARUN tumbles in his bed

Also, when branches bare on BURTON GLEN and BURY HILL is whitening then...

HTH

STEVE


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Subject: DT Correction: Sussex Drinking Song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 10:31 PM

Here is the Digital Tradition text, with the corrections Steve gave in the message above, plus a few other corrections I added from the Finest Kind recording. I couldn't find a printed text - anybody have one? (note that the original Hilaire Belloc text is below)
-Joe-

Sung Version:

SUSSEX DRINKING SONG
(Words: Hilaire Belloc, early 20th century;
set by Martyn Wyndham-Read to the fine Irish rebel tune "The West's
Awake")

On Sussex Downs, where I was bred,
In rains where autumn lanes are red,
Where Arun tumbles in his bed
And dusty gales go by.

Where branches, bare on Burton Glen
And Bury Hills are whitening then;
I drink strong ale with gentle-men,
Which no one can deny, deny,
Which no one can deny, deny.

In cold November off I go,
And turn my face against the snow;
And watch the wind where e'er it blow,
Because my heart is high.

'Till I settle me down in Steyning to sing
Of the girls I've met in my wandering;
And all I mean to do in Spring
Which no one can deny, deny,
Which no one can deny, deny.

'Tho times be hard and fortunes tough,
The ways be foul and the weather rough;
We are of stout South Country stuff
Who cannot have strong ale enough

From Crowborough Top to Ditchling Down,
From Hurstpierpoint to Arundel town,
The girls are fine, the ale is brown;
Which no one can deny, deny,
Which no one can deny, deny.


On Wyndham-Read's "Rose from the Bush" and also by Ian Robb on the Finest Kind CD, "Lost in a Song".
AJS
@drink
filename[ SUSSDRNK
AJS
oct97


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Subject: Lyr Add: WEST SUSSEX DRINKING SONG (Hilaire Belloc
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 10:54 PM

Now, what I did find in print is the West Sussex Drinking Song:


WEST SUSSEX DRINKING SONG
(Hilaire Belloc)

THEY sell good Beer at Haslemere
And under Guildford Hill.
At Little Cowfold as I've been told
A beggar may drink his fill:
There is a good brew in Amberley too,
And by the bridge also;
But the swipes they take in at Washington Inn
Is the very best Beer I know.

CHORUS:
With my here it goes, there it goes,
All the fun's before us:
The Tipple's Aboard and the night is young,
The door's ajar and the Barrel is sprung,
I am singing the best song ever was sung,
And it has a rousing chorus.

If I were what I never can be,
The master or the squire;
If you gave me the hundred from here to the sea,
Which is more than I desire:
Then all my crops should be barley and hops,
And did my harvest fail,
I'd sell every rood of mine acres, I would,
For a bellyful of good Ale.

CHORUS:
With my here it goes, there it goes,
All the fun's before us:
The Tipple's Aboard and the night is young,
The door's ajar and the Barrel is sprung,
I am singing the best song ever was sung,
And it has a rousing chorus.

Source: Verses By Hilaire Belloc (1916)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sussex Drinking Song
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 12:36 AM

"Sussex Drinking Song," originally titled simply "Drinking Song" was published in Belloc's The Four Men: A Farrago (1912), pp. 86-7; online/downloadable copies at Internet Archive.

The original words differ from what has been presented above. For instance, the poem begins:
"On Sussex hills where I was bred,
When lanes in autumn rains are red, ...

In the book you will also find Belloc's own score for a melody.
An ABC transcription:

X:1
T:Drinking Song
C:Hilaire Belloc
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:F
c|F2F F2G|A2A A2F|A2G A2B|c2c c2c|d2d f2d|1 c2A F2G|Acc (cB)A|G3 z3 :|
|2 c2A F2A|GGF F2G|F2G A2F|G2A B2G|A2B Hc2A| GFF F2F|F3 F3|]

To play or display ABC tunes, try concertina.net

At Google Books, the poem is included in the miscellany A Tankard of Ale (1920).

There has been at least one previous thread discussing both this song and Belloc's "West Sussex Drinking Song".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sussex Drinking Song
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 12:39 AM

Per Wikipedia, The Four Men was originally published in 1911, not 1915, the date of the edition I was referencing.


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Subject: ADD Version: Sussex Drinking Song (Belloc)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 01:04 AM

THAT's what I was looking for, Artful Codger. "When lanes in autumn rains are red" makes a lot more sense. Thanks a lot. Let's put together a fully corrected transcription:

Original Belloc Version:

DRINKING SONG
(Hilaire Belloc)

On Sussex hills where I was bred,
When lanes in autumn rains are red,
When Arun tumbles in his bed,
And busy great gusts go by;
When branch is bare in Burton Glen
And Bury Hill is a whitening, then,
I drink strong ale with gentlemen;
Which nobody can deny, deny,
Deny, deny deny, deny.
Which nobody can deny.

In half-November off I go,
To push my face against the snow,
And watch the winds wherever they blow,
Because my heart is high:
Till I settle me down in Steyning to sing
Of the women I met in my wandering,
And of all that I mean to do in the spring,
Which nobody can deny, deny,
Deny, deny deny, deny.
Which nobody can deny.

Then times be rude and weather be rough,
And ways be foul and fortune tough;
We are of the stout South Country stuff,
That never can have good ale enough,
And do this chorus cry!
From Crowboro' Top to Ditchling Down,
From Hurstpierpoint to Arundel town,
The girls are plump and the ale is brown;
Which nobody can deny, deny,
Deny, deny deny, deny.
If he does he tells a lie!


Lyrics and tune from The Four Men: A Farrago, by Hilaire Belloc, 1911
Originally untitled.

Also set by Martyn Wyndham-Read to the fine Irish rebel tune "The West's Awake" On Wyndham-Read's "Rose from the Bush" and also by Ian Robb on the Finest Kind CD, "Lost in a Song".

@drink
filename[ SUSSDRNK
AJS
oct97


Click to play


Oh, and I combined the earlier thread with this one.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 02:03 AM

In his book 'Across Sussex with Belloc' (in the footsteps of the Four Men) by Bob Copper, you'll not only find the words and music of this song but others equally worthy. Some have musical arrangements by Dorothy Swainson to tunes which Belloc himself 'dictated'. Sadly the book is now 'op' but you should be able to find a copy on ABEbooks (It was published by messrs. Alan Sutton)


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Subject: The Four Men: A Farrago, by Hilaire Belloc, 1911
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 02:43 AM

I was mistaken: the song is untitled in the book. Normally in a book, you'll find page headings which give the book name on the left and the chapter or section heading on the right. But in this book, the left and right headings together form a short descriptor for that pair of pages. The descriptor for this pair is "The first / drinking song". [Note: each verse in this song is preceded by a Roman numeral.]

This descriptor implies that there are other drinking songs in the book, and that is indeed the case. You will also find (ignoring very short verses and fragments):

pp.92-95: Song of the Pelagian Heresy for the Strengthening of Men's Backs...
Descriptor: The drinking song / of Pelagius
First lines: Pelagius lived in Kardanoel / And taught a doctrine there
with score and narrative interpolations

pp.112-4: Descriptor: The song called "His Hide / Is Covered with Hair"
First line: The dog is a faithful, intelligent friend
with score and interpolations; incomplete

pp. 129-31: untitled. Descriptor: And a threnody / is chaunted
First line: Attend, my gentle brethren of the World
With interpolations. This song is described as having "a sort of dirge" rather than a tune.

pp. 156-57: Descriptor: The rhyme of / lucky burial-days
First line of eight: Buried on Monday, buried for health
Called first an "old rhyme", later a song.

pp. 171, 173: Descriptor: The great war between / Sussex and Kent
First lines: If Bonaparte / Shud zummon d'Eart / To land on Pevensey Level (one verse only)
Tune: Golier (score given)

pp. 208-9: Descriptor: His own country (on each page)
First line: I will go without companions

p. 243: The Sailor
First lines: Noël! Noël! Noël! Noël! / A Catholic tale have I to tell:
Descriptor: The Sailor's Carol; three stanzas, with score

pp. 262-3: Descriptor: Song of Duke William
First line: Duke William was a wench's son

p. 286: Golier. See score on p. 171.
The song appears to consist of only three lines:
And I will sing Golier!
Golier, Golier, Golier, Golier,
And I will sing Golier!

pp. 287-8: Descriptor: The Californy song; with score
First lines: I am sailing for America / That far foreign strand

pp. 289-92: Descriptor: The last song
First line: Thou ugly, lowering, treacherous Quean

pp. 307-10: Descriptor: A piece of verse / is written and / I come to my home
First line: ... and therefore even youth that dies


Did Belloc supply scores in other books?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 04:54 AM

As far as I know Belloc didn't supply the musical notation to either 'Duke William' or 'The West Sussex Drinking Song'...it isn't even known if tunes were composed for them. Bob adapted Sussex traditional song tunes to suit these two. Belloc was a great singer as Bob records, anything from ballads to music hall to soldiers songs that he[d picked up from his time of service in the French army.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: Acorn4
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 05:01 AM

I never realised that there was a folk song that mentioned Crowborough, my birthplace - you live and learn!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: GUEST,Steve Rudd
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 06:35 AM

I think it's gusty gales as well, not dusty

Sorry for posting what others had already posted, not quote used to the labyrinthine structure of Mudcat and didn't realise thread already existed

STEVE


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 05:40 PM

Hi, Steve -
Not to worry - it made for a good discussion.

On the Finest Kind recording, I definitely hear "dusty gales," and I think I hear "stout South Country stuff." I haven't heard the Wyndham-Read recording.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 06:58 AM

What do they know about beer in West Sussex? THE Sussex beer is brewed in East Sussex by Harveys of Lewes!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: Old Vermin
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 07:00 PM

Harveys is all very well, and verey drinkable but W J King's Old from Horsham is an essential. Gorgeous stuff.

Come to think of it, I used to know David Harvey.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 05:53 AM

We are indeed enriched by the presence of the two great luminaries of the folk song movement in Sussex and Surrey 'slugging' it out over the merits of each others county brew. Belloc would have been delighted! I have to side with Vic on this one despite the fact that The Crabtree, immortalised by HB in The Four Men was indeed a King and Barnes house.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: GUEST,graham skeggs
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 05:30 PM

Does this mean that Vic Smith is in fact 'big man' Vic as mentioned by Bob Copper in 'Across Sussex with Belloc' which I was reading on the train today?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 02:06 AM

I should really dash to find ASWB and check, but Bob wrote lovingly of 'The Victory' at Staplefield - the landlord's name was Vic and I would have thought that was the person referred to. Hope you're enjoying the book and I know Bob's fervent wish was that it would inspire people to undertake and enjoy the walk themselves...so dig out your boots Graham!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: GUEST,graham skeggs
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 07:59 AM

I'm indeed planning a trip. At the moment it's Eastbourne to Arundel so would only cross 'the book' at Steyning and Storrington, but this is currently being reviewed!

The Vic referred to (p103 in my edition) sang and played duet concertina in sessions at The White Horse, Sutton, and Bob mentions 'his researches and learned books and essays have contributed richly to our knowledge of sacred and secular parochial music'- not that this would rule out a pub landlord, as they are quite notorious for the amount of spare time they have.

It's probably just as well that Bob couldn't track down a tune for 'Golier', because I might end up singing it, which would obviously be an act of gross sacriledge on the part of someone not born in Sussex!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: Vic Smith
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 08:34 AM

Graham Skeggs wrote:-

"The Vic referred to (p103 in my edition) sang and played duet concertina in sessions at The White Horse, Sutton"


In that case, the Vic is Vic Gammon whom we ran folk clubs with for many years when he lived in Sussex.

My wife and I also played for dances with him and also the superb one-man band musician, Vic Ellis when we called ourselves....


VIC, VIC, VIC & TINA


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: Barbara
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 02:38 PM

Is there a tune available (Bob Copper's?) for the WEST Sussex Drinking Song? The one that begins: They sell good Beer at Haslemere ?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 04:44 PM

graham: I'm surprised Bob "couldn't track down a tune for 'Golier'" since, as noted in my post above (dated 21 Feb 10) of other songs in The Four Men, a score is provided in the book, on page 171 (for another song using the same tune). I also quoted the full lyrics Belloc gave for "Golier"--all of three lines.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 11:46 PM

See, I should have gone to look! Of course it was Vic Gammon. The White Horse at Sutton sessions were really quite something. Sorry, if I was responsible for saying that Bob couldn't track down a tune for 'Golier'...as you say, the notation is there - I should have said 'any more words'...particularly as HB kept on enthusing about it, three line is rather thin.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sussex Drinking Song (Hilaire Belloc)
From: Barbara
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 12:36 PM

At the beginning of the chapters in Four Men, Belloc provides a bit of music, but it is only for the line "and we will sing Golier". I was never able to find anything more about the song or the rest of the tune.
BTW I own a copy of The Four Men.
Blessings,
Barbara


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