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Lyr Req: The Beggar Comes (The Yardarm)

GUEST,Mike Wheeler 19 Mar 14 - 07:26 PM
GUEST 08 Nov 14 - 07:12 PM
GUEST 20 Dec 14 - 01:46 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Dec 14 - 11:27 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: The Beggar Comes sung by the Yardarm
From: GUEST,Mike Wheeler
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 07:26 PM

Need lyrics for a song called The Beggar Comes sung by The Yardarm in the 1970's I think.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Beggar Comes (The Yardarm)
Date: 08 Nov 14 - 07:12 PM

Try asking Goff Jones at the Wrexham Folk Club!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Beggar Comes (The Yardarm)
Date: 20 Dec 14 - 01:46 PM

It's from The Shilburn Ballads No. XXXIV

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BEGGAR COMES (from Shirburn Ballads)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Dec 14 - 11:27 PM

From The Shirburn Ballads, 1585-1616, Volume 1, edited by Andrew Clark (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1907), page 139:

So long have I followed the alewife's cans

Fol. 165, with sequel on fol. 166: a most spirited admonition to sobriety and thrift, with a good swing throughout, but spoilt by a farcical ending. The frequenter of the ale-house is depicted as reforming, when he finds poverty, personified as a beggar-man, dogging his steps and watching opportunity to seize on him.

In stanza 11 mention is made of old implements for cleaving logs, which in Essex are now forgotten except by the oldest labourers. A socket-wedge was a stout iron wedge with a large socket for the insertion of a thick wooden haft, to lengthen it. It was driven home by a heavy hammer, here called a sledge. Each labourer, until recent years, possessed, as in the ballad, a set of tools of his own for general farm-work, as hedging, ditching, &c. Now the farmer provides the tools, and the labourer's stock-in-trade is, in his own phrase, 'a short pipe and a shut-knife' (clasp-knife to cut his tobacco).

Stanzas 18 and 2o describe losses in gambling at ale-houses. Games of chance in such houses were expressly forbidden by statute (see No. IX), but the records of the court at Maldon quite bear out the ballad in its picture of the prevalence of the practice. Convictions and fines occur at every Quarter-sessions. 3 July, 1559, William Loughborough, currier, admitted that on Saturday, 27 May, he was paid 9s. by his master, and on Sunday, 28 May, at Manning's alehouse, playing with the host at tables, 2d. a game, he lost 3s. 4d., but Manning gave him back 4d. In 1567, at Easter sessions, John Horncliffe was fined 6s. 8d. for suffering work-people to play at cards in his alehouse (the Bell) contrary to his recognizances. At the Epiphany sessions, 1582-3, it was shown that John Kellingdon, sherman, George Hover, blacksmith, and William Whyskyn, ostler, had played at dice at a game called novum et eundem, and Whyskyn lost 16s.

In stanza 29 the hue and cry is alluded to. A person whose goods were stolen was entitled to send out a description of the thief and the stolen property, to be passed on by messenger from constable to constable in the direction which the thief had taken. A Maldon constable's bill-of-charges in 1616 shows that each parish was expected to contribute its groat towards the cost of transmission. 'Receiued a hew-en-cry sent out from Colchester for two randed geldings (one of them with a waled eye) 10 January, 4d. 20 July, 4d. a hew-an-cry carried to Wodham Mortimer, which cam from Bentley, and so on to Gravesend.'

A merry new Ballad intituled:—The
begger comes, the begger comes, etc.


[1] So long haue [I] followed the Alewiue's cannes,
and so often gone in at the Alewiue's doore,
It hath caused me for to spend my lands;
and now, alasse! I am growne poore.

[CHORUS] The begger comes! the begger comes!
loe! where the begger doth me watch!
And* I doe not leave the Alehowse off,
the begger soone he will me catch.

[* i.e. if.]

[2] He that hath mony in his purse,
and will vnto an Alehowse goe,
There he may learne to sware and curse,
and spend his mony and wit also.

[3] I know a man was very rich,
and he of many was often sought;
Yet he had followed the pot so longe,
at length the begger had him caught.

[4] My mother tould me, long agoe,
yf I did followe soe much the pot,
At length yt would cause my overthrow,
and make me goe in a threedbare coate.

[5] When I had siluer and gold good store,
good fellows then thought well of me;
But now it is gone, and I haue noe more,
they are not for my companye.

[6] The brauest lasses in our towne
I might haue had their company;
But, now I am scarce worth a crowne,
alasse! they looke asquint on me.

[7] Our hostis at the Walnut-tree,
when I had mony at my will,
She lovèd well my company,
because the shot I payèd still.

[8] Our hostis' maids did love me well,
when I had mony to my store,
Because I gaue them farings still;
but now they care for me no more.

[9] They tell me, now, the begger comes;
and show me where he doth me watch.
They bid me hye me to my worke,
or els the begger will me catch.

[10] Indeed, their counsell I will take;
I'le come no more within their vaine.
What shift soe euer I doe make,
I'le get my monye vp againe.

[11] I'le get me a shovell, and a spade,
a flayle, a hedge-bill, and an axe,
Two socket-wedges, and a sledge;
I thinke I will haue all my knacks.

[12] I'le hedge, and ditch; I'le cleave out roots;
I'le thresh; I'le cut downe woode amaine;
I'le doe all worke—I care not what—
to get my mony vp againe.

[13] And when I haue mony in my purse—
because the Alewiues were so stout,
I thinke I will keepe it tyll it rust,
ere they shall get a penny out.

[14] All they that to the Alehowse packe,
and they that spend their mony there,
The begger may catch them by the backe,
ere they of him shal be aware.

The second part of The begger comes, etc.
To the tune of Watton towne's end.

[15] All yow that now haue hard me synge
'the begger [he] doth come,'
Shall here me sing another part
agreeying to the same.

[CHORUS] The begger! the begger!
the begger he was come,
And almost like to catch me:
'twas tyme for me to run.

[16] I went vnto an Alehowse
to drinke a pot or two,
And the begger he stoode watchinge
to see where I did goe.

[17] I had but cald my Ostisse,
a stope of beare to fill;
The begger he was comd
and their stood watching still.

[18] I went into another howse,
and there I playd at dice;
And there I lost fyve shillings—
therin I was not wise.

[19] I opened the windowe,
because the light was dymme;
and I might see the begger,
where he stoode lookinge in.

[20] I went into another howse,
which stood besyde a pond;
And there I went to a 'newe cutt'
tyll all my mony was gone.

[21] As I was goinge out,
to run home for more,
There I might see the begger
stand watchinge at the dore.

[22] One day as I was sleepinge
vnderneath a shade,
And spent the time in idlenesse,
which is a filthy trade,

[23] Then suddenlye I wakèd;
and, casting vp mine eye,
I spi'de the begger comminge,
as fast as he could hye.

[24] Thus I haue tould yow all
how troubled I haue beene,
For to withstand the begger—
the like was never seene.

[25] If that I doe but looke
vpon an Alehowse sygne,
The begger he will watch me,
to see yf I goe in.

[CHORUS] Then the begger! the begger!
the begger he will come,
And will be like to catch me:
'tis time for me to runne.

[26] But now that I haue found a slight*
the begger shall not catch me,
But I will shift away from him
wheresoever he doth watch me.

[* i.e. sleight.]

[27] I'le take me to my horse;
I'le ride awaye in hast;
And then he cannot catch me,
though he runne never* so fast,

[* read ne'er.]

[28] Except he steale a horse,—
he hath none of his owne:—
And, yf he take another man's,
the same shall soone be knowne.

[29] I'le reare the cuntry up*
strayght-wayes, and will not faile,
And they shall catch the begger,
and laye him in the Jayle.

[* i. e. by hue and cry.]

[CHORUS] Then the begger! the begger!
the begger cannot come;
For when that he is in the Jayle,
then what neede I to runne?

[3o] And when the Syses come,
then hangèd shall he be;
And then I neede not feare;
the begger cannot catch me.

[CHORUS] For then the begger! the begger!
the begger cannot come;
For when that he is hangèd,
then what neede I to runne?

[31] If that he haue some yonge ones,
they are but verye smale,
And they will fall to stealinge,
and soe be hangèd all.

[CHORUS] Then the begger! the begger!
the begger cannot come:
For when they be all hangèd,
then what neede I to runne?

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Mudcat time: 18 October 12:44 PM EDT

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