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DTStudy: Stewball / Skewball

DigiTrad:
SCEW BALL (STEWBALL)
SKEWBALL
SKEWBALL (4)
STEWBALL
STEWBALL (3)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: The Plains of Kildare (Andy Irvine) (16)
Lyr Req: Stewball and the Monaghan Grey Mare (13)
Skewball - W. Stephenson printing (5)
Skew Ball and 'Miss Grizzle' (16)
Lyr Req: Skewball (Bebbington #206) (19)
Chord Req: Skewball (Steeleye Span) banjo tab (3)
Lyr Req: Stewball and Griselda (15)
BS: Stewball ? Definitely NOT .............. (10) (closed)
Lyr Req: Irish song about Stewball (11)


Joe Offer 27 Apr 16 - 11:41 PM
Joe Offer 27 Apr 16 - 11:41 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 16 - 12:08 AM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 16 - 12:09 AM
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Subject: Origins: Stewball / Skewball
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 11:41 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


I thought it might be worthwhile to sort our all the different versions of this song. We have five in the Digital Tradition:

DT Version #1

STEWBALL

Stewball was a good horse
He wore a high head
And the mane on his foretop
Was fine as silk thread

I rode him in England
I rode him in Spain
I never did lose, boys
I always did gain

So come all you gamblers
Wherever you are
And don't bet your money
On that little grey mare

Most likely she'll stumble
Most likely she'll fall
But you never will lose, boys
On my noble Stewball

As they were a-riding
'Bout halfway around
That grey mare she stumbled
And fell on the ground

And away out yonder
Ahead of them all
Came a prancin' and a dancin'
My noble Stewball

Note: The facts are that sometime around 1790 a race took place on
the curragh of Kildare (near Dublin) between a skewbald horse
owned by Sir Arthur Marvel and "Miss Portly", a gray mare owned
by Sir Ralph Gore. The race seemed to take the balladmakers'
fancies, and must have been widely sung; an early printed version
appeared in an American song book dated 1829. MJ

DT #349
Laws Q22
@animal @race
sung by Joan Baez, by PP&M
filename[ STWBLHOR
TUNE FILE: STWBLHOR
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF



DT version #2

SKEWBALL
(Steeleye Span)

You gallant sportsmen all, come listen to my story
Its of the bold Skewball, that noble racin' pony

Oh, the marvel was the man, who brought bold Skewball over
He's the diamond of the land and he rolls about in clover

The horses where brought out, with saddle whip and bridle
And the gentlemen did shout, when they saw the noble rider

And some did shout hooray, the air was thick with curses
And on the gray Griselda, the sportsmen laid their purses

The trumpet it did sound, they shot off like an arrow
They scarcely touched the ground, for the going it was narrow

Then Griselda passed him by, the gentlemen did holler
The gray will win the day, and Skewball he will follow

Then halfway round the course, up spoke the noble rider
I fell we must fall back for she's going like a tiger.

And when they did discourse, bold Skewball flew like lightning
They chased around the course, and the gray mare she was taken

Ride on my noble lord, for they have 200 guineas
The settle shall be of gold when we become the winners

Past the winning post bold Skewball drew quite handy
Horse and rider both ordered sherry wine and brandy

And then they drank the health of the gallant Miss Griselda
And all that lost their money on the sporting plains of Kildare

DT #349
Laws Q22
@race @animal
Recorded by Steeleye Span on Ten Man Mop, by Andy Irvine.
Note: The facts are that sometime about 1790 a race took
place on the Curragh of Kildare (near Dublin) between
a skewbald horse owned by Sir Arthur Marvel and "Miss
Portly", a grey mare owned by Sir Ralph Gore. The race
seemed to take the balladmakers' fancy and must have been
widely sung: an early printed version appeared in an American
song book dated 1829 MJ
...and Leadbelly recorded a version a hundred years later. RG
filename[ STWBLHR2
ED


DT version #3

STEWBALL (3)

There's a big day in Dallas,
And I wish I a-was there
Spend my las' hundred dollars
On that iron gray mare
See her travel, all day long, long, long,
See her travel all day long,
All day long.

Well I don't mind horse racing
If it wasn't for my wife.
Old Stewball may stumble
And away with my life
Wife and baby, left behind, yeah yeah
WIfe and baby, left behind
Left behind.

Old stewball was a black horsw
Jus' as slick as a mole,
Had a ring 'round his fore-shoulder
And it shined just like gold.
Shined like gold, shined like gold, Lord, Lord
Shined like gold, shined like gold
Shined like gold.

Old Stewball was a racehorse,
But the poor horse was blind.
He ran so fast in Texas
Left his shadow behind
Behind, behind
Left his shadow behind
Left behind.

Old Stewball was a racehorse
And old Molly, she was too.
Old Molly, she stumbled
And Old Stewball, he just flew.
Round the track, round the track, yeah, yeah
Round the track, round the track
Round the track.

DT #349
Laws Q22
As sung by Memphis Slim

@animal @horse @race
filename[ STWBLHR3
TUNE FILE: STWBLHR3
CLICK TO PLAY
RG
oct96


DT version #4

SKEWBALL (4)

Come, gentlemen sportsmen, I pray listen well,
I will sing you a song in praise of Skew Ball;
And how he came over, you shall understand,
It was by Squire Mervin, the pearl of the land.
And of his late actions as you've heard before,
He was lately challang'd by one Sir Ralph Gore,
For five hundred pounds, on the plains of Kildare,
To run with Miss Sportly, that famous grey mare.

Skew Ball then hearing the wager was laid,
Unto his kind master said -- Don't be afraid;
For if on my side you thousands lay would,
I would rig on your castle a fine mass of gold!
The day being come, and the cattle walk'd forth,
The people came flocking from East, South, and North,
For to view all the sporters, as I do declare,
And venture their money all on the grey mare.

Squire Mervin then, smiling, unto them did say,
Come, gentlemen, all that have money to lay;
And you that have hundreds I will lay you all,
For I'll venture thousands on famous Skew Ball.
Squire Mervin then smiling, unto them did say,
Come gentleman sportsmen, to morrow's the day,
Spurs, horses, and saddles and bridles prepare,
For you must away to the plains of Kildare.

The day being come, and the cattle walk'd out,
Squire Mervin order'd his rider to mount,
And all the spectators to clear the way,
The time being come not one moment delay.
The cattle being mounted away they did fly,
Skew Ball like an arrow pass'd Miss Sportly by;
The people went up to see them go round,
They said in their hearts they ne'er touch'd the ground.

But as they were running in the midst of the sport,
Squire Mervin to his rider began his discourse;
O! loving kind rider, come tell unto me,
How far at the moment Miss Sportly's from thee;
O! loving kind master, you bear a great style,
The grey mare's behind you a long English mile,
If the saddle maintains me, I'll warrant you there,
You ne'er shall be beat on the plains of Kildare.
But as they were running by the distant chair,
The gentlemen cry'd out -- Skew Ball never fear,
Altho' in this country thou was't ne'er seen before,
Thou has beaten Miss Sportly, and broke Sir Ralph Gore.


This is an Irish song, with several traditional versions
known, but the only traditional Irish version I've seen, text and
tune, is in the relatively recent book by Hugh Shields, Old Dublin Songs.
Shields in his notes mentions no other copy of
the song or tune. There is a copy of the song in P. Buchan's MSS
in the British Library.

Original tune is a puzzle; one old copy says tune is "Money
makes the mare to go". Is this a poke of fun, or real? In the
17th century "Money makes the mare to go" was sung to "She got
money by th' bargain", which we give later here as SHAMBUY2.
"Money will make the mare to go" is the occasional title of the
catch that commences "Wilt thou lend me thy mare to go a mile?",
but the catch tune doesn't seem to fit this.

From <>, London: John Souter, 1818. The song
is without music or tune direction.

DT #349
Laws Q22
@horse @animal @race
filename[ STWBLHR4
WBO
APR99


DT version #5

SCEW BALL (STEWBALL)

Come gentlemen sportsmen I pray listen all,
I will sing you a song in praise of Scew Ball(1),
And how he came over you shall understand,
It was by Squire Merwin the pearl of our land.

And of his late actions that I've heard before,
He was lately challeng'd by one Sir Ralph Gore,
For five hundred guineas on the plains of Kildare,
To run with Miss Sportly, that charming grey mare.

Scew Ball he then hearing the wager was laid,
Unto his kind master said, don't be afraid,
For if on my side you thousands lay would,
I will rig in your castle a fine mass of gold.

The day being come, and the cattle(2) walk'd forth,
The people came flocking from East, North, and South(3),
For to view all the sporters, as I do declare,
And venture their money all on the grey mare.

Squire Mirwin then smiling unto them did say,
Come gentlemen all that's got money to lay,
And you that have hundreds, come I'll lay you all,
For I will venture thousands on famous Scew Ball.

The day being come, and the cattle walk'd out,
Squire Mirwin he order'd his rider to mount,
And all the spectators for to clear the way,
The time being come, not one moment delay.

These cattle were mounted, and away they did fly,
Scew ball like an arrow past Miss Sportly by,
The people went up for to see them go round,
They said in their hearts that they ne'er touch'd the ground.

But as they were running, in the midst of the sport,
Squire Mirwin to his rider(4) began this discourse,
O loving kind rider come tell unto me,
How far is Miss Sportly this moment from me?

O loving kind master you bear a great stile,
The grey mare's behind me a long English mile,
If the saddle maintains, I'll warrant you there,
You ne'er will be beat on the plains of Kildare(5).

But as they were running by the distance chair,
The gentlemen cry'd out, Scew Ball never fear,
Altho' in this country thou was ne'er seen before,
Thou has beaten Miss Sportly, and broke Sir Ralph Gore.

-----
>From a broadside in the Madden Collection, now in the University Library in Cam
bridge; reprinted in "Later English Broadside Ballads", ed. Holloway & Black, 19
75. Believed to be eighteenth or early nineteenth century because, although und
ated, it does not show the font and style changes which were typical of the earl
y nineteenth century printing of broadsides. The ballad is Irish, although this
version is from a London printing, sold at 42, Long Lane.

1. Scew Ball - skewbald (c.f. piebald)
2. cattle - horses
3. presumably should be "South and North" for the rhyme.
4. "rider" appears to mean "mount" in this stanza.
5. The races on the plain of Kildare were a great gathering-place
for people from all over Ireland.

Note from STEWBALL 3:
The facts are that sometime around 1790 a race took place on
the curragh of Kildare (near Dublin) between a skewbald horse
owned by Sir Arthur Marvel and "Miss Portly", a gray mare owned
by Sir Ralph Gore. The race seemed to take the balladmakers'
fancies, and must have been widely sung; an early printed version
appeared in an American song book dated 1829. MJ

If MJ's notes are correct, it is interesting that this version gets the winner's
name wrong! One also wonders about the name of the grey mare. "Miss Sportly"
seems more likely than "Miss Portly", but one never knows. DAD

@horse @animal @race
DT #349
Laws Q22
filename[ STWBLHR5
DAD
apr00

And the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Skewball [Laws Q22]

DESCRIPTION: (Skewball) and one or more other horses run a race; the crowd favors another animal. (Half way through the course), Skewball tells his rider he will win. He pushes on to victory (and drinks a toast with his rider)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1784 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B25)
KEYWORDS: horse racing promise
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW,NE,SE,SO) Britain(England)
REFERENCES (15 citations):
Laws Q22, "Skewball"
BrownII 136, "Skew Ball" (2 fragments)
BrownSchinhanIV 136, "Skew Ball" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Boswell/Wolfe 51, pp. 88-89, "Skewball" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peters, p. 253, "The Noble Skew Bald" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thompson-Pioneer 34, "Skewball" (1 text)
Flanders-NewGreen, pp. 172-174, "The Noble Sku-ball" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 68-70, "Stewball" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 62-64, "The Noble Skewball" (1 partial text plus a British version in a footnote, 1 tune)
Jackson-DeadMan, pp. 102-110, "Stewball" (4 texts, 1 tune, linked to this by the horse's name Stewball though the versions often seem to pick up pieces of other racing songs, notably "Molly and Tenbrooks" [Laws H27])
Darling-NAS, pp. 151-152, "Stewball" (1 text)
Fife-Cowboy/West 8, "Squeball" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 395, "Stewball" (1 text)
DT 349, STWBLHOR STWBLHR2
ADDITIONAL: Moses Asch and Alan Lomax, Editors, _The Leadbelly Songbook_, Oak, 1962, p. 72, "Stewball" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #456
RECORDINGS:
"Bowlegs" [no other name given], "Stewball" (AFS 1863 B4, 1933)
Harold B. Hazelhurst, "Stewboy" (AFS 3143 B3, 1939)
Harry Jackson, "Old Blue Was a Gray Horse" (on HJackson1)
Ed Lewis & prisoners, "Stewball" (on LomaxCD1703)
A. L. Lloyd, "Skewball" (on Lloyd3, Lloyd6)
Memphis Slim & Willie Dixon, "Stewball" (on ClassAfrAm)
Pete Seeger, "Stewball" (on PeteSeeger43)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 999[some lines illegible], "Skew Ball" ("Come gentlemen sportsmen I pray listen all"), J. Pitts (London), 1802-1819; also Harding B 11(3533), Harding B 15(289a), Harding B 15(289b), Harding B 15(290a), Firth c.19(78), Firth c.19(79), Harding B 11(73), Firth b.26(236), "Skew Ball"; Harding B 28(274), Harding B 25(1784), Harding B 25(1785), Harding B 6(54), G.A. Gen. top. b.29(24/2) [some words illegible] "Skewball"; Firth b.25(297), Johnson Ballads 1406, 2806 c.18(282), Firth c.26(51), "Scew Ball"
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Molly and Tenbrooks" [Laws H27] (plot)
cf. "Little Dun Dee" (plot)
NOTES: This seems to have given rise to a work song fragment, "Old Skubald"; see Darling-NAS, p. 325. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
File: LQ22

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Stewball / Skewball
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 11:41 PM

  Skewball: The Ballads

http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/Skewball/Skewball2.html


In America, the Stewball ballad was "...most popular in the Negro south, where the winning horse is known variously as 'Stewball' or 'Kimball," and was apparently one of the chain-gang songs. The song was recorded by Leadbelly in 1940 (cd available via the Smithsonian Museum), by Joan Baez (album title Joan Baez/5), by Peter Paul and Mary, and a number of successive artists.

There is a closely-related American song, called Molly and Tenbrooks (also Run, Molly, Run; Old Tim Brooks; Tim Brooks; The Race Horse Song), which celebrates the famous east-west four-mile Kentucky match between the California mare Mollie McCarty and the great Kentucky racehorse Ten Broeck in 1878.

There are several versions of the Molly/Ten Broeck saga, as well, and Folklorist D.K. Wilgus believed there was a connection between the Skewball ballad and that of Molly and "Tenbrooks." In the real race, which Ten Broeck won, Mollie was distanced in the first (and final) heat, an incident seen in the Baez version of Stewball.
 

Up until the 19th century, broadsides were the most inexpensive means of disseminating information in Great Britain, the earliest dating to the sixteenth century. Popular songs printed on a single side of a sheet of paper sold for a penny or less, and treated a broad variety of subjects, from the political to biblical, from medieval romance and very old ballads to contemporary events treated in a satirical vein. The ballad broadsides were often set to already familiar tunes. They were frequently illustrated with woodcuts.

The Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford has a substantial collection of over 25,000 items, in named collections which have been donated over the past 300 years. Among these are a collection bequeathed to the University in 1975 from Walter N.H. Harding, and within the 15,000 broadside ballads in this collection are several versions of Skewball. To see images and actual appearance of the original broadsides, and the thousands more in the Bodleian collection, all organized in a very useful on-line database (search for ("Skewball"), please visit the Bodleian Library Broadsides Ballad collection.

 

Some recordings of this song in various versions include: "Timbrooks and Molly" (Warde Ford, The Hole in the Wall (AFS 4210A1, 1939, AMMEN/Cowell); "Molly and Tenbrooks" (Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys (Columbia 20612, 1949); "Molly and Tenbrooks" (Sonny Osborne (Kentucky 605, n.d.); "Molly and Tenbrooks" (The Stanley Brothers (Rich-R-Tone 418, 1948). The versions were noted by Wilgus in Kentucky Folklore Record V. II, No. 3; Vol. II, No. 4.

Below are two of the five versions of Skewball from the Bodleian ballad broadsides; the one on the right is dated 1784, the one on the left undated, but it appears to be the older of the two. To show how lyrics change over time, the Steeleye Span version of Skewball (from Ten Man Mop or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again, available on cd from Shanachie Records Corp. (� 1989)) and the version (Stewball) sung by Joan Baez on the album Joan Baez/5 (Vanguard: VSD-79160), the latter set to a tune by the Greenbriar Boys. Beneath those are different versions of the saga of Mollie McCarty and Ten Broeck, where Skewball/Stewball starts making an appearance.


Skewball (Harding B-6 (54) 00668)

You Gentlemen Sportsmen I pray listen all
I'll sing you a song in the praise of Skewball
And how they came over you shall understand
By one Squire Irvine the Mell of [of] our land.
500 bright guineas on the plains of Kildare
I'll bet upon, Sportsmen, that bonny-grey mare
Skewball hearing the wager, the wager was laid
He said loving master, its don't be afraid.
For on my side thou'st laid thousands of pounds
I'll rig in thy castle a fine mass of gold.
Squire Irvine he smiled, and thus he did say,
You gentlemen-sportsmen to-morrow's the day
Your saddles and bridles, and horses prepare,
For we will away th [to] the plains of Kildare.
The day being come, & the horses bro't out,
Squire Irvine he order'd his rider to mount.
All the people then went to see them go round
They swore in their hearts that they ne'er
touch'd the ground.
And as they were riding this was the discourse
The grey mare will never touch this horse.
O, loving kind rider come tell unto me,
How far is the grey mare behind you said he...
O loving master you bear a great smile,
Grey mare is behind me a large English mile
For in this country I was ne'er seen before
Thou hast won the race & broken lord Gore.
Skewball (Harding B-25 1784 10198)

Ye gentlemen sportsmen I pray listen all,
And I'll sing you a song in praise of skewball,
And how he came over you shall understand,
It was esquire Mirvin a peer of our land.
And of his late actions is I have heard before,
And how he was challenged by one Sir Raph Gore,
For five hundred guines on the plains of kilder,
To run with Miss Sportsly that charming grey mare.
Skewball then he hearing the wager was laid,
He to his kind master said be not afraid.
For I on my side you thousands will hold,
I'll lay on your castle a fine mass of gold.
The time being come and the cattle led out,
The people came flocking from east, west, and south,
To beat all the Sportsmen I vow and declare,
They'd enter their money all on the grey mare.
Squire Mirvin he smiled and thus he did say,
Come gentlemen sportsmen that's money to lay.
All you that's got hundreds I will hold you all,
For I will lay thousands on famous Skewball.
Squire Mirvin he smiled, and thus he did say,
Ye gentlemen sportsmen to morrow's the day,
Your horses and saddles and bridles prepare,
For we must away to the plains of kildar.
The time being come and the cattle walk'd out,
Squire Mirvin he order'd his rider to mount,
With all the spectators to clear the way,
The time being come not a moment delay,
These cattle were mounted away they fly,
Skewball like an arrow past Miss Sportsly did fly,
And the people stept up for to see them go round,
They swore in their hearts he ne'er touch the ground.
And as they were just in the midst of their sport,
squire Mirvin* to his rider begun this discourse,
O loving kind rider come tell unto me,
How far is Miss Sportsly this moment from thee.
O loving kind master you bear a great style
The Grey Mare is behind me a full English mile,
If the saddle maintains as I warrent you there
We ne'er shall be beat on the plains of Kildar.
And as they were running past the distance chair,
the gentlemen cry'd Skewball never fear,
Although in this country thou wast never seen before,
Thou beating Miss Sportsly has broke Sir Ralph Gore.

*Corrected the next year to: Skewball to his rider began this discourse


Skewball (Steeleye Span)

You gallant sportsmen all, come listen to my story
It's of the bold Skewball, that noble racing pony
Arthur Marvel was the man that brought bold Skewball over
He's the diamond of the land and he rolls about in clover

The horses were brought out with saddle, whip and bridle
And the gentlemen did shout when they saw the noble riders
And some did shout hurray, the air was thick with curses
And on the grey Griselda the sportsmen laid their purses

The trumpet it did sound, they shot off like an arrow
They scarcely touched the ground for the going it was narrow
Then Griselda passed him by and the gentlemen did holler
The grey will win the day and Skewball he will follow

Then halfway round the course up spoke the noble rider
I fear we must fall back for she's going like a tyger.
Up spoke the noble horse, ride on my noble master
For we're half way round the course and now we'll see who's faster

And when they did discourse, bold Skewball flew like lightning
They chased around the course and the grey mare she was taken
Ride on my noble lord, for the good two hundred guineas
The saddle shall be of gold when we pick up our winnings

Past the winning post bold Skewball proved quite handy
And horse and rider both ordered sherry, wine and brandy
And then they drank a health unto Miss Griselda
And all that lost their money on the sporting plains of Kildare

Stewball (Joan Baez/5)

Stewball was a good horse
He wore a high head,
And the mane on his foretop
Was as fine as silk thread.

I rode him in England,
I rode him in Spain,
And I never did lose, boys,
I always did gain.

So come all you gamblers,
Wherever you are,
And don't bet your money
On that little gray mare.

Most likely she'll stumble,
Most likely she'll fall,
But you never will lose, boys,
On my noble Stewball.

As they were a-ridin'
'Bout halfway around,
That gray mare she stumbled
And fell on the ground.

And away out yonder,
Ahead of them all,
Came a prancin' an' dancin'
My noble Stewball.


Stewball: A Version
Source: Fiddle Players' Discussion List, Meghan Merker

Way out in California
Where Stewball was born
All the jockeys said old Stewball
Lord, he blew there in a storm

CHORUS: Bet on Stewball and you might win, win, win
Bet on Stewball and you might win

All the jockeys in the country
Say he blew there in a storm
All the women in the country
Say he never was known

When the horses were saddled
And the word was given: Go
Old Stewball he shot out
Like an arrow from a bow

The old folks they hollered
The young folks they bawled
The children said look, look
At that no good Stewball

Stewball: Another Version
Source: Fiddle Players' Discussion List, Meghan Merker

There's a big race (uh-huh), down in Dallas (uh-huh)
Don't you wish you (...) were there? (...)
you would bet your ( ) bottom dollar ( )
On that iron ( ) grey mare ( )
Bet on Stewball & you might win, win, win
Bet on Stewball & you might win!

Way out / in California / when old Stewball / was born
All the jockeys / in the nation / said he blew there / in a storm

Now the value / of his harness / has never / been told
His sadlle / pure silver / & his bridle / solid gold

Old Stewball / was a racehorse / Old Molly / was too
Old Molly / she stumbled / Old Stewball / he flew


Run Molly Run
Source: Kingston Trio ("Goin Places")

Chorus: Run Molly, run (oh, Molly). Run Molly, run.
Long John's gonna beat you, beneath the shinin' sun.

Long John was the youngest horse and Molly was the old.
Molly was an old grey mare and he was a stallion bold,
oh, Lordy, he was a stallion bold.

Long John said to Molly, "You're runnin' your last race
'Cause when I turn my head around I'm gonna see your face,
old gal, I'm gonna see your face."

Molly said to Long John, "Don't take me for a fool.
If you didn't cut your ears and tail, I'd think you were a mule
(Yeah!) I'd think you were a mule."

Long John, he got mad, oh, Lord, and shook his wooly mane.
"Last time that I run, old girl, I beat the Memphis train.
I beat the Memphis train."

Chorus

See them waitin' on the track. The man, he hollered, "Go!"
Long John runnin' fast, Lord, Molly runnin' slow.
Molly runnin' slow.

Long John said to Molly, "Take a last look at the sky.
'Cause baby when I pass you by, my dust's gonna blind your eye,
oh, Lord, my dust's gonna blind your eye."

Run, Molly, run. Look out for the turn,
oh, Lordy, Lordy, here she comes!

Long John beatin' Molly. Wait, what do I see?
Molly passin' Long John. Molly runnin' free,
oh, Lordy, Molly runnin' free.

Run Molly, run (oh Molly). Run Molly, run.
Put old Long John out to stud and let old Molly run!

Molly and Tenbrooks
Source: Steve Gillette and Linda Albertano, Cherry Lane Music, 1967

Tenbrooks was a bay horse, had a long, shaggy mane
Rode all around Memphis, beat the big Memphis train.
Run, Tenbrooks, run, if you don't run
Molly gonna beat you to the bright shinin' sun.

The women were weepin', their babes cryin' too.
The nine proud horses came thunderin' through.
With molly the leader, her head tossin' high.
With Molly the leader, with Tenbrooks behind,
She came flyin' by.

We shouted to Kuyper, you're not ridin' right.
Molly is a beatin' Tembrooks out of sight.
Kuyper, oh Kuyper, Kuyper my son,
Give him the bridle, let Tenbrooks run.

Tenbrooks looked at Molly, your face is so red.
Been runnin in the hot sun with a feverish head.
You're fallin' behind me, I'm out here all alone
Molly says to Tenbrooks, I'm leavin' this world
I'm a goin' on home.

Oh, run fetch old Tenbrooks and tie him in the shade.
They're buryin' Molly in a coffin ready made.
Out in California Molly done as she pleased,
Back in Kentucky, got beat with all ease,
Got beat with all ease.


A Related, Possibly Older Version
Source: "E.L."

chorus:
Run Molly, run
Run Molly, run
Tembruck gonna beat you
Bright shinin'sun.
Bright shinin' sun, oh lordy, bright shinin' sun.

They ran the Kentucky Derby on the 24th of May,
Some bet on Tembruck, some on Molly Day.
Some on Molly Day, oh lordy, some on Molly Day.

chorus

Piper, oh Piper, you're not runnin' right
Molly's beatin' Tembruck way out of sight.
Way out of sight, oh lordy,way out of sight.

chorus

Piper, oh Piper, oh Piper my son
Let old Tembruck have his head,let old Tembruck run.
Let old Tembruck run, oh lordy, let old Tembruck run



Link found by Phil Edwards and posted by Dick Miles in the Bertsongs thread.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Stewball / Skewball
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 12:08 AM

Skewball Was a Racehorse

http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/Skewball/Skewball1.html

Skewball was a racehorse. He was bred by Francis, (2nd) Earl of Godolphin, at his stud, Babraham, Cambridgeshire, and foaled out at Sir John Dutton's (owner of his dam) stud at Sherborne in 1741. His name, as recorded in the General Studbook, was Skewball ("Squball" in Lord Godolphin's studbook), by the Godolphin Arabian, and out of a Whitefoot mare called Bandy (in Godolphin's own studbook). Since he was Godolphin's foal, apparently by prior arrangement with Dutton, with whom he had several such similar agreements, he went back to Babraham in 1743 where he remained until he was sold to a Mr. Blake in 1747 at the age of 6. That same year he passed into the hands of Sir Harry Harpur of Derbyshire, for whom he won two races that year. The General Stud book notes that Skewball was sent to Ireland, as were his half brother Ajaz (1747, by Second) and sister Smirking Nan (1748, by Marksman).

Samuel Sidney [The Book of the Horse, 1875, repr. ed. Bonanza Books, 1985] stated Skewball "...won a great number of plates and prizes in England, and one famous match in Ireland." The Irish turf callendar says he won six races worth £508 in 1752, when he was eleven years old, and was the top earning runner of that year in Ireland. The match became the subject of a ballad, Skewball, which has endured, in varying forms, to the present day. The match celebrated by the ballad is listed in Pond's Racing Calendar of 1752. It was held at the Curragh in Kildare, Ireland, on Saturday, March 28, with each participant putting up 300 guineas. Arthur Marvin (also Marvyn, or Mervin) owned Skewball, who carried 8st. 7lb. His opponent was "Sir Ralph Gore's grey mare," carrying the heavier weight of 9 st. Skewball was a gelding, which explains why he was still running at age eleven; although it was not uncommon for horses to run to ages 9 or 10 during that period, successful stallions were usually retired from the turf to commence their stud careers. He won the 4 mile race in 7 minutes and 51 seconds.

The various versions of the ballad give a corrupted version of Skewball's owner's name at that time: Irvine, Mervin, and, later, Arthur Marvel. Most versions of the song make a point of telling us that Skewball had never raced "in the land" before, or that he was "brought over," which tallies with the information provided by Sidney. The thousands promised to Mr. Mervin by Skewball in the ballad is almost certainly not hyperbole: often in match races, it was not the purse itself that was of significance, although the 600 guineas actually laid down was not an insubstantial sum, but the side bets placed by the owners, often summing into the thousands of pounds.

The grey mare was owned by Sir Ralph Gore, whose family had gained a great deal of land in Ireland with the Protestant Cromwellian invasion (starting in 1650), which probably accounts for the delight in Skewball's win "breaking Sir Gore" in the final lines of this Irish-based broadside. The grey mare, according to Pond's Calendar, was by Victorious, probably either Portmore's Victorious (1725) or Onslow's Victorious (1722). Her name is variously given in the early versions as Miss Sportsley, Miss Portsley. In later versions, she is called Miss Portly or, inexplicably, Griselda [Grizelda, a bay mare of 1752, won four races for Tom Lambert in 1764 at age twelve, making her the top money winner in Ireland that year]. Sir Ralph Gore was a principal breeder in Ireland during this period, and did, in fact, own a famous racemare named Sportley (by Spinner - mare by Somerset Diamond) who was bred by Fulk Greville in 1740 and won a large number of races at Newmarket and elsewhere in England. In 1748 she was sold to Charles Wilson, who later resold her to Gore "...to go to Ireland, in which place she won two King's Plates, two prices of 60 guineas each, and one of 50 guineas, beating most of the horses &c. in high form there." She was later sold to Clotworthy Skeffington, Viscount Masserene and Baron of Lough-Neagh. It may be that the ballad-writers deliberately or confusedly substituted her name into the Skewball story.

--Patricia Erigero



SKEWBALL, bay colt, 1741 - Family 21
Godolphin Arabian
b. 17--
     
 
   
 
     
 
   
 
Bandy
1733
(Godolphin) Whitefoot
b. 1719
Bay Bolton
br. 1705
Grey (Wilkes') Hautboy
Makeless Mare
Darley Arabian Mare Darley Arabian
Byerley Turk Mare
Leedes mare -- Leedes b. Leedes' Arabian
(Old) Spanker Mare
Moonah Barb Mare
c.1699
--
--



Was Skewball and Skewbald?

http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/Skewball/Skewball3.html

A skewbald or piebald in 18th century Great Britain seems to have been any horse with broad splashes of white in any size and any pattern, what we would call a "Pinto" today. The first volume of the General Studbook (1793) lists several horses with the color noted as "pyebald," or "roan or pyebald." Later the terms were differentiated, a piebald used to define a horse marked like a black and white "Pinto," and "skewbald" marked with white and any color other than black. Today, these color patterns are more specifically defined, based on pattern and extent of the white markings. The tendency to spot can be present in solid-color parents, perhaps for generations, and suddenly "crop out" in a foal. This happens, although rarely, in many breeds, including thoroughbreds.

Today, it's generally recognized that the Sabino pattern of spotting is fairly common in thoroughbreds, most often in one of its minimal expressions, of a wide blaze and tall stockings. In some cases the white extends above the knees and hocks, and the blaze can take on wide and wild patterns. Occasionally such horses will have large or small splashes of white on their bellies and elsewhere.

Nineteenth century turf writers occasionally noted that skewbalds, piebalds, and duns were "previously seen" on the racecourses of Great Britain, but that they had all but disappeared. As mentioned previously, the first volume of the General Stud Book does include horses of the color "pyebald," one of whom, Rantipole (1769, by Blank - sister to Careless by Regulus) had a daughter, whose color was listed as chestnut, but who was named Skewball (1786, by Tandem). In the 19th century, the roan-colored Rapid Rhone (1860, by Young Melbourne) won the Claret Stakes at Newmarket. His granddam, Physalis (1841, by Bay Middleton), had a daughter who produced piebald twins.

Viscount Gage's hunter to the left is an example of what today would be called a roan-sabino. Miss Turner is a more frequently seen example of a horse with sabino markings.


Skewball is listed in the General Stud Book as a bay. He is also listed in Pond's Racing Calendaras a bay. His sire, the Godolphin Arabian, was a bay with minimal white socks below his fetlock joints. His maternal grandsire, (Godolphin's) Whitefoot was bay, although he probably had at least one white leg, given his name. We do not know the color and markings of his dam, Bandy.

On the other hand, Skewball's name does imply he was a skewbald. As noted previously, a later filly named Skewball was listed in the General Stud Book as chestnut but was from a "roan/pyebald" mare, and it seems likely she, at least, was splashed with notable white markings. It's entirely possible that the bay Skewball was likewise splashed with white. The 19th century writer Samuel Sidney includes a note about Skewball in his discussion about piebalds. Unfortunately, our primary account of the famous match, the various versions of the Skewball ballads, fails to mention his color--unless, he was, in fact, a skewbald.

--Patricia Erigero


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Stewball / Skewball
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 12:09 AM


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Stewball / Skewball
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Apr 16 - 01:48 AM

The Godolphin stable continues to race in The United Arab Emerates and across the globe It's colors are royal blue and white. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai is the founder and owner.

https://www.godolphin.com/sitemap/

GOLDOLPHIN STABLES U.A.E.

Seabiscuit and Man O' War have been descendants of the Godolphin Arabian.

The Godolphin Arabian

https://www.godolphin.com/about-us/our-heritage/the-godolphin-arabian/




Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Dubai hosts the world's richest prize purse each year.


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