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Lyr Add: King James and the Tinker


Related threads:
Lyr Req: The Miller of Mansfield (10)
Lyr Req: King Edward IV and a Tanner of Tamworth (17)
Lyr Req: Child #273 (14)

Joe Offer 13 Sep 21 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Peter Coggins 14 Sep 21 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,FolkyPete 15 Sep 21 - 02:15 AM
GeoffLawes 15 Sep 21 - 06:18 AM
Joe Offer 28 Feb 22 - 04:16 PM
Reinhard 01 Mar 22 - 11:28 AM
Reinhard 02 Mar 22 - 05:54 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: King James and the Tinker
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 03:29 PM

King James and the Tinker
meet at Braywoodside in Windsor Forest

Tradition has fixed the scene of the ballad of "King James and the Tinker" at Braywoodside. The inn alluded to is said to have been "The Royal Black Bridge " in Blackbird Lane, and New Lodge, near the site of the Royal Kennels, the place where the tinker was knighted.

And now to be brief let's pass o'er the rest,
Who seldom or never was given to jest,
And come to King James the First on the throne,
A pleasanter Monarch sure never was known.

As he was a-chasing his fair fallow deer,
He dropt all his nobles and of them got clear;
In search of new pleasures away he did ride,
Till he came to an Alehouse hard by a Wood side.

And there with a Tinker he happened to meet,
And him in this sort he did lovingly greet.
He said, "Honest fellow, what hast thou in thy jug,
Which under thy arm thou so blithely doth hug ?"

"In truth," said the Tinker, "'tis nappy brown ale,
And to drink unto thee, good faith I'll not fail;
What though thy jacket looks gallant and fine,
I hope that my two pence as good is as thine."

"Nay, by my soul, man, the truth thou hast spoke,"
Then straight with the Tinker he sat down to joke.
He called for his pitcher, the Tinker another,
And so they fell to it like brother and brother.

Whilst drinking, the King was pleased to say,
"What news, honest fellow? come tell me, I pray."
There's nothing of news, the which I do hear,
But the King is a-hunting his fair fallow deer.

And truly trust I so happy may be
That whilst he's a-hunting the King I may see;
For though I have travelled the land many ways,
I ne'er saw the King, sir, in all my whole days."

The King with a hearty brisk laughter replied,
"I tell thee, good fellow, if thou canst but ride,
Thou shalt get up behind me, and thee I will bring
Into the Royal presence of James, our King."

"Perhaps," said the Tinker, "I his Lords will be drest
So fine that I shall not know him from the rest."
"I tell thee, good fellow, when thou dost come there,
The King will be covered. The Nobles be bare."

Then up got the Tinker, and likewise his sack,
His budget of leather and tools on his back;
And when they came to the merry green wood
The Nobles came round them and bareheaded stood,

The Tinker then seeing so many appear
Immediately whispered the King in the ear:
"Since they are all clothed so gallant and gay,
Now which is the King, Sir, come tell me I pray."

The King to the Tinker then made this reply,
"By my soul, man, I think it must be you or I -
The rest are uncovered, you see all around."
This said, with his budget he fell to the ground

Like one that was frightened quite out of his wits,
Then upon his knees he instantly gets,
Beseeching for mercy. The King to him said,
"Thou art a good fellow, so be not afraid.

Come tell me thy name." "It is John of the Vale,
A Mender of Kettles and a lover of good ale."
"Then rise up, Sir John, I will honour thee here,
And make thee a Knight of five hundred a year."

This was a good thing for the Tinker indeed,
Then on to the Court he was sent for with speed;
Where great store of pleasure and pastime was seen,
In the Royal presence of both King and Queen.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: King James and the Tinker
From: GUEST,Peter Coggins
Date: 14 Sep 21 - 03:07 AM

Apparently the song is also set in the Whitewebbs area of Enfield, Middlesex,in the UK, and part of Enfield Chase. This was a royal hunting area, remnants still remain. There is an old pub there called the King and Tinker. King James 1/VI, I believe, was alleged to have supped ale there with an old Tinker. I’m an Enfield boy, so very interested in this song. John Kirkpatrick sang a version on a compilation album. Unfortunately I don’t have the album to hand, so can’t remember the name if it.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: King James and the Tinker
From: GUEST,FolkyPete
Date: 15 Sep 21 - 02:15 AM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: King James and the Tinker
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 15 Sep 21 - 06:18 AM

The King & the Tinker · John Kirkpatrick

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Subject: Origins: King James and the Tinker
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Feb 22 - 04:16 PM

Needs research

King James and the Tinker

Sadue Damascus says: Joe, that song was a version of Child #273, King Edward and a Tanner of Tamworth.

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Subject: RE: Origins: King James and the Tinker
From: Reinhard
Date: 01 Mar 22 - 11:28 AM

See Lyr Add: King James and the Tinker

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: King James and the Tinker
From: Reinhard
Date: 02 Mar 22 - 05:54 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index lists "King James and the Tinker" as references and broadsides for Child 273 / Roud 248 King Edward the Fourth and a Tanner of Tamworth.

The Child Ballad Database lists John Kirkpatrick's King Jamie and the Tinker as an example for Child 273.

The Roud Index catalogues King James and the Tinker an Roud 8946, not as Roud 248 / Child 273.

The Bodleian Library calogues King James and the Tinker as Roud 8946 too.

Both songs confer the idea of the King dressing as a commoner and going among his subjects which is as old as the idea of kingship. But I don't think this is enough reason to claim them to be the same song; the actual plot is quite different.

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