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Lyr Req: Ballad of Boughton Fair (Jeff Wesley)

nutty 15 May 05 - 01:23 PM
GUEST 15 May 05 - 03:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 May 05 - 03:43 PM
nutty 16 May 05 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Gadaffi 14 Mar 06 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,DB 14 Mar 06 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,999--BINGO, almost 30 Dec 09 - 01:44 AM
doc.tom 30 Dec 09 - 04:50 AM
Jim Dixon 02 Jan 10 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,999 02 Jan 10 - 10:46 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: - Ballad of Boughton Fair
From: nutty
Date: 15 May 05 - 01:23 PM

A friend has ask if I can locate the lyrics to the "Ballad of Boughton Fair".

We have Googled and found a site that mentions it as a song sung in Buckinghamshire. Other than that ....nothing.

I'm counting on Mudcatters not to let me down


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: - Ballad of Boughton Fair
From: GUEST
Date: 15 May 05 - 03:34 PM

I once did some research on the annual fair at Boughton, Northamptonshire, where there was certainly enough material to write a ballad. However, I don't recall finding one that existed. The fair's main claim to fame was the activities of one Captain Slash (I don't remember his real name) and his gang. Slash I think was hanged in the end. Most information I found was in the local history and archive section of Northampton library.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: - Ballad of Boughton Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 May 05 - 03:43 PM

The full index listing at the site you mention has "A Ballad of Boughton Fair (Leather & Thread & Tears)". Perhaps the subtitle will provide a clue to someone.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: - Ballad of Boughton Fair
From: nutty
Date: 16 May 05 - 06:43 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Boughton Fair
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 07:52 AM

I heard Jeff Wesley sing it last night at Tunbridge Wells. I have a recording, but don't know yet whether its of any quality. Shoemaking seemed to feature in its lyric.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Boughton Fair
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 11:08 AM

I bet that it turns out to be a Nineteenth Century poem set to music.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Boughton Fair
From: GUEST,999--BINGO, almost
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 01:44 AM

Google

Full text of "The romance of the shoe : being the history of ...




The song is there. However, this computer is so freakin' slow that it will take hours for me to get at the lyrics on the archives site. If anyone has a faster machine, possibly you could go there and paste the song on Mudcat.

The opening lines are

"With his beard in his bib, the stitchman wrought,
And his lapstone, leather and awl;
But he sometimes brushed from his clouded ..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Boughton Fair
From: doc.tom
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 04:50 AM

Jeff Wesley does indeed sing Boughton Fair. The put the tune to the poem, and he is recorded singing it on his CD Rum & Raspberry (S&A projects - SAPCD061).
Tom


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Subject: Lyr Add: LEATHER AND THREAD AND TEARS (T Wright)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 01:09 PM

From The Romance of the Shoe: Being the History of Shoemaking in All Ages, and Especially in England and Scotland by Thomas Wright (London: C. J. Farncombe & Sons, 1922), page 197f. [There is also a reprint published in 1968.]

The full text of this book is also viewable at The Internet Archive.


LEATHER AND THREAD AND TEARS.
A Ballad of Boughton Fair.
[Thomas Wright]

With his beard in his bib, the stitchman wrought,
And with lapstone, leather, and awl;
But he sometimes brushed from his clouded face
A tear—for the tears would fall.

And his hair on his drooping shoulders curled,
And his band round his brow was tied;
And he said, "'Tis the eve* of Boughton Fair;"
And he stitched and he stitched, and sighed.

Then he said, "Come in!" to a tap. She came;
And her eyes they were borage blue,
And her hair like gold in the sunshine shone.
"I have scoured, sir, the whole town through.

"So you'll measure me, please, for shoes—and shoes
That will wear for years and years;
And you'll make me a pair that shall fit me well,
Of leather and thread, and—tears.

"It is cruel to scoff," the stitchman said,
"At sorrow that none can allay;
But inform me who, for the wonderful shoes,
Will, when I have made them, pay? "

"If it's pay you want, no pay you'll have;
Yet you'll make, all the same, for me
The finest pair that you ever have made,
For I read folks' thoughts," said she.

"'Twas at Boughton Fair ten years ago
That you lost what you prized the most."
And the stitchman's face turned white as death,
Or the face of a sheeted ghost.

"And what did I lose?" he trembling said.
"Why you lost me, father, there;
For I am the girl whom the gypsies stole
From the stall at Boughton Fair."

And she flew to his arms, and stopped his words
With kisses. At last he said,
"I shall make them of tears (but they are bound to be tears
Of joy) and leather and thread."

And at dusk they wetted the candle block,
And his men their revels made;
And a loving hand on the stitchman's arm
While they sang and joked was laid.

And they raised a cup to Crispin old,
And a cup to Crispin's heir;
And a cup to the girl whom the gypsies stole
From the stall at Boughton Fair.

And at dawn the happy stitchman wrought
As he'd wrought all the ten black years;
And the shoes were made of leather and thread,
Of leather and thread, and—tears.


*The evening before June 24th (the first day of the Fair).


Also in Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire Ballads by Thomas Wright (Olney, Bucks.: Thomas Wright, 1925) page 15ff.

And possibly in Shoes by Lucy Pratt, Linda Woolley (London: V & A Publ., 1999)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Boughton Fair
From: GUEST,999
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 10:46 PM

Thank you very much, Jim.


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