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Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)

DigiTrad:
BEGGARS TO GOD
DONNYBROOK FAIR
TOM PIERCE (TAM PEARSE)
WIDDECOMBE FAIR


Related threads:
Ballad Tom Pierce (28)
(DTStudy) DTStudy Donnybrook Fair / Widdecombe Fair (23)
(origins) Origins: Widecombe Fair (13)
Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair (12)
Chords Req: Widdecombe Fair (9)
REQ: Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all... (3)


GUEST,Jiggers 24 Sep 06 - 05:09 PM
masato sakurai 24 Sep 06 - 07:19 PM
The Borchester Echo 25 Sep 06 - 02:45 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 25 Sep 06 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Jon 25 Sep 06 - 07:04 AM
Scrump 25 Sep 06 - 07:43 AM
Scrump 25 Sep 06 - 09:02 AM
The Borchester Echo 25 Sep 06 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Jon 25 Sep 06 - 09:56 AM
Grab 25 Sep 06 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 25 Sep 06 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Jon 25 Sep 06 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Jiggers 25 Sep 06 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Jon 25 Sep 06 - 03:37 PM
Blowzabella 25 Sep 06 - 07:52 PM
Scrump 26 Sep 06 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 26 Sep 06 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Jon 26 Sep 06 - 06:33 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 Sep 06 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Jon 26 Sep 06 - 06:45 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 Sep 06 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Jon 26 Sep 06 - 07:01 AM
Scrump 26 Sep 06 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 26 Sep 06 - 09:16 AM
Scrump 26 Sep 06 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 26 Sep 06 - 12:22 PM
Genie 14 Oct 07 - 08:28 PM
Grab 15 Oct 07 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Beggar's Brdige 25 May 16 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Mark, Beggar's Bridge 28 Feb 17 - 06:54 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Feb 17 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,henryp 01 Mar 17 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,henryp 01 Mar 17 - 07:35 AM
Mrrzy 01 Mar 17 - 10:07 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: WIDDECOMBE FAIR (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 05:09 PM

WIDDECOMBE FAIR

It was early dawn when we met out on the hillside
On our way to Widdecombe Fair
To drink ourselves dry make a big noise there
Six Devon lads with a younger boy

Whose mother had said "Promise me now you'll watch for him.
He's never slept out of home before
And you know too well there'll be trouble in store"
I gave her my word and we crossed the moor

It was growing dark, we stopped at the inn, when we saw her,
Fair-faced in the candle-light,
Such a fine sight with her long black hair
Young Billy stared and she stared right back

But the landlord said she's spoken for, he said leave me here alone,
I'll meet you tomorrow , on your way back home,
At the cross-ways, at noon on the Whiddon Down Road
You go and I'll stay, you boys go and I'll stay

I said take my watch and my chain, we all hit the road again
Four miles to the fairground, we had a fine time there
Next day came, we waited in the rain
At the crossroads, but the boy never came.

I said you go ahead, I returned to the inn
But the landlord said that the last thing seen was a boy and a girl
Out on the moor that was all he knew , and he showed me the door
I called and I cried God knows I tried.

Until the long night came, his mother flew at me,
She called me names, scratched my face,
Said I was too blame, and asked would
She ever see her sweet sweet son again

Well a year went by without one sign,
I'm back at the inn to see what I'd find
And the wind whistled cold on the moor that night,
I thought I saw a couple in the pale moonlight,

The landlord said it's you again, from his pocket hung down my watch and chain.
Tom I sat down on a stone and I cried
Knowing full well that the young lad died.
Tom Tom lend me your grey mare,
I want to go back to Widdecombe fair

With Bill and Jan, Peter and Dan, Harry and Pete, on the moors we'll meet.
All along down along out along lee
All along down along out along lee


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 07:19 PM

WIDDECOMBE FAIR is in the DT, with links to other threads.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 02:45 AM

The place is actually WIDECOMBE in Devon where a horse and cattle fair has taken place on the second Tuesday in September since the mid 19th century. A song about Uncle Tom Cobbley evolved to commemorate it and that is what's in the DT. This is is completely different song with (an approximation of) the same name, recently composed by local band Show Of Hands who have a habit of doing this sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 06:54 AM

Sure, I know its not the trad version - is the DT only for the trad version of a song ?

I couldn't find these lyrics anywhere else on the WWW. I had to sit down and write them out. To save others the effort I thought I'd post them here - is that wrong ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 07:04 AM

Sure, I know its not the trad version - is the DT only for the trad version of a song ?

No, the DT is not limited to traditional songs.

I wouldn't call this song a version of the trad song btw. As Countess Richard says, it's a completely different song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Scrump
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 07:43 AM

This is Steve Knightley's own interpretation of the traditional song - by that I don't mean it's the same song at all, but that he has written his own story based around the original song's lyrics, and provided his own tune. The song is completely different from the original, he just used the latter as a basis for his.

There isn't much similarity between the two songs at all, apart from Steve acknowledging the original song in the last few lines of his song. The trad song is usually viewed as a funny song about a group of country folk (whether or not it originated that way), whereas Steve's song is a bit darker and more dramatic. I think his is a great song and liked it immediately when I heard it the very first time (and sing it myself sometimes too).

To GUEST,Jiggers: maybe some of us don't think it's wrong to post the lyrics here, but I'm not sure whether Steve would agree, especially as you haven't attributed the lyrics to him ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Scrump
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 09:02 AM

As for the spelling "Widecombe" or "Widdecombe": both have been used in the past. The first is used these days, but the song title is usually spelt "Widdecombe Fair" - remember that there was no standard spelling for place names in the UK until Victorian times (the standardisation of place names was a result of the advent of the railways, and the need to produce signs and timetables). I'm guessing here, but the old song probably predates this, and if so the spelling would not have been incorrect at the time it originated. Steve Knightley just used the same spelling as the old song title, whether or not he is/was aware of the modern "official" spelling.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 09:10 AM

Actually, the first recorded mention of Widecombe Fair was in the Plymouth Gazette in 1850, according to Wikepedia, which is well into the Victorian era. Steve Knightley became aware that he has mispelled the song title after recording but before release. He wanted to correct it but the CD covers had already been printed and he decided the cost would be too great.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 09:56 AM

I'm guessing here, but the old song probably predates this, and if so the spelling would not have been incorrect at the time it originated.

I'm not sure where the song originated. According to our notes, the traditional song may have place names other than "Widecombe"/ "Widdecombe".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Grab
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 11:25 AM

Knightley's songbook with this in it calls it "an unforgivable typo", IIRC.

Also IIRC, their website http://www.showofhands.co.uk/ has words on it.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 02:29 PM

I did put (Show of Hands) in the title, doesn't that attribute it to the band ??

Where on the Show of Hands site are the lyrics ?? I looked but could not find anything.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 02:37 PM

I did put (Show of Hands) in the title, doesn't that attribute it to the band ??

Well very vaguely I suppose... but in any case, the attribution should be the author of the song (apparently Steve Knightley) not to the performer (even though SK is one of SOH).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 03:15 PM

So before I post some more lyrics (Newcastle, Hilary James) , exactly how should I do it so as not to cause aggrievance to anyone ?? or is it better not to post lyrics at all !!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 03:37 PM

That's a difficult question as we could get into copyright issues and morals of posting songs without the author's permission but...

As a SUGGESTION, in the thread, credit the author (including trad) and (although this doesn't happen often here), give us the source, ie. where you got it from. eg.

Widdicombe Fair (traditional)

"Tom Pearce. Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare,
All along, down along, out along lee,
[..]

From "Songs Of The West", S Baring Gould


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Blowzabella
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 07:52 PM

Just as a point of interest - the Countess was saying that the first mention of the song was in 1850 and, I think, intimating that, as that was well into Victoria's reign, spelling should be standardised by then. This was, presumably, referring to Scrump's point that spelling didn't become standardised until the Victorian era.

However, as Scrump went on to say, it was due to the railways, and the need to print train timetables, which contributed greatly to the standardisation of spelling - so it's their arrival which is the key - not the fact that Queen Vic had been on the throne for a few years.

It was the railways which also led to the standardisation of time across the country - prior to that, it wasn't a sticking point - town to town.

I don't know when Devon got its railways, but I know that, in Lancaster, as late as 1866, you had 'town time' (Town Hall clock), Train Time and (due to some research i had to do about a murder I also discovered...) Mill Time (the witnesses statements were very confusing to follow because they all used different clocks as their reference)

It took longer than people might think for these things to bed in


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Scrump
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 05:00 AM

Re. the railways and standardisation of spellings of place names: a good example is to be found in Kent, where the nearby towns Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells are spelt differently. My understanding is that the locals couldn't agree whether the 'o' or 'u' was correct, so after much debate on the matter there was a compromise, where one was spelt with the 'o' and the other with the 'u'. Before that they were interchangeable.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:27 AM

Source : Cold Frontier by Show of Hands
Lyric writer : Steve Knightley
Lyrics captured by: Jiggers (apologies for any errors)

Please do not use these lyrics without the express permission of the author.

There - am I in the clear now ??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:33 AM

If, as it appears, you don't have the permission yourself, I'd omit "Please do not use these lyrics without the express permission of the author". To me, it reads "It's OK for me (and perhaps Mudcat) to do this but not for you".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:40 AM

the Countess was saying that the first mention of the song was in 1850

I said that was the first mention of the actual horse fair held at Widecombe, not the song. As Jon (post and link above) points out, the notes on the folk.info site, which appears to be currently down, versions of the song have been collected which refer to other fairs and many of the texts were undoubtedly earlier than the most widespread 'Uncle Tom C' one which Mr Knightley draws on.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:45 AM

Sorry to go off topic but Diane, can you get in now?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:49 AM

Yes, it just took two cups of coffee to load.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 07:01 AM

OK, thanks. Server is running quickly and has been doing all this time (I've not had to make a forced rebot in nearly 12 months btw) but I'm not sure what network conditions may be like - although it seems OK on dialup from here.

Your problem though was more likely to be an IP block I'd put on my firewall/router last night. It looks as if I may well have blocked more than I intended! I removed it after making my previous post. Trouble is I usualy access the forum without going through the Internet and can miss some problems.

Sorry about that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Scrump
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 08:31 AM

Source : Cold Frontier by Show of Hands
Lyric writer : Steve Knightley
Lyrics captured by: Jiggers (apologies for any errors)


There shouldn't be any errors if you got them from the booklet that comes with the CD. Or is it a bootleg copy? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 09:16 AM

How about a friend sent me a sample CD made up of tracks from lots of CDs in her collection ? Is that illegal ?

Or

How about the Listen Again feature on an Internet Radio site ? Is that illegal ?

By 'use of' - I meant any use by anyone that would be of an injurious nature to the author.

Singing the lyrics in the wrong key in a shrill voice would be injurious to everyone so would be covered. Therefore most people should be ok.

Now, what is the next charge I have to answer to ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Scrump
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 11:42 AM

Sorry GUEST,Jiggers - stay cool. I did put a ;-) in my comment above.

How about a friend sent me a sample CD made up of tracks from lots of CDs in her collection ? Is that illegal ?

Yes, I believe it is, in the UK. Well, you did ask.

How about the Listen Again feature on an Internet Radio site ? Is that illegal ?

I hope not, or a lot of us would be guilty of breaking the law.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 12:22 PM

"Yes, I believe it is, in the UK. Well, you did ask."

Well, it may or may not be illegal by definition but I think it is definitely to the benefit of some artists as they get exposure. And it could be termed 'educational' as it is educating in the music of a band that you might otherwise not have had heard. Also, when you feed back 'criticim' to your friend then that is another reason why it is legal i.e. it is being reviewed. Thirdly I could always claim I was sending the CD back to her and it was just borrowed ...

I definitely bought Karine Polwarts, Suns Coming Over the Hill after hearing a track on a friends compilations.

Downloading individual tracks from the Internet without permission is illegal though, so I think my arguments might not suffice in a court of law .... "The Queen versus Jiggers in the case of the Folk Music Compilation CD that his Friend gave him". Verdict ---- GUILTY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Genie
Date: 14 Oct 07 - 08:28 PM

At a song circle in Portland (OR) last night one of the guys did a version of Widdecombe Fair that was totally different from the version (sung by Burl Ives) that I was familiar with. I think this one may be the same one.   I like it better than the earlier one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Grab
Date: 15 Oct 07 - 08:43 AM

I missed those last few posts about whether it was OK to post stuff.

At their gigs, Knightley and Beer specifically request the audience to buy CDs and then distribute copies to anyone they want. They reckon the CDs get them more people at gigs, and that makes them more money. So I suspect "Queen versus Jiggers" isn't going to happen. :-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Beggar's Brdige
Date: 25 May 16 - 07:05 PM

What a fantastic adaptation Steve Knightly has created here.

Wow. Just wow.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,Mark, Beggar's Bridge
Date: 28 Feb 17 - 06:54 PM

Better late than never, but you've all got the wrong end of the stick with this song.

It's not a 'version' of the original, it's a prequel, if you like. It tells the story leading up to the events of the original, when the lads borrowed Tom's horse to go to Widdecombe Fair.

They were borrowing the horse to go back to the fair because the narrator of the song had learned that the landlord of the inn there had killed their young mate who had gone missing the year before, and they were probably going to seek retribution.

It's a small work of absolute genius from Steve Knightly and it sends a shiver down my spine every time I hear it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Feb 17 - 07:49 PM

There really was a Thomas Cobley (the real deal, not just a namesake), and his headstone is by the main door of the village church in Spreyton, not far from Okehampton in Devon. A step away is an excellent pub called (of course) the Tom Cobley Tavern. Definitely worth a small detour off the A30 if you're down this way. At this time of year the tree-lined path to the church is a joy, with primroses and celandines abounding, and you'll get a very decent pub lunch!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Mar 17 - 07:09 AM

In Folk Songs of the West Country (1974), Gordon Hithcock adds;

'The original 'Uncle Tom Cobley' lived in a house near Yeoford Junction in the parish of Spreyton. The names in the chorus were all residents of Sticklepath.'

However, Wikipedia has some further thoughts about Tom Cobley;

"The strongest claim is held by the village of Spreyton, to the north of the moor, whose churchyard does indeed contain the grave of a Tom Cobley, buried 11 January 1844. However this is said to be the grave of the nephew of the 'real' Tom Cobley, who died in 1794 and whose grave is unmarked. Cobley disapproved of his nephew and kept him out of his will (signed at Pascoe House, Colebrooke). The house at Butsford Barton, Colebrooke, was supposed to have been the home of Uncle Tom Cobley.

"There also appears to have been a Bill Brewer who lived in nearby Sticklepath, and a Pearse family who ran a local mill; in Sticklepath there is the grave of a Tom Pearse who died in 1875. However, there remains some doubt as to whether this was the same Tom Pearse who features in the song since the earliest recorded Widecombe Fair was held in 1850."

So there is some confusion. Uncle Tom Cobley apparently died in 1794. The earliest record of Widecombe Fair is 1850. The grave in Spreyton is dated 1875. Colebrooke is very close to Yeoford Junction. And not far away is Bow, where Cicely Fox Smith died on 8 April 1954.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Mar 17 - 07:35 AM

I should add that Bob Cann was born in Spreyton on 1 August 1916. He was a farmworker and died on 25 May in 1990.

He was also a dancer and musician and was awarded the EFDSS Gold Badge in 1981.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Mar 17 - 10:07 AM

The Tom Pierce/Bill Brewer is the version I grew up with which I will not put. Oops.


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