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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jess A Lyr Req: Romany songs (52* d) Lyr Add: POOR OLD HORSE 30 Sep 08


The only traveller song I know is a version of 'Poor Old Horse' which was collected from a traveller singer at Appleby Horse Fair, in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria by Jim Eldon, I believe. Apologies if 'chevy' and 'grai' not spelt correctly - I believe they both mean 'horse' (?)

POOR OLD HORSE

Once he was a young horse, and a young horse in his prime,
And his master used to ride him, and he thought him very fine,
But he's my own, bonny sweet, who rode over many's the mile,
Over hedges, ditches, brooks and bridges,
Tall gates and many's the stile,
Poor old horse,
Old horse, old chevy, old grai.

He's stolen all my hay, and he's stolen all my corn,
And he's pulled up all the short grass,
and the long grass by the wall,
Poor old horse,
Old horse, old chevy, old grai.

His legs and his irons are all eaten away,
And his back and his body are all beaten away,
Poor old horse,
Old horse, old chevy, old grai.

Whip him, beat him, drive him, and the huntsman cut him dead,
Poor old horse,
Old horse, old chevy, old grai.

Once he was a young horse, and a young horse in his prime,
And his master used to ride him, and he thought him very fine,
But he's my own, bonny sweet, who rode over many's the mile,
Over hedges, ditches, brooks and bridges,
Tall gates and many's the stile,
Poor old horse,
Old horse, old chevy, old grai.
Old horse, old chevy, old grai.


It's got a beautiful haunting tune. Haven't got the technology to do a midi or anything of it though I'm afraid. I like the fact that it's not entirely regular - 1st verse (repeated as last verse) has an extra bit of tune as it's 2 lines longer, and 3rd verse is only half the length of the others. But it works!

I sing with a band, Crucible, and we learnt it in pub sings in Sheffield from Simon Heywood (storyteller, singer & songwriter) and subsequently recorded it on our second album, Crux, in 2005.


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