Mudcat Café message #36433 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6186   Message #36433
Posted By:
30-Aug-98 - 05:06 AM
Thread Name: Ballad Tom Pierce
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
I know it by the name 'Widdecombe Fair'.
Roy Palmer says about it in his 'Country Songs':
"Perhaps the best known of all fair songs is Widdecombe Fair, which can be dated from its reference to Uncle Tom Cobleigh, who died in 1794. However, the song is neither confined to Devon, nor did it necessarily originate there. Indeed, its essential feature is neither the fair, nor Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all, but the death of a mare. I believe that this death has a deeper significance as a sort of fertility sacrifice. (Compare The Derby Tup or The Old Horse ...) Such meaning has long since been lost at the conscious level, and almost all that remains is boisterous broad humour." - Susanne