mudcat.org: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?

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


Related threads:
REQ: Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all... (4)
Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands) (34)
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)


Dave the Gnome 28 Apr 10 - 02:11 PM
Leadfingers 28 Apr 10 - 02:25 PM
Paul Burke 28 Apr 10 - 02:30 PM
Tug the Cox 28 Apr 10 - 02:41 PM
Little Robyn 28 Apr 10 - 03:29 PM
Don Firth 28 Apr 10 - 03:36 PM
doc.tom 28 Apr 10 - 03:56 PM
Doug Chadwick 28 Apr 10 - 04:01 PM
Gurney 28 Apr 10 - 04:45 PM
Tug the Cox 28 Apr 10 - 08:40 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Apr 10 - 09:09 PM
Arkie 28 Apr 10 - 09:17 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Apr 10 - 11:19 PM
The Doctor 29 Apr 10 - 04:52 AM
scouse 29 Apr 10 - 07:15 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 29 Apr 10 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,Pete (not Gurney or Davy) 29 Apr 10 - 10:11 AM
Georgiansilver 29 Apr 10 - 10:44 AM
Georgiansilver 29 Apr 10 - 10:50 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Apr 10 - 11:28 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Apr 10 - 11:34 AM
RoyH (Burl) 29 Apr 10 - 11:59 AM
Doug Chadwick 29 Apr 10 - 03:46 PM
Dave Rado 22 May 19 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,henryp 22 May 19 - 06:46 PM
Steve Gardham 22 May 19 - 06:47 PM
Dave Rado 22 May 19 - 08:27 PM
Mrrzy 22 May 19 - 09:24 PM
GUEST 23 May 19 - 04:59 AM
Ged Fox 23 May 19 - 06:48 AM
Steve Shaw 23 May 19 - 03:39 PM
Dave Rado 23 May 19 - 05:41 PM
Dave Rado 23 May 19 - 05:44 PM
Steve Shaw 23 May 19 - 07:09 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 26 May 19 - 11:44 AM
Steve Shaw 26 May 19 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 28 May 19 - 12:25 PM
GUEST 28 May 19 - 02:17 PM
Georgiansilver 30 May 19 - 08:50 AM
Richard Mellish 30 May 19 - 10:28 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 02:11 PM

On the thread about Jan Brewer a couple us made the obvious joke about Widdicome fair. However - I posted the list of characters as "With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Day, Daniel Whiddon, Harry Hawk, Old uncle Tom Cobleigh and all" and Richard B pointed out it should be Peter DaVy which I think is right as it is what I always thought it was. I posted Day as a direct cut and paste and on checking it says the same in a few internet version. What is his name? On Mudcat it say's Davy - but it also says Harry HALL rather than HAWK so we know you can't believe a word Mudcat says:-P It does also show Daniel as Dan'el - which is also what I have always thought.

Cheers

DeG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 02:25 PM

Take Two - First disappeared into the ether !

Surely just The Folk Process in operation - There are variations of the song from several sources , and I occasionally 'do' Stow Fair with a totally different cast finishing with Uncle Tom Goblin .
Thats the Bob Arnold (Tom Forrest) version .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 02:30 PM

You've left out Len Meyor, Graham Eyre, Ol Allon, Dan Allon, Randy Longleigh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 02:41 PM

Chopper Harris, Peter Osgood, who was good, Charlie Cooke, and uncle Tom Docherty 'n all, old uncle Tom Docherty 'n all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 03:29 PM

We learnt it as Peter Davy.
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 03:36 PM

The Oxford Book of Ballads, Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944), published 1910, lists the gentleman's name as "Peter Davy."

Among other things, it scans better than "Day." And there are some imdications that these were real people.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: doc.tom
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 03:56 PM

Yes, it's Davy - in that version anyway! In the one I grew up with, which is near as dammit to Bob Cann's grandfather's (he claimed) there are 7 men plus Uncle Tom, not 6 + as in the 'Woolworths' version:

Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend I the' gray mare
Right fol ol de rol, riddle I O
For I wants for to go to Widecombe Fair with
Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Harry Hopkin, Jimmy Davey,
Philly Wigpot, George Parsley, Dick Wilson, Tom Cobleigh and all. Yer it's Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all!

TomB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 04:01 PM

Sang it in the pub last night, as it happens. My version has:

"With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter DAVY Daniel Whiddon, Harry HALL, Old uncle Tom Cobleigh and all"

I, of course, am right and all other versions are wrong.   ?;-)

DC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 04:45 PM

Cyril Tawney used to do a variant with the chorus:

Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Philly Winkpot, George Parsley, Tom Cobleigh and all, old uncle Tom Cobleigh and all!

I seem to remember it was Cyril. Definitely someone in his club, anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 08:40 PM

Harry Hawk.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 09:09 PM

I heartily recommend a visit to Spreyton, near Okehampton, where you can not only see the grave of Tom Cobley in the lovely churchyard but you can also have a bite and a pint at the Tom Cobley Tavern, assuredly one of the UK's very finest pubs. Springtime is the ideal time to visit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Arkie
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 09:17 PM

Somewhere I read that all the characters are buried in a local graveyard, except for one, the gray mare.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 11:19 PM

With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

is how the list appears in Baring Gould's Songs Of The West [1889-91], the original popular source, which is generally regarded as a definitive version, esp as it was thus repro'd in that much-used-in-schools Walford Davies songbook which will be recalled by anyone of my age. This is not of course to assert that it is a 'definitive' version, which would be an absurd claim, as all of us on this site will know, to make of any traditional song or artefact (Jon Raven, e.g., used to have a version whose chorus was not a list of names of those accompanying the narrator to the fair, but simply a nonsense refrain 'To me Oor, Bag-boor, Bag-nigger, Bag-waller, And a Bantibaloo', whatever that may signify). But it is the one which non-folkies will recognise as being the True One.

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: The Doctor
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 04:52 AM

In 'The Folksong Fake Book' it is listed as 'Tam Pierce, a Scottish song'. Presumably a misunderstanding of the Devon accent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: scouse
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 07:15 AM

Oh,dear, here we go..How song vary.. from Memory these where the Fella's .. I learned my version in Southampton back in the 60's

Tom Pierce, Tom Pierce lend I your gray Mare,
Right fol-lol- di- diddy di day,
That I may go to Whittycombe Fair,
with, Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, 'Arry Hopkins, Hugh Davy, Philly Winkpot, George Parsley, Dick Wilton, Tom Cobbley an all,
Here's to Uncle Tom Cobbley an All.

As Aye,

Phil


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 07:39 AM

Or if you fancy a serious challenge try the Kenneth Williams Version:

With Len Possett, Tim Screevy, The Reverend Phipps,
Peg Leg Loombucket, Solly Levi, Ginger Epstein,
Able Seaman Truefitt, Scotch Lil,
Messrs. Cattermole, Mousehabit, Neapthigh and Trusspot
(Solicitors and Commisioners for Oaths)
Father Thunderghast, Fat Alice, Con Mahoney, Yeti Rosencrantz
Foo Tong Robinson and Uncle Ted Willis and all
Old Uncle Ted Willis and all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: GUEST,Pete (not Gurney or Davy)
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 10:11 AM

Is there such a thing as 'the definitive version' of a traditional song?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 10:44 AM

MtheGM has it right.... as a Devonshire lad... brought up with that song as part of our heritage..... that is as the 'original' Devonshire version....
The Lyrics:-
Tom Pearse, Tom Pearse, lend me your grey mare,
All along, down along, out along, lee,
For I want for to go to Widecombe Fair,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

And when shall I see again my grey mare?
All along, down along, out along, lee,
By Friday soon, or Saturday noon,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all."

Then Friday came, and Saturday noon,
All along, down along, out along, lee,
But Tom Pearces old mare hath not trotted home,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all."

So Tom Pearse he got up to the top o' the hill
All along, down along, out along, lee,
And he seed his old mare down a-making her will,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all."

So Tom Pearse's old mare, her took sick and died,
All along, down along, out along, lee,
And Tom he sat down on a stone, and he cried
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all."

But this isn't the end o' this shocking affair,
All along, down along, out along, lee,
Nor, though they be dead, of the horrid career
Of Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all."

When the wind whistles cold on the moor of a night
All along, down along, out along, lee,
Tom Pearse's old mare doth appear gashly white,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all."

And all the long night he heard skirling and groans,
All along, down along, out along, lee,
From Tom Pearce's old mare in her rattling bones,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 10:50 AM

The people mentioned are also real people, or were should I say... Tom Cobley, who died in 1794 is buried in Spreyton just North of Dartmoor... and his grave can be found there......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 11:28 AM

Er, as I said...

It would be an awful shame to go to Spreyton and miss out on a pub lunch there. The pub's fame is spreading but you can always book. It's a lovely outing for a nice day.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 11:34 AM

No, indeed, Guest Peter ~~ when I used the word 'definitive' above I explicitly said that it wasn't a word properly to be used of any traditional artefact, & gave alternative Devon versions like Jon Raven's nonsense "Oor Bagboor..." chorus. But, as Georgian Silver points out, the Baring Gould one is that which even Devon schoolchildren are taught to regard as the 'traditional' local one.

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 11:59 AM

I used to sing Cyril tawney's version just for the joy of the name Philly Wigpot.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 03:46 PM

Well, I've tried out some of the versions above and, while I'll stick with "Peter Davy", I quite like "Harry Hawke" instead of "Harry Hall" - so that's what I'll sing in the future.

My new version will now, of course, become the correct one and all other versions will be wrong.   ?;-)


DC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Dave Rado
Date: 22 May 19 - 04:46 PM

Georgiansilver wrote in a previous post "The people mentioned are also real people, or were should I say... Tom Cobley, who died in 1794 is buried in Spreyton just North of Dartmoor... and his grave can be found there......" - and I've seen claims on many other websites that the story is based on real events that took place around 1800 or so - but this makes no sense, given that Widecombe Fair only started up in 1850. Can anyone throw any light on this discrepancy? Why is there such a strong tradition that the song describes real people and events that lived and took place long before the Fair that they were supposedly going to existed?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 22 May 19 - 06:46 PM

From Legendary Dartmoor; What is known is that all of the surnames in the song belong to well established families in and around northern Dartmoor. Additionally some of the village graveyards contain the last resting places of individuals with the same names as mentioned. The kind hearted man who lent his grey mare is a prime example and the subject of this webpage – Tom Pearse.

Behind what is now Finch’s foundry is the old Quaker burial ground and in 1818 the last of the Sticklepath Quakers was interred there. This in effect made the graveyard redundant so in 1830 Tom Pearse bought the plot for the sum of £14. He then gave the graveyard to the village on the understanding that it was to be a undenominational cemetery. Tom Pearse died on the 8th of February 1875 and was buried in the Sticklepath cemetery where his grave stone can be seen today.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 May 19 - 06:47 PM

The name of the fair varies in different traditional versions. One I've seen is simply titled 'Midsummer Fair'. It's quite likely the Widdecombe version is based on an earlier version with a different fair involved.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Dave Rado
Date: 22 May 19 - 08:27 PM

Hi Henry

The article you refer to (which is here) concludes that the Tom Pearse that the article is writing about could not have been the same Tom Pearse who is referred to in the song.

Hi Steve

The same tradition that has Tom Cobley et al going to the fair at the beginning of the 19th century or a little earlier has them all coming from the villages of Stickleback and Spreyton - and as far as I can tell there were no other fairs within riding distance of those villages before Widecombe Fair started up.

I take the point that the Devon version of the song may have derived from one of the other versions, but it still seems odd to me that there is a strong tradition in Devon that the Devon version of the song referred to real people who lived in Stickleback and Spreyton, but who lived there about 50 years before there was any fair within riding distance of those villages.

I'm starting to think that that tradition probably arose because Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould, who collected the Devon version, wrote in his book that the song was about real people who lived in Stickleback and Spreyton - probably because that's what he was told by whoever he collected it from. I'm not sure why it's thought that the version he collected dates from the beginning of the 19th century, other than the fact that there was a real Tom Cobley living in Spreyton around that time. But there was no fair nearby at that time, so that tradition still makes no sense to me.

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 May 19 - 09:24 PM

Maybe fair as in pretty? Then layer they put a fair there?

Also, Davy and Hawk.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 19 - 04:59 AM

And, of course,. there's the Sticklepath Grey Mare Festival now


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Ged Fox
Date: 23 May 19 - 06:48 AM

Baring-Gould's note states "the original Uncle Tom Cobleigh lived in a house near Yeoford Junction," no mention of Spreyton. The other "names," he states, belonged to Sticklepath, but that could as easily mean family names as the names of particular individuals.
No indication of the age of the song, only that it was "the best known and most popular of Devonshire songs."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 May 19 - 03:39 PM

There is also some confusion between the alleged "original" Tom Cobley and his nephew of the same name, who Uncle Tom severely disapproved of, even writing him out of his will. The original Uncle Tom was apparently a bit of a ladies' man and was prone to putting it about a bit. He managed to avoid, in those pre-Durex and Pill days, to avoid paternity suits, as he was a redhead and wouldn't hear of any accusations relating to babies who didn't share his trait. The grave at Spreyton bears the name Thomas Cobley, up there quite near the church door if you ever go.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Dave Rado
Date: 23 May 19 - 05:41 PM

Ged Fox is right that Baring-Gould's note doesn't mention Spreyton but the traditional belief in Devon seems to be that the Tom Cobley the song refers to is buried in Spreyton and that he died there in 1794, long before Widecombe Fair existed and long before there was any fair within a day's ride of either Spreyton or Yeoford. Baring-Gould doesn't mention the age of the song but I've seen many websites which state that it is thought to date from around 1900, again long before there was any fair within riding distance - although none of them state why it is thought to date from then. So my question was and remains, how could this traditional belief have arisen that the song was written 50 years before there was any fair in that area, about supposedly real people living around Stickleback and Spreyton, going to a non-existent fair?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Dave Rado
Date: 23 May 19 - 05:44 PM

I love the link to the Sticklepath Grey Mare Festival by the way.

And sorry about confusing Sticklepath with fish in my previous post.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 May 19 - 07:09 PM

Early in my sojourn in the Westcountry the old A30 used to go right through Sticklepath. These days, with the new dual carriageway slicing its way through the south of Dartmoor, Sticklepath has become a pleasant backwater. The village gives its name to one of the biggest geological faults in the region, passing as it does right through the whole SW peninsula to the east of Dartmoor, as far out as Lundy in the Bristol Channel. The fault has delivered two areas of superb quality China clay deposits, as good as anywhere on Earth. Sorry for the diversion!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 26 May 19 - 11:44 AM

Back in May 1984 Folk on Two played a recording of Bill Westway(?) singing a version with a different set of names and a slightly different timing (no elongation of the "me" in "lend me your grey mare").
I seem to remember it being said that he was a grandson of the person it was first recorded from.

We visited the National Trust forge at Sticklepath on the way back from Cornwall yesterday. Well worth stopping if you are travelling on the A30. If you are checking out from a hotel on the Lizard peninsula it is just the right distance for a first stop!

Robin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 May 19 - 12:17 PM

Aargh! The A30 slices through the NORTH of Dartmoor!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 28 May 19 - 12:25 PM

From some distant memory long ago I seem to have heard Burl Ives singing the chorus as:

Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gantry, Peter Gurney, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke, etc.

— that is, adding Peter Gantry, and jettisoning Peter Davy.

Not that Ol' Fuzzy-Chin (as the late E. C. Ball used to call Ives) was in any way scholarly or definitive, only that the variation seems worth noting.

Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 May 19 - 02:17 PM

I've been reading, for another researcher, a draft of a piece about Widecombe/Widdicombe Fair that is still growing from article length to (small) book length, and should be published later this year. It is a fascinating study, though it probably won't get back to the 'true' origin of the song.

Most people are familiar with the 8 verse version published by Baring-Gould in 1889. He deliberately left one verse out so that it would fit on the page. He actually left Peter Gurney out of the chorus in the early edition of Songs of the West, probably;y by accident, as he re-appeared in 1991. The song, though, was certainly in existence before he published it. SB-G himself tells of a friend of his aunt's, Frances Adams, having heard it sung by her mother in about 1822 (before the established date of Widecombe Fair).

It appears that a version very similar to Baring-Gould's was published in Kingsbridge a few months before he started collecting songs. But there were versions of 'Hoodycock Fair' being sung in East Devon and North Devon in the middle of the Nineteenth Century.

There is certainly, as Baring-Gould stated, a link between the names of the excursionists and Sticklepath residents (they are mentioned on a plaque in the village hall), but the names in the other early version, such as that from the Westaway family vary considerably - and their number varies from 6 to 9. And, while it looks likely that the song originated in Devon, it is by no means certain.

I'm looking forward to seeing the finished article.

Martin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 30 May 19 - 08:50 AM

Peter Gurney, Peter Davey, Dan'l Whiddon, 'arry Hawke.... old uncle Tom Cobley an' all!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Widdicome Fair - Peter Who?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 May 19 - 10:28 AM

I recall hearing or reading somewhere that traditionally the singer would name some of the persons present at the time, and thus why the version quoted by doc.tom 28 Apr 10 - 03:56 PM has mostly different names from the BG version. I don't remember where I heard or read that but I think it might have been from Cyril Tawney.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 3 June 9:02 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.