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Ballad Tom Pierce

23 Aug 98 - 05:48 AM (#35701)
Subject: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Brian Morrison

Does anyone know anything of the origins, time scale,etc', of the west of england balled Tom Pierce. ( Widdicombe Fair),


24 Aug 98 - 07:15 AM (#35795)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Pam Mouton

Brian - I don't know the origins of it, but have you tried "folkworks" on the internet? There are lots of links and you may find some information on it there.

All the best

Pam


24 Aug 98 - 06:53 PM (#35861)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Brian

Pam, Many thanks, will try.


25 Aug 98 - 02:27 AM (#35904)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: BSeed

Brian, also try under Tam Pierce. That's the way I saw it spelled. --seed


25 Aug 98 - 01:17 PM (#35940)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Brian

To BSeed Thanks for advice, will try.


25 Aug 98 - 03:21 PM (#35950)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: lingolucky

Tam Pearce was recorded by Burl Ives on his wayfaring Stranger album. LaneGoldsmith


26 Aug 98 - 04:20 AM (#35994)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Brian

Lingolucky, thanks for your input.


27 Aug 98 - 10:14 PM (#36183)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Dick Wisan

Tam Pierce on Burl Ives' Wayfaring Stranger album? Not on the original one. Did he re-use the title? He might have. IIRC, it was also the name of his radio program.


28 Aug 98 - 12:29 AM (#36197)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Bruce O.

Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould collected the song and published it in 'Songs of the West', issued in 4 parts, 1889-92, and in later editions. Cecil Sharp published a version in 'Folk Songs from Somerset', 2nd series, 1905, and in 'Novello's School Songs', 1908.

There is a version from Bedfordshire, "Bedford Fair", in Fred Hamer's 'Garners Gay', 1967.


30 Aug 98 - 05:06 AM (#36433)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: skw@worldmusic.de

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


30 Aug 98 - 06:18 AM (#36435)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce (Widicome Fair)
From: Brian M

To Bruce O To Suzanne Thank you for the time and trouble you have taken in helping me research the song. I am most greatful, to you both, and to everyone else who has helped. I now have enough data for my needs. Brian Morrison


23 Aug 02 - 06:41 PM (#770487)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: GUEST,ITam Pierce


23 Aug 02 - 06:45 PM (#770490)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)

Shortest English Folksong:

'Tom Pierce, Tom Pierce, lend me your grey mare'.

'No'.

Thanks, Murph.


24 Aug 02 - 04:33 PM (#770907)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: pavane

What about 'Rambling Sid Rumpo' (Kenneth Williams)'s parody from the BBC radio series 'Round the Horne'? Has anyone transcribed that?

(Scriptwriter Marty Feldman apparently hated folk music, but some his comic parodies have entered the genre)


24 Aug 02 - 04:53 PM (#770920)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Mr Happy

pavane,

see new thread: 'D'ye ken jim pubes'

cheers

mr h


12 Jan 03 - 09:35 AM (#865112)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: GUEST,Griselda

I realise this thread was started a long time ago but I am very interested in this ballad Widdecombe Fair. I think it relates to many other pre-Christian rites, including fertility rituals such as Hoodening, and stories about a horse-god who lived under ground or under water. I am very keen to hear from anyone who can tell me more about this. There are other 'nursery rhymes' about horses: I had a little pony, I called him Dapple Grey.... and the child's lap-game This is the way the Farmer rides, Gallop, gallop, gallop, gallop....   But can anyone suggest any more please? I am seeking those with a dark undertone such as the second of these examples.


12 Jan 03 - 10:53 AM (#865162)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Charley Noble

Well, one can still go to Widdecombe Fair, as we did a few years ago, and nose around. There's a prominant monument to Tam Pierce et al, and numerous booths nearby selling tasteful and not so tasteful souvenirs. The village is a short drive from Morganhemstead in Dartmoor. I suppose if you really wanted the true story, you'd have to stay there past dusk. We didn't. Maybe we were wise!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


17 May 04 - 06:36 PM (#1187467)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Abby Sale

A question has arosen elsewhere as to the words to a local Widdicombe version. It was suggested that the local version includes some bawdy material. It seems likely enough, considering that drink may be taken where the song might be sung.

Something to do with an encounter by Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, etc with someone named Gwendolyn.

Any knowledge of this?


18 May 04 - 09:16 AM (#1187629)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Mr Happy

Abby, might this be the one?

'Farmer looks at young Gwendoline, then looks at young Ned
Such an 'andsome young couple, they ought to be wed
But sorry to say, 'tis impossible of course
'Cos Gwendoline's me daughter and Ned is me 'orse!'


18 May 04 - 10:09 AM (#1187692)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Mr Happy

The above verse is from here:

thread.cfm?threadid=39093#553175


18 May 04 - 02:56 PM (#1187848)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Abby Sale

Well, that's a good 'un, thanks, but I don't see how it could be related to the Tam Pierce verses.


19 May 04 - 11:35 AM (#1188537)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Leadfingers

Widdecombe is just the best known version as far as I can tell. I have a set of lyrics from Bob Arnold (Cotswold Source singer and Tom Forrest in the Archers) called Stow Fair with a totally different cast
of characters :- Bill Brewer, Jack Steward ,Harry Hawkins ,Hughie Davy ,Harry Hillock , Tom Boulding , Dick Chapman , Ben Paxwayne and
your Uncle Tom Goblin and all


19 May 04 - 12:01 PM (#1188556)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: Cool Beans

Ed McCurdy also recorded "Widdecombe Fair.''


20 May 04 - 01:18 AM (#1189278)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: dick greenhaus

The short version I remember is:
"Tam Pierce, Tam Pierse, lend me your grey mare.."
No! You never returned me bloody lawn mower!


20 May 04 - 04:14 PM (#1190014)
Subject: RE: Balled Tom Pierce
From: GUEST

LOL!!

How traditional!


18 Feb 12 - 01:31 PM (#3310611)
Subject: RE: Ballad Tom Pierce
From: doc.tom

Why?


19 Feb 12 - 12:53 AM (#3310846)
Subject: RE: Ballad Tom Pierce
From: MGM·Lion

I recall a version sung by Jon Raven, I think on the old Broadside Halliard/JonRaven LP {see the Memories Of The Halliard thread}, with the chorus, rendered phonetically:

"To me oor bagboor bagnigga bagwallah and a bantibaloo"

~Michael~


19 Feb 12 - 07:03 AM (#3310925)
Subject: RE: Ballad Tom Pierce
From: cetmst

I like to use Tam Pierce as a crowd warmer. Designate one of the members of the group as each of the characters in the chorus, Bill Brewer, Jan Strewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan'l Whidden, Harry Hawk. Sing the verse and point to each character who shouts out his name in sequence and bring the whole crowd in on "Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all". To get the ladies involved make Jan Strewer female and change Dan'l to Liza. As added fun a few years ago up here in New Hampshire the Speaker of the state's House of Representatives was Tom Cobleigh.