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Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair

01 Nov 03 - 08:14 AM (#1045742)
Subject: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: Gray D

Mention of this tune on the Beeb 2 folk board and a possible site to hear it has sparked my interest.

Diane Easby says you can hear it at the DR. Faustus site but I couldn't find it.

Wassa URL?

Gray D

01 Nov 03 - 08:15 AM (#1045743)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: Gray D

And NO! ITS NOT "Widdecombe Fair"!

Gray D

01 Nov 03 - 10:20 AM (#1045783)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: The Borchester Echo

Hello Gray

Now you've discovered my alter ego! You're quite right, they've taken the MP3 off the site. Shame, 'cos it's a really, really good tune. I recommend you email their webmaster aka Rob Harbron at their site http://www.drfaustus.co.uk

I'd email you the MP3 but my internet has crashed and I'm doing this on my mobile.

For the benefit of the rest of you that can get to London, Dr Faustus are co-billed on the Jim Moray Smoke and Mirrors concert at the ICA next Monday, November 3.



01 Nov 03 - 02:29 PM (#1045888)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: Joe Offer

I've linked this thread with the ones on "Widdecombe Fair" so people might notice there's a difference. Can anybody post the lyrics of "Widdlecombe Fair," or at least give us more information about the song? Is it a recent composition? Who recorded it?
Note mention of "Widdlecombe" in this thread. -Joe Offer-
I don't know if this is the requested song, but it's an interesting variation of "Widdecombe Fair."

  1. (And) As I was a-going to Widdlecombe Fair
    Jolly old cobbler I met there.
    This old cobbler his name was Wax.
    His old woman was Old Mother Balls of Wax.
    And there was Wax, Old Mother Balls of Wax
    Johnny and jumping Joan,
    Jolly companions every one.

  2. fiddler / Sticks/ Fiddlesticks
  3. tinker / Pots / Piddle Pots
  4. tailor / Pins / Prickle Pins
  5. weaver / Cox / Shuttlebox
  6. baker / Balls / Bags Of Balls
  7. butcher / Rump / Rumpatump

Recorded by the singer, Tom Brown his home in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, mid-1980's

Source: volume 7 of the CD collection Voice of the People, "First I'm Going to Sing You a Ditty."

01 Nov 03 - 03:39 PM (#1045926)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas

The BBC Radio 2 discussion seemed to refer to two distinct songs: a modern one written by Steve Knightley of "Show of Hands" (of which I know nothing), and another, the subject of this thread, recorded by "Dr Faustus", which I imagine is an arrangement of a traditional song belonging to the Coudingham Fair group (see DT Study thread above. The Donnybrook Fair of that thread is not the common song or dance tune, but a localised example of the unrelated song about beggars, found in Essex, as it happens. That didn't stop a lot of people insisting on posting information about the other, completely unrelated, songs of that title, though).

At a guess, the song in question here would be either the set Joe has just posted words for, or else Harry Cox's Widdliecombe Fair. Perhaps Diane will tell us more.

Just in case anyone might misunderstand, Tom Brown's song isn't a version of Widecombe Fair but a member of the Coudingham Fair group. It's very close textually to the Harry Cox set; I wonder if it might have been learned from him?

02 Nov 03 - 06:40 AM (#1046156)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: Fran

Here is the Lyrics for the Steve Knightley version:

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

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

It was growing dark when we stopped at the inn
When we saw her
Fair-Faced in the candle
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 roads
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 chain
we all hit the road again
Four miles to the fairground we had a fine time there
Next day 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 the last thing seen was a boy and a girl
Out on the moor that was all he knew
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
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
And 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, 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

03 Nov 03 - 03:46 AM (#1046605)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair

Au sommet

03 Nov 03 - 10:53 AM (#1046821)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: The Borchester Echo

Yes, Malcolm, the Widdlecombe Fair that Dr Faustus do is the version posted by Joe, with an additional verse: cobbler/wax/balls of wax. It isn't recorded yet, at least not on CD. As far as I am aware, they got it from Voice of the People but I can ask them tonight.

03 Nov 03 - 12:00 PM (#1046869)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: Schantieman

I learned this (Joe's version) years and years ago from Johnny Collins (I think) singing it on the radio. I'd forgotten all about it - have to re-learn it and start singing it again. Thanks!!


04 Nov 03 - 11:31 AM (#1047687)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: The Borchester Echo

Tim van Eyken has confirmed that the source of the Dr Faustus version of Widdlecombe Fair was indeed Voice of the People.

Schantieman, do start singing it again. It's a great song and a great tune especially with the Dr Faustus instrumental arrangement, and great fun.

04 Nov 03 - 04:42 PM (#1047939)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Little Johnny England does this too.

05 Nov 03 - 07:26 AM (#1048327)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Widdlecombe Fair
From: GUEST,Steve