#01131
The Derby Ram (J Roberts & T Barrand)
See also: Darby Ram (Shanneyganock)
And also: The Ram (MacEdward Leach)
And also: The Derby Ram (Kenneth Peacock)
midi   alt: midi2

As I went out to Derby,
Upon a market day,
I spied the biggest ram, sir,
That ever was fed on hay.
Hey ringle dangle, hey ringle day,
It was the biggest ram, sir,
that ever was fed on hay.

The horns upon this ram, sir,
They reached up to the moon,
A lad went up in April,
And didn't get down till June.
Hey ringle dangle, hey ringle day,
It was the biggest ram, sir,
that ever was fed on hay.

The fleece upon this ram, sir,
It reached up to the sky,
The eagles made their nests there,
You could hear the young 'uns cry.
Hey ringle dangle, hey ringle day,
It was the biggest ram, sir,
that ever was fed on hay.

And all the boys of Derby
Came begging for his eyes,
To kick around the streets, sir,
'Cause they was football size.
Hey ringle dangle, hey ringle day,
It was the biggest ram, sir,
that ever was fed on hay.

And all the women of Derby
Came begging for his ears,
To make 'em leather aprons
To last 'em forty years.
Hey ringle dangle, hey ringle day,
It was the biggest ram, sir,
that ever was fed on hay.

And all the men of Derby
Came begging for his tail,
To ring St George's passing-bell
From top of Derby jail.
Hey ringle dangle, hey ringle day,
It was the biggest ram, sir,
that ever was fed on hay.

It took all the boys of Derby
To carry away his bones,
Took all the maids of Derby
To roll away his stones.
Hey ringle dangle, hey ringle day,
It was the biggest ram, sir,
that ever was fed on hay.

Now, the butcher that killed this ram, sir,
Was up to his thighs in blood,
The boy that held the basin
Was washed away in the flood.
Hey ringle dangle, hey ringle day,
It was the biggest ram, sir,
that ever was fed on hay.

And now my song is over,
I've got no more to say,
Just give us eggs and brandy,
And we'll be on our way.
Hey ringle dangle, hey ringle day,
It was the biggest ram, sir,
that ever was fed on hay.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an English traditional first published as The Ram Of Diram by George R Kinloch in The Ballad Book, 1827, #XXVI, pp.80-81, transcription by Robert B Waltz (CSU Fresno Folklore Reprints, ©2002) ....####

This variant was learned from singers of the Nottingham Traditional Music Club and recorded by John Roberts and Tony Barrand (Dark Ships In The Forest : Ballads Of The Supernatural - Folk Legacy Records, Inc, FSI-65, Cassette 1977, CD 1997, Side 2, Band 1).

A variant was recorded as Darby Ram by Shanneyganock (The Long Haul, trk#3, 1998, First City Productions/SoundWorks, St John's, NL).

A variant was also collected in 1951 from Cyril O'Brien [ca.1902-?] of Trepassey, NL, and published as The Ram in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 as The Derby Ram from Clarence Bennett [1926-1993] of St Paul's NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.10-11, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Liner notes: "Found in Mother Goose, widely known in England, America, and Australia, and even, as Didn't He Ramble?, a New Orleans jazz classic, The Derby Ram has become one of the most popular songs in the English language."

Passing-bell - the name for the church bell rung when someone is near death, said to frighten away evil spirits trying to capture the soul as it leaves the body.


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