#01477
A Leg Of Mutton Went Over To France (Peacock)

A leg of mutton went over to France,
Right fall diddle I day,
A leg of mutton went over to France,
The ladies did sing and the gentlemen dance,
To me right fall diddle I day.

There was a man and he was dead,
Right fall diddle I day,
There was a man and he was dead,
They sent for the doctor to look in his head,
To me right fall diddle I day.

And in his head there was a spring,
Right fall diddle I day,
And in his head there was a spring,
Where thirty-nine salmon were learning to sing,
To me right fall diddle I day.

And near the spring there was a pool,
Right fall diddle I day,
And near the spring there was a pool,
Where all the young salmon they went to school,
To me right fall diddle I day.

Oh, one of them was big as I,
Right fall diddle I day,
Oh, one of them was big as I,
Perhaps you might think I am singing a lie,
To me right fall diddle I day.

Oh, one of them was small as an elf,
Right fall diddle I day,
Oh, one of them was small as an elf,
If you want any more you can sing it yourself,
To me right fall diddle I day.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an English children's pattern and nonsense ballad, As I Was Going To Banbury ....####

This variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1960 from George Reid [1882-1975] of Codroy, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, p.14, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that as far as he knew, this rare little item had not been collected from oral tradition since the first years of the 20th-century. A single verse variant appears in The Oxford Dictionary Of Nursery Rhymes [1951; pp.312-313] and Cecil Sharpe also noted a variant in 1909 at Clewer in England.

A very similar variant was sung by Jim Payne to the fourth grade students of St Paul's Elementary School in L'Anse au Loup, NL.

See more songs by Jim Payne.


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