#02129
The Derby Ram (Kenneth Peacock) MIDI
See also: Darby Ram (Shanneyganock)
And also: The Derby Ram (Roberts and Barrand)
And also: The Ram (MacEdward Leach)
midi1   alt: midi2

As I went down to market
one bright and sunny day,
I saw so fine a ram, sir,
that ever was fed with hay.
It is true, it is true,
for I never told a lie,
Oh, you go down to Derby's town,
you'll see it so well as I.

This ram he had a horn, sir,
it growed nine pound an ell,
It was sent to Derby
to ring the market bell.
It is true, it is true,
for I never told a lie,
Oh, you go down to Derby's town,
you'll see it so well as I.

This ram he had a horn, sir,
grew nine times 'round his head,
And it was sent to Derby
to serve the town with bread.
It is true, it is true,
for I never told a lie,
Oh, you go down to Derby's town,
you'll see it so well as I.

The wool growed on his belly,
it growed so fast as sin,
Took all the women in Derby's town
a hundred years to spin.
It is true, it is true,
for I never told a lie,
Oh, you go down to Derby's town,
you'll see it so well as I.

The wool growed on his back, sir,
it growed up to the moon,
The old devil climbed up to pray,
and he never got back till June.
It is true, it is true,
for I never told a lie,
Oh, you go down to Derby's town,
you'll see it so well as I.

The man who killed the ram, sir,
got drowned in the blood,
And all the rest of the men, sir,
got washed away in the flood.
It is true, it is true,
for I never told a lie,
Oh, you go down to Derby's town,
you'll see it so well as I.

The man that owned the ram, sir,
he need to be very rich,
And the man that rhymed this song
was a lying son of a witch.
It is true, it is true,
for I never told a lie,
Oh, you go down to Derby's town,
you'll see it so well as I.

####.... 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 collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 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.

Kenneth Peacock noted that "exaggeration is one of the mainsprings of folk humour. But in this case the humour may be but the modern survival of pagan rituals connected with the worship of totem animals. What was once a serious incantation to impress the gods with the sacrificial ram's superlative prowess has now become merely a joke."

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

See more songs by Shanneyganock.

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).

Another variant was learned from singers of Nottingham Traditional Music Club and recorded as The Derby Ram (#1) by John Roberts and Tony Barrand (Dark Ships In The Forest: Ballads Of The Supernatural - Folk Legacy Records, Inc, FSI-65, Cassette 1977, CD 1977).



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