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The song of Old John Blythe

Found while searching for more Blythe info in a 1901 book called Yorkshire Anthology.

Old John Blythe

It's Old John Blythe, he had a grey mare,
He took her up to Sheffield Fair;
He brought her back, aye, that he did,
Cause no one would a farthing bid.
Ri-fol-de-rol-larol! Fol-de-rol-larol!
Fol-de-rol-larol aye!

Then he turned his mare into a wood,
Hoping that she would do some good;
She ran her head against a tree,
And she were likely for to dee.

His neighbours hens got into his corn,
He swore he'd shoot 'em, sure as he were born;
He sent his dog to turn him out,
And he ran after as hard as he could shout.

Then he loaded his gun, and again he went,
To shoot the hens, being fully bent,
And with both e'en he did so stare,
He shot at the hens and killed his auld mare.

So now as my story must come to an end,
To show you that John was his mare's best friend,
After she wor dead, as I've head say,
Into her mouth he stuffed some hay.
Duckweed...it was going so well untill the last two lines of the first verse....the chorus......must have been the ale talking:biggrin:

Unless it was the Yorkshire slang of the time.

Hi Duckweed..while driving today that funny verse was bugging me,so i looked it up....seems that many old songs had the same lines at the end of the verse...including this one by Yeats..8th song down.
Seems that it is an ancient general line meaning nonsense or hilarity....i had never heard of it and i read lots of old poetry.

So hear goes... Ri Fol de Rol Larol aye Ri!
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It's usually the bit where the rest of the pub joins in waving their tankards and laughing. Its typical of a folk song though this one is a bit tame comapared to many.