Widdicombe Fair (II)

DESCRIPTION: Singer goes to a fair at Widdicombe (or Coldingham, Ratcliffe or Monaghan). There he meets with a jolly beggar and his wife. The singer then lists all the pairs of beggars he's met at the fair
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1826 (Tait's Magazine)
KEYWORDS: commerce begging moniker wife husband nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South,West)) Ireland
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 289, "A-Going to the Fair" (1 text plus assorted fragments in appendices, 1 tune)
Hayward-UlsterSongsAndBalladsOfTheTownAndCountry, pp. 28-29, "Craigbilly Fair" (1 text)
Fireside-Book-of-Folk-Songs, p. 50, "Widdecombe Fair" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Robert Chambers, The Popular Rhymes of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1870 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 40, "The Beggars of Coldingham Fair"

Roud #666
cf. "Tom Pearce (Widdicombe Fair I)" (lyrics)
cf. "Under the Greenwood Tree" (form) and references there
The Beggars of Coldingham Fair
The Beggars of Ratcliffe Fair
Beggars of Coudingham Fair
Monaghan Fair
Widdliecombe Fair
NOTES [121 words]: Variants of this song are used as the chorus for "Tom Pearce (Widdicombe Fair I)." It lacks, however, the plot about the horse, so I've separated them. - PJS
Looking at this, I can't help but think there is a cumulative version somewhere in its ancestry. But I haven't found it. Some of the versions, such as that of the McPeake family, also feel a bit like "Dame Durden."
Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 265-267, prints a piece, "The Humours of Donneybrook Fair" (listed as by Charles O'Flaherty), which looks as if it might be a recomposed version of this -- but it's much too wordy to be traditional. - RBW
Chambers's source is "Tait's Magazine, [vol] x. [p] 121." - BS
Last updated in version 4.0
File: K289

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.