Were Ye at the Fair?
DESCRIPTION: Were you at the fair/church, Did you see many people -- or did you come by the steeple -- did you see our goodman, Riding on a beetle/ladle?
EARLIEST DATE: 1828 (Lyle-Crawfurd2)
KEYWORDS: nonballad bug
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Bord))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Lyle-Crawfurd2 205, "Were Ye at the Fair?" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Robert Chambers, The Popular Rhymes of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1870 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 19, ("Cam ye by the kirk, Cam ye by the steeple?") (1 text)
NOTES [106 words]: "Riding the beetle -- Those who are on foot, or shanks naigie, with a party on horseback, are said to be riding the beetle. 'War ye at the fair, saw ye mony people, Saw ye our gude man riding on the beetle?' Auld sang." (source: John MacTaggart, The Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia (second edition) (London,1876 ("Digitized by Google"))), p. 409)
On the other hand, Chambers says, "There was a great deal of equestrian exercise in the old nursery, the knee being the ever-ready substitute for a steed"; Chambers's text ends "Riding on a ladle." - BS
Could this somehow be related to the Jacobite song "Came Ye O'er Frae France"? - RBW
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