Wednesbury Cocking, The
DESCRIPTION: Stories of cockfighting at Wednesbury. The competition is fierce, and many are the addicts of the sport and of gambling on it. The song relates many incidents, concluding when "Jack Baker he whacked his own father, and thus ended Wednesbury Cocking"
EARLIEST DATE: 1957 (Graves, English and Scottish Ballads)
KEYWORDS: fight bird gambling sports chickens moniker
FOUND IN: Britain
REFERENCES (3 citations):
PBB 85, "The Wednesbury Cocking" (1 text)
Hodgart, p. 191, "The Wednesbury Cocking" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Jon Raven, _The Urban and Industrial Songs of the Black Country and Birmingham_, Broadside, 1977, pp. 110-113, "The Wedgebury Cocking" (1 text, 1 tune, which may be separate but is similar enough in concept to file here)
ST PBB085 (Partial)
Bodleian, Firth c.19(37) view 1, "Wednesbury Cooking" (sic.), unknown, n.d.; also 2806 c.17(458), "Wednesbury Cocking"; 2806 c.17(459); Douce 3(109)=Harding B 39(43)
cf. "The Cock-Fight" (theme)
Bloxwich Wake Bull Baiting (Jon Raven, _The Urban and Industrial Songs of the Black Country and Birmingham_, Broadside, 1977, pp 204-205)
NOTES: The curious comment, "I'll pay thee as Paul paid the Ephesians," is hard to understand in context. Ephesus was one of Paul's favorite cities. The reference may be to Acts 19:23-41, where Paul's preaching in Ephesus caused certain locals to turn away from the cult of Artemis (a major source of income in the city). The result was a riot.
The PBB version of this is metrically strange; it does not appear possible to sing all the verses to the same tune.- RBW
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