Leg of Mutton Went Over to France, A
DESCRIPTION: "A leg of mutton went over to France ... The ladies did sing and the gentlemen dance." Anyway, a man dies, a doctor looks in his head and finds a spring in which 39 salmon are learning to sing, with a pool for young salmon to go to school.
EARLIEST DATE: 1909 (Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople)
KEYWORDS: France humorous nonsense talltale wordplay
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf) Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Peacock, p. 14, "A Leg of Mutton Went Over to France" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 7, "As I Was Going to Banbury" (1 text)
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 357, "As I was walking o'er little Moorfields" (3 texts)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #244, p. 155, "(As I was walkin o'er little Moorfields)"
ADDITIONAL: Maud Karpeles, _Folk Songs of Europe_, Oak, 1956, 1964, p. 49, "As I Was Going to Banbury" (1 text, 1 tune)
George Reid, "A Leg of Mutton Went Over to France" (on PeacockCDROM)
NOTES [110 words]: The ending floats: "perhaps you think I ... lie", "If you want any more ...", even if entire verses don't.
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes: "[Moorfields] would be an appropriate setting for a nonsense song, for in 1675 the Old Bethlem Hospital was moved to Moorfields from Bishops Gate Without." - BS
I suspect the "As I Was Going to Banbury" version is a compound of two different items. As, however, it appears to exist only in the version Cecil Sharp collected from Emma Sister, there seems no need to create a separate item for it. The ending is this song; it merely starts with the verse "As I was going to Banbury, Ri fol lat-i-tee O...." - RBW
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