Poor Old Horse (III)

DESCRIPTION: "My clothing once was linsey-woolsey fine, My hair unlinkt, and my coat it did shine; But now in open fields I'm forced for to go... Crying, 'Poor old horse, O poor old horse.'" The horse recalls the old days, and bequeathes its body to the huntsmen
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1877 (Bell-Combined-EarlyBallads-CustomsBalladsSongsPeasantryEngland); the Stokoe/Reay-SongsAndBalladsOfNorthernEngland versions apparently was published in Topliff before 1850
KEYWORDS: age ritual horse
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,North,South))
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 135, "Poor Old Horse" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-OneHundredEnglishFolksongs 85, "Poor Old Horse" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 77, "Poor Old Horse" (2 texts)
Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle 106, "Poor Old Horse" (1 text)
Stokoe/Reay-SongsAndBalladsOfNorthernEngland, pp. 60-61, "The Poor Old Horse" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-EnglishCountrySongbook, #140, "The Old Horse" (1 text, 1 tune, with a musical "prologue")
Bell-Combined-EarlyBallads-CustomsBalladsSongsPeasantryEngland, pp. 404-406, "The Mummers' Song; or, The Poor Old Horse" (1 text)
Henderson-VictorianStreetBallads, p. 128, "Lamentation of an Old Horse" (1 text)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #1902, p. 128, "Poor Old Horse Let Him Die" (2 references)
ADDITIONAL: Roger deV. Renwick, _Recentering Anglo/American Folksong: Sea Crabs and Wicked Youths_, University Press of Mississippi, 2001, pp. 88-89, "Poor Old Horse" (1 text)
Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #90, "Poor Old Horse" (1 text)

ST ShH85 (Full)
Roud #513
cf. "Poor Old Man (Poor Old Horse; The Dead Horse)" (plot)
cf. "Pawkie Paiterson's Auld Grey Yaud" (theme)
cf. "Mon Cher Voisin (My Dear Neighbor)" (theme)
cf. "The Old Blind Horse" (theme)
cf. "The Auld Horse's Lament" (theme)
NOTES [122 words]: Hobbyhorse rituals have been commonplace in rural Britain for centuries. This song was sung as part of these rituals.
Although there are a few parallels between this song and "Poor Old Man" (notably the description of the horse's decrepitude), I believe that this is a related but separate song with a thoroughly different gestalt. As we are being splitters in this index, this song deserves its own entry. -PJS
Roud lumps the two; personally, I wonder a little if even this song might not need splitting. The description above is taken mostly from Stokoe's text; Sharp, which begins "When I was young and in my prime," has a quite distinct look -- but exactly the same plot, and apparently both were used for hobbyhorse rituals. - RBWf
Last updated in version 5.0
File: ShH85

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