An Account of old Street Ballads from Mr.Hely, Hanover Street, Cork, World Renowned from c 1830 with some of his original woodcuts, ‘The Green Linnett’, ‘The Coleeen Rue’, ‘Grana Uile’.

Courtesy JCHAS, 1892.


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  • Madden Ballads Author Index


    An admired song called blue-eyed Mary. Birmingham, W. ….. Alice Gray. Haly, Hanover Street, Cork. …… First line: I am a bold shoe-maker from Belfast. Reel: 03  …



Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of England
Robert Bell



[This song is very popular with the country people in every part of
England, but more particularly with the inhabitants of the counties
of Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall. The chorus is peculiar to
country songs of the West of England. There are many different
versions. The following one, communicated by Mr. Sandys, was taken
down from the singing of an old blind fiddler, ‘who,’ says Mr.
Sandys, ‘used to accompany it on his instrument in an original and
humorous manner; a representative of the old minstrels!’ The air
is in Popular Music. In Halliwell’s Nursery Rhymes of England
there is a version of this song, called Richard of Dalton Dale.

The popularity of this West-country song has extended even to
Ireland, as appears from two Irish versions, supplied by the late
Mr. T. Crofton Croker. One of them is entitled Last New-Year’s
Day, and is printed by Haly, Hanover-street, Cork. It follows the
English song almost verbatim, with the exception of the first and
second verses, which we subjoin:-

‘Last New-Year’s day, as I heard say,
Dick mounted on his dapple gray;
He mounted high and he mounted low,
Until he came to SWEET RAPHOE!
Sing fal de dol de ree,
Fol de dol, righ fol dee.
‘My buckskin does I did put on,
My spladdery clogs, TO SAVE MY BROGUES!
And in my pocket a lump of bread,
And round my hat a ribbon red.’

The other version is entitled Dicky of Ballyman, and a note informs
us that ‘Dicky of Ballyman’s sirname was Byrne!’ As our readers
may like to hear how the Somersetshire bumpkin behaved after he had
located himself in the town of Ballyman, and taken the sirname of
Byrne, we give the whole of his amatory adventures in the sister-
island. We discover from them, inter alia, that he had found ‘the
best of friends’ in his ‘Uncle,’–that he had made a grand
discovery in natural history, viz., that a rabbit is a FOWL!–that
he had taken the temperance pledge, which, however, his Mistress
Ann had certainly not done; and, moreover, that he had become an
enthusiast in potatoes!


‘On New-Year’s day, as I heard say,
Dicky he saddled his dapple gray;
He put on his Sunday clothes,
His scarlet vest, and his new made hose.
Diddle dum di, diddle dum do,
Diddle dum di, diddle dum do.

‘He rode till he came to Wilson Hall,
There he rapped, and loud did call;
Mistress Ann came down straightway,
And asked him what he had to say?

”Don’t you know me, Mistress Ann?
I am Dicky of Ballyman;
An honest lad, though I am poor, –
I never was in love before.

”I have an uncle, the best of friends,
Sometimes to me a fat rabbit he sends;
And many other dainty fowl,
To please my life, my joy, my soul.

”Sometimes I reap, sometimes I mow,
And to the market I do go,
To sell my father’s corn and hay, –
I earn my sixpence every day!’

”Oh, Dicky! you go beneath your mark, –
You only wander in the dark;
Sixpence a day will never do,
I must have silks, and satins, too!

”Besides, Dicky, I must have tea
For my breakfast, every day;
And after dinner a bottle of wine, –
For without it I cannot dine.’

”If on fine clothes our money is spent,
Pray how shall my lord be paid his rent?
He’ll expect it when ’tis due, –
Believe me, what I say is true.

”As for tea, good stirabout
Will do far better, I make no doubt;
And spring water, when you dine,
Is far wholesomer than wine.

”Potatoes, too, are very nice food, –
I don’t know any half so good:
You may have them boiled or roast,
Whichever way you like them most.’

‘This gave the company much delight,
And made them all to laugh outright;
So Dicky had no more to say,
But saddled his dapple and rode away.
Diddle dum di, &c.’]

Last New-Year’s day, as I’ve heerd say, {32}
Young Richard he mounted his dapple grey,
And he trotted along to Taunton Dean,
To court the parson’s daughter, Jean.
Dumble dum deary, dumble dum deary,
Dumble dum deary, dumble dum dee.

With buckskin breeches, shoes and hose,
And Dicky put on his Sunday clothes;
Likewise a hat upon his head,
All bedaubed with ribbons red.

Young Richard he rode without dread or fear,
Till he came to the house where lived his sweet dear,
When he knocked, and shouted, and bellowed, ‘Hallo!
Be the folks at home? say aye or no.’

A trusty servant let him in,
That he his courtship might begin;
Young Richard he walked along the great hall,
And loudly for mistress Jean did call.

Miss Jean she came without delay,
To hear what Dicky had got to say;
‘I s’pose you knaw me, mistress Jean,
I’m honest Richard of Taunton Dean.

‘I’m an honest fellow, although I be poor,
And I never was in love afore;
My mother she bid me come here for to woo,
And I can fancy none but you.’

‘Suppose that I would be your bride,
Pray how would you for me provide?
For I can neither sew nor spin; –
Pray what will your day’s work bring in?’

‘Why, I can plough, and I can zow,
And zometimes to the market go
With Gaffer Johnson’s straw or hay,
And yarn my ninepence every day!’

‘Ninepence a-day will never do,
For I must have silks and satins too!
Ninepence a day won’t buy us meat!’
‘Adzooks!’ says Dick, ‘I’ve a zack of wheat;

‘Besides, I have a house hard by,
‘Tis all my awn, when mammy do die;
If thee and I were married now,
Ods! I’d feed thee as fat as my feyther’s old zow.’

Dick’s compliments did so delight,
They made the family laugh outright;
Young Richard took huff, and no more would say,
He kicked up old Dobbin, and trotted away,
Singing, dumble dum deary, &c.