Mudcat Café message #662935 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35946   Message #662935
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
04-Mar-02 - 11:06 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Arthur McBride - What's the background?
Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
Since the subject has come again elsewhere, perhaps I should post the Devon set referred to earlier.

ARTHUR LE BRIDE

(Samuel Fone of Blackdown, Mary Tavy, Devon; noted by Mr Bussell in 1892)

I once had a cousin called Arthur Le Bride,
And he and I wandered adown the sea side,
For our pleasure and pastime a watching the tide;
O the weather was pleasant and charming.
O the weather was pleasant and charming.

So gaily and gallant we went on a tramp,
We met Sergeant Napier and Corp'ral Demant,
And the neat little drummer that tended the camp,
To beat the row-dow in the morning.
To beat the row-dow in the morning.

Good morning young fellows, the sergeant did cry,
And the same to you sergeant we made a reply,
There was nothing more spoken, we made to pass by.
'Twas all on a Christmas day morning.
Twas all on a Christmas day morning.

Come! come my young fellows, I pray you enlist,
Ten guineas in gold I will slap in your fist,
And a crown in the bargain to kick up a dust,
For to drink the king's health in the morning.
For to drink the king's health in the morning.

O, no! Mr. Sergeant, we are not for sale
We make no such bargain - your bribe won't avail,
Not tired of our country we care not to sail,
Tho' your offers look pleasant and charming.
Tho' your offers look pleasant and charming.

Hah! if you insult me, without other words
I swear by the king we will draw out our swords,
And thrust thro' your bodies, as strength us affords,
And leave you without further warning.
And leave you without further warning.

We beat the bold drummer as flat as his shoe,
We made a football of his row-de-dow-do,
And the sergeant and corporal, knocked down the two,
O we were the boys in the morning.
O we were the boys in the morning.

The two little weapons that hung at their side,
As we trotted away we threw into the tide,
May old Harry be with you, said Arthur Le Bride
For staying our walk in the morning.
For staying our walk in the morning.

This set appeared in Sabine Baring Gould's Songs of the West (1905).  "Sam told us that this was his father's favourite song.  He had learned it from his father when he was quite a child.  There was one more verse in the original, omitted to reduce the lengthy ballad to singable length."

No indication was given, unfortunately, as to what the other verse might have been.  Reference has been made earlier to broadside texts at the Bodleian, and a number of versions were noted in the Northeast of Scotland in the first decade of the 20th. century (Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection)

Sam Fone's tune can be heard, for now, via the  South Riding Folk Network  site:

Arthur Le Bride (midi)

I may as well add the tune from the Petrie collection, which I assume was first published c.1855, though in this case noted in Donegal (no text or date given, but there seems a decent chance that it may pre-date Sam Fone's father's set ); Stanford-Petrie (1902-05) number 846; it is quite close to the tunes well-known today from revival performers.

Art Mac Bride (midi)