The Derby Ram

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The Derby Ram (Roud 126[1]). A.L. Lloyd seems to have written about this song on the liner notes for several albums. On one he wrote of Mike Waterson's version:

Once, gods were worshipped in the form of animals (Christians still sing Glory to the Lamb). To this day wherever the luck-visit custom survives, a man in animal guise, as a horse, deer, goat, may accompany the carollers. In the English Midlands the great totem beast was the tup, the ram, of huge capacities and dauntless potency. As belief in his magic faded, his ceremony became mere horse-play (is the term not apt? it has its ritual undertone) and his song a burlesque. Yet like the mighty beast himself, the song proved hard to kill. Michael Waterson sings the solo.


Lyrics[2]:
As I was going to Derby, all on a market day
I've spied the biggest ram, sir, that ever was fed on hay

Chorus (after each verse):
La lum lay lum people lay lum lay

This tup was fat behind, sir, this tup was fat before
This tup was nine feet round, sir, if not a little more

And the horns upon this tup they grew, well they reached up to the sky
The eagles made their nests within, you could hear the young ones cry

Yes the horns that on this tup they grew, well they reached up to the moon
A little boy went up in January and he never got back till June

And all the men of Derby come begging for his tail
To ring St George's passing bell from the top of Derby Gaol

And all the women of Derby come begging for his ears
To make 'em leather aprons to last 'em forty years

And all the boys of Derby come begging for his eyes
To make themselves some footballs cause they were of football size

Took all the men of Derby to carry away his bones
Took all the women of Derby to roll away his stones

And now my story is over, and I have no more to say
Please give us all a New Year's box and we will go away

External links

References

  1. Vaughan Williams Memorial Library - Roud 126
  2. - The Derby Ram