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Horncastle Fair

[ Roud 21234 ; Ballad Index OSLi08 ; VWML FK/3/117 ; trad.]

More Folk Songs From Lincolnshire

Jane and Amanda Threlfall sang Horncastle Fair on their 2002 CD Gown of Green and on their 2007 CD Revisited. They noted:

This version was learned from the singing of Vicki Clayton, but the song was originally collected in 1892 from Alan Wardill of Goathland, Yorkshire. It was published in Frank Kidson’s posthumous collection, English Peasant Songs (1929). There are obvious connections here with the song Horn Fair and its sexual symbolism.


Jane and Amanda Threlfall sing Horncastle Fair

As I was going to Horncastle Fair—
The wind blew cold—
I trotted on, trotted on my way.
So many merry folks were there,
Going to that famous fair,
Riding to Horncastle town.

A maid I met a-riding all alone—
The wind blew cold—
She trotted on, trotted on her way.
“Fair maiden, will you now decide
All the way with me to ride?
Safely I ’ll see you to the town.”

“Now rogues are going to Horncastle Fair—
The wind blows cold—
I’ll trot along, trot along my way.
I ’ve always been an honest lass,
Stand back and let me pass!
Safely I ’ll ride on to the town.”

“My dear, my dear, I am an honest man—
The wind blows cold—
So trot along, trot along by me.
Let me ride on with you to the fair.
Here to you I do declare
From me you will ne’er come to harm.”

My love I met at Horncastle Fair—
The wind blew cold—
We trotted on, trotted on our way.
And it’s then we quickly married were,
All through meeting at the fair.
She’s my bonny, bonny bride.