> Folk Music > Songs > Shooting Goshen's Cocks Up / The Bold Poachers

Shooting Goshen's Cocks Up / The Bold Poachers

[ Roud 902 ; Ballad Index K354 ; Fred Holman]

Wally Fuller sang The Bold Poachers in a recording made by Peter Kennedy at Laughton near Lewes, Sussex in November 1952. It was included in 2012 on the Topic anthology I'm a Romany Rai: Songs by Southern English Gypsy Traditional Singers (The Voice of the People Series Volume 22).

George ‘Pop’ Maynard sang Shooting Goshen's Cocks Up in a recording made by Paul Carter and Ken Stubbs in Copthorne, Sussex, in 1962. It was published in 1976 on his Topic album Ye Subjects of England: Traditional Songs from Sussex. Another recording made by Brian Matthews in The Cherry Tree in Copthorne in May 1960 was included in 2000 on his Musical Traditions anthology Down the Cherry Tree.

Jasper Smith of Epsom, Surrey, sang Shooting Spark's Cocks Up in a recording made by Mike Yates in 1972-75 on the Musical Traditions anthology of 2003, Here's Luck to a Man: Gypsy Songs and Music from South-East England. The album's booklet commented:

Better known as Shooting Goshen's Cock-Ups, the incident happened on the Goshen Estate near New Addington in Surrey, and the song was composed by Fred Holman, of Tatsfield in Surrey; who also wrote the song Patsy Flanaghan (Roud 16632), both of which Pop Maynard used to sing. The tune comes from an earlier song, Bow, Wow, Wow or The Barking Barber, which was popular in the 1780s. It was sufficiently well-known to be parodied in Alice in Wonderland.

Isla St Clair sang Shooting Goshen's Cock-Ups in 1981 on the soundtrack album to the BBC television series The Song and the Story.

Arthur Knevett sang Shooting Coshen's Cock Ups on his 1988 cassette Mostly Ballads. Vic Gammon commented in the album's notes:

A local song made famous by ‘Pop’ Maynard, singer and marbles champion from Copthorne (now a suburb of Gatwick Airport!) on the Surrey-Sussex border. Arthur also heard it sung by Jack Smith from Godalming in Surrey and has adopted Jack's ‘Wandsworth Jail’ instead of Pop's ‘Holloway’. Poaching was a perennial theme for songmakers down to the present century.

Jack Smith sang Shooting Goshen's Cocks Up on the 2012 Musical Traditions anthology King's Head Folk Club: Traditional performers at this London Folk Club 1968-1970.

Andy Turner learned Shooting Goshen's Cocks Up from Pop Maynard's record and sang it as the November 20, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Week.

Lyrics

Jasper Smith sings Shooting Spark's Cocks Up

As you've asked me for to sing I'd best to start at once,
I'll tell you how I got three year, and me mate he got six months.
If Joe he'd never runned away we'd wouldn't not been taken,
But he gave away to the break away, that's where he were mistaken.

Chorus (after each verse):
With your row, dow, dow.
Fol the diddle laddy,
With your row, dow, dow.

Now Joe he looked around to me, he says, “We're in a muddle.”
He give away to the break away, and he left me to the battle.
But Joe he looked around to me, he said that we'll be knowing.
For shooting Spark's cocks up, boy, in a place we knowed was narkry.

Now when they got us to the stir they set us grinding flour.
It was just like pumping water, boys, right from some lawfully tower.
But Joe he looked around to me, he says, “We're in a muddle.
That is all as we've got to think about was the wives and little children.”

Now as I've had this half of beer it's made me feel so merry.
Cause poor old Joe don't come out of stir for the second of January.
But if Joe he'd never runned away we'd wouldn't not been taken,
But he gave away to the break away, that's where he were mistaken.