Author Topic: Add: The Rout it is come for the Blues


Posted - 17 Feb 03 - 01:31 pm

Rout it is come for the Blues, The

As I was a-walking on Scarborough Sands,
Some dainty fine sport for to view,
The lasses were crying and wringing their hands,
"O the Rout it is come for the Blues, for the Blues,
O the Rout it is come for the Blues."

A fair pretty maid to her mother did say,
"My heart's full of love - it is true .
I'll pack up my clothes, without any delay,
And travel the world with the Blues, with the Blues,
And travel the world with the Blues."

"Thery're as gallant young fellows as ever you'll see,
Though you search Bonny Britain all through.
When dressed in His Majesty's suit, you'll agree,
There are none can compare with the Blues, with the Blues,
There are none can compare with the Blues."

The landlords and landladies, hand in hand trip,
And so do the young lasses, too,
You'd have laughed to have seen them along the sands skip,
All to take their farewll of the Blues, of the Blues,
All to take their farewell of the Blues.

The boats are afloat, the gallant men her,
The trumpet that soundeth so true.
They lift up their voices, and give a loud cheer,
Success to the King and his Blues, and his Blues,
Success to King George and his Blues.

Source: Baring-Gould, 1895, A Garland of Country Song, London


Baring-Gould wrote:

This song is a 'Catnach Broadside' and begins "As I was a going down Rosemary Lane." We have heard it sung, "As I travelled one day up to Stafford City." It is given in Ingledew's "Yorkshire Ballads." Rewritten it appears as "The Clara Boys", a broadside by Bebbington of Manchester.

Database entry is here.

Edited By dmcg - 17/02/2003 16:07:08

Mr Happy

Posted - 17 Feb 03 - 01:40 pm

i've heard it done slightly different:

as i crossed out o'er salisbury plain
such a dainty fine sight i beheld
all the lasses were crying & tearing their hair
for the rout has just come for the blues

& other verses with slight diffs too
oh the rout has just come for the blues


Posted - 17 Feb 03 - 01:51 pm

I've never been quite sure what 'Rout' means in this context. There is an obsolete definition of the word as meaning 'an assembly, whether ordered or unordered, to collect in company' and that seems to fit more or less, but that usage would already have been obsolete when the song was written. A good definition would be appreciated.

Edited By dmcg - 17/02/2003 13:56:31

Jon Freeman

Posted - 17 Feb 03 - 02:02 pm

I'm guessing but in Chambers under "route" in notes a former (and millitary) pronounciation as "rowt". A definition of "route" is marching orders.


Abby Sale

Posted - 17 Feb 03 - 02:10 pm

dmcg: Your version hit the streets in a fine, classic rendition by the Dransfields in 1970. According to their notes, it is a collated version from (do HTML codes work here? We'll giff a try.) The Idiom of the People and Ingledew's Yorkshire Ballads. Barry D. "vaguely remembered" the tune learned from David Howes. They cite the work to mean the same as you have - 'mustering,' in the particular case.

I have taken the king to be George IV (1762-1830) who particularly favored the Blues (The Royal Horse Guards regiment) from his de facto assumption of power in 1811.

Abby Sale

Posted - 17 Feb 03 - 02:16 pm

Oh, a note I have. Didn't save the citation, unfortunately..
The title illustrates an interesting example of two English words which now have the same spelling but completely different meanings and origins. Rout meaning disorganised flight etc, comes from ME from OF route. Rout as in this song, meaning muster, or fetch out of hiding, derives from root from O.E. "r?µt."

Edited By Abby Sale - 17/02/2003 14:25:38

Abby Sale

Posted - 17 Feb 03 - 02:50 pm

Seems "the rout of the something" is recurrent. Check Bodley & search on 'rout.' One is "The Rifle Boys (earliest date shown, 1846)

Another is "The rout come for the boroughmongers: or The king against corruption" (no date) which mentions the Blues.


Posted - 17 Feb 03 - 11:04 pm

There are a number of broadsides in the Bodleian entitled Success to the Blues

The dated ones tend to be around 1820-1840

Mr Happy

Posted - 18 Feb 03 - 09:35 am

i've heard some sing it as: 'the router's just come for the blues'

David Rowlands

Posted - 25 Oct 09 - 08:30 pm

In the 18th and 19th centuries, regiments of infantry and cavalry were stationed at many places throughout the United Kingdom. There were very few purpose-built barracks, and soldiers were billeted at inns. There were often periods of industrial and agrarian depression, especially during and after the Napoleonic War (1803-1815), resulting in rioting. As there was no police force, regiments were stationed in places where trouble was taking place. The local magistrates often gave orders for the soldiers to act 'in aid of the Civil Power' to subdue the riots by force. The regiments were frequently ordered to march between different locations.

The rout (rhyming with 'scout')was what we would now call their marching orders.
It is a fact that in the British Army, what most of us would now call the 'route'(meaning the directions to be taken on the map) was pronounced to rhyme with 'scout.'

For example, in the song 'Bang upon the Big Drum' (which is about the 2nd Afghan War 1878-810)one line is:
'Well when we got the rout, and for India we set out...'

I have heard this word pronounced that way (like 'scou')many times, spoken by officers who served in the Royal Irish Fusiliers during the 2nd World War, when they meant the directions to be taken.

David Rowlands

Posted - 25 Oct 09 - 08:34 pm

'The Blues' is an unofficial title of the Royal Horse Guards. Whilst soldiers in the other heavy cavalry regiments wore red coats, this regiment had always worn dark blue coats.

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