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Come listen to me, Sandy lad,
And I will tell you news, man,
What the lads at Alnwick had
To keep their feet in use, man,
The noble Duke he gave a ball,
Oh let his name resound by all,
Both young and old, both great and small,
Sing o'er his praise withal, man.
Sing o'er his praise withal.

Now from the castle came the ball,
Out from the porch it flew man,
Cheered the heart of every soul,
Each to his courage drew man:
In Bailiffgate they kicked her fast,
And Narrowgate stood the hard blast.
The folk in Pottergate were fast,
The crowd like horse did smash, man.
The crowd like horse did smash.

The ball then to the market flew.
The crowd they followed fast man.
The kicks it made her black and blue.
Her very ribs were smashed man
They kicked her then up Bondgate street.
Just like a flock of highland sheep.
Some skinned their shins, some lamed their feet.
They ran so swift and fleet, man.
They ran so swift and fleet.

Each trade was active in its part,
The blacksmiths and the nailers,
Both millwrights and joiner lads.
The cobblers and the tailors:
The blacksmiths they did run with glee
The nailers followed up the spree.
The cobbler says, "It's for me
For cunning and for sly, man".
For cunning and for sly.

The mason he came creeping out,
Just like a half-drowned cat, man,
The water made him blubber up,
Just like a water rat, man;
O Lord's he cried, "I've had bad luck,
For in the water, like a duck,
I oft went down but ay came up,
And now I've got ashore, man".
And now I've got ashore.

Up Barney-side the ball took flight,
Tom ran just like a hare, man,
The dirt flew from his heels that night,
A full half mile and mair, man:
The gardeners of him got a sight,
Which put them all to running flight,
But Tommy bade them all good night.
He was so quick at flight, man.
He was so quick at flight.

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Source: Singing Together, Spring 1981, BBC Publications

Traditional song taken from "The Rigs of the Fair" by Roy Palmer and Jon Raven.


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