Widecombe Fair

Every September on the second Tuesday of the month perhaps the most famous of all the country fairs takes place at Widecombe, on Dartmoor. It began more than 150 years ago as a market but has grown to become a showcase for all the best of what the area has to offer. As well as ponies, cattle and sheep, there are events like terrier racing, bale tossing and tug of war. It is well known for the song Widecombe Fair,

Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare,

All along, down along, out along lee

For I want to go to Widecombe fair

With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney

Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawk

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

 

And when shall I see again my grey mare?

All along, down along, out along lee.

By Friday soon, or Saturday noon,

With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney

Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawk

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

 

Then Friday came and Saturday noon

All along down along out along lee

But Tom Pearse’s old mare have not trotted home

With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney

Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawk

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

 

So Tom Pearse he got up to the top of the hill

All along down along out along lee

And he seed his old mare down a’ making her will

With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney

Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawk

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

 

So Tom Pearce’s old mare her took sick and died

All along down along out along lee

And Tom he sat down on a stone and he cried

With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney

Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawk

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

 

But this isn’t the end of this shocking affair

All along down along out along lee

Nor though they be dead of the horrid career

With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney

Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawk

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

 

When the wind whistles cold on the moor of a night

All along down along out along lee

Tom Pearse’s old mare doth appear ghastly white

With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney

Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawk

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

 

And all the long night he heard skirling and groans

All along down along out along lee

From Tom Pearse’s old mare and a rattling of bones

With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney

Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawk

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all

 You may know the tune? The church at Widecombe, St Pancras, is known as the cathedral of the moor and I found this lovely ‘Old Grey Mare’ model.

The fair will be this Tuesday coming, still time for you to make it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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