Jone O'Greenfield's Ramble

Melody -

Traditional ballad from Lancashire

Says Jone to his wife, on a hot summer's day,
'I'm resolved i' Grinfilt no lunger to stay;
For I'll go to Owdham os fast os I can,
So fare thee weel, Grinfilt, un fare thee weel, Nan;
A soger I'll be, un brave Owdham I'll see,
Un I'll ha'e a battle wi' th' French.'

2. 'Dear Jone,' then said Nan, un hoo bitterly cried,
Wilt be one o' th' foote, or tha meons to ride?'
'Odsounds! wench, I'll ride oather ass or a mule,
Ere I'll kewer i' Grinfilt os black as te dule,
Booath clemmink* un starvink, un never a fardink,
Ecod! it would drive ony mon mad.

3. 'Aye, Jone, sin' wi' coom i' Grinfilt for t' dwell,
We'n had mony a bare meal, I con vara weel tell.'
'Bare meal! ecod! aye, that I vara weel know,
There's bin two days this wick ot we'n had nowt at o:
I'm vara near sided, afore I'll abide it,
I'll feight oather Spanish or French.'

4. Then says my Aunt Marget, 'Ah! Jone, thee'rt so hot,
I'd ne'er go to Owdham, boh i' Englond I'd stop.'
'It matters nowt, Madge, for to Owdham I'll go,
I'll naw clam to deeoth, boh sumbry shalt know:
Furst Frenchman I find, I'll tell him meh mind,
Un if he'll naw feight, he shall run.'

5. Then down th' broo I coom, for we livent at top,
I thowt I'd reach Owdharn ere ever I'd stop;
Ecod! heaw they stared when I getten to th' Mumps,
Meh owd hat i' my hond, un meh clogs full o'stumps;
Boh I soon towd um, I'r gooink to Owdham,
Un I'd ha'e battle wi' th' French.

6. I kept eendway thro' th' lone, un to Owdham I went,
I ask'd a recruit if te'd made up their keawnt?
'No, no, honest lad' (for he tawked like a king),
'Go wi' meh thro' the street, un thee I will bring
Where, if theaw'rt willink, theaw may ha'e a shillink.'
Ecod! I thowt this wur rare news.

7. He browt me to th' pleck where te measurn their height,
Un if they bin height, there's nowt said about weight;
I retched me, un stretched me, un never did flinch,
Says th' mon, 'I believe theaw 'rt meh lad to an inch.'
I thowt this'll do, I'st ha'e guineas enow,
Ecod! Owdham, brave Owdham for me.

8. So fare thee weel, Grinfilt, a soger I'm made,
I'n getten new shoon, un a rare cockade;
I'll feight for Owd Englond os hard os I con,
Oather French, Dutch, or Spanish, to me it's o one,
I'll make 'em to stare like a new-started hare,
Un I'll tell 'em fro' Owdham I coom.

*Famished. The old Lancashire dialect has a striking peculiarity in that words ending in "ing" are changed to end in "ink".


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