Saturday, December 4, 2010

Memoirs of a Folk-Song Collector (continued)

Miss Letitia has returned from Squire Charlesworth's farm, after meeting some farmhands at lunch-time.

An evening in the Horne Goat

That evening, some twenty young men thronged the bar of The Horne Goat, quaffing their beer after a hard day’s labour. They had heard that I was interested in ‘something in the old manner’, from my lunchtime companions, and were eager to make my acquaintance. After dinner, which I had caused to be brought to my room, on account of my headache, I went down and joined them in the bar. As is customary in such remote areas, women do not go into bars, but these gallant labourers seemed gladly to make exception for me. Indeed, their generosity was remarkable: I was not allowed to go thirsty, for my cup was continually replenished, even before it was empty. When I enquired which of them could render for me any songs of their fathers, or grandfathers, there was much argument and dispute amongst them as to who should sing first. One sang of lambs separated from their ewes and said that he was my lamb and I should let him snuggle up to me as a lamb to its ewe. Another sang of the loneliness of the shepherd, and the gladsomeness when he returned to his sweetheart. Others sang of hunting the black hare, of their old sporting gun, and one of some farm machinery and its ‘reciprocating motion’. When I required of him an explanation of this, there was much jollity and he said he needed my help to demonstrate it. Everyone was much amused by my attempts to follow his instructions, and I found it a mirthful and pleasing occupation. I do not recall getting to bed, nor undressed, but I do recall them all promising to return the following evening with more of this fascinating rustic culture.
to be continued

15 comments:

London Apprentice said...

Yawn! The progress is now so slow that I fear my own death before the complete story is told. Indeed it may even hasten my demise. I wonder how souls so timid have ever managed to breed at all. Spice it up a bit and get on wiv it!

Dogsbody, Scrivener and Wretch said...

I tremble with anticipation regarding the next episode.
I must go and seek my long-redundant 'Long Pegging Awl'.

Now, where did I put it?

parkingspaceman said...

Fear not, LA: I have read the next episode, but one has to read between the lines, y'know.
DS&W: it's on the mantlepiece, behind the clock.

Dogsbody, Scrivener and Wretch said...

There are four mantlepieces in my home.
None of them supports a clock.
Anyway, I wouldn't leave my precious awl there, would I?

parkingspaceman said...

I think that the fact that you've phrased your statement with conditionals and questions ("I wouldn't... would I?") indicates that you're in the Senile Sixties, and therefore should not be dogmatic about anything - especially where your short-term memory is concerned.

Dogsbody, Scrivener and Wretch said...

Life itself is conditional.
Nothing is certain in the autumn of life ... or is it?

London Apprentice said...

Oh my - what is happening here? Get breeding. I said nothing about the need of an awl, a mantlepiece, or anything about clocks. One cannot place a time limit on such pleasure - it must go on forever like a lost chord. Senility is not a sufficient excuse. Many are they, not too far from here, who were born with something similar. It hasn't stopped them has it?

parkingspaceman said...

Nurse! He's out of bed again!!

London Apprentice said...

Wishing me ill is unseemly. Beleieve me I know how to suffer. If you are interested in knowing more carry on as you are making your pithy comments while I trace your origins. I'll take a punt at a short cut on that one and start with this link:- http://www.livescience.com/animals/060511_monkey_genus.html

Dogsbody, Scrivener and Wretch said...

It strikes me that it only takes only two individuals to submit comments on this BLOG before the commentators become engaged in inter-personal abuse.
We’re all friends here, aren’t we?
Aren’t we???

parkingspaceman said...

Oi! This is a private squabble! Keep your nose out, you interfering busybody! Anyway, you started it, with your long pegging awl, you deleterious quasi-pusillanimous addlepate! (I don't think that's inter-personal abuse, do you?). Are you sure you don't mean intra-personal? At least, my comments are spelled correctly, unlike LA's.

London Apprentice said...

Friends now is it! I'll tell you this:- Spelling correctly doesn't make the message any better. Too much weight is placed on spelling in what is a rather senseless unscientific language. Remember too that LA is an APPRENTICE - I mean still learning. I only mix with you intellectuals to try and make sure that what I have to say about you is absolutely correct.
I am betting that PSM has his spell checker switched on all the time. I don't. What is more, unless you point out exactly where my mistake(s)is/are/was, I will remain ignorant because I can't find it/them. {Not WIV surely?}. No wonder I'm always feeling so ill wiv friends like wot I got.

parkingspaceman said...

I'll leave you in ignorance, LA, because, if ignorance is bliss, then you must be in a state of continual orgasm! (It's best not to interfere with nature, I've found).

London Apprentice said...

I would have thought, Parkingspaceman, that you would have been delighted to have found the secret of a spendid organ recital. Look & learn! Resist worry about spelling correctly. Sing loudly and often and never be concerned about voice production when reproduction is so much more attractive.

parkingspaceman said...

LA did sort of promise that he "might jump ship in Australia" if no more episodes were forthcoming (19.8.10). I'm sorry now that I blinked first.