A Tale of Bungay May Fair

SITE p 31

The Fairs they b'aint what they once wor,
Fifty year an' a bit ago;
It wor a bit on a spree then,
Now I'd a'most as leave not go.

Why, I mind me o' one May mornin'
When me an' Jimmy wor there,
We'd a smartish lot o' ponies,
An' a fifteen two bay mare.

Jim Brown he couldn't mount her
So he ses-ses he, "Bill Black -
You'll ha' to do the showin',
For she oant ha' me on her back."

Well, at fust no one comed our way,
Then some bors corned for to stare;
An' arter that a real swell chap,
Began to poke roun'th' mare.

I swore she wor a good un
An' sound from her lungs to her feet,
An' said there worn't never a lambkin
Who's temper wor half as sweet.

Well, he look'd and look'd, while we shook bor
When he went agin her tail,
An' we felt mortal sure every minute
Her'd kick an' spile th' sale.

But she stood right still an' look'd han'some,
Even mountin' her worn't a job,
An' she walk'd, an' trott'd, an' canter'd,
Steady like as a parson's ow'd cob.

Well, th' chap, 'afore I gets off her,
"Name your price," ses he to Brown.
Fifty guineas Jim ask!-an' blow me
If th' fule didn't pay it right down!

Well, Jim Brown he stood there a-starin'
Till I ses-"Let's git out o' this quick
An' change that `ere cheque at th' bankers,
Afore he gits on to the trick.

Then Jim he gi's me the paper,
An' when I reads it-oh Lord!
I see'd it couldn't be cash'd here,
For on the Diss Bank it wor drawed.

So then I stood there a-starin.
Till Jim, he ses-ses he
"Ow'd White Nell she goes like the darvil,
Just yow git your leg across she."

I never stopped for no talkin',
'Cept to tell him to git clear away;
Then I hopp'd up on the ow'd pony
As she grabb'd a last mouthful o' hay.


We tored thro' Earsham village,
An' turned `fore yow Bits to th' mill;
All along th' road near th' river,
An' down the ow'd Back Hill.

An' th' little ow'd mare wor still pullin',
So, as she wor goin' that well
I went thro' Homersfield tearin',
But I stopp'd at th' ow'd Wotell Bell

There I call'd for two pints of October,
One for me and one for th' mare;
She could drink from a glass like a Christian,
An' didn't she make th' folks stare!

Well, we didn't stop long a-drinkin',
But we tored on our way again,
Till we came to Redenhall Church, bor,
Where the ringers wor ringin' amain.

An' the little ow'd mare didn't like `em,
They made such a din and a noise;
An' then to make things worser -
From the schule came those warmints o' boys.

An' they set up a-screechin' an' yellin'
Till I thowt I'd never get through,
But Nelly she set out a-kickin',
An' I managed to clout one or two.

So at last we got to Halston,
An' a fine place to live in it ere
(Why, there's a'most more pubs nor housen!
An' folks don't neglect `em there.)

But we didn't stop in the town, bor,
But went on to the ow'd Cherry Tree,
Where I got some more ale for Nelly,
An' a small glass o' Hollands for me.

Then away we bolted thro' Needham,
Past Brogdish, an' Billingford Mill,
An' never stopped at Thorpe Parva,
But raced right down the Scole Hill.

Where a pretty gal started to call me,
As I passed the White Hart door,
Ses she-"Billy, b'aint yow a stoppin',
Yow never `as passed us afore?"

So I pulls up jest for a minute,
An' cracks a joke or two,
While ow'd Nelly stood steamin' an' smokin'
Like a bilin' mash-tub at brew.

I'd a bit on a job to start her,
For she thowt sh'd done enow;
She'd a jaded if I'd let her,
But I banged her along somehow.

Well, I gits to Diss about noon-time,
An' ask if I'll ha' it in gold
So I ses-"In course" -tho' his dawdlin'
Made me turn all hot an' cold.

But at last he hands it to me,
An' ses he, "Tis a verry fine day."
That's a bit o' the truth then, thinks I,
But I didn't stop to say.

An' would yow believe it, bor, now
As I corned straight out o' there,
I runned right into that swell chap,
As had bought our kickin' Bay Mare.

An' he guv a sort o' grab at me,
But I made a jump away
An' chucks my leg over Nelly,
An' shouts, "Did yow come on the Bay?"

Well, he didn't gi' me no answer,
Or I didn't wait to hear,
But I banged th' little ow'd pony,
An' left him alone to swear.

Ah, them was good times in Bungay,
For us dealing chaps an' th' likes;
Now we can't do nothin' no-how,
What with tale-ge-raphs an' bikes!