Location: Staveley, Derbyshire, England (SK4375)
Year: Published 1946
Time of Occurrence: [Not given]
Collective Name: [Not given]


Ivor Gatty
The Old Tup and its Ritual
Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, 1946, Vo.5, No.1, pp.26-27




{Introduction (Spoken).}

[MIDI music sound file] [ABC music notation]
As I was going to Derby.
Upon a market day,
I saw the finest tup. sir.
That ever was fed on hay,
Fay-a-lay, laddigo lay
The horns that grew on this tup's head
They grew so mighty high.
That every time it shook its head
They rattled against the sky.
Fay-a-lay etc
The hair that grew on this tup's back
It grew so mighty high,
That eagles built their nests in it,
And their young ones did cry.
Fay-a-lay etc.
The butcher that stuck this tup
Saw the danger of his life;
He was up to his knees in blood,
Calling out for a longer knife.
Fay-a-lay etc.
And all the men of Derby
Came begging for his tail,
To ring St. George's passing-bell
At the top of Derby Jail.
Fay-a-lay etc.
And all the women of Derby
Came begging for his ears,
To make them leather aprons
To lasts them forty years.
Fay-a-lay. etc
And all the boys of Derby
Came begging for his eyes,
To make a pair of footballs,
For they were just the size.
Fay-a-lay, etc.
And now my song is ended,
I have no more to say;
So please will you give us a New Year's gift
And let us go away.
Fay-a-lay, etc.


Originally prepared for textual analysis during his PhD research on the 'Origins and Development of English Folk Plays' by Peter Millington (2002).
Original spelling and typography is retained, except that superscripts, long s and ligatured forms are not encoded.
Line identifiers are those used for line types in the Folk Play Scripts Explorer.

Gatty's Introduction:

"The Staveley variant. Contributed by Mrs. Wragg, a young Staveley woman. She wrote out the words and tune, picking it out on the piano, but she was shy about singing it. She said she had known the performance all her life. The boys generally used a real sheep's head fastened on a pole, the actor being covered with a rug; but she can remember, a long time ago, they had a real sheep-skin and a ram's head with horns."

Peter Millington's Notes:

This text is reproduced with the kind permission of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

File History:

2004-07-26 - Scanned, OCRed and encoded by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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