Limpy Jack

Limpy Jack
Three keeper’s houses stood in a square,
Right fol laural fol diddle addidy,
Three keeper’s houses stood in a square,
Fal diddle laural lay,
Three keeper’s houses stood in a square;
They were put there to look after the deer,
And each one of them was a mile compared,
Right fol diddle, laural lal lay.
As sung by Danny Brazil, Gloucester 12 May 1966 (Springthyme 66.6.5). In: Shepheard, Peter. Folk Songs and Ballads of the Brazil Family of Gloucester (1967) and on The Brazil Family: Down by the Old Riverside MTCD345-7 (2007) (CD1: 6).

The song is more commonly known in various collections as Thornymoor Woods (Roud 222).

Three keeper’s houses stood in a square,
Right fol laural fol diddle addidy,
Three keeper’s houses stood in a square,
Fal diddle laural lay,
Three keeper’s houses stood in a square;
They were put there to look after the deer,
And each one of them was a mile compared,
Right fol diddle, laural lal lay.

Now me and my dogs went out one night,
Right fol laural fol diddle addidy,
Me and my dogs went out one night,
Fol diddle laural lay;
Me and my dogs went out one night,
To catch a fat buck away we went,
To catch a fat buck was out intent,
Right fol diddle laural lal Iay.

Now we hunted the woods all round and round,
Right fol laural fol diddle addidy,
We hunted the woods all round and round,
Fol diddle laural lay;
The best good dog all out of ten,
He came to me both bloody and lame,
And sorry was I to see the same,
Right fol diddle laural lal lay.

I’ll take my spikestaff in my hand,
Right fol laural fol diddle addidy,
I’ll take my spikestaff in my hand,
Fol diddle laural lay.
I’ll take my spikestaff in my hand,
I’ll range the wood till I find that man,
I’ll wallop his bones all if I can,
Right fol diddle laural lal lay.
Now we hunted the woods all round and round,
Right fol loural fol diddle addidy,
We hunted the wood all round and round,
Fol diddle laural lay;
We hunted the woods all round and round,
We found a fat buck laid dead on the ground,
That was my little dog fetched him down,
Right fol diddle laural lal lay.

Now Limpy Jack had a buck up his back,
He was like a pedlar with a pack up his back,
He was like a pedlar with a pack up his back,
Right fol diddle laural lal lay.

Now we ordered a butcher to skin the game,
Right fol loural fol diddle addidy,
Likewise another to do the same,
Fol diddle laural lay;
The first good joint we offered for sale,
Was to an old woman that drew bad ale,
She had us all took and put in jail,
Right fol diddle laural lal lay.

Now we were put in prison strong,
Unto the assizes did come on,
Bad cess to the hour of liberty, [cess: luck
My brave and British boys.

Thorney Wood Chase, once a part of Sherwood Forest, was enclosed sometime around 1790. Twenty years later John Pitts issued our present song on a broadside titled The Lads of Thorney Moor Wood, which was reprinted by several later printers. There are 69 instances in Roud, including 15 sound recordings - and all are from England.







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