Published on April 4th, 2021 | by All Things Warrington


‘Warrington Fair – a modern take’ by Andy Green

If you struggled to make sense of Warrikin Fair, Lancashire’s oldest ballad from circa 1548, here’s a modern take on it from 2015.

Gather round me people and don’t dilly dally
I’ll tell you how Gilbert Scott sold his horse Barry,
He sold his horse Barry at Warrington fair
But when he’ll get paid, he knows not, I swear.
So when he came home and told his wife Grace
She grabbed a big stick and walloped him over the face.
She hit him with such an almighty whack
That poor Gilbert Scott thought he’d broken his back!
“Wife” pleaded he, “If you just let me rise
“I’ll tell you the story about the man who has lied.”
 “I took him to be some gentleman’s son
 “For he wined and dined me, and we sealed it with rum.”
“Then he gave me a dinner of lovely fish pie
“And from what I could tell he was a genuine guy.”
“You fool” shouted Grace, “Tell me where does he dwell?”
“Sweet Jesus of Mary, I simply can’t tell”
With her patience in tatters, feeling lost and forlorn
Grace set out for Warrington the following morn
And there she resided for five market days
Waiting for the villain to enter her gaze.
And whilst she was walking one day through the town
A view in the distance made her grimace and frown:
It was Gilbert’s horse Barry with the rogue at the reins:
Sending poor Grace into a terrible rage.
“Come hither, you scoundrel, you and I need to speak!!”
At which the villainous rascal made a hasty retreat,
Galloping quickly through the streets and the lanes
Until the animal got tired and needed to graze.
When Grace got him cornered she didn’t hold back:
“If I don’t get me money then I’ll make your neck snap”!
“The gallows are waiting so tell me what will it be?
“The horse or me money or the hangman for thee?”
“Money?” lied the villain, “I have none to spare!”
“Okay then,” said Grace “I’ll take back me mare!”
But as she reached for the reins of the beast in the corner
The rascal resisted, causing further disorder.
“You bandit!” cried Grace taking hold of his throat
“I won’t let you go until your neck it is broke”,
Between them they made such an almighty din
That the local constabulary was duly called in.
The court found in favour of the passionate housewife
Who got her money plus interest and is now living the high life
On the edge of Mersey in a nice Tudor cottage
And Gilbert her husband? He got not a sausage!

Adapted by Andy Green (2015)

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