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The Golden Glove / The Squire of Tamworth / Dog and Gun

[ Roud 141 ; Laws N20 ; Ballad Index LN20 ; trad.]

Muckram Wakes sang The Squire of Tamworth in 1973 on their first album, A Map of Derbyshire.

Frank Hinchliffe sang The Golden Glove in 1976 at home in a recording by Mike Yates and Ruairidh and Alvina Greig. This was published in 1977 on his Topic LP In Sheffield Park: Traditional Songs from South Yorkshire. The Greigs commented in the liner notes:

The Squire of Tamworth or Dog and Gun, as it is sometimes called, has been popular with traditional singers for at least 200 years. Timothy Connor, a prisoner of war in England during the American Revolutionary War, included this song in a song-book he compiled during his imprisonment from 1777 until 1779. His version and Frank's are quite similar. Since Connor's day the song has been printed by many broadside printers, and has been widely collected in both England and America. It is a deservedly popular song with a fine romantic story. Robert Bell in Songs of the Peasants writes that “it is traditionally reported to be founded on an incident which occurred in the reign of Elizabeth.” We commented on the length of the song to Frank, who said that he found it one of the easier ones to remember because it was like telling a story, you knew what should happen next.

Nic Jones recorded The Golden Glove for his 1977 album The Noah's Ark Trap. He also played fiddle on this track on Chris Foster's album Layers from the same year.

John Wesley Harding also sang this ballad on his Nic Jones tribute album, Trad Arr Jones.

A 1981 live recording from Shirley Collins can be found on her 4 CD anthology Within Sound.

Sally Barker sang The Golden Glove on her 1992 CD Tango!. That was the first time I heard this song and I instantly fell in love with Karen Tweed's piano accordion. In March 1997, Fairport Convention played The Golden Glove with Sally Barker's tune live at Canterbury Marlowe Theatre. This recording was included in their CD Who Knows Where the Time Goes.

Damien Barber learned The Golden Glove from Nic Jones' LP and recorded it for his 2000 album, The Furrowed Field.

John Spiers & Jon Boden sang Golden Glove on their 2001 CD, Through & Through, and Jon Boden sang it as the August 21, 2010 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day. He commented in the CD sleeve notes:

A song possibly linked to ‘Lord of Misrule’ type customs, often discussed in reference to Shakespearean cross-dressing. The theory runs that annual events where all social conventions were transgressed (women dressed up as men, children became bishops, fools became kings, women proposed to men etc.) acted as a pressure valve for the tensions of a rigid, hierarchical society. Songs indulging similar fantasies have the advantage of being always to hand. The golden glove motif also smacks of pre-Christian magical imagery, but that might just be wishful thinking on my part.

Ruth Notman learnt The Squire of Tamworth from a Will Noble CD and recorded it in 2009 for her second CD, The Life of Lilly.

Jim Moray recorded The Golden Glove in 2012 for his CD Skulk. This YouTube video shows him at Bristol Folk Festival 2011:

Hannah James and Sam Sweeney sang The Golden Glove in 2012 on their second duo album, State and Ancientry. They noted in their liner notes:

Hannah heard this song at the Shepley Folk Festival being sung by Cuthbert Noble of the fantastic Noble family and had to learn a version. This one was collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1904.

Lyrics

Nic Jones sings The Golden Glove

Oh it's of a young squire in Tamworth we hear
And he courted a nobleman's daughter so fair.
And all for to marry her it was his intent;
And the friends and relations they'd given their consent.

Now a day was appointed for their wedding day
And the farmer he was appointed for to give her away;
But as soon as the lady this farmer did spy,
Oh, her heart was inflamed and bitterly she did cry.

And she turned from the squire but nothing she said,
But instead of getting married she took to her bed.
And the thoughts of the farmer so ran in her mind,
A way for to have him she quickly did find.

Coat, waistcoat and trousers the young girl put on
And away she went a-hunting with her dog and her gun.
And she hunted around where the farmer he did dwell
Because in her heart, oh, she loved him right well.

And she oftentimes fired but nothing she killed
Until this young farmer came into the field;
And for to talk with him it was her intent
And with her dog and her gun then to meet him she went.

“Oh I thought you would have been at the wedding,” she cried,
“For to wait on the squire and to give him his bride.”
“Oh no,” said the farmer, “I'll take a sword in my hand.
By honour I'd gain her whenever she command.”

And the lady was pleased when she heard him so bold
And she gave him a glove that was made out of gold;
And she told him that she found it she was coming along
As she went out a-hunting with her dog and her gun.

And this lady went home with a heart full of love
And she gave out a notice that she'd lost her glove
And, “Whoever found it and he brings it to me,
Whoever he is then my husband shall be.”

The farmer he was pleased when he heard of the news
And with a heart full of love to the lady he goes.
“Oh lady, oh lady, I've picked up your glove,
And I hope that you'll be pleased for to grant me some love.”

“Oh it's already granted, I will be your bride,
For I love the sweet breath of the farmer,” she cried.
“I'll be mistress of your dairy and I'll milk all your cows
While my jolly old farmer goes whistling on his plough.”

And it's when they got married and they told of the fun
How she'd gone out a-hunting with her dog and her gun.

Spiers & Boden sing The Golden Glove

Well, it's of a young squire in Tamworth we hear
And he courted a nobleman's daughter so fair.
And all for to marry her it was his intent;
And the friends and relations they've given their consent.

Well, a day was appointed for their wedding day
And the farmer he was appointed for to give her away;
But as soon as the lady the farmer she did spy,
Well, her heart was inflamed and it's so wee she did cry.

Well, she turned from the squire but nothing she said,
And instead of getting married she's took to her bed.
Well, the thoughts of the farmer so ran in her mind,
Well, a way for to have him she quickly did find.

Coat, waistcoat and trousers this young girl put on
And she's gone out a-hunting with her dog and her gun.
And she hunted all around where the farmer he did dwell
Oh, because in her heart, oh, she loved him right well.

And she oftentimes fired but nothing she killed
Until this young farmer came into the field;
And oh for to talk with him it was her intent
So with her heart full of love then to meet him she went.

“Well I thought you would have been at the wedding,” she cried,
“For to wait on the squire and to give him his bride.”
“Oh no,” cried the farmer, “I'll take a sword in my hand.
By honour I'll gain her wherever she commands.”

Well, the lady was pleased when she heard him so bold
And she gave him a glove that was made out of gold;
And she told him that she found it she was coming along
As she went out a-hunting with her dog and her gun.

Well, thus home went this lady with a heart full of love
And she gave out a notice that she lost her glove
And, “Whoever he who finds it and brings it to me,
Well, whoever he is then my husband shall be.”

Well, the farmer was pleased when he heard of the news
And with a heart full of love to the lady he goes.
“Oh lady, oh lady, I've picked up your glove,
And I hope that you'll be pleased for to grant me some love.”

“Well, it's already granted, I will be your bride,
For I love the sweet breath of the farmer,” she cried.
“I'll be mistress of your dairy and I'll milk all your cows
While my jolly old farmer goes whistling on his plough.”

And it's when they got married and they told of the fun
How she'd gone out a-hunting with her dog and her gun.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Origins: The Golden Glove (Dog and Gun).