> Cyril Tawney > Songs > Truro Agricultural Show

Truro Agricultural Show

[ Roud 21219 ; VWML AW/5/2 ; Wiltshire 251 ; Mudcat 168353 ; trad.]

Roy Palmer wrote in his 1975 book A Touch on the Times an Truro Agricultural Show:

Though the Highland and Agricultural Society had been holding shows in Scotland for some time, the first large-scale agricultural show in England was organised by the Royal Agricultural Society at Oxford in 1839. County Agricultural Societies were then encouraged to hold their own shows, which attracted farmers from long distances and helped to promote improved methods of farming. This song dates from the 1860s. There is a good illustration of the show ground at Worcester in 1863 in John Higgs, The Land (Studio Vista).

Trotto sang The Agricultural Show in 1976 on their eponymous Free Reed album of “songs and dances from the middle ages to the present day”, Trotto.

Cyril Tawney sang Truro Agricultural Show n 1970 on his Argo album A Mayflower Garland. He noted:

Taken from Dr. Dunstan’s Cornish Dialect and Folk Songs. He introduces the song as follows:

In June 1861 was the first visit of the Bath and West of England Show to Cornwall. The Show of the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Society and the Exhibition of the Cornwall Horticultural Society were merged with it for that year, and the combined Show was held at Truro. This song sprang up and was immensely popular. The melody, based on an old Dance Tune, and several of the verses, were communicated by Captain Collett, Perrancoombe, 6 January 1930. Other verses were contributed by the late Frank Trebilcock, Perranporth.

Bill Smith sang a verse of The Agricultural Show in a 1980 recording that was included in 2011 on his Musical Traditions anthology A Country Life. Rod Stradling noted:

Learned from Edwin (Titch) Luscott in the Tally Ho! An odd little advertising jingle.

The following was collected by Alfred Williams in Wiltshire, and could plausibly be part of the same song. [see below]

There are numerous 19th century broadsides called The Agricultural Show, The Grand Agricultural Show, and so on. They're all very similar in tone, and the same motifs keep appearing, but they are rarely exactly the same. Steve Roud is inclined to give them all the same number, 21219.

Lyrics

Agricultural Show collected by Alfred Williams [ VWML AW/5/2 ]

There's soldiers and sailors and boys from the plough
And four headed oxen and two headed cow,
But the best thing of all I'm sure 'twas there,
But I could not tell one half that was there.

I'll tell you the truth and I don't give a pin,
There's a lot of old women gets drunk with gin.

Bill Smith sings The Agricultural Show

There'll be horses and carts and patent ploughs
Mares and stallions, bulls and cows
Hens and chickens, and cocks that crow
All to be seen at the agricultural show.

Cyril Tawney sang Truro Agricultural Show Truro Agricultural Show in A Touch on the Times

Ee-I-O and away we go
To Truro Agricultural Show.

Good people all who hear my voice,
You now have reason to rejoice;
For off to Truro you may go,
To see the Agricultural Show.

Good people all who hear my voice,
You now have reason to rejoice;
For off to Truro you may go,
To see the Agericultural Show.

Chorus (after each verse):
But/So/And don’t go kissing the girls you know
At Truro Agricultural Show.

Chorus (after each verse):
But/So/And don’t go kissing the girls you know
At Truro Agericultural Show.

A motley group you will see there,
Fat farmers and their wives so rare;
Their bouncing daughters neat and clean,
With a pork-pie hat and a crinoline.

A motley group you will see there,
Fat farmers and their wives so rare;
Their bouncing daughters neat and clean,
With a pork-pie hat and a crinoline.

From Newlyn East, St Columb, too,
There’s hump-backed Jim and carroty Joe;
And a special train upon the rail
To bring all the thieves from Bodmin Jail.

From Newlyn East and St Columb, too,
There’s hump-backed Jim and carroty Joe;
And a special train upon the rail
To bring all the thieves from Bodmin Jail.

They’ve got a band from Plymouth down,
The best that ever was in the town;
All the gentry will be there:
It’s twice as pretty at Whitsun Fair.

They’ve got a band from Plymouth down,
The best that ever was in the town;
And all the gentry will be there:
It’s almost as pretty at Whitsun Fair.

There’s horses, ponies, cows and calves,
Truro don’t do things by halves.
Devon bulls, sheep, pigs and geese:
You can see it all for a shilling apiece.

There’s horses, ponies, cows and calves,
For Truro don’t do things by halves.
There be Devon bulls, sheep, pigs and geese:
You can see it all for a shilling apiece.

There’s things up there that’ll make you laugh;
There’s a two-legged cow and a nine-legged calf,
A billy-goat that comes from Wales
With sixteen eyes and seventeen tails.

There’s things up there that’ll make you laugh;
There’s a two-legged cow and a nine-legged calf,
A billy-goat that comes from Wales
With sixteen eyes and seventeen tails.

Now all around I hear them say,
“We’ll see this show this very day;
Off we go, all in a row,
To Truro Agricultural Show.”

Now all around I hear them say,
“We’ll see that show this very day;
So off we go, all in a row,
To Truro Agericultural Show.”

I’m glad you’re come, I see you’re here;
There’s thousands come from everywhere:
Rich and poor and high and low,
At Truro Agricultural Show.

I’m glad you’re come, I see you’re here;
There’s thousands come from everywhere:
Rich and poor, high and low,
At Truro Agericultural Show.