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Bring Us a Barrel

[Keith Marsden]

Derek and Dorothy Elliott sang Keith Marsden's song Bring Us a Barrel in 1972 on their Trailer album Derek & Dorothy Elliott.

Keith Marsden sang Bring Us a Barrel with his group Cockersdale in 1985 on their EFDSS album of his songs, Prospect Providence. He noted:

[Written] 1966—the first song of them all and little did I realise how addictive song writing would become. To gain acceptance in the folk climate of the time, I originally passed it off as “collected from Charlie Hayes of Reading” so I do not now complain if so many think of it as traditional.

The Witches of Elswick sang Bring Us a Barrel in 2003 on their first album, Out of Bed. They noted:

Fay [Hield] and Bry[ony Griffith] wanted to do one of Keith's songs as he was a great song writer and from Yorkshire. Although this is traditionally seen as a bloke's drinking song, we can claim to have drunk many a bloke under the table thus justifying our right to sing it.

This video was taken at the Kings Arms during the Dartmoor Folk Festival 2009 in South Zeal, Devon:


The Witches of Elswick sing Bring Us a Barrel

No man that's a drinker takes ale from a pin
For there is too little good stuff there within.
Four and a half is its measure in full,
Too small for a sup, not enough for a pull.

Chorus (after each verse):
Then bring us a barrel and set it up right,
Bring us a barrel to last out the night;
Bring us a barrel, no matter how high,
We'll drink it up lads, we'll drink it dry.

That poor little firkin's nine gallons in all,
Though the beer it be good, the size is too small.
For lads that are drinkers, like you and like I,
That firkin small barrel too will quickly runs dry.

Then bring forth the puncheon and roll out the butt,
Them's the beast measures before us to put.
Our pots will go round and good ale it will flow
And we'll be content for an hour or so,


See also the Mudcat Café thread Tune Req: Bring Us a Barrel (Keith Marsden).