> Joseph Taylor > Songs > Dean Robinson: T'owd Yowe Wi' One Horn

T'owd Yowe Wi' One Horn

[ Roud 1762 ; Ballad Index VWL082 ; VWML PG/19/3/3 ; trad.]

Dean Robinson sang T'owd Yowe Wi' One Horn on a wax cylinder recorded in 1908 by Percy Grainger. This recording was printed in 1959 in Vaughan Williams and Lloyd's Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, and it was included in 1972 on the Leader album Unto Brigg Fair, The album's sleeve notes commented:

Mr Robinson's version of this humorous song appears to be unique. A published version [VWML PG/19/3/3] , was based on the transcription made at Brigg in 1905, ie. before Grainger phonographed this version in 1908.

Lyrics

Dean Robinson sings T'owd Yowe Wi' One Horn

There was an owd yowe an' she had but one horn,
    O dear Johnny.
And she picked up her living amongst the green corn,
    So turn the wheel round so bonny.

One day said the pindar to his man,
    O dear Johnny.
I pra' thee go and pin yon owd yowe if tha' can,
    So turn the wheel round so bonny.

So off this man went for to pin this old yowe,
    O dear Johnny.
She knocked him three times down amongst the green corn,
    So turn the wheel round so bonny.

Then the butcher was sent for to kill this old ewe,
    Fifty naw me nonny.
Ah up butcher comes a-whetting his knife
“O now,” says t'owd yowe, “I must fight for me life,”
    So turn the wheel round so bonny.

T'owd yowe she started a-whetting her pegs,
    O dear Johnny.
She run at t'owd butcher and brok' both his legs,
    So turn the wheel round so bonny.

The owd yowe was sent to fight for the king,
    O dear Johnny.
She killed horsemen and footmen just as they came in,
    So turn the wheel round so bonny.

Acknowledgements

Dean Robinson's lyrics were copied from the liner notes of Unto Brigg Fair.