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Fakenham Fair

[trad.]

Peter Bellamy sang Fakenham Fair unaccompanied in 1968 on his first solo LP, Mainly Norfolk. He commented in the album liner notes:

Yarmouth Town and Fakenham Fair, straight forward Good-Time songs, were both learned from Pete Bullen of Norwich who had them from his grandfather.

Tim Laycock sang Fakenham Fair in 1976 on the fundraiser album, The Second Folk Review Record.

Bellowhead recorded Fakenham Fair for their 2008 CD Matachin. Jon Boden commented in the liner notes:

The origins of this song are somewhat murky. Peter Bellamy learnt it from a Peter Bullen of Norwich, who learnt it from his grandfather. There are, as far as we know, no other collected versions of the song so it seems likely it was unique to the Bullen family. The language seems relatively modern leading some to suggest that Bullen's grandfather may have been the composer. There are other more sinister conspiracy theories but we don't go in for that sort of thing here at Bellowhead HQ.

Jon Boden also sang Fakenham Fair as the September 7, 2010 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

Lyrics

Peter Bellamy sings Fakenham Fair

I never really fell in love till I went up to Fakenham Fair
And I chanced for to meet with a carnival girl a-selling the chances there
I tried for a lamp or a Spanish shawl or a golden filigree
But all the while her eyes were saying, “Oh! Come take a chance on me.”

Chorus (after each verse):
So swing around the merry-go-round,
Give the wheel of fortune a whirl,
For the finest prize at Fakenham Fair
Is the pretty carnival girl.

Her eyes were blue, her hair it was brown and her lips they were soft and red
And a shape like hers I had never seen and my eyes well they popped from my head
But I was young and innocent but still even I could see
That the way she laughed and she winked my way it said, “Come take a chance on me.”

The old folks said, “She ain't for you, boy, oh, what will the old people think?”
But I took my chance and I won that girl just as quick as an eye could wink
And the very best day in all my life, whatever come to pass,
Was the day that I went up to Fakenham Fair and I won me a carnival lass.

Bellowhead sing Fakenham Fair

I never really fell in love till I went to Fakenham Fair
I chanced for to meet with a carnival girl a-selling the fortunes there
I tried for a lamp or a Spanish shawl or a golden filigree
But all the while her eyes were saying, “Oh! Come take a chance on me.”

Chorus (after each verse):
So swing around the merry-go-round,
Give the wheel of fortune a whirl.
The finest prize at Fakenham Fair
Is the pretty carnival girl.

Her eyes were blue and her hair was brown and her lips they were soft and red
And I'd never seen a shape like hers and my eyes nearly popped from my head
For I was young and innocent though still even I could see
The way that she smiled and winked my way said, “Come take a chance on me.”

The old boys said, “She's not for you, now, what will the old people think?”
But I took my chance and I won that girl just as quick as an eye could wink
And the finest day in all my life, whatever may come to pass,
Was the day that I went to Fakenham Fair and I won me a carnival lass.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Origins: Fakenham Fair.