> Peter Bellamy > Songs > Young Roger Esq.

Young Roger Esquire

[ Roud 680 ; Laws P8 ; G/D 4:761 ; Ballad Index LP08 ; trad.]

Phil Tanner sang Young Roger Esquire on a BBC recording made on May 20, 1949 at Penmaen. It was included in 1968 on his eponymous EFDSS album, Phil Tanner, and in 2003 on his Veteran anthology CD The Gower Nightingale.

Peter Bellamy sang Young Roger Esq. unaccompanied on his second LP, Fair England's Shore (1969). A live recording from 1980 from Sydney Opera House was included on his privately distributed double cassette An Anthology of Traditional Folk Songs 1966-1990 and on the Free Reed anthologies Wake the Vaulted Echoes and The Ballads of Peter Bellamy.

Peter Bellamy commented in the original album's liner notes:

Young Roger Esq. is an unusual song which I learned from a recording of the great Gowan singer, Phil Tanner—does that make it a Welsh song? Either way it is an out of the way sort of a tune, and the “punch line” of the story has a rare, sharp humour. There is a last verse to the song, which I have omitted, because I feel that it detracts sadly from the impact of the image of the “young man who come a-courting Father's grey mare.”

Jon Boden sang Young Roger Esquire as the June 26, 2010 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day. He commented in his blog:

A real Bellamy tour-de-force of which this is a pale imitation. Fantastic song though.

Lyrics

Peter Bellamy sings Young Roger Esquire

Young Roger Esquire came a-courting of late,
To a rich farmer's daughter named beautiful Kate;
And she for her fortune had five thousand pound,
With rich rings and jewels, with rich rings and jewels,
And a piece of fine ground.

Now the day being appointed and the money laid down
It was not that a fine fortune of five thousand pound.
So young Roger he swore by his curly long hair,
“I will not wed your daughter, I will not wed your daughter
Without the grey mare.”

Then up spoke her father and thus say-ed he,
“I thought that you lov-ed my daughter indeed.
But as I do have her thus far in my care
You shall not have my daughter, you shall not have my daughter
Nor yet the grey mare.”

So twelve months being over and a little above
Young Roger Esquire met Katie his love
Saying, “Katie, loving Katie, O don't you know me?”
“Such a man of your likeness I chanced for to see,
Such a man of your likeness with curly long hair
He once came a-courting, he once came a-courting
My father's grey mare.”