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Bampton Fair

[Paul Wilson]

Tony Rose sang Paul Wilson's song in 1982 on his album Poor Fellows. He commented in the sleeve notes:

Bampton is traditionally Devon's chief pony fair. [Since 1258,] It takes place on the last Thursday in October, and is still an important gathering for travellers.

The Melrose Quartet recorded Bampton Fair in 2013 for their CD Fifty Verses. They commented in their liner notes:

Written by Paul Wilson about the ancient Brampton Fair in Devon, once a very important pony-trading event but largely taken over by a funfair by the time he visited in the 1970s. The song includes examples of Romani speech including “grai” for horse. James first heard it sung by Tony Rose.

Lyrics

Are you going to Bampton Fair?
    Get your beer down, bob, we're moving.
Are you going to Bampton Fair,
    Boy?
I'll go to the fair like we always done,
Get in the car and give it a run,
Get a few friends and have some fun.
    Down at the Bampton Fair, boy,
    Down at the Bampton Fair.

Who did you see at the Bampton Fair?
    Get your beer down, bob, we're moving.
Who did you see at the Bampton Fair,
    Boy?
Young ones, old ones, me and you,
Travellers, farmers, visitors too,
They even had a T.V. crew,
    Down at the Bampton Fair, boy,
    Down at the Bampton Fair.

What did you drink at the Bampton Fair?
    Get your beer down, bob, we're moving.
What did you drink at the Bampton Fair,
    Boy?
Twenty-one pints and one for my head,
Or a scotch or a brandy or a port instead,
All served up in a muddy old shed,
    Down at the Bampton Fair, boy,
    Down at the Bampton Fair.

What did you buy at the Bampton Fair?
    Get your beer down, bob, we're moving.
What did you buy at the Bampton Fair,
    Boy?
A crockery set that's got no cups,
A brand new shirt that's got no cuffs,
A bloomin' old grai that's got no puff,
    Down at the Bampton Fair, boy,
    Down at the Bampton Fair.

What did you get at the Bampton Fair?
    Get your beer down, bob, we're moving.
What did you get at the Bampton Fair,
    Boy?
Two black eyes and a broken nose,
I caught a cold and I damn near froze,
A bump on me head and I tore my clothes,
    Down at the Bampton Fair, boy,
    Down at the Bampton Fair.

Will you go next year to Bampton Fair?
    Get your beer down, bob, we're moving.
Will you go next year to Bampton Fair,
    Boy?
If the pubs are open and the beer is free,
If the landlord says, “It's all on me.”
If I can't think of anywhere else to be,
    I'll go to Bampton Fair, boy,
    I'll go to Bampton Fair.