Yorkshire Garland

Old Jim Slack's Grey Horse

Performed by:
Mick Haywood
Recorded in:
Recorded on:
Recorded by:
Ray Padgett
Farm animals

Archival information

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Master title:
Old Jim Slack's Grey Horse
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Owd Jim Slack 'e 'ad a grey 'oss, such an 'oss as you never did see,
Wi' a lump on 'is rump an' 'is owd tail stump, an' 'is legs bent aht an' blinnd in one e'e.
'E could diddle 'em, 'e could diddle 'em, 'e could diddle 'em dee,
Wi' a lump on 'is rump an' 'is owd tail stump, an' 'is legs bent aht an' blinnd in one e'e.

They put 'im into a sale one day, a-trotted 'im into t' ring;
Auctioneer gor on 'is perch to see what 'e would bring.
'What am I bid for this fine 'oss?' Someone said, ''Auf-a-crown.'
So poor owd 'oss 'e jumped ower t' gate an' galloped streight aht o' town.

They put 'im into a point-to-point, there were fifty gates to jump;
All t' other riders passing by 'e bumped 'em with 'is rump;
They all fell off one by one, till there were quite a pile,
Then 'e took short-cut an' dodged all t' jumps an' won bi 'auf a mile.

A great big circus cam' to town and stopped on t' village green;
All t' folk come from far and near to t' wonders to be seen.
Poor owd 'oss 'e went rahnd back, in t' ring made 'is bow,
An' all folks laughed at t' lump on 'is rump an' 'e darn near stopped all t' show.

'E only 'ad but one real pal, a mongerel terrier dog,
Who one day got 'is front paws fast under a rollin' log.
But t' owd grey 'oss knew what to do, 'e'd sense enough to see,
'E give that log one 'eck of a kick an' 'e set 'is owd pal free.

'E used to tak 'is owd boss to t' club who left 'im in t' cowd outside;
Comin' 'ome they'd a beck to jump an' boss would tan 'is 'ide.
Poor owd 'oss got stalled on t' whip so 'e turned near upside-dahn,
Tucked 'is 'ead an' chucked 'im off an' left 'im there to drahn.

Came a local pageant day, t' owd 'oss 'ad a part to play,
'E disappeared abaht breakfast time, the' thowt 'e'd run away;
But when Lady Godiva she come in, she wor reight cute,
For lass wor perched on t' lump on 'is rump, nowt on but 'er birthday suit.

They thowt they'd retire 'im into a fold in peace to end 'is days,
But a young mare feedin' in t' next field, she didn't mend 'is ways;
'E soon got knack o' jumpin' fence an' nah it wean't be long,
For in a few weeks they picked it aht that 'e'd been courtin' strong.

Recorded by Ray Padget at Mick's Whitby home, 29th December, 2006. Roud 21123
Mick did not sing stanzas 3 and 5 on this occasion. They are here included from the singing of Tommy Daniel himself in the Hudleston Collection (See Songs of the Ridings, 2001, p115). Mick learnt the song direct from Tommy in the 60s when they both lived in Batley.