Subscribe to our Newsletter

Poor Old Horse, The

Back to browse page
Performer: Unknown
Place Collected: Quenington
Date collected: Between 1913 and 1916
Collector: Williams, Alfred
Roud Number: 513

This song has been around in the tradition for over 200 years.  Folklorists have suggested that it is symbolic of an old ritual and certainly in the north of England in certain locations, the song and an accompanying hobbyhorse are part of a mummers play in which the horse dies and is revived.  There is no evidence of the play incorporating this song being performed further south in England but the song persisted and has been collected in many southern counties.


Notes by Gwilym Davies 7 April 2016