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The Old Horse [1819-1844]

J.Pitts (1819-1844)


Time of Occurrence: 
[Not given]
Collective name: 
[Not given]


The christening and diversion of Ballyporeen
London, J.Pitts, [1819-1844]




{The old horse}


My cloathing once was linsey wolsey fine.
My hair hung lank and my coat it did shine.
Buy now I'm grown old and nature doth decay.
My master he doth frown and thus I heard him say
Oh! Ball; oh,


My lodging once was in a stable warm,
To keep my tender limbs from cold and harm
But now in open fields I am forced to go
For to beat the cold winter's hail rain and snow


My feeding once was of the best hay.
That ever grew in fields or meadows gay.
But no such comfort can I find at all,
For now I am forced to nab short grass that grows against the wall,


My shoulders were both fat, fine smooth and round
But now corrupted rotten, and unsound.
And my hollow hoof that was both smooth & hard
Now by the blacksmith is most badly serv'd.


He is old, he is both dull and slow,
He eats my hay and he spoils my straw.
Nor neither is he fit in my team to draw,
Whip him skin him. let him a hunting go.


My skin unto the huntsman I bequeath
And my flesh unto the hounds I freely give
My swift that has run so many miles
It was over hedges ditches, likewise gates and stiles


Peter Millington's Notes:

This song is one of two on a broadside ballad in the Johnson Ballads (Ref.768), in the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. The main song on the sheet is "The christening and diversion of Ballyporeen", with "The Old Horse" occupying the bottom right hand corner. An image of the sheet can be found online in Bodleian Library allegro Catalogue of Ballads at, Item No.20472. Search for "old horse" in titles.

Imprint: Wholesale Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6 Great st Andrew street 7 Dials.