Cob Coaling Song
We come a cob a coalin', come a coalin', come a coalin'
We come a cob a coalin' on/(for) Bon Fire Night.
We come a cob-coalin' on/(for) Bon Fire Night
For coal and for money we hope you'll set right,
Fol the ray, fall the ray, fol the riddle-ee-I dum day.
Now the first house we come to is an old cobbler's shop,
with nought on his cornice but an old pepper pot,
Pepper pot, ball of wax morning to night,
If you give us nowt, we'll take nowt, farewell and good night.
Now me father is dead. He's dead and he's gone,
Attention to his grave.
Hello boys, hello boys, let the bells ring,
Fire boys, fire boys, fire we sing.
The fifth of November we hope you'll remember
for gunpowder treason and plot,
I see no reason for Gunpowder treason to ever be forgot.
Come a cob a coalin', come a coalin', come a coalin',
We come a cob a coalin' on Bon Fire Night.
Oldham Tinkers- add a verse:
We knock at your knocker, and ring at your bell,
To see what you'll give us for singing so well,
(Iona and Peter Opie, 1992: 120 identify this excerpt as a ditty used by
This verse follows the verse about the cobbler.
They also have a chant which they recite after they insert before the above
Up a ladder, down a wall, a cob a call 'll save us all
If you haven't got a penny, a 'apenny will do,
If you haven't got a 'apenny, God bless you
Note from the Voices CD insert:
The English tradition abounds with rituals ranging through Mummers Plays, Well D
ressing, Rush Cart Bearing, Ball Games and so on (it is worth seeking out a copy
of The National Trust Guide to Traditional Customs of Britain by Brian Shuel, p
ublished by Webb & Bower). This song, from the Lancashire and Yorkshire border i
s associated with Bonfire Night. It is believed to have been part of a Mummers P
lay before transferring to the more recent calendar ritual. It was given to The
Watersons in the 1960s by A. L. Lloyd. It was to have been included on their alb
um on ritual songs, Frost And Fire, in the 1960s but space did not permit. (Topi
c Records has recently reissued Frost And Fire as TSCD 136). The Watersons in fu
ll flight is
that even when singing in unison there is an aural illusion of harmony. This is
the first time this line-up has recorded and The Watersons were Norma, Michael
and Ann Waterson, Martin and Eliza Carthy and Jill Pidd.