Ballad of Widecombe FairWidecombe in the Moor
Traditional Song
 

 

‘Widecombe Fair’ is a traditional Devonshire folk song known erroneously to many people as ‘Uncle Tom Cobley and all’.
 
There are several villages on Dartmoor with gravestones bearing names mentioned in the song; however the village of Spreyton just north of Dartmoor lays claim to having the grave of Tom Cobley in the parish churchyard.
 
Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare.
All along, down along, out along lee.
For I want for to go to Widecombe Fair,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
 
And when shall I see again my grey mare?
All along, down along, out along lee.
By Friday soon, or Saturday noon,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
 
So they harnessed and bridled the old grey mare.
All along, down along, out along lee.
And off they drove to Widecombe.Fair,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
 
Then Friday came, and Saturday noon.
All along, down along, out along lee.
But Tom Pearce’s old mare hath not trotted home,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
 
So Tom Pearce he got up to the top o’ the hill.
All along, down along, out along lee.
And he seed his old mare down a-making her will,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
 
So Tom Pearce’s old mare, her took sick and died.
All along, down along, out along lee.
And Tom he sat down on a stone, and he cried
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
 
But this isn’t the end o’ this shocking affair.
All along, down along, out along lee.
Nor, though they be dead, of the horrid career
Of Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
 
When the wind whistles cold on the moor of the night.
All along, down along, out along lee.
Tom Pearce’s old mare doth appear ghastly white,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
 
And all the long night be heard skirling and groans.
All along, down along, out along lee.
From Tom Pearce’s old mare in her rattling bones,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
 
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Google Map - Grave site of Uncle Tom Cobley, churchyard, Spreyton