Strawberry Fair (song)

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Strawberry Fair is an English folk song (Roud Folk Song Index 173).

The song was collected by H. Fleetwood Sheppard in Broadstone, Devon, in 1891. The text may have been re-written by Sabine Baring Gould and Fleetwood Sheppard.

Lyrics[edit]

As I was going to Strawberry Fair,
Singing, singing, Butter-cups and Daisies
I met a maiden taking her ware,
Fol-de-dee!
Her eyes were blue and golden her hair,
As she went on to Strawberry Fair,
Ri-fol, Ri-fol, Tol-de-riddle-li-do,
Ri-fol, Ri-fol, Tol-de-riddle-dee.

"Kind Sir, pray pick of my basket!" she said,
Singing, singing, Butter-cups and Daisies
"My cherries ripe, or my roses red,
Fol-de-dee!
My strawberries sweet, I can of them spare,
As I go on to Strawberry Fair."
Ri-fol, Ri-fol, Tol-de-riddle-li-do,
Ri-fol, Ri-fol, Tol-de-riddle-dee.

I want to purchase a generous heart,
Singing, singing, Butter-cups and Daisies
A tongue that neither is nimble or tart.
Tol-de-dee!
An honest mind, but such trifles are rare
I doubt if they're found at Strawberry Fair.
Ri-fol, Ri-fol, Tol-de-riddle-li-do,
Ri-fol, Ri-fol, Tol-de-riddle-dee.

The price I offer, my sweet pretty maid
Singing, singing, Butter-cups and Daisies
A ring of gold on your finger displayed,
Tol-de-dee!
So come- make over to me your ware,
In church today at Strawberry Fair.
Ri-fol, Ri-fol, Tol-de-riddle-li-do,
Ri-fol, Ri-fol, Tol-de-riddle-dee.

Versions[edit]

  • A version was recorded by Anthony Newley (Decca F11295, 1960, "Strawberry Fair/ A Boy Without A Girl") which reached number 3 in the UK Charts. The beginning is the same as the traditional version, but then the rest is altered for humorous effect, for example: I told her straight / I want a girl with a generous heart / (Singing, singing buttercups and oojahs) / Without a tongue that is wicked or smart / (Foldadee) / And an honest mind but these are rare / I doubt If I'll find 'em at this crummy old fair / (Rifle, Rifle, Tolderiddleay)". In the same year, Newley also performed a shortened version of this arrangement in episode 5 of his surreal comedy show The Strange World of Gurney Slade.

References[edit]

  • Sabine Baring Gould and H. Fleetwood Sheppard, Songs of the West, 1905.

External links[edit]