Annotation:Durham Old Women

Find traditional instrumental music

Back to Durham Old Women

DURHAM OLD WOMEN. AKA and see "Joyful Days is Coming." English, Air (9/8 time). England, Northumberland. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The song begins:

As aw was gannin' to Durham,
Aw met wi' three jolly brisk women;
Aw asked 'What news at Durham?'
They said--"Joyfull news is coming:
"There's three sheeps' heads i' the pot,
A peck o' peasmeal in the pudding;"
They jump'd, laugh'd, and skipp'd at that,
For the joyful days are coming. (Bruce & Stokoe)

Matt Seattle remarks that the tune is taken note-for-note from William Vickers' 1770 music manuscript (where it is called "Joyful Days is Coming"), with a transposition to G. However, the tune and the words (taken from Bell's Rhymes of Northern Bards) do not match, and there has been no attempt at resolution. Apparently, says Seattle, Bruce and Stokoe married the text with Vickers' tune based on the strength of the line "joyful days are coming." He suggests the second strain was perhaps derived from "How She'll Never Be Guided", also known as "Faraway Wedding (1) (The)/Farr-awa Wedding (The)."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; p. 109.

Recorded sources:

Back to Durham Old Women