Robin Spraggon's Auld Grey Mare
X:1 % T:Robin Spraggon's Auld Grey Mare L:1/8 M:6/8 S:Bruce & Stokoe – Northumbrian Minstrelsy Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:C C|CCc B2A|(G2F) E2G|F2E D2C|(c3 c2)C| C2c B2A|G2F E2G|F2E D2C|(c3 c2)|| G|c2d e2f|(dB)c A2G|c2B A2G|G3 GGG| g2e (cd)e|f2d B2B|c2E D2B|(c3 c2)||
ROBIN SPRAGGON'S AULD GREY MARE. AKA and see "Hey Boys Up Go We (3)." English, Air (6/8 time). England, Northumberland. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "In these days of newspapers, railways, and cheap trips, we can scarcely conceive of the pleasure which fairs, harvest homes, and ploughing matches afforded the rural population of other times. To these meetings persons of all degrees came. Class mingled with class, and friendly sympathies were awakened. And when in addition to the strains of the small pipes and the fiddle, some rustic muse was enabled to produce a ballad bearing upon the events of the day, exposing the foibles of some of the personages of the district, the merriment of the gathered crowds was greatly increased. Of this kind is the ballad respecting 'Robin Spraggon's Auld Grey Mare'. Felton, in Northumberland, is the district to which it refers, and it was probably composed about a century ago. The ballad takes the form of the last will and testament of an old mare that seems to have been badly used in its latter days. We are indebted for this ballad to the late Mr. Fairless, of Hexham, who wrote it down, we believe, from memory..." (Bruce & Stokoe).
The miller of Ogle bred me, as I have heard them say,
And gallantly he fed me with the best of corn and hay;
For meal and malt I wanted not when in his custody,
But now I'm Robin Sproggon's auld grey mare, aw how he's guided me! ... [Bruce & Stokoe]
The tune was published by Playford as "Hey Boys Up Go We (3)" (1695 edition), AKA "King's Jig." A version appears in the music manuscript collection of Northumbrian musician Henry Atkinson, and is the vehicle for the song "Robin Spraggon's Auld Grey Mare."