Richard of Taunton Dean
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
This is also known as Dumble deary dum. The ballad was printed on numerous broadsides, one dated 1837 (see the Bodleian Library for examples). The ballad also appears as Richard of Dalton Dale in Haliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England (1842). The air is in Chappell's Popular Music in Olden Time (1859).

The ballad was printed in Ireland with very similar lyrics as Last New Year's Day and Dicky of Ballyman.

Last New Year's Day, as I've heard say,
Young Richard he mounted his dapple grey,
And trotted along to Taunton Dean,
To court the parson's daughter Jean.
Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


With buckskin breeches, shoes, and hose,
Dicky put on his Sunday clothes,
Likewise a hat upon top of his head,
All bedaubed with ribbons red.
Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


Young Richard he rode without any fear,
Till he came to the house where lived his sweet dear;
When he knocked and he kicked and be bellowed 'Halo!
Be the folks at home? say aye or no!'
Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


A trusty servant let him in,
That he his courtship might begin;
Young Richard he walked along the great hall,
And loud for Mistress Jean did call.
Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


Miss Jean she came without delay,
To hear what Richard had got for to say.
'I s'pose you know me, Mistress Jean
I'm honest Richard of Taunton Dean.'
Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


'I'm an honest fellow, although I be poor,
And I never were in love afore;
My mother she bid me come here to woo,
For I can fancy none but you.'
Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


'Suppose that I were to be your bride,
Pray, how would you for me provide?
For I can neither sew nor spin,
Pray, what will your day's work bring in?'
Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


'Why, I can plough and I can row,
And zometimes I to the market go
With Gaffer Johnson's straw or hay,
And yarn my ninepence every day.'
Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


'Ninepence a day! 'Twill never do,
For I must have silks and satins too!
Ninepence a day won't buy us meat!'
'Adzooks!' says Dick, 'I've a zack of wheat!'
Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


'Beside; I have a house hard by,
'Tis all my own when mammy do die:
If thee and I were married now,
I'd feed thee as fat as my feyther's old zow.'
Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


Dick's compliments did so delight,
They made the family laugh outright.
Young Richard took huff, and no more would say,
But he mounted old Dobbin and gallop'd away,
Singing, Dumble-dum deary, dumble-dum deary,
Dumble-dum, dumble-dum, dumble-dum dee.


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From English Folk-Songs and
See Bibliography for full information.
and Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England
Edited by Robert Bell, (1857 - based on Dixon's book for the Percy Society of 1846) e-text by Project Gutenburg