Skewball (Steeleye Span) You gallant sportsmen all, come listen to my story Its of the bold Skewball, that noble racin' pony Oh, the marvel was the man, who brought bold Skewball over He's the diamond of the land and he rolls about in clover The horses where brought out, with saddle whip and bridle And the gentlemen did shout, when they saw the noble rider And some did shout hooray, the air was thick with curses And on the gray Griselda, the sportsmen laid their purses The trumpet it did sound, they shot off like an arrow They scarcely touched the ground, for the going it was narrow Then Griselda passed him by, the gentlemen did holler The gray will win the day, and Skewball he will follow Then halfway round the course, up spoke the noble rider I fell we must fall back for she's going like a tiger. And when they did discourse, bold Skewball flew like lightning They chased around the course, and the gray mare she was taken Ride on my noble lord, for they have 200 guineas The settle shall be of gold when we become the winners Past the winning post bold Skewball drew quite handy Horse and rider both ordered sherry wine and brandy And then they drank the health of the gallant Miss Griselda And all that lost their money on the sporting plains of Kildare DT #349 Laws Q22 Recorded by Steeleye Span on Ten Man Mop, by Andy Irvine. Note: The facts are that sometime about 1790 a race took place on the Curragh of Kildare (near Dublin) between a skewbald horse owned by Sir Arthur Marvel and "Miss Portly", a grey mare owned by Sir Ralph Gore. The race seemed to take the balladmakers' fancy and must have been widely sung: an early printed version appeared in an American song book dated 1829 MJ ...and Leadbelly recorded a version a hundred years later. RG ED
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!