“Have You Any Bread and Wine (English Soldiers, Roman Soldiers)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1903 (Newell)
Keywords: food drink playparty nonballad fight
Found in: US(NE) Ireland

Description

"Have you any bread and wine, My fairy and my forey, Have you any.... Within the golden story?" More and more wine is requested, until the questioner is told to go away. The two sides declare allegiance to their lords, then prepare for a fight

Supplemental text

Have You Any Bread and Wine (English Soldiers, Roman Soldiers)
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

My Fairey and My Forey

From Eloise Hubbard Linscott, Folk Songs of Old New England, pp. 40-41.
Sung by the sisters Mary and Serena Frye of Brookline, Massachusetts.

Have you any bread and wine, my fairy and my forey,
Have you any bread and wine, within the golden storey?

Yes, we have some bread and wine, my fairy and my forey,
Yes, we have some bread and wine, within the golden storey.

Let us have a pint of it, my fairy and my forey,
Let us have a pint of it, within the golden storey.

(10 additional stanzas)

          *** B ***

From Hammond-Belfast pp. 24-25

Do you want to breed a fight?
We are the rovers!
For it's if you want to breed a fight,
Oh, we are the jolly fine rovers!

The winders retreat:
Ha! Ha! You had to go, you had to go, you had to go.
Ha! Ha! You had to go, riding on a donkey.

The winders reply:
Raddy daddy and we're not beat yet,
Raddy daddy and we're hardly!
Raddy daddy and we're not beat yet
A button for your Marley.

(2 additional stanzas)

          *** C ***

We Are All King George's Men

From Greig-Duncan, volume 8, p. 1600, text Ab.

We are all King George's men,
King George's men, King George's men;
We are all King George's men,
Matheerie and mathorie.

Similarly:
We are all King William's men....

We will have a glass of wine....

(7 additional stanzas)

          *** D ***

As printed in Alice B. Gomme, The Traditional Games of England,
Scotland, and Ireland, Volume II, pp. 343-345, first text. From
Ellesmere's Shropshire Folklore, p. 518.

We have come to take your land,
  We are the rovers!
We have come to take your land,
  [Though you are] the guardian soldiers.

We don't care for your men nor you,
  [Though you] are the rovers!
We don't care for your men nor you,
  For we are the guardian soldiers.

(12 additional stanzas)

          *** E ***

As printed in Alice B. Gomme, The Traditional Games of England,
Scotland, and Ireland, Volume II, pp. 345-346, second text. From
Miss D. Kimball of Wrotham, Kent.

We have come for a glass of wine,
  We are the Romans!
We have come for a glass of wine,
  We are King William's soldiers!

We won't serve you with the wine,
  We are the Romans!
We won't serve you with the wine,
  We are King William's soldiers!

(6 additional stanzas)

Notes

Hammond-Belfast: "This song is represented in hundreds of versions all over these islands, a conventionalized confrontation between two factions. According to Lady Gomme in her magnificent collection of 1894 [Alice B Gomme, _Children's Singing Games_], the game owes its origins to the ritual forays of the Border country. When two classes of mill worker arranged a ritual encounter in a Belfast street, they obeyed the rules of the games, confontation without contact. In this example, the rovers were aggressors, the winders in retreat."

The Hammond-Belfast version has the rovers issue a challenge, the rovers advance, the winders reply, the rovers advance again and the winders reply again. Rovers advance with "Ha! Ha! You had to go.... riding on a donkey" [as in some versions of "Hieland Laddie"]; winders reply with "Raddy daddy and we're not beat yet.... A button for your marley." This seems to have degenerated from something like text Ab of GreigDuncan 8 1600, "We Are All King George's Men" in which King George's men and King William's men alternate declaring allegiance, having wine, challenging to battle, pointing to a battlefield, and calling for support; GreigDuncan's text B, "With Eerie and With Orie," with no wine, has a pattern similar to Hammond-Belfast: only the sides alternating pointing to a battlefield and challenging to fight remains. - BS

References

  1. Linscott, pp. 40-42, "My Fairey and My Forey" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Hammond-Belfast, pp. 24-25, "The Rovers Meet the Winders" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ST Lins040 (Partial)
  4. Roud #8255
  5. BI, Lins040