“Rufus's Mare”


Rufus sadly walks to town after his mare is stolen by Tozer. He tells his story: Tozer had given him a lame mare, which he cured, whereupon Tozer requisitioned the animal back. Rufus expects Tozer to end in Hell.


According to Doerflinger, this is a true story. Rufus Woodcock had lost his horse and was too poor to buy another. A nearby preacher, Reverend Tozier, had a lame horse that he could not cure. Rather than keep feeding the animal, Tozier gave it to Woodcock. Woodcock cured the horse, whereupon Tozier "borrowed" it back and never returned it. Rufus managed to reclaim the horse, but then Tozier came and again reclaimed it by force.

This song is item dH50 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW


  1. Doerflinger, pp. 264-265, "Rufus's Mare" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #4167
  3. BI, Doe264


Author: George Calhoun
Earliest date: 1971
Found in: Canada(Mar)