The Derby Ram

  • "The Derby Ram" is discussed in the 1992 Second Edition of the University of Illinois Press book The Erotic Muse: American Bawdy Songs, by Ed Cray.

    Herein with American spelling, ie "The Darby Ram", the reader is informed that "This song of marvels apparently was to be sung by masked or costumed visitors who stopped at various homes in English villages bringing luck upon the house during the year to come." It point outs too that early versions may well have had verses later generations would deem obscene.

    In the USA, these transformations were even worse, so that "Negro jazzmen refashioned the song into the New Orleans jazz standard" known as "Didn't He Ramble?"
  • The song is also known as "As I was Going To Derby" and "The Old Tup" or "Ye Old Tup"; its origins are said by Ed Cray to "lie somewhere in English pre-history." A tup is another name for a ram.
  • Without the obscenity, "The Derby Ram" may rightly be described as a comic song; it was performed by mummers and in fact has a mummers play built around it. It appears in the Roud Folk Song Index as entry number 126. According to folk musician and historian Pete Castle, it is over 500 years old, and has up to 50 verses.

    In 1855, it was adopted as the regimental song of the First Regiment of Derbyshire Militia, and later of the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot. And later still became the official anthem of Derby Football Club. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3
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