Cherry ripe!

Photo0878 When I was at junior school every week we had singing… just singing. Our teacher would play the piano – and if he or she couldn’t we would go to a different class where we would have a teacher who did play the piano – usually Mrs Cadougan I seem to remember, and we would sing.

We had a song book which was full of traditional songs from all corners of the United Kingdom. Many of the songs told stories so I was well away, with Men of Harlech, Greensleeves, Hearts of Oak, Polly Oliver, Black Sir Harry… oh we sang them all lustily and without any embarrassment, however good or not we were at singing.

A song I remember which must have been very old, a street cry, was ‘Cherry ripe’. It is credited to Robert Herrick, although Thomas Campion had verse with the same title,  with music by Charles Edward Horn; however I am sure both Campion and Herrick must have heard children crying their wares in the street, as no doubt did Horn.

Cherry ripe, cherry ripe,
Ripe I cry,
Full and fair ones
Come and buy.
Cherry ripe, cherry ripe,
Ripe I cry,
Full and fair ones
Come and buy

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