Derby - The Derby
w/e 10 March
As I was going to Derby, upon a market day,
I saw the finest ram, sir, that ever was fed on hay.
There are many and various different versions
of the old folk song "The Derby Ram" but they all have
in common, references to the enormous size of the creature. This
example, despite its weathered look, is a relatively recent addition
to the Derby's city centre. It has fast become a focal point
and an easy reference for a meeting place - "I'll see you
at the Ram".
The butcher that killed the ram, sir, was drowned
in its blood,
And five and twenty butcher boys were carried away in the flood!
It is not the only ram in Derby though.
The head of one that has been there much longer can be seen above
the middle window of the entrance to the indoor market hall.
The hall houses traders selling all manner of goods including
some butchers who did not get carried away in the flood.
His tail it was so long, sir, it dragged a mile
on the ground,
And the wool was sold in London for fifty thousand pound.
Many traders and shopkeepers may also be
found at the Main Centre shopping precinct and there too is a
bronze statue - shorn of its wool - of the city's famous emblem.
It had the finest horns, sir, they reached right
up to the moon,
A man climbed up in December, and didn't come down 'til June.
The Derby Heritage Centre houses a display
devoted to the Derby Ram and its association with the 1st Battalion
Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. It features some
of the mounted heads of previous mascots. The one in the centre
was Derby the First but the curly horns on the other two could
well be the basis of a verse in the folk song.
And indeed, sir, it's true, sir I was never given
If you had ever been to Derby, sir, you'd have seen it as well
This fine specimen was seen in the window
of Derby County Football Club's city centre shop as the Ram is
also the mascot of the club.
The little boys of Derby, sir, came running to
beg its eyes,
To kick around the streets, sir, for they were football size.
And this is the home of "The Rams"
- Derby County F.C.'s Pride Park Stadium.