Derby - The Derby Ram
w/e 10 March 2002

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 to lie,
If you had ever been to Derby, sir, you'd have seen it as well as I.


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.

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