“The Sucking Pig”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1961 (recording, Jack Elliott of Birtley)
Keywords: lie corpse death work food talltale animal worker
Found in: Britain(England(North))

Description

Of a giant pig, which takes 7000 men to butcher, and seven years to remove a trotter; its bones yield 7000 bags of flour. Cho: "O, perhaps you may think that/O, it's not all true/But I don't care a fig/What I say, I know it's true/About this suckling pig"

Notes

The collectors, MacColl & Seeger, considered this song a barrack-room rewrite of "The Derby Ram," and obviously the parallels are very strong. But as the actual words, except for the chorus, seem to be somewhat independent, I split them. Still, cognate stories of big animals that are hard to kill and cook are common, so do look at the cross-references. - PJS

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Roud #8083
  2. BI, RcTSuPig