Topic-icon The Blacksmith & The Toffee Maker

2 months 4 weeks ago #4312 by pakcross

Hi all,

I don't know if this is common knowledge or not (it was a surprise to me). I've recently been reading Laurie Lee's Cider With Rosie and found the following passage:

Mother's romantic memories may not have all been reliable, for their character frequently changed. But of the stories she told us, about herself and others, the one of the Blacksmith and the Toffee-Maker was true...

Once, she said, in the village of C---, there lived a lovelorn blacksmith. For years he had loved a local spinster, but he was shy, as most blacksmiths are. The spinster, who eked out a poor existence by boiling and selling toffee, was also lonely, in fact desperate for a husband, but too modest and proud to seek one. With the years the spinster's desperation grew, as did the blacksmith's speechless passion.

Then one day the spinster stole into the church and threw herself down on her knees. "Oh Lord" she prayed, "please be mindful of me, and send me a man to marry!"

Now the blacksmith by chance was up in the belfry, mending the old church clock. Every breathless word of the spinster's entreaties rose clearly to where he was. When he heard her praying, "Please send me a man!" he nearly fell off the roof with excitement. But he kept his head, tuned his voice to Jehovah's, and boomed "Will a blacksmith do?"

"Ern a man's better than nern, dear Lord!" cried the spinster gratefully.

At which the blacksmith ran home, changed into his best, and caught the spinster on her way out of church. He proposed, and they married, and lived forever contented, and used his forge for boiling their toffee.

I nearly fell over when I read the first paragraph of that passage, and then it just got better!

Hope this is of interest.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Dave Knibb

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1 month 1 week ago #4325 by paddybrown

I had heard that the song was based on an aside from Cider With Rosie, but I haven't read it. Interesting to see how close an adaptation Jake did - he was far freer adapting Georges Brassens songs. - featuring The Cattle Raid of Cooley webcomic

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2 weeks 1 day ago #4339 by Ian Burdon

If I recall correctly, Jake knew Laurie Lee and got his permission to make a song of it.

I got boogie, boogie, in my socks

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