by Andrew Varsey Of the saddler of Bawtry I'll tell the tale to you; A tell which has a moral, Just as all good stories do. It's set a long, long time ago, A tale of yesteryear, And shows how health can be improved By having just one beer. Our saddler had committed A serious offence, And was brought before the judge at York, The scene was hushed and tense. The judge was looking troubled, And this is what he said: "You'll be taken from this court of law And hanged until you're dead." Now at this time at York Assize A custom was in place, A custom now enacted In our sorry saddler's case: Between the gaol and scaffold There stood a famous inn, Where condemned men were treated To a final drink within. But on this day the prisoner Just sighed and shook his head: "Let's get this business over with," Was what the fellow said. And so, on to the scaffold The Bawtry saddler went. They strung him up and dropped him down, And soon his life was spent. Just at this time a messenger Came running in a sweat; Reprieve he held in his right hand, The ink on it still wet. By turning down that final beer, The saddler sealed his fate, Ten minutes would have meant that This reprieve was not too late. Some would sagely shake their heads, And this is what they'd say: "The story goes to prove the point That crime doth never pay." But I would say the moral For a man of Bawtry town* Is, 'When a drink is offered you, Don't ever turn it down!' *Or anywhere else, for that matter.
The end