Congleton Bear

For several weeks now I have been obsessing about this song. It is about a town in Cheshire called Congleton which is about 20 miles south of Manchester.In the 17th century  Congleton also went by the name of “Beartown” as it was famous for bearbaiting (likely) or for a dancing bear (less likely,marginally more humane). It is a matter of public record that on one occasion the town bear died just before one of the annual town “Wakes” (holidays) & money was lent to buy a new bear. The loan to the bearward was 18 shillings & came from the town’s church bible fund!

The song was written by Derbyshire folk artist John Tams in the early 1970s. The version I have included is by a 70s English Folk band called “The Druids”.

I believe this song may find it’s way into the Cunning Folk repertoire…

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