Stewball is a Racehorse Song

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Did you know that the song Stewball was written for racehorses? In a nutshell, it’s about a racehorse named Stewball and the shambling owner who lost the race. The music and lyrics of the racehorse song have been altered to represent the meaning of the race, which is a lament for lost income.


The 18th-century racehorse Skewball, also known as Stu-Ball, is the subject of a folk ballad. Many artists have covered the song, but it is best known as “Stewball” due to its association with chain gangs. The folk song was popularized by Woody Guthrie and Peter, Paul & Mary. Lonnie Donegan also recorded it. In 1963, the British pop group Peter, Paul & Mary included the song on their L.P. It is considered one of the most famous racehorse songs in history.

The story of Skewball is a fascinating one. According to folklorist D.K. Wilgus, the song was inspired by an actual race between Sir Arthur Marvel and Miss Portly, a race Ten Broeck won. But when Mollie ran in the race, she was far behind her rival. The song combines two versions of the song, one from Bert Lloyd and the other by Eddie Butcher and Andy Irvine.

The name “Screwball” may refer to the horse’s color, though it is not inevitable. The Irish Piebald & Skewbald Association defines a skewbald horse as white. American Paint horses are also called Skewballs. Screwball was a good racehorse in his day. In 1741, he was a young horse, entered in a race at a fair, where he raced against Griselda-Molly, which was the favorite. Although he was considered a long shot, he won the race and was named after his slaves.

Hugues Aufray recorded the song “Stewball” in 1966. Written by Pierre Delanoe, Stewball was inspired by Aufray’s trip to the United States. In this song, Aufray takes the perspective of a ten-year-old boy who watches a horse race. The boy’s father believes that Stewball will win the race. However, Stewball is injured and falls during the race.

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Leadbelly’s slave song

If you’re searching for a good version of Leadbelly’s Stewball, you’ve come to the right place. The Weavers cover is an animated version based on Leadbelly’s slave song. But their performance is different from Peter, Paul & Mary’s, as Pete Seeger’s driving banjo makes the music sound happiest. You can also listen to the Greenbriar Boys’ version of Stewball, which began in Washington Square Park in New York City.

The origin of the slave song Stewball dates back to 1775 when a British folk song called Skewball was written. Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie shared credit for the song’s American adaptation. While the music was initially written about a racehorse, it evolved as a slave song in England and Ireland. This later version bears little resemblance to the original, as it refers to a race horse, a racehorse, and a famous horse named Stewball.

Peter, Paul & Mary’s version of a screwball

The French chanson Stewball was initially recorded by Hugues Aufray in 1966. It is also known as Il s’appelle Stewball. The original song was inspired by Aufray’s trip to the United States. The English version takes the perspective of a ten-year-old boy whose father is convinced that Stewball will win the race. Unfortunately, the song turns tragic when Stewball is injured during a race.

This racehorse song is named after Skewball, a horse born in 1741. He won several races in Ireland and England. It is the name of his most famous race that inspired the song. It has since traveled to many countries and evolved into the chain gang song Stewball. Its music was initially recorded by the enslaved Americans and was remade by many other artists, including Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie. Peter, Paul & Mary’s song version is one of the most popular versions.

Aufray’s version of a screwball

In 1966, Hugues Aufray recorded Stewball, a French-language folk song based on the racehorse of the same name. The music was composed by Pierre Delanoe and Hugues Aufray and inspired by a visit to the United States. Aufray’s version of Stewball takes the point of view of a ten-year-old boy whose father believes his favorite racehorse will win. Unfortunately, the song is never a winner, and Stewball is lost during the race.

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The song is often attributed to enslaved people in the Southern United States, although the actual race was likely held in Texas or Kentucky. According to one version of the song, the race is between a slow-moving lead horse and a faster one. The original song, “Stewball,” was written in 1784 and is preserved in the Harding Collection of the Bodleian Library of Oxford. The song was translated into English and eventually made its way to America.

Alpha Blondy, a stallion, named the original Stewball. He was a white horse and was born in California. Although his name was not a popular choice, it was adopted by jockeys and young ladies, including Joan Baez and Juni Fisher. Both singers recorded Stewball. The song continues to be a famous rendition of the popular racehorse.

In addition to writing his lyrics, Hugues On ray also wrote songs adapted from his favorite songs by Bob Dylan. His “Skiffle” album consists of 26 Dylan songs. In 1996, Aufray performed at the Casino de Paris. In 1997, he played at the Olympia in Paris with Johnny Hallyday. After visiting Bob Dylan in Paris, Aufray translated several Dylan songs into French. His Dylan translations are raw and capture the spirit and power of the original songs. His 1965 album, “Squall,” influenced the tastes of a new generation in France.

Leadbelly’s version of a screwball

The Irish racehorse song Stewball has been recorded in various styles worldwide, including the English and American versions. Lead Belly recorded several versions of the song, also covered by Woody Guthrie and the Greenbriar Boys in the 1960s. But the song’s origins are unclear. Some sources say it was originally sung in the British Isles, while others say it was adopted into American culture.

The earliest known version of the racehorse song traces its origins to 1741. The song’s inspiration was the screwball, a horse that won several races in England and Ireland. It eventually spread to America, where enslaved Africans picked it up. The American version of the song uses different slang and often refers to Stewball racing in Kentucky, Texas, or California. Leadbelly’s performance also begins with a different melody, and the slang for “screwball” is sometimes considered a reference to the horse’s color.

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Stewball is a Racehorse Song
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