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Robin Hood’s Death

[ Roud 3299 ; Child 120 ; Ballad Index C120 ; DT ROBHDTH , ROBHDTH2 ; Mudcat 104512 ; trad.]

John Jacob Niles: The Balad Book of John Jacob Niles

Regal Slip sang Death of Robin Hood in 1981 on their Dingle’s album Bandstand. They noted:

One of the many ballads depicting the life and times of Robin Hood. In this account he meets his fate with true Errol Flynn panache. Graham [Pratt]’s tune helps provide a racy rather than morose atmosphere for the lyrics.


Regal Slip sing Death of Robin Hood

When Robin Hood and Little John
Went o’er yon bank of broom.
Said Robin Hood then to Little John:
“We’ve shot for many’s the pound.”

“I am not able to shoot one shot
My arrows will not flee.
But I’ve a cousin lives down below,
Please God she will bleed me.”

Now Robin is to fair Kirkley gone As
fast as he can win.
There was none so ready as his cousin dear
To let bold Robin in.

She took him by the lily-white hand
And led him to her room;
And there she blooded bold Robin Hood
Until next day at noon.

He then bethought him of a casement door
Thinking he would be gone;
But he was so weak that he could not leap
Nor could he get him down.

He then bethought him of his bugle horn
Which hung down low to his knee;
And he set his good horn unto his mouth
And blew it wearily.

And Little John when he heard him call As
he sat under the tree.
“I fear my master is nearly dead
He blows so wearily.”

Then Little John is to Kirkley gone
As fast as he can dree.
“A boon a boon now,” cries Little John,
“Master I beg of thee.”

“What is that boon" then quoth Robin Hood,
“Little John thou begs of me?”
“It is to burn fair Kirkley Hall
And all their nunnery.”

“Now nay now nay,” quoth bold Robin Hood,
“That boon I’ll never grant thee.
I ne’er hurt woman in all my life
Nor at the end shall it be.”

“But give my bent bow all to my hand
And an arrow broad I’ll let flee;
And where this arrow is taken up
There let my gravestone be”

“Lay me a green sod beneath my head,
Another at my feet;
And lay my bent bow all by my side
Which was my music sweet.”

These words so readily were promised him
Which did bold Robin Hood please;
And there they buried the bravest outlaw,
Near to the fair Kirklees.