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The Jolly Pinder of Wakefield

[ Roud 3981 ; Child 124 ; Ballad Index C124 ; Bodleian Roud 3981 ; trad.]

The Foxglove Trio sang The Jolly Pinder of Wakefield in 2015 on their CD These Gathered Branches. They commented in their liner notes:

These lyrics, taken from Child Ballad 124, tell the tale of when the pinder (a medieval official who guarded land and caught stray animals) met Robin Hood and his merry men at a location which we believe is now the site of Pinderfields Hospital in Patrick [Dean]’s home city of Wakefield.

Lyrics

The Foxglove Trio sing The Jolly Pinder of Wakefield

“There is neither knight nor squire,
Nor baron that is so bold,
Dare make a trespasse to old Wakefield,
And his pledge goes to the pinfold,”
All this beheard three fine young men,
'T was Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John;
With that they spied the jolly pinder,
As he sat under a thorn.

“Now turn, turn again,” said the pinder,
“For a wrong way have you gone;
For you’ve forsaken the king’s highway,
Made a path over the corn.”
“Well that were great shame,” said Robin Hood,
“We being three, and thou but one.”
The Pinder leapt back then three good foot,
'T was three good foot and one.

He leaned his back fast unto a thorn,
And his foot unto a stone,
And there they fought a long summer's day,
A summer's day so long.
Till that their swords, on their broad bucklers,
Were broken fast unto their hands.
“Hold thy hand, hold thy hand,” cried Robin Hood,
“And my merry men every one;

“For this is one of the best pinders
That ever I saw with my eye,
And wilt thou forsake thy pinder his craft,
And live in the green wood with me?”
“At Michaelmas next my cov’nant comes out,
When every man gathers his fee;
I'll take my blade all in my hand,
And live in the green wood with thee.”