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Bold Robin Hood

[ Roud 1303 ; Master title: Bold Robin Hood ; Ballad Index JHCox034 ; Bodleian Roud 1303 ; GlosTrad Roud 1303 ; Wiltshire 733 ; trad.]

Dean Robinson sang Bold Robin Hood on Unto Brigg Fair, from a cylinder recorded in 1908 by Percy Grainger. The LP sleeve notes commented:

See Child and also Bronson. The ballad has often appeared on broadsides, especially during the nineteenth century; e.g. sheets by P, C, WL, BB, KY, PM, PH, and in many garlands of the Robin Hood cycle of ballads which were particularly popular in the late eighteenth century; eg. that issued from the press of Mary Rose, near the Stone-Bow, Lincoln in 1773. A copy of this latter garland being in the reference collection of Grimsby Public Library.


Dean Robinson sings Bold Robin Hood

As Robin Hood rang-ed the woods all round,
All round rang-ed he.
He saw a young lady in very great grief,
A-weeping against a large tree.

“O why weepest thou, my fair lady?
O why weepest thou?” said he.
“Well I’ve got three brothers in Nottingham Gaol,
All hang-ed this day must be.”

“O what have they done then, my fair lady?
O what have they done?” said he.
"Why they have killed sixteen of the king’s fallow deer,
And this day all hang-ed must be."

“O weep not, O weep not, my fair lady,
O weep not, O weep not,” said he.
“And I’ll away down to fair Nottingham,
The High Sheriff for to see.”

Then Robin Hood hastened down to Nottingham,
The High Sheriff for to see.

“One favour, one favour, I have to beg;
One favour to beg of thee;
That thou wilt reprieve the three young squires,
That this day all hang-ed should be.”

“O no, O no, that never can be,
O no that never can be;
For they have killed sixteen of the King’s fallow deer
And this day all hang-ed must be.”

“One favour more I have to beg,
One favour more of thee;
That I may have three blows of my old bugle horn
That their spirits to heaven may flee.”

“O granted, O granted,” the High Sheriff said,
“O granted, O granted,” said he;
“Thou can have three blows of thy old bugle horn,
That their spirits to heaven may flee.”

Then Robin Hood mounted the gallows so high,
And he blew both loud and shrill;
When three hundred and ten of bold Robin Hood’s men,
All came marching across the green hill.

“O whose men are those?” the High Sheriff said,
“O whose men are those?” said he:
“Why they’re all mine and they’re none of them thine
And they’ve come for the squires all three.”

[“O take them, O take them,” the High Sheriff said,
“O take them, O take them,” said he.
“For there’s not a man, not in all Nottingham,
That can do the like of thee.”]


Dean Robinson’s lyrics were copied from the liner notes of Unto Brigg Fair.