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ROBIN HOOD.                                                  391
ROBIN HOOD AND AKTHUR-A-BLAND.
Although a greater number of the Robin Hood ballads were probably sung to this tune than to any other, I have not found earlier authority for it than the ballad-operas which were published from 1728 to 1750. It does not appear in The, Dancing Master, being unfitted for dancing by its peculiar metre.
In The Jovial Crew, 1731, the following song is adapted to the tune:
" In Nottinghamshire                                 Then cast away care,
Let them boast of their beer                    Bid adieu to despair,
With a hey down, down, and a down, With a down, down, down, and a down,
I'll sing in the praise of good sack;          Like fools, our own sorrows we make,
Old sack and old sherry                           In spite of dull thinking,
Will make your heart merry                    While sack we are drinking,
"Without e'er a rag to your back.               Our hearts are too easy to ache."
From the burden, the tune is sometimes entitled Hey down, a down; it is also referred to under the names of Arthur-a-Bland, Robin Hood, Robin Hood revived, Robin Hood and the Stranger, &c.
Among the Robin Hood ballads sung to it, besides those which the above names indicate, are " Robin Hood and the Beggar," " Robin Hood and the four Beggars," " Robin Hood and the Bishop " (not the Bishop of Hereford), " Robin Hood's Chase," "Robin Hood and Little John," "Robin Hood and the Butcher," " Robin Hood and the Ranger," and " Robin Hood and Maid Marian."
Among the King's Pamphlets (Brit. Mus., vol. xv., fol.) is one to this air, dated Jan. 17,1659, " To the tune of Robin Hood." It is entitled " The Gang: or the nine worthies and champions, Lambert," &c, and is a political ballad on the nine leading members of the Committee of Safety, who were deprived of their commissions and ordered away from London by the Rump Parliament, after the depression of Lambert's party, and their own return to power. (Reprinted in Political Ballads, edited by Mr. Wright, for the Percy Society, p. 188.) It commences thus: - " It was at the birth of a winter's morn, Johnnie Lambert was first, a dapper squire, With a hey down, down, a-down, down,              With a hey down, &c,
Before the crow had hist,                         A mickler man of might
That nine heroes in scorn,                        Was ne'er in Yorkshire,
Of a Parliament forlorn,                          And he did conspire
Walk'd out with sword in fist.                  With Vane Sir Harry, a knight," &c.
Pepys says in his Diary, on the 9th of January, 1659, "I heard Sir H. Vane was this day voted out of the House, and to sit no more there," &c.
The black-letter copy of the ballad of " Robin Hood and Arthur-a-Bland," in the Collection of Anthony a Wood, is entitled " Robin Hood and the Tanner; or, Robin Hood met with his match: A merry and pleasant song, relating the gallant and fierce combat fought between Arthur Bland, a tanner of Nottingham, and Robin Hood, the greatest and most noblest archer in England. Tune is Robin Hood and the Stranger." As it consists of thirty-seven stanzas, it is too long to reprint. I therefore refer the reader to Ritson's Robin Hood, ii. 31; to Evans' Old Ballads, ii. 113 ; or any other collection of songs of this celebrated outlaw.







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