Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

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ROBIN HOOD AND THE BISHOP OF HEREFORD. This, now the most popular of the Robin Hood Ballads, is taken from .a broad­side, with music, " printed for Daniel Wright, next the Sun Tavern in Holborn." " These byshoppes and these archebyshoppes, Ye shall them bete and bynde," was an injunction carefully impressed by Robin Hood upon his followers, and many are the tales of tricks lie played upon them, and upon the wealthy abbots. In Ritson's opinion, " the pride, avarice, and hypocrisy of the clergy of that age afforded him ample justification;" but Ritson's pen was equally dipped in gall against the clergy of every age, and I verily believe it was the outlaw's injunc­tion to his followers, rather than any other motive, that induced Ritson to make him his hero. Drayton, in his Polyolbion, in the 26th Song, says of Robin Hood— " From wealthy abbots' chests, and churls' abundant store, Which oftentimes he took, he shared among the poor; No lordly Bishop came in lusty Eobin's way, To him before he went, but for his feast must pay; The widow in distress he graciously reliev'd, And remedied the wrongs of many a virgin griev'd." The title of the ballad is, " The Bishop of Hereford's entertainment by Robin Hood and Little John, &c, in merry Barnsdale."
As it befel in merry Barnsdale,
All under the greenwood tree, Tie bishop of Hereford was to come by,
With all his company.
Come, kill me a ven'son, said bold Robin Hood, Come, kill me a good fat deer,             [day,
Tl e Bishop of Hereford's to dine with me to-And he shall pay well for his cheer.
W.j'11 kill a fat ven'son, said bold Robin Hood, \nd dress it by the highway side ;
And we will watch the bishop narrowly^ Lest some other way.he should ride.
Robin Hood dress'd himself in shepherd's attire,
With six of his men also; And, when the Bishop of Hereford came by,
They about the fire did go.
O what is the matter? then said the bishop, Or for whom do you make this ado ?
Or why do you kill the king's venison, When your company is so few ?
We are shepherds, said bold Robin Hood, And we keep sheep all the year,
And we are disposed to be merry this day, And to kill of the king's fat deer.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III