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Robin Hood and the Bishop of Hereford

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Robin Hood and the Bishop of Hereford

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Robin Hood and the Bishop of Hereford

Some will talk of bold Robin Hood,
     Derry derry down!
And some of the barons so bold;
But I'll tell you how they served the Bishop,
When they robbed him of his gold.
     Derry down ! Hey ! derry derry down !

Robin Hood he dressed himself in shepherd's attire
And six of his men also,
And, when the Bishop he did come by,
They round the fire did go.

"Oh! we are shepherds," said bold Robin Hood,
"And keep sheep all the year,
And we are resolved to make merry to-day,
And to eat of our King's fat deer."

"You are a brave fellow," said the old Bishop,
"And the King of your doings shall know,
Therefore make haste and come along with me
And before the King you shall go."

Robin Hood set his back against an oak
And his foot against a thorn,
And out underneath his shepherd's cloak
Pulled out his bugle-horn.

He put the small end to his mouth,
And a loud blast he did blow.
Six score and ten of bold Robin's men
Came tripping along in a row.

"Oh! what is the matter?" said Little John,
"Oh! why do you blow so hastily!"
"Oh! the Bishop of Hereford he has come by,
And a pardon he shall have."

"Here's the Bishop," said bold Robin Hood,
"No pardon I shall have."
"Cut off his head, Master," says Little John,
"And bundle him into his grave."

"Oh! pardon me, Oh! pardon me," says the Bishop,
"Oh! pardon me I pray.
If I had a-known it had been you,
I'd a-gone some other way."

Robin Hood he took the Bishop by the hand,
And led him to merry Barnsdale,
And made him sup with him that night,
And drink wine, beer, and ale.

"Call in the reckoning," the old Bishop said,
"For I'm sure 'tis going very high."
"Give me your purse, Master," said Little John,
"I'll tell you bye and bye."

Little John he took the Bishop's cloak,
And spread it on the ground,
And out of the Bishop's portmanteau
He pulled five hundred pound.

"There's money enough, Master" said Little John,
"'Tis a comely sight to see,
It makes me in charity with the Bishop;
In his heart he don't love me."

Little John he took the Bishop by the hand
And he caused the music to play,
And he made the old Bishop dance till he sweat.
And he was glad to get so away.

Child #144
From The Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads, Bronson
Collected from George Stone, Dorset, UK, 1906 (learned 60 yrs. before)
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III