Mudcat Café message #1613688 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86568   Message #1613688
Posted By: Roberto
25-Nov-05 - 01:36 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: A good song for Little John please
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A good song for Little John please
ROBIN HOOD AND LITTLE JOHN (#125)

Three recordings.

a) Robin Hood
John Strachan, Songs from Aberdeenshire, The Alan Lomax Collection, Portraits, Rounder 82161-1835-2, 1957
Staff notation on Bertrand Harris Bronson, The Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads, 1976 – Robin Hood and Little John, sung by John Strachan

When Robin Hood was aboot twenty years old
He happened to meet Little John
A jolly bridge blade, just fit for the trade
And he was a sturdy young man

They happened to meet in Nottingham Bridge
And neither of them would give way
Quo brave Robin Hood in right merry mood:
I'll show you right Nottingham play

Robin laid on sae thick and sae hard
He made Little John tae admire
And every knock it made his bones smoke
As if he had been in a fire



b) Robin Hood And Little John
Wallace House, Robin Hood Ballads, Folkways F-6839, 1953, 1962

When Robin Hood was about twenty years old
He happend to meet Little John
A jolly brisk blade, right fit for the trade
For he was a lusty young man

They happend to meet on a long narrow bridge
And neither of them would give way
Quoth bold Robin Hood, and sturdily stood:
I'll show you right Nottingham play

Lo! see my staff, it is lusty and tough
Now here on the bridge we will play
Whoever falls in, the other shall win
The battle, and so we'll away

At first Robin he gave the stranger a bang
So hard that it made his bones ring
The stranger he said - This must be repaid
I'll give you as good as you bring

The stranger gave Robin a crack on the crown
Which caused the blood to appear
Then Robin, enrag'd, more fiercely engag'd
And followd his blows more severe

O then into fury the stranger he grew
And gave him a damnable look
And with it a blow that laid him full low
And tunbled him into the brook

Then unto the bank he did presently wade
And pulld himself out by a thorn
Which done, at the last, he blowd a loud blast
Straitway on his fine bugle-horn

The eccho of which through the vallies did fly
At which his stout bowmen appeard
All clothd in green, most gay to be seen
So up to their master they steerd

There's no one shall wrong thee, friend, be
not afraid
These bowmen upon me do wait
There's threescore and nine, if thou wilt be
mine
Thou shalt have my livery strait

O here is my hand - the stranger reply'd
I'll serve you with all my whole heart
My name is John Little, a man of good mettle
Nere doubt me, for I'll play my part

With all his bowmen, which stood in a ring
And were of the Notti[n]gham breed
Brave Stutely comes then, with seven yeomen
And did in this manner proceed

This infant was called John Little - quoth he
Which name shall be changed anon
The words we'll transpose, so where-ever he
goes
His name shall be calld Little John



c) Robin Hood and Little John
Roy Harris, By Sandbank Fields, Topic 12 TS 327, 1977 – Words from Ritson's Robin Hood, tune by Roy Harris.

When Robin Hood was about twenty years old
He happened to meet Little John
A right merry blade and fit for the trade
And he was a gallant young man

Though he was call'd Little, his limbs they were large
And his stature was seven feet high
Wherever he came, they quak'd at his name
For soon he could make them to flie

They happened to meet on a long narrow bridge
And neither of them would give way
Said bold Robin Hood and sturdily stood:
I'll show you right Nottingham play

That talk like a coward - the stranger replied
Well armed with your longbow you stand
You shoot at my breast while I, I protest
Have nought but a staff in my hand?

The name of the coward - said Robin - I scorn
Therefore me longbow I lay by
Now, for thy sake, a staff will I take
The test of the battle to try

Here is a staff, and it's lusty and tough
And here on the bridge we will play
Whoever falls in, the other shall win   
The battle, and so we'll away

Then Robin he gave the stranger a blow   
So hard that it made his bones ring
The stranger he said - This must be repaid
I'll give you as much as you bring

The stranger gave Robin a crack on the crown   
Which caused the blood to appear
And Robin, enrag'd, more fiercely engag'd
And laid on his blows more severe

It's then in a fury the stranger he grew   
And gave him a damnable look
And with it a blow that laid him full low   
And tumbl'd him into the brook

I pray thee, good fellow, where art thou now? -
The stranger in laughter he cry'd
Said bold Robin Hood: Good faith, in the flood
And floting along with the tide

But I must acknowledge thou art a brave soul   
With thee I'll no longer contend
For needs must I say, thou have won the day
Our battle shall be at an end

The sound of his horn through the valley did fly
At which his brave bowmen appear'd
And cloathed in green, all fine to be seen
And up to their master they steer'd

O what is the matter? - said William Stutely
Good master, you're wet to the skin   
No matter –said he- the lad that you see
In fighting he's tumbl'd me in

O, here is me hand - the stranger replied
I'll serve you with all of me heart
My name is John Little, a man of good mettle
Don't doubt me, for I'll play me part

Your name shall be alter'd – said William Stutely
And I will your godfather be
Prepare then a feast, and none of the least   
And we will right merry be

This fellow was called John Little – said he   
Which name shall be changed anon
The words we'll transpose, wherever he goes   
His name shall be call'd Little John   

And so, ever after, as long as he lived
Although he was proper and tall
Yet never the less, the truth to express
Still Little John they did him call