Mudcat Café message #967368 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #29243   Message #967368
Posted By: Jim Dixon
17-Jun-03 - 12:43 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Allan Tyne of Harrow / Valentine O'Hara
Subject: Lyr Add: VALENTINE O'HARA (from Bodleian)
Transcribed by me from the broadside images at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, with spelling and punctuation somewhat modernized. The three versions there--Harding B 11(2471), Harding B 11(3963), and Firth b.34(4a)--are almost identical. Where I found a significant difference, I have indicated the alternative word or phrase in brackets.


I am a daring highwayman. They call me Valentine O'Hara.
I came of honest decent friends nigh to the Hills of Tara.
For seducing of a pretty maid, to England I sailed over,
Leaving my parents almost wild since I became a rover.

To London City I did go, where I became a soldier,
Resolved to fight 'gainst Britain's foes. Great Hector ne'er was bolder.
They sent me to a foreign coast where cannons did loudly rattle.
Believe me, sir, I do not boast, for I well behaved in battle.

Many battles I have been in through Holland and French Flanders.
I always fought with courage keen, led on by brave commanders.
Brave and undaunted I behaved, I being valiant-hearted.
For the base usage I received, alas! I have deserted.

To old England I then sailed as quick as the wind could drive me,
Resolvèd on my liberty no man should e'er deprive me,
When I arrived on English shore and found my name [or "myself"] gazetted,
At which my heart was grieved full sore, and thereat was much fretted.

How to behave I did not know, being void of friends and money.
Desertion caused it to be so, and brought destruction on me.
In open fields I lay all night, lest I should be suspected,
Nor dare not travel in daylight for fear I'd be detected.

I being resolute and bold, likewise able-bodied,
To stand the road I did resolve, with pistols heavy loaded.
To rob upon the king's highway was my determination,
Then to the road without delay, no further hesitation.

The very first I ever robbed was a great Lord of Honor.
That nobleman I did assault all in a roguish manner.
I said, "My lord, I demand your coin. Make no delay, but give it;
Or if you don't, it's my design by powder and ball to have it."

I cocked my pistol to his breast, which causèd him to shiver.
Three hundred guineas, I protest, to me he did deliver.
His gold repeater watch likewise to me he did surrender.
I thought it was a gallant prize when he the gold did tender.

With part of the money, I purchased a famous gelding,
Over a five-barred gate would leap. I bought of Mr. Shelding.
When mounted on my flying steed, I looked both bold and daring.
When to the road I went with speed, for I no man was fearing.

One night, I robbed Lord Edgers not far from Covent Garden,
And in three hours after that, I stopped Attorney Harding.
Balls, and plays, streets, roads, and lanes, I robbed both Dukes and Earls,
Myself in grandeur [or "splendor"] to maintain and to support my [or "the"] girls.

When I met the distressed poor, when poverty did grieve them,
I always was myself inclined with money to relieve them.
I laid upon the rich and great. To rob the poor I scorn.
Alas! That won't prevent my fate this day at old Tyburn.

Here in Newgate close confined, I am by law convicted.
Tyburn Tree I am destined, where I am much afflicted.
Adieu, my country and my friends, and the ancient hills of Tara!
Kind providence may rest the soul of Valentine O'Hara.