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Robin Hood and the Bold Pedlar
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Robin Hood and the (Bold) Pedlar / Gamble Gold
; Child 132
; Ballad Index
Lucy E. Broadwood: English Traditional Songs and Carols John Jacob Niles: The Ballad Book of John Jacob Niles Roy Palmer: Everyman's Book of English Country Songs, Folk Songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams Ralph Vaughan Williams, A.L. Lloyd: Penguin Book of English Folk Songs
Robin Hood and the Pedlar is a Child ballad (#132) printed in Ralph Vaughan Williams' and A.L. Lloyd's Penguin Book of English Folk Songs.
Geordie Robertson sang The Bold Pedlar in August 1954 to Hamish Henderson in Aberdeen. This recording was included in 1975 on the Tangent album The Muckle Sangs (Scottish Tradition Vol. 5).
A.L. Lloyd sang Robin Hood and the Bold Pedlar on his and Ewan MacColl's 1956 anthology on the Riverside Label The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (The Child Ballads) Volume II, All of his tracks from this series were reissued in 2011 on the Fellside album Bramble Briars and Beams of the Sun.
Denny Smith sang Robin Hood and the Pedlar to Peter Shepheard in the Tabard Bar, North Street, Gloucester, on 27 April 1966. This track was included in 2000 on the Musical Traditions anthology of the Smith family, Band of Gold. Peter Shepheard himself sang Robin Hood and the Pedlar at the Fife Traditional Singing Festival in Collessie, Fife, in May 2007. This recording was published a year later on the festival's anthology Nick-Knack on the Waa (Old Songs & Bothy Ballads Vol. 4). The latter album's note commented:
A rare ballad […] that has, never-the-less, been found in the living tradition both in England and in Scotland in the last decades. This version is from the singing of Denny Smith, a Romany traveller from Gloucester, and recorded by Pete from Denny in the Tabard Bar, North Street, Gloucester in April 1966. This is one of a large cycle of Robin Hood ballads that excited enormous public interest after they were first compiled together from early broadsheets and manuscript collections and published in two small volumes by Joseph Ritson in 1795.
Barry Dransfield sang Robin Hood and the Pedlar in 1972 on his eponymous Polydor album, Barry Dransfield.
Steeleye Span recorded this ballad in a shortened version that they called Gamble Gold (Robin Hood) in 1975 on their best-selling album, All Around My Hat.
Benji Kirkpatrick sang The Bold Pedlar in 1999 on his WildGoose CD Dance in the Shadow.
Emily & Hazel Askew sang Robin Hood and the Pedlar in 2005 on their first WildGoose CD, Six By Two. They noted:
We slightly adapted this song from a version collected from George Trainer in Sussex. We like to think of it as an old fashioned mugging tale, it makes us feel more at home, being from London!
Stanley Robertson sang Robin Hood and the Pedlar on his 2009 Elphinstone Institute anthology The College Boy.
The Owl Service sang Robin Hood and the Bold Pedlar on their 2012 album Garland Sessions.
Arthur Watson sang Robin Hood and the Pedlar in 2012 on Shepheard, Spiers & Watson's album Over the High Hills. They noted:
A rare ballad (#132 in F.J. Child’s collection) that has, never-the-less, been found in the living tradition both in England and in Scotland in the last decades. This version is largely from the singing of Willie Robertson recorded by Hamish Henderson in Aberdeen in the 1950s.
The ballad is one of a large cycle of Robin Hood ballads that excited enormous public interest after they were first compiled together from early broadsheets and manuscript collections and published in two small volumes by Joseph Ritson in 1795.
Kate Locksley sang Robin Hood and the Pedlar in 2016 on Night Fall's EP Night Fall. They noted on their website:
Robin Hood & the Pedlar (Child 132) is similar to a modern tale of a Friday night punch up. Robin Hood & Little John decide to rob a pedlar, and have a bit of a scrap before determining that the pedlar is Gamble Gold, Robin's cousin. Clearly this makes everything that has passed perfectly alright, because they then all head for the nearest pub. We've paired it with Laridé à Six Temps, a Breton dance tune.
Joshua Burnell sang Robin Hood and the Pedlar on his 2018 album Songs from the Seasons.
Nick Hart sang The Bold Pedlar & Robin Hood, from his upcoming album, live in the studio at Slow Worm Records, Norfolk, in December 2020. It was filmed by George Moore:
|Peter Shepheard sings Robin Hood and the Pedlar||Steeleye Span sing Gamble Gold|
Oh its of of a pedlar and a pedlar bold,
There chanced to be a pedlar bold,
Now the first two men that he met,
By chance he met two troublesome blades,
Chorus (after every other verse):
“Now what brings you there all in your pack?” cried Little John,
“Oh pedlar, pedlar what's in the pack?
“Now if you have three yards of the gay green cloth,
“If you have suits of the gay green silk
“Oh no, oh no,” said the pedlar bold,
“Oh no, oh no,” says the pedlar bold,
Then the pedlar he set down his pack,
Then Little John, oh, he drew his sword,
Then Bold Robin Hood he drew his sword,
Then Robin Hood he drew his sword
“Now what is your name?” cried Bold Robin Hood,
“Oh pedlar, pedlar what's thy name?
“Oh the one of us is called Bold Robin Hood,
“Now my name is Bill Scarlet from a foreign part,
“Now if your name is Bill Scarlet from a foreign part,
“If you're Gamble Gold of the gay green woods
Then they sheathed their swords with friendly words,
Arthur Watson sang Robin Hood and the Pedlar
A pedlar busk and a pedlar thrum,
A pedlar he linked ower the lea;
There he spied two troublesome men,
Two troublesome men they proved tae be.
“Fit’s in your pack ma pedlar man?
Fit’s in your pack ma gey fellee?”
“There’s seiven shirts, aye, and three cravats,
Likewise ma bowstrings two and three.”
“If there’s seiven shirts and three cravats,
Likewise yer bowstrings two and three;
It’s by ma soul,” cried Little John,
“The pack and aa will pass tae me.”
Then the pedlar taen his pack doun aff his back,
He’s set it low doun by his knee;
“If ye can fecht me three steps back,
Then the pack an aa will faa tae ye.”
An Little John drew a guid broadsword,
The pedlar mannie he drew the same;
They swakkit swords till sair they swat,
Crying, “Pedlar man, noo haud your hand.”
“Fit is yer name, ma pedlar man?
O fit is yer name ma gey fellee?”
“It’s ne’er a word o ma name I’ll tell,
Till baith yer names ye’ve tellt tae me.”
“And the one of is bold Robin Hood,
The ither, Little John, sae free.”
“It’s noo ye’ve tellt me baith yer names,
Then ma name an ma place I’ll tell tae ye.”
“I’m Gammel Gold o the gey green wood,
I’ve traivelled far across the sea;
For killin a man in ma faither’s land,
Fae ma faither’s land I’m forced tae flee.”
“If ye’re Gammel Gold o the gey green wood,
That has traivelled far fae across the sea;
Then you an me’s two sister’s sons,
And fit closer cousins could we be?”
They sheathed their swords wi richt guid will,
And they hae spoke richt merrily;
Then tae the alehoose that stood close by,
Where they crackit bottles by two and by three.