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The Bold Pedlar

  • Trad - Child 132

    A pedlar busk, an' a pedlar thrum
    An' a pedlar linkin owre the lea
    Till there hemet wi' two troublesome men
    Two troublesome men he would seems to be

    What's in your pack noo ma gey fellee
    What's in your pack noo come tell to me
    There's seven shirts and three gravats
    Beside ma bow-strings two or three

    Then be ma saul, says Little John
    The most part o' that shall fa' to me

    The pedlar takes the pack noo aff his back
    And lays doon low by his knee
    Any man that'll fight me three steps back
    The pack and a' shall fa' to thee

    Little John drew a broad, broad brand
    An' the pedlar drew the same
    Till they both did swappit swords, till they both did sweit
    Cryin', Noble pedlar, hold your han'

    It's what's your name, noo ma gey fellee
    What's your name, noo come tell to me
    The not a bit of my name shall tell
    Till both your names you shall tell to me
    An' it lies in my ane breist-bone
    Whether I'll tell my name or no

    But my name it was stoot fellee
    I was pitten far noo across the sea
    For the killin of (a) man on ma father's land
    To the merry green woods I was forced to flee

    As sung by Geordie Robertson on 'The Muckle Sangs'

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1979:] Gavin Greig got three Robin Hood ballads in the North-East (Child 134, 138 and 140), but as they were from Bell Robertson, who was not a singer, there were unfortunately no tunes. [...] Child regarded this ballad as 'a traditional variant of No. 128' ('Robin Hood Newly Revived'), but I am inclined to believe with Bronson that it has a much firmer separate identity. There is a link, of course, in that the doughty stranger who beats Robin Hood and Little John in combat turns out, in both ballads, to be Robin's close relative (his sister's son in 128 and his mother's sister's son in 132), and both ballads seem to be offshoots of the 'fine tale of Gamelyn' - the hero is Young Gamwell in 128 and Gamble Gold of the Gey Green Woods in 132. Nevertheless, the essentials of the narrative are quite different.

    The Robin Hood Ballads, although invariably associated with England, seem to have been quite popular in Scotland too. Furthermore, plays seem to have been founded on them. In April 1577 the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland requested King James VI to 'discharge (prohibit) playes of Robin Hood, King of May and sic others, on the Sabbath Day'. There is an aboriginal feel about the tune, as if it could well have carried words even more ancient that Robin Hood ballads. (Hamish Henderson, notes 'The Muckle Sangs')

Quelle: Scotland

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