The Jolly Bold Robber
Traditional -Arrangement by Ring of Kerry
Come listen you fellers with an mind to go tippling,
I pray you pay attention and listen to my song.
I’ll tell you a story of a jolly bold robber,
Stood seven foot high, in proportion quite strong.
He robbed lawyer Morgan and old Lady Gawkin
Five hundred bright guineas from each one of them;
And as he was a-walkin’ he spied a young sailor,
And bold as a lion he stepped up to him.
“Deliver your money, you saucy young sailor.
You’ve plenty of brass in your pockets, I see.”
“Oh, aye,” says the sailor, “I’ve plenty of money,
And I’ll be damned if I’ll give any of it to thee.
I’ve just left my ship, and I’ve taken my money,
And I’m bound for old Dublin my friends for to see.
I’ve got ninety bright guineas to pay for our lodgings,
So I pray you, jolly robber, don’t you take it from me.”
Then jolly robber he struck the saucy young sailor;
Such a blow like to the head laid him to the ground.
“Oh aye,” says the sailor, “You have struck me quite heavy,
And now I’ll endeavor to repay you in kind.”
That when they flipped like two tigers they tripped,
And they fought blow for blow like soldiers in the field.
At the ninety-seventh meeting it was the completing,
For our gallant young sailor the bold robber he killed.
Then the sailor looked down at the robber.
And said “don’t you lay any blame onto me”
For if I had been the robber of a thousand bright guineas,
I’d never have stopped a poor sailor like me.”
This song was collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams from a fisherman called Anders on, of King’s Lynn in Norfolk, England, and published in his Folk Songs from the Eastern Counties (1908, re-published in 1961 in a collected edition edited by C ecil Sharp, as English County Songs)