Digital Tradition Mirror

Ballad of Richard III

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Ballad of Richard III

When good King Richard, that's Richard of Gloucester
Ascended the throne did he
He made good his promise to lower the taxes
And set all the debtors free

Now kindly King Richard was called Dicky Crookback
By Henry of Richmond, did he
Till all of his subjects had heard the foul rumor
From Dover to Anglesey

cho: Henry of Richmond, he wanted the crown
     To wear on his bonny Welsh head
     But Henry the Seventh he'd never be
     Till Richard the Third was dead

You've heard of the princes who died in the tower
The Tower of London, you've heard
T'was Henry of Richmond who blamed his foul murders
On goodly King Richard the Third

With plotting and pledges an army was raised
To force our fair Richard to yield
And the Wars of the Roses than came to an ending
At the Battle of Bosworth Field

   (Chorus here and after every two verses

The Bishop of Ely, he blessed our King Richard
And promised to help in the fights
But even before Richard came to the battle
John Morton gave him last rites

The proud Rhys ap Thomas and handsome Will Stanley
They promised their swords to their liege
But shortly these bastards went over to Henry
And even helped plan his siege

The list of the traitors is too long to mention
And the names of the faithful are few
For Henry of Richmond vowed gold to the rebels
And death to the loyal and true

Now Henry of Richmond was crowned King of England
Some say he was Arthur returned
But Arthur Pendragon, ne'er once had he murdered
Nor looted, nor plundered, nor burned

Now you may be thinking my story's told falsely
Because you have read the bard's play
About Dicky Crookback, who murdered his brother
All on St. Bartholemew's Day

But the truth is elusive (t'was true then as now)
And falsehoods are easily spread
For some men became saints while some became monsters
Because of what Will Shakespeare said

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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