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Robin Hood and the Tanner Bold Arder went forth one summer morning To view the merry green wood; For to hunt for the deer that run here and there And there he espied Robin Hood. Aye, and there he espied Robin Hood. What a fellow art thou? quoth bold Robin Hood, And what is thy business here? For now, to be brief, thou dost look like a thief And I come for to steal the king's deer. Aye etc. No, I am the keeper of this parish The king hath a-put me in trust; And therefore I pray thee to get on thy way Or else to upstand thee I must. 'Tis thou must have more partakers in store Before thou upstand me in deed, For I have a staff, he is made of ground gaffe And I warrant he'll do my deed. And I have another, quoth bold Robin Hood, He's made of an oaken tree, He's eight foot and a half and would knock down a calf And why shouldn't a' knock down thee? Let us measure our staves, says bold Robin Hood Before we begin and away, If by half a foot mine should be longer than thine Then that should be counted foul play. Theen at it they went, for bang, for bang, The space of two hours or more. Every blow they swung makes the grove to ring And they play their game so sure. Then bold Robin Hood drew forth bugle horn, And he blew it both loud and shrill, And direct thereupon he espied Little John Come running a-down the hill. O what is the matter? then said Little John You are not doing well, he said. O, says bold Robin Hood, here's a tanner so good And I warrant he's tanned my hide. If he's such a tanner, then says Little John, A tanner that tans so true, We'll make-a no doubt but we'll have a fresh bout And I warrant he'll tan my hide too. That thing shall not be, says Bold Robin Hood, For he is a hero so bold, For he has best play'd, he is master of his trade And by no man shall he be controll'd. Child #126 From English Folk Songs, Sharp RG
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!