When I was a stripling lad, in Sherwood Forest,
killed deer with a bow that was taller than me.
At twelve I was squired to Sir Robin of Locksley,
when we arrived in Palestine I was taller than he.
We fought off the Sarecens, Robin and I, and we rescued the king from their spies.
But when Robin was captured, the king wept for days…
And I fancied I heard Robin’s cries.
well I hunted with Robin and I fought for the king!
Oh, the tales my old bones would tell if they could sing,
and I loved to see Richard lean back in his chair and say, “Robin has all well in hand…”
We stayed in Promised land far from Sherwood Forest,
killing around us with nary a tear.
One day came the word that we’d awaited for ages —
Of Robin in England did we joyfully hear.
I then turned to Richard, a’ready to leave, but he told me to make camp right there.
“Good Robin will keep England quite safe for me,
“and my enemies had best beware!”
Then came the message from old Sherwood Forest,
that Prince John was grinding the folk to the ground.
But Richard refused to leave, not even bothered.
“With Robin to chase him, he’ll never be found.
“John has dug his grave and Nottingham’s too, with Marion locked a cell,
“Robin will free her as I live and breathe —
“Maid Marion will be quite well.”
I finally came back to my dear Sherwood Forest,
beside good King Richard we hit London town.
Found Robin and Marion with children already,
and soldiers a’plenty to hunt Prince John down.
“Nottingham’s dead and your kingdom is sound,” Robin remarked with a smile.
“I told you,” said Richard, “that England was fine,
“In good Robin Hood’s hands all the while!”
Well Robin died yesterday, near Sherwood Forest,
in the trees is an arrow that marks where he lies.
But England is safe from all those who would harm her
and the forest now echoes with children’s clear cries.
The king said to me, “Oh, my friend, don’t you cry! Instead you should be very glad.
“For though Robin’s not with us, he’s heaven bound now,
“and I’m sure he’ll have all well in hand.”
lyrics & melody by Andrew Blackwood MacBaine the Purple, OW
© 1996 Drew Nicholson