Constant Companion: Robin Hood & The Pedlar


I like old songs & this one is. It’s a Robin Hood ballad, typical of the type in that Robin Hood is bested in a friendly(ish) duel.

It appears in the Child collection with words dated to the mid 17th century. It appears in The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs by Vaughan Williams & A.L.Lloyd with a tune collected by Lucy Broadwood from a Mr Burstow of Horsham in Sussex.

The tune is likely to have been sung to the 19th century broadside versions of the song.

A.L.Lloyd speculated that the pedlar, ‘Gamble Gold’ may in fact be Gamelyn & the story may derive from the 14th century Tale Of Gamelyn. In my opinion this is plausible.

When the song migrated into my repertoire the key signature moved from 3/4 into 4/4 & some of the melody changed. That’s folk for you.

This song is on my present recording, A Constant Companion, & you can hear more if you follow this link.

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