#02670
Three Ravens [Child Ballad #26] video
#1055: YouTube video by threelegsoman
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

There were three ra'ens sat on a tree,
Down a down, hey down, hey down,
They were as black as black might be,
With a down.
The one of them said to his mate,
Where shall we our breakfast take?
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

Down in yonder green field,
Down a down, hey down, hey down,
There lies a knight slain 'neath his shield,
With a down.
His hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well they do their master keep,
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

His hawks they fly so eagerly,
Down a down, hey down, hey down,
No other fowl dare come him night,
With a down.
Down there comes a fallow doe
As great with young as might she go
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

She lifted up his bloody head,
Down a down, hey down, hey down,
And kissed his wounds that were so red,
With a down.
She got him up upon her back,
And carried him to earthen lake,
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

She buried him before the prime
Down a down, hey down, hey down,
She was dead herself ere e'en-song time,
With a down.
God send every gentleman,
Such hawks, such hounds, and such a leman.
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a traditional ballad [Child Ballad #26] (The English And Scottish Popular Ballads [1882-1898] edited by Francis James Child, Dover, 1965) ....####
First known publication 1611 in Melismata. Mvsicall Phansies. Fitting the Covrt, Citie, and Covntrey Hvmovrs. To 3, 4, and 5. Voyces, by Thomas Ravenscroft [1582/1592-1635?], English composer, theorist and editor, notable as a composer of rounds and catches, and especially for compiling collections of British folk music.

The video above features an excellent guitar performance by Tony Archibald from Port St Mary on the Isle of Man.

MacEdward Leach collected a variant published as #1, The Three Ravens, in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast by the National Museum of Canada (Ottawa, 1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

From Wiktionary: Leman - (archaic) lover, sweetheart, especially a secret lover or mistress.


See more Child Ballad variants from NFLD.


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