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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleMaltman and the highwayman
Roud No.1309
Collected FromTanner, Charles
LocationBampton
CountyOxfordshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Oxfordshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Ox 211
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 5th February, 1916, p 3, Part 17, No. 8: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 250, 251
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

I will tell you a story at large,
When a maltman was riding along,
He had in his pocket great charge,
Not thinking any man would him wrong.

Verse 2

He was met by a gentleman thief,
Who bid him a civil salute,
Who bid him deliver in brief,
For there was no time for dispute.

Verse 3

He cut him without more delay,
Till twenty bright guineas he'd got,
Then the rogue he went laughing away,
And he left him to bleed on the spot.

Verse 4

A Salisbury miller came by,
A man of wonderful size,
Seeing his neighbour lie there,
Dismounted and bleeding likewise -

Verse 5

"Oh what is the matter?" calls he.
"Kind sir! I am robbed of my store,
My silver and guineas to boot,
And the rogue has gone jogging before."

Verse 6

"Oh lend me but thy nimble nag,
More swifter than my heavy Ball,
And if I don't recover thy loss,
Odzooks! It shall cause me a fall.'

Verse 7

Then he mounted on his nimble nag,
And he rode through the night and the day,
And the highwayman at him let fly,
But a miss was as good as a mile.

Verse 8

Then he stepped up with all speed,
And lent him a knock on his crown,
His club was so heavy and great,
Which made him come tumbling down.

Verse 9

"Now we'll hang him on yonder high tree,
For fear of some sudden uproar:
But now he's stone dead you may see,
He will never rob gentlemen more."

Verse 10

Then at Salisbury the miller was tried,
For hanging the highwayman there;
But the maltman went in at his side,
So poor Joseph the miller got clear.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'Evidently of Wiltshire origin, though I discovered it at Bampton. As my informant once worked for a while near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, he may have learned it there in his young days. Obtained of Charles Tanner, Bampton, Oxfordshire.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'Perhaps of Wiltshire origin, though I discovered it at Bampton. As my informant once worked for a while near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, he may have learned it there in his young days. Obtained of Charles Tanner, Bampton, Oxfordshire.'

Note 2

The Ms contains ten verses. The WGS and FSUT versions include a new Verse 3 with the remaining verses needing to be renumbered:

Verse 3

Then in silver he gave him three pounds,
But that little sum would not do,
Till he did oblige him with wounds,
And his broadsword he presently drew.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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