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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleKnight
Roud No.20
Collected FromSmart, Thomas
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4: Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 320
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 16th October, 1915 p 2, Part 3, No. 1: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 37
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

There was a knight came to the gate,
He knocked high, he knocked late.


Bow down, bow down, sweetheart, and a bonny lass,
And all things shall go well.

If thou canst answer me three times three,
In ten thousand pieces I'll tear thee.

Verse 2

What is louder than a horn?
What is sharper than a thorn?
What is whiter than milk?
What is softer than silk?
What is higher than a tree?
What is deeper than the sea?


Verse 3

Thunder's louder than a horn,
Hunger's sharper than a thorn.
Snow is whiter than milk,
Down is softer than silk.
Heaven is higher than a tree,
And hell is deeper than the sea.


Then he clapped his wings, and aloud did cry,
And a flame of fire he flew away.
Print Song Lyrics
Alfred Williams: WGS / FSUT: 'Old riddle song; sung by Thomas Smart, Broad Blunsdon, Wiltshire. A mystical and highly suggestive piece. Obtained of Thomas Smart, late of Broad Blunsdon. The song was his mother's. I have nowhere else heard it.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'Old riddle song; sung by Thomas Smart, Broad Blunsdon, Wiltshire.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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