138: Robin Hood and Allen a Dale

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Though not in the 1663/1670 Garlands it was printed on broadsides in the seventeenth century and copies can be found in the Douce, Roxburghe and Pepys Collections, and continued to be printed in the eighteenth century in collections and garlands. Pitts of London also printed it in the early nineteenth century. Child mentions a Scoticised version in Kinloch’s Collection derived from a stall copy.

It is based on the same story, but told of Scarlock rather than Allan-A-Dale, in the Sloane MS of the end of the sixteenth century, which is summarized by Child in his introductory notes to this ballad.

Bronson gives no versions from oral tradition, but comments on Rimbault’s assigned tune and an unlikely suggestion of using the tune of ‘Bonny Sweet Robin’.

The ubiquitous Bell Robertson recited a nineteen stanza version to Gavin Greig which is published in Volume 2 of the Greig-Duncan Collection. It appears to have been sung to her because it has a repeat of the fourth line of each stanza which would perhaps be pointless in reciting it.