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Johnny O'Bredislee / Glory Of The West

This song is by June Tabor and appears on the album Aleyn (1997) and on the box set Always (2005).

Johnny arose on a May morning,
Called for water to wash his hands,
"Come lose to me my twa greyhounds
Lie bound in iron bands, bands,
That lie bound in iron bands."

When Johnny's mother she heard of this
Her hands in dule she wrang,
"Johnny for your venison
Ta the greenwood dinnae gang, gang,
Ta the greenwood dinnae gang.

"For we have plenty of the white bread
And of the good red wine.
Johnny for your venison
Ta the greenwood dinnae gang, gang,
Ta the greenwood dinnae gang."

But Johnny has breskit his good benbow,
His arrows one by one,
He is on to the gay greenwood
For to bring the dun deer down, down,
For to bring the dun deer down.

As they gaed down by Merriemoss
Down among yon scroggs,
There they spied the dun deer lie
At the back of a bush of broom, broom
At the back of a bush of broom.

Now Johnny shot and the dun deer lap
And he wounded her in the side.
Between the water and the woods
The greyhounds laid her pride, pride,
The greyhounds laid her pride.

Now they ate so much of the good venison
And they drank so much of the blood,
Johnny and his twa greyhounds
Lay asleep as they'd been dead, dead,
Lay asleep as they'd been dead.

And by and came a silly old man
And an ill death may he die.
For he's on to the seven forester
For to tell what he did see, see,
For to tell what he did see.

"O as I came down by Merriemoss,
Down among yon scroggs,
The bonniest lad that e'er I saw
Lay asleep atween twa dogs, dogs,
Lay asleep atween twa dogs.

"And the coat he wore upon his back
Was of the Lincoln twine,
And the stock he wore about his neck
It was pearl and precious stone, stone,
It was pearl and precious stone.

"And the buttons he wore upon his coat
Were of the gold so good,
And the twa greyhounds he lay between
Their mouths all red with blood, blood,
Aye, their mouths all red with blood."

Then up spoke the first forester,
An angry man was he,
"If this be Johnny o' Bredislee
My faith we'll gar him die, die,
My faith we'll gar him die."

Then up spoke the second forester,
His sister's son was he,
"If this be Johnny o' Bredislee
We'd better let him be, be,
Oh, we'd better let him be."

Then up spoke the seventh forester,
Lord among them all,
"If this be Johnny o' Bredislee
We'll gang and gar him fall, fall,
Aye, we'll gang and gar him fall."

And the first shot that the foresters fired
They wounded him in the knee,
And the second shot that the foresters fired
Oh, the red blood blinded his ee, ee,
Oh, the red blood blinded his ee.

"But if my bow prove true as it used to do
And my courage do not fail,
I'll mak you dearly rue the day
That you cam to the Dinspeer Hill, Hill,
That you cam to the Dinspeer Hill."

Then he's set his back against an oak,
His foot against a thorn,
And he's shot the seven foresters,
Shot them all and one, one,
Aye, he's killed them all and one.

Johnny's good benbow is broke,
His twa greyhounds lie slain,
Johnny sleeps in Merriemoss
And his hunting days are done, done,
Aye, his hunting days are done.