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​Rufford Park Poachers

This song is by Nic Jones and appears on the live compilation album Unearthed (2001) and on the live compilation album Game Set Match (2006).

A buck or doe believe it so,
A pheasant or a hare
Was sent on earth for everyone
Quite equal for to share

Poacher bold as I unfold
Keep up your gallant heart
Think about those poachers bold
That night in Rufford Park

They say the forty gallant poachers
They were in a mess
They'd often been attacked
When the number it was less.

So poacher bold as I unfold
Keep up your gallant heart
Think about those poachers bold
That night in Rufford Park

Among the gorse to settle scores
The forty gathered stones
They can fight for a poor man's rights
To break the keepers' bones

Poacher bold as I unfold
Keep up your gallant heart
Think about those poachers bold
That night in Rufford Park

And the keepers they went with flails
Against the poachers and their cause
No man there again would dare
Defy the rich man's laws

Poacher bold as I unfold
Keep up your gallant heart
Think about those poachers bold
That night in Rufford Park

The keepers they began the fray
With stones and with the flails
When the poachers started
Oh they quickly turned their tails

Poacher bold as I unfold
Keep up your gallant heart
Think about those poachers bold
That night in Rufford Park

Upon the ground with a mortal wound
The head keeper Roberts lay
He never will rise up until
The final judgement day

Poacher bold as I unfold
Keep up your gallant heart
Think about those poachers bold
That night in Rufford Park

Of all that band that made a stand
To set a net or snare
Four men brought before the court
Were tried for murder there

Poacher bold as I unfold
Keep up your gallant heart
Think about those poachers bold
That night in Rufford Park

The judge he said For Roberts death
Transported you must be
To serve a term of fourteen years
Of convict slavery

Poacher bold my tale is told
Keep up your gallant heart
Think about those poachers bold
That night in Rufford Park

Credits Edit

  • Traditional/Arranged Nic Jones
  • Roud Folk Song Index #1759