Bold Lovell

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Bold Lovell

This edition was transcribed from the recording by Roy Harris on his album Champions of Folly (Topic Records 12TS 256); Martin Carthy used to sing the same version. It came originally from A. L. Lloyd, who himself derived it from the Green Mountain Songster. [1]

As Lovell was out riding out across the misty mountains,
Two merchants, two merchants, their money they was counting;
He reached for his pistol, and he never gave them warning,
He robbed them of their money and he bade them both good morning:


Oh, the devil's in the women so they say,
But how the devil can a fellow let them be?

He went to a public house and counted out his money;
He called on the landlady to bring forth pretty Polly.
But while they was talking, and thinking of no matter,
She stole away his pistol and she filled it up with water:

As Lovell and Polly were taking their sweet pleasure,
In walked the troopers, saying, "Lovell, you must leave her!
For a long time you've been riding on the road to the gallows,
So some along with us young man and be a decent fellow."

He reached for his pistols but they wouldn't fire for water;
They lathered him well and gave to him no quarter.
Polly, she cried, "If I'd known that they was coming,
I'd have fought them like a tiger, love, although I am a woman."

"I have two brothers and they're both in the Marines;
One of them's at Chatham and the other one's at sea.
Bold, brisk and lively lads, and champions of folly;
I'd rather they was here today than you deceitful Polly."

As Lovell was climbing up that old gallows ladder,
He called out so gaily for his highway cap and feather:
"Well, I've always been a lively lad, but never murdered any;
I think it bloody hard to swing for liftin' a bit of money!"

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.