King Arthur
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
Lucy Broadwood collected this song in Lancashire. In English County Songs (1893), she notes the words and tune are from R. L. Harrison, Esq. In One Hundred English Songs (1914) the song is listed as "a traditional Lancashire song."

King Arthur can be traced to a ballad from 1600 a ballad The Noble Acts, newly found, Of Arthur of the Table Round which begins, "When Arthur first in court began, and was approved King." Parodies of the ballad were written in the 17th and 18th centuries. A later variant is In the Good Old Colony Times.

King Arthur had three sons that he had,
King Arthur had three sons that he had;
He had three sons of yore,
And he kicked them out of the door
Because they could not sing that he did.
Because they could not sing that he did;
Because they could not sing that he did;
He had three sons of yore,
And he kicked them out of the door
Because they could not sing that he did.

The first he was a miller that he was;
The second he was a weaver that he was;
The third he was a little, Little tailor boy,
And he was mighty clever that we has
And he was mighty clever that he was;
And he was mighty clever that he was;
The third he was a little,
Little tailor boy,
And he was mighty clever that he was.

Now the miller stole some grist for his mill
That he did
And the weaver stole some wool for his loom
That he did
And the little tailor boy
He stole some corduroy
For to keep these three rogues warm that he did.
For to keep these three rogues warm that he did;
For to keep these three rogues warm that he did;
He stole some corduroy
For to keep these three rogues warm that he did.

Oh, the miller he was drown'd in his dam that he was
And the weaver he was kill'd at his loom that he was
And old Nick he cut his stick
With the little tailor boy
With the broadcloth under his arm that he did.
With the broadcloth under his arm that he did;
With the broadcloth under his arm that he did;
Old Nick he cut his stick
With the little tailor boy
With the broadcloth under his arm that he did.

Related Links (For those who expected another King Arthur)
From One Hundred Songs of England and
English County Songs
See Bibliography for full information.
And Bruce Olsen's Roots of Folk Website.