Reynardine
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Ron Clarke

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Lyrics
This ballad was printed on broadsides in England and Ireland in the 19th Century. Copies of these can be found at the Bodleian Library. The song appears in George Petrie's collection (1855), where he notes it is "from a ballad singer at Rathmines Nov. 1852."* Notes by Washington Irving indicate the song was sung by Kentucky frontiersmen prior to 1832.** In an early version of the ballad, named The Mountains High, printed by Catnach (who printed in London 1813-1838), the hero is named Randal Rhin.

Versions of Reynardine have been collected throughout North America, including Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, and Nova Scotia.

There is debate as to whether the ballad originated in England or Ireland. Because the name "Reynard" means fox in French, a French origin has also been suggested.

The ballad is also known as Rhinordine, Rinordine, Ranordine, Ryner Dyne, and The Soldier and His Fair Maid.

One night upon my rambles
Two miles below Fermoy
I met a farmer's daughter
All on the mountains high.
I said, My pretty fair maid
Your beauty shines so clear
All on these lonesome mountains,
I'm glad to meet you here.

She said, Kind sir be civil,
My company forsake,
For in my own opinion
I fear you are a rake.
And if my parents they should know,
My life they would destroy
For keeping of your company
All on the mountains high.

He said, My dear I am no rake
Brought up in Venus' train,
But I'm seeking for concealment
All on the lonesome plain.
Your beauty so enticed me
I could not pass it by,
So it's with my gun I'll guard you,
All on the mountain high.

Her cherry cheek and ruby lips
They lost their former dye.
She fainted in his arms there
All on the mountain high.
They hadn't kissed but once or twice
Till she came to again,
With that she kindly asked him,
Pray tell to me your name.

If by chance you look for me
Perhaps you'll not me find,
For I'll be in my castle -
Enquire for Reynardine.
Sun and dark she followed him,
His teeth did brightly shine,
And he led her over the mountains,
That sly, bold Reynardine.

Related Links
Lyrics from Ron Clarke's Tadpole Tunes
Information From **Ozark Folksongs See Bibliography for full information.
*Additional Information from a forum thread at Digital Tradition.