Robin Hood and Little John [Child 125]

DESCRIPTION: Robin Hood meets John Little on a bridge. They agree to fight until one falls into the brook. Robin is dunked. He blows his horn for his men and offers John a place among them. John accepts and is re-named Little John, though he is seven feet tall.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1685 (broadside by W. Onley; title mentioned 1624 in the Stationer's Register)
KEYWORDS: Robinhood outlaw fight
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber)) US(Ap,MW,SE) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (14 citations):
Child 125, "Robin Hood and Little John" (1 text)
Bronson 125, "Robin Hood and Little John" (2 versions+ 1 in addenda)
BronsonSinging 125, "Robin Hood and Little John" (3 versions: #1, #2, #3)
Williams-Thames, p. 296, "Robin Hood and Little John" (1 fragment) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 134)
Creighton/Senior, p. 67, "Robin Hood and Little John" (1 fragment)
Creighton-Maritime, pp. 19-20, "Robin Hood and Little John" (1 text, 1 tune)
Boswell/Wolfe 9, pp. 20-21, "Robin Hood and Little John" (1 text, which looks like it was taken from a broadside and which does not seem to have had a tune)
Leach, pp. 366-372, "Robin Hood and Little John" (2 texts)
Friedman, p. 339, "Robin Hood and Little John" (1 text)
Niles 45, "Robin Hood and Little John" (1 text, 1 tune)
BBI, RZN22, "When Robin Hood was about twenty Years old"
ADDITIONAL: R. B. Dobson and J. Taylor, _Rymes of Robyn Hood: An Introduction to the English Outlaw_, University of Pittsburg Press, 1976, pp. 166-171, "Robin Hood and Little John" (2 texts, from a garland and American tradition)
Stephen Knight and Thomas Ohlgren, editors, _Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales_, TEAMS (Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages), Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2000, pp. 476-485, "Robin Hood and Little John" (1 text,based on the Onley broadside)

Roud #1322
John Strachan, "Robin Hood and Little John" (on FSB5, FSBBAL2) {Bronson's #1}
Bodleian, Douce Ballads 3(125a), "Robin Hood and Little John," C. Sheppard (London), 1791 [barely legible]
Robin and John
NOTES [108 words]: For background on the Robin Hood legend, see the notes on "A Gest of Robyn Hode" [Child 117].
Fully half the Robin Hood ballads in the Child collection (numbers (121 -- the earliest and most basic example of the type), 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 130, 131, 132, (133), (134), (135), (136), (137), (150)) share all or part of the theme of a stranger meeting and defeating Robin, and being invited to join his band. Most of these are late, but it makes one wonder if Robin ever won a battle.
This is one of the few Robin Hood ballads with a genuinely traditional tune (two, in fact), though one of the texts may have been influenced by print. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: C125

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