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This politically-correct highwayman was not actually Irish at all. He was called Jack Rann, and he was born in Bristol. But he seems to have done all his daylight robbery ‘on the King’s highway’ in central London. Small wonder he got caught!

BLISS vocal, mandocello NAPPER mandolin

Instrumental sections as first verse.


In Newry town, I was bred and born

At Stephen's Green now I die in scorn

I served my time to the saddling trade

But I turned out to be, yes I turned out to be a roving blade

At seventeen I took a wife

I loved her dearly as I loved my life

And for to keep her in fine array

I went a-robbing I went a-robbing on the King's highway


I never robbed any poor man yet,

Nor any tradesman did I beset;

I robbed the lords and the ladies bright,

And brought their jewels to my heart's delight.


I robbed Lord Golding I do declare,

And Lady Mansel, in Grosvenor Square;

I shut the shutters and bad them good night.

And brought their jewels to my heart's delight.


Then we went out for to see the play

To Covent Garden we made our way,

Lord Fielding's men they did me pursue,

And I was taken by the cursed crew.


My father sighed, "O, my darling son."

My wife she wept and said "I am undone."

My mother tore her white locks and she cried

Saying, "In the cradle he should have died.”


And when I'm dead bound for my grave

A flashy funeral pray let me have

With six bold highwaymen to bury me.

Give them good broadswords and sweet liberty.


Six pretty maidens to bear my pall

Give them white garlands and ribbons all

And when I'm dead they will tell the truth

He was a wild and a wicked youth