Oxford Ramble

Speed the Plough



A Taste of Ale

Six for Gold

Knock at the Knocker, Ring at the Bell

The Robber Bird

Three Quarter Time

The 25th



The Highwayman Outwitted

Speed the Plough track 4

The Robber Bird track 5

We’ve recorded this song twice, with different arrangements, and slightly different words. None of us can now remember where we got the song from, nor even who introduced it into the band’s repertoire. We are agreed, however, that someone as easily outwitted as this should never have embarked on a career as a highwayman.

The Speed the Plough liner notes say "The song appears in various collections; the words here derive chiefly from the singing of a Yorkshire woman, heard at the turn of the present century" - presumably the version which Frank Kidson collected from Mrs. Kate Thompson of Knaresborough, and which was printed in the Journal of the Folk Song Society, vol.I, issue 5, 1904 (thanks once again to Mudcat for this).

For the history of the song - and an alternative Yorkshire version - see The Yorkshire Bite on the Yorkshire Garland Group website.

You can find another version of the story at A Folk Song A Week Week 80 – The Farmer in Leicester