The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90597   Message #4014400
Posted By: Charley Noble
19-Oct-19 - 09:56 AM
Thread Name: 3 Ravens (Ravenscroft) what's it about?
Subject: RE: 3 Ravens (Ravenscroft) what's it about?
This was a favorite ballad of my uncle Richard Dyer-Bennet and was included in THE RICHARD DYER-BENNET SONGBOOK, p. 155, ©1971. The lyrics are a bit different that those ascribed to Dyer-Bennet in the Digital Archives and are posted below:

The Three Ravens

There were three ravens sat on a tree,
Down a down, hey down, hey down
They were a black as they might be,
With a down.
Then one of them said to his mate.
"Oh, where shall we our breakfast take?"
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

Down in yonder green field,
Down a down, hey down, hey down
Their lies a knight slain ‘neath his shield,
With a down.
His hounds they lie down at his feet
So well they do their master keep.
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

His hawks they fly so eagerly
Down a down, hey down, hey down
There is no fowl dare him come nigh,
With a down.
Then down there comes a fallow doe
As great with young as she might go.
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

She lifted up his bloody head,
Down a down, hey down, hey down
And kissed his wounds that were so red,
With a down.
She picked him up upon her back
And carried him to an earthen lak.
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

She buried him before the prime,
Down a down, hey down, hey down
Was dead herself ‘fore even-song time,
With a down.
God grant every gentleman
Such hawks, such hounds, and such a leman,
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

My mother, Dahlov Ipcar, actually painted an illustration of this ballad in the 1940s which has gone missing over the years. I'm still trying to track it down to re-photograph it.

Cheerily,
Charlie Ipcar