The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11575   Message #86989
Posted By: Lesley N.
15-Jun-99 - 06:08 PM
Thread Name: Origin: The Bastard King of England
Subject: RE: The Bastard King of England
Oops - didn't mean to offend any Brits out there. I should have better said there were lots of ruthless Kings of England who misbehaved from time to time. William I is the only one that was illegitimate.

I still think the tune is more likely about John than William. His love of hunting was legendary. During the baronial wars London went over to the rebels. In a day and age where women were at the mercy of men his sexual appetites were remarked upon - and he didn't always care about consent. (William I was not known as a womanizer). John's third wife was Isabella (but not of Spain) who he stole right out from under the nose of her betrothed - big scandal at the time.... Heck, I can make the song fit...

Of course, one must keep in mind that much of what comes down to us about John was written by his enemies.... But he was probably at least some of the reason there used to be a million (slight exaggeration) Robin Hood ballads.