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The Treasure Of Stokesay


Three Ravens is a very old English song about the death of a knight. Listen to the music file and see if you can fit the lyric to the tune.

play the song


The Three Ravens

There were three ravens on a tree. Down-a-down, hey, down-a-down
And they were black as black can be. With a down.
The one of them said to his mate, "Where shall we our breakfast take?"
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

Down in yonder green field, Down-a-down, hey, down-a-down
There lies a knight slain under his shield. With a down.
His hounds they lie down at his feet. So well can they their master keep
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

His hawks they fly so eagerly. Down-a-down, hey, down-a-down
There is no fowl dare him come nigh. With a down.
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-a-down
And kissed the wounds that were so red. With a down.
She got him up upon her back, And carried him to the earthen lake
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

She buried him before the prime. Down-a-down, hey, down-a-down
She was dead herself 'ere evensong time. With a down.
God send to every gentleman Such hawks, such hounds and such a leman*
With a down, derry, derry, derry down, down.

*Leman is an archaic word for a 'beloved sweetheart'


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