Turpin Hero
Sheet music for Treble Clef Instrument

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Turpin Hero

Turpin's Valour

ON Hounslow Heath, as I rode o'er,
I spied a lawyer riding before;
'Kind sir,' said I,'are you not afraid,
Of Turpin that mischievous blade ?'
O rare Turpin, hero,
O rare Turpin, O.

Says Turpin,'I have been most acute,
My gold I've hid in the heel of my boot;'
"O" says the lawyer,'there's none can find
My gold, for it lies in my cap behind.

As they rode down by the Poulter mill,
Turpin demands him to stand still;
Says he,'your cap I must cut off,
For my mare she wants a saddle cloth.

This caused the lawyer sore to fret,
To think he was so fairly bit;
For soon was he rifled of his store,
Because he knew how to lye for more.

As Turpin rode in search of prey,
He met an exciseman on the way;
He boldly bid him for to stand,
'Your gold,' said he,'I do demand."

With that the exciseman he replied,
'Your proud demands must be denied;
Before my money you receive,
One of us two must cease to live.

Turpin then without remorse,
He knocked him quite from off his horse;
And left him on the ground to sprawl,
As off he rode with his gold and all.

As he rode over Salisbury plain,
He met Lord Judge with all his train:
Then hero-like he did approach,
And robbed the Judge as he sat in his coach.

An usurer as I am told,
Who had in change a sum of gold;
With a cloak clouted from side to side,
Just like a palmer he did ride.

And as he jogged along the way,
He met with Turpin that same day;
With hat in hand, most courteously,
He asked him for charity.

'If that be true thou tells to me,
I'11 freely give thee charity;
But I made a vow and it I'11 keep,
To search all palmers that I meet.

He searched his bags, wherein he found
Upwards of eight hundred pound;
In ready gold and white money,
Which made him to laugh heartily.

'This begging is a curious trade,
For on thy way thou hast well sped;
This prize I count is found mony,
Because thou made an arrant lye.

For shooting of a dunghill cock,
Poor Turpin he at last was took;
And carried straight into a jail,
Where his misfortune he does bewail.
O poor Turpin, hero, &c.

Now some do say that he will hang,
Turpin the last of all the gang;
I wish this cock had ne'er been hatched,
For like a fish in the net he's catched.
O poor Turpin, hero, &c.

But if I had my liberty,
And were upon yon mountains high;
There's not a man in old England,
Durst bid bold Turpin for to stand.
O poor Turpin, hero, &c.

I ventured bold at young and old,
And fairly fought them for their gold:
Of no man kind I was afraid,
But now alas ! I am betrayed.
O poor Turpin, hero, &c.

Now Turpin he's condemned to die,
To hang upon yon gallows high;
Whose legacy is a strong rope,
For stealing ofa dung-hill cock.
O poor Turpin, hero, &c.

Poulter mill: perhaps powder mill.
Clouted: patched.
Palmer: pilgrim, or itinerant monk under a vow of poverty.
There is a double meaning, since Turpin had assumed the
name of Palmer while living in Yorkshire.
For shooting of a dunghill cock : the arrest and
identification of Turpin stemmed from his shooting
(either by accident or design, and probably while
under the influence of drink) a gamecock which
belonged to his landlord at Welton.

note: Dick Turpin was hanged in 739 for stealing a gamecock.

From A Ballad History of England, Palmer
Laws l10
DT #570


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About 'Turpin Hero'

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Traditional Music of unknown author.

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