BRENNAN ON THE MOOR
Sung by: Neal Morris
Recorded in Timbo, AR 7/18/59
Click here to listen to the original recording
A story I will tell.
His name was Willie Brennan;
In London he did dwell.
All in the mountain dreary,
He proved his first career,
And many a noble gentleman
Before him shook with fear.
Chorus: Oh, Brennan on the moor,
Brennan on the moor.
Bold, gay, undaunted,
Stood young Brennan on the moor.
A brace of loaded pistols
He carried both night and day.
He robbed not from the poor,
But always on the king's highway.
He robbed from the rich
As in disturbance of Black Bess,
And he freely divided
With widows in distress.
Now young Willie met a peddler;
His name was Julius Vaughan.
They traveled on together
'Til the day began to dawn.
The peddler missed his money,
Likewise his watch and chain,
And he overtake young Willie
And he robbed him back of same.
Now young Willie finds the peddler;
A brave young man is he.
So straightaway he did go,
His companion for to be.
The peddler, being bravehearted,
He throwed his pack away,
And he proved a royal comrade
Until his dying day.
Now the nobles and the marshall
Got a message from the Queen.
She said, "If you don't want to die
Upon the guillotine,
If you would keep your rich estates,
And live above the poor,
Then bring to me the body
Of young Brennan on the moor."
Well, the night the trouble started,
The truth I will confess.
They undone their jackets
And they opened up their vests.
They threw theirselves in the open field
In the wild country,
And they both received nine wounds apiece
Before they would yield.
Now Willie's down in town;
In prison he's bound down.
'Tis for some awful crime they've done
they've taken them to town.
The jury found them guilty,
And the judge did thus reply:
"Oh, it's for your highway robbery
You're both condemned to die."
That night, Sir Humphrey Gilbert
Was looking for a crew.
The Queen said, "Here's two robbers
That might like to go with you."
And Willie and the peddler
Swore allegiance on their knees,
And continued with their robbing
From the Spaniards on the sea.
Now they sailed on many missions,
Bringing treasure to the crown.
They sailed with Johnny Hawkins
When the Spanish fleet went down.
They won both fame and glory,
And went down in history,
With the men that made the Queen of England
The mistress of the sea.
Now what became of Julius Vaughan
No one will ever know,
But Willie was in London
When his hair was white as snow.
He gave away the riches
To the widows and the poor,
And was buried in a lonely grave
Upon the lonesome moor.
Also found in Randolph, Vol. II, #176, "Brennan on the Moor"; Belden, p. 284, "Brennan on the Moor."