Robin Hood Reading

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The Age of ChaucerRL 4 Analyze the impact ofspecific word choices on meaning,including words with multiplemeanings. RL 5 Analyze howan author’s choices concerninghow to structure specific parts ofa text contribute to its aestheticimpact. L 3 Apply knowledgeof language to understand howlanguage functions in differentcontexts and to comprehendmore fully when reading.did you know? In early English ballads,Robin Hood was not achampion of the poorbut a hardened criminal. A sermon dating from1405 reprimands thosewho would rather listento a Robin Hood balladthan attend churchservices.Due: Wednesday, Nov. 11thRead and ANNOTATE (comment, question,synthesize, react, summarize, explainsignificance, etc.Barbara AllanRobin Hood and the Three SquiresGet Up and Bar the DoorAnonymous BalladsIntroductionBalladsThroughout history, life’s tragedies andcomedies—real and fictional—havebeen depicted in song. Narrative songscalled ballads were popular in Englandand Scotland during the medievalperiod, particularly among the commonpeople, many of whom could not read orwrite. The best of the early ballads weretransferred orally from one generationto the next. Stories often changed in theretelling, sometimes resulting in dozensof versions of the same ballad.Popular Entertainment In the MiddleAges, just as today, audiences craveddramatic—even sensational—stories.Typical subjects of ballads included tragiclove, domestic conflicts, disastrous warsand shipwrecks, sensational crimes, andthe exploits of enterprising outlaws. Laterballads celebrated historical events andromantic heroes of an earlier chivalrousage. Revenge, rebellion, envy, betrayal,and superstition all found thematicexpression in the ballad.Unknown Authorship The ballad genre isthought to be nearly 1,000 years old, withthe earliest known ballad dating fromabout 1300. Because ballads were notwritten down until the 18th century, earlyballads are all anonymous—the names oftheir composers lost forever in the mistsof time.The Legacy of “Barbara Allan” Whenwaves of English, Irish, and Scottishimmigrants settled in the New Worldduring the 18th and 19th centuries,they brought many traditions, includingtheir beloved ballads. Over time, someexamples have proven consistently popular,becoming part of the American folkheritage. Among these enduring balladsis “Barbara Allan.” In the 19th century, ayoung Abraham Lincoln reportedly knewand sang this tale of unrequited love.Much later, during the 1920s and 1930s,famed country singer Bradley Kincaidfeatured it on his radio broadcasts fromChicago and Boston. In the 1960s, therewas a great resurgence of interest in folkmusic, particularly in ballads. Singersand political activists Bob Dylan andJoan Baez both recorded the legendarysong to wide acclaim. Over the years,countless variations of “Barbara Allan”have been discovered in the United States,with roughly 100 variations observed inVirginia alone. Indeed, scholars believe that“Barbara Allan” is the most widespread folksong in the English language.216NA L12PE-u01s35-brBallad.indd21612/15/107:31:00 P

poetic form: balladEarly English and Scottish ballads are dramatic stories toldin song, using the language of common people. Theseballads were composed orally and passed on to subsequentgenerations through numerous retellings. The three balladsin this lesson are written versions of folk songs that date backcenturies.Like works of fiction, ballads have characters and settings.Most examples also include certain conventions, such as tragic or sensational subject matter a simple plot involving a single incident dialogueAdditionally, ballads usually feature four-line stanzas, orquatrains, with rhyming second and fourth lines. The lines areheavily accented, and the stanzas contain repetition of words,phrases, and ideas. In the following example from “BarbaraAllan,” observe how the patterns of rhyme and repetition helpmake the lines musically appealing and easy to remember:O slowly, slowly rase she up,To the place where he was lyin’,And when she drew the curtain by,Why tell storiesin song?From time to time, you’ve probablybeen infected by an “earworm”—a songthat gets stuck in your head and playsover and over and over until you want toscream. Although a nuisance, earwormsillustrate what a potent combinationrhyme, melody, and lyrics can be—something that no doubt helpedensure the survival of ballads overthe centuries.QUICKWRITE Think of a popular song,radio commercial jingle, or song youremember from your childhood forwhich you know all or most of the words.Write it down and analyze the elementsthat make the song so memorable.“Young man, I think you’re dyin’.”reading strategy: understand dialectDialect is a distinct language spoken by a specific group ofpeople from a particular region. In the ballads you are aboutto read, certain words from Scottish dialect appear—twa, forexample, meaning two. To help you understand other examplesof dialect in the poems, follow these steps: Read each ballad through once, using the notes to help youidentify the meaning of each word in dialect, then reread theline in which it appears. Paraphrase the events in the section of the poem you arereading to make sure you understand what is happeningat that point in the story. Understanding these events canprovide a context to help you decipher dialect used in thatsection of the poem.Complete the activities in your Reader/Writer Notebook.217NA L12PE-u01s35-brBallad.indd21711/22/1012:18:20 P

br ara aallarballlan nIt was in and about the Martinmas time,When the green leaves were a-fallin’;That Sir John Graeme in the West CountryFell in love with Barbara Allan.5101520218He sent his man down through the townTo the place where she was dwellin’:“O haste and come to my master dear,Gin ye be Barbara Allan.”O slowly, slowly rase she up,To the place where he was lyin’,And when she drew the curtain by:“Young man, I think you’re dyin’.”“O it’s I’m sick, and very, very sick,And ’tis a’ for Barbara Allan.”“O the better for me ye sal never be,Though your heart’s blood were a-spillin’.“O dinna ye mind, young man,” said she,“When ye the cups were fillin’,That ye made the healths gae round and round,And slighted Barbara Allan?”1 Martinmas: November 11 (St.Martin’s Day).8 Gin (gGn): if.9 rase (rAz): rose.15 sal: shall.17 dinna ye mind: don’t youremember.19–20 made . . . Allan: made toasts(drinking to people’s health) butfailed to toast Barbara Allan.unit 1: the anglo-saxon and medieval periodsNA L12PE-u01s35-Barbar.indd21811/22/1012:14:58 P

Analyze VisualsNotice the lighting andcolors in this photograph.What mood do they helpconvey? Explain.He turned his face unto the wall,And death with him was dealin’:“Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all,And be kind to Barbara Allan.”253035And slowly, slowly, rase she up,And slowly, slowly left him;And sighing said she could not stay,Since death of life had reft him.She had not gane a mile but twa,When she heard the dead-bell knellin’,And every jow that the dead-bell ga’edIt cried, “Woe to Barbara Allan!” a“O mother, mother, make my bed,O make it soft and narrow:Since my love died for me today,I’ll die for him tomorrow.”23 Adieu: goodbye.28 reft: deprived.29 gane (gAn): gone; twa: two.30 dead-bell: a church bell rung toannounce a person’s death.31 jow (jou): stroke; ga’ed: gave.a UNDERSTAND DIALECTReread lines 25–32. Which wordscapture the Scottish dialect,or regional language? Explainthe strategies you used tounderstand these words.barbara allanNA L12PE-u01s35-Barbar.indd21921911/22/1012:14:59 P

robin hoodthree squiresand theThere are twelve months in all the year,As I hear many men say,But the merriest month in all the yearIs the merry month of May.5101520Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone,With a link-a-down and a-day,And there he met a silly old woman,Was weeping on the way.“What news? what news, thou silly old woman?What news hast thou for me?”Said she, “There’s three squires in Nottingham town,Today is condemned to dee.”11 squires: well-born young menwho served as knights’ attendants.12 dee: die.“O have they parishes burnt?” he said,“Or have they ministers slain?Or have they robbed any virgin,Or with other men’s wives have lain?”“They have no parishes burnt, good sir,”Nor yet have ministers slain,Nor have they robbed any virgin,Nor with other men’s wives have lain.”“O what have they done?” said bold Robin Hood,“I pray thee tell to me.”“It’s for slaying of the king’s fallow deer,Bearing their longbows with thee.” b2207 silly: poor; innocent.23 fallow: yellowish red.b UNDERSTAND DIALECTParaphrase lines 21–24. Whyhave the three squires beencondemned to die?unit 1: the anglo-saxon and medieval periodsNA L12PE-u01s35-Robin.indd22011/22/1012:14:52 P

25303540“Dost thou not mind, old woman,” he said,“Since thou made me sup and dine?By the truth of my body,” quoth bold Robin Hood,“You could not tell it in better time.”Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone,With a link-a-down and a-day,And there he met with a silly old palmer,Was walking along the highway.“What news? what news, thou silly old man?What news, I do thee pray?”Said he, “Three squires in Nottingham townAre condemned to die this day.”“Come change thine apparel with me, old man,Come change thine apparel for mine.Here is forty shillings in good silver,Go drink it in beer or wine.”31 palmer: someone who carried apalm leaf to signify that he or shehad made a pilgrimage to the HolyLand.39 shillings: former English silvercoins, each worth 1/20 of a pound.“O thine apparel is good,” he said,“And mine is ragged and torn.Wherever you go, wherever you ride,Laugh ne’er an old man to scorn.”robin hood and the three squiresNA L12PE-u01s35-Robin.indd22122111/22/1012:14:52 P

4550556065707580222“Come change thine apparel with me, old churl,Come change thine apparel with mine:Here are twenty pieces of good broad gold,Go feast thy brethren with wine.” cThen he put on the old man’s hat,It stood full high on the crown:“The first bold bargain that I come at,It shall make thee come down.”cBALLADIdentify patterns of repetitionand rhyme in lines 33–48. Inwhat ways do these sounddevices help you understandRobin’s exchange with theold man?Then he put on the old man’s cloak,Was patched black, blue, and red:He thought it no shame all the day longTo wear the bags of bread.Then he put on the old man’s breeks,Was patched from ballup to side:“By the truth of my body,” bold Robin can say,“This man loved little pride.”57–58 breeks . . . side: trousersreaching to just below the knees,patched from the center to the side.Then he put on the old man’s hose,Were patched from knee to wrist:“By the truth of my body,” said bold Robin Hood,“I’d laugh if I had any list.”61 hose: tight-fitting outer garment.Then he put on the old man’s shoes,Were patched both beneath and aboon:Then Robin Hood swore a solemn oath,“It’s good habit that makes a man.”64 list: wish to do so.66 aboon: above.68 habit: clothing.Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone,With a link-a-down and a-down,And there he met with the proud sheriff,Was walking along the town.“O Christ you save, O sheriff,” he said,“O Christ you save and see:And what will you give to a silly old manToday will your hangman be?”“Some suits, some suits,” the sheriff he said,“Some suits I’ll give to thee;Some suits, some suits, and pence thirteen,Today’s a hangman’s fee.”73 O Christ you save: A respectfulgreeting meaning “God save you” or“God be with you.”79 pence thirteen: thirteen pennies.unit 1: the anglo-saxon and medieval periodsNA L12PE-u01s35-Robin.indd22211/22/1012:14:56 P

Then Robin he turns him round about,And jumps from stock to stone:“By the truth of my body,” the sheriff he said,“That’s well jumped, thou nimble old man.”859095100“I was ne’er a hangman in all my life,Nor yet intends to trade.But cursed be he,” said bold Robin,“That first a hangman was made.“I’ve a bag for meal, and a bag for malt,And a bag for barley and corn,A bag for bread, and a bag for beef,And a bag for my little small horn.“I have a horn in my pocket:I got it from Robin Hood;And still when I set it to my mouth,For thee it blows little good.”“O wind thy horn, thou proud fellow:Of thee I have no doubt;I wish that thou give such a blastTill both thy eyes fall out.”82 stock: a tree stump.RL 4Language CoachMultiple Meanings Many wordshave more than one definition.For example, meal can mean“food served at a certain timeof day” or “ground grain.” Whatdoes it mean in line 89? What isRobin Hood doing as he speakslines 89–91?97 wind: blow.98 doubt: fear.The first loud blast that he did blow,He blew both loud and shrill,A hundred and fifty of Robin Hood’s menCame riding over the hill.105110115The next loud blast that he did give,He blew both loud and amain,And quickly sixty of Robin Hood’s menCame shining over the plain.“O who are those,” the sheriff he said,“Come tripping over the lea?”“They’re my attendants,” brave Robin did say,“They’ll pay a visit to thee.”They took the gallows from the slack,They set it in the glen;They hanged the proud sheriff on that,Released their own three men. d106 amain: with full force.108 shining: riding courageously.110 tripping over the lea (lC): runningover the meadow.113 slack: a very small valley orhollow.d BALLADDescribe the subject matter ofthis ballad. Which aspects of theballad would most likely appealto an audience of commonpeople? Explain your opinion.robin hood and the three squiresNA L12PE-u01s35-Robin.indd22322312/15/107:31:09 P

.AME ATEBARBARA ALLAN / ROBIN HOOD AND THE THREE SQUIRES / GET UPAND BAR THE DOORMASTER itTHIS IS NOT AN COPYASSIGNMENT-Text Analysisis to help you identify thecomponents of a balladBALLADA ballad is a story told in song, using the language of common people. Early balladswere composed orally and passed down through retelling. Ballads feature literaryelements such as characters, settings, a simple plot, and four-line stanzas calledquatrains.Directions: Select one of the three ballads in the lesson. For each poetic conventionlisted in the chart, provide an example from the ballad.Ballad:Conventions of a BalladExamplesTRAGIC OR SENSATIONAL SUBJECT MATTERBARBARA ALLAN / ROBIN HOOD. . . / GET UP AND BAR THE DOORCopyright Holt McDougal, a division of Houghton Mifflin HarcourtA SIMPLE PLOTDIALOGUEREPETITIONREGULAR RHYME METERStrong, easy to identify charactersQuatrains (stanzas of 4)Rhyme scheme of ABCBResource ManagerUnit 1British Literature219

Fell in love with Barbara Allan. He sent his man down through the town To the place where she was dwellin’: “O haste and come to my master dear, Gin ye be Barbara Allan.” O slowly, slowly rase she up, To the place where he was lyin’, And when she drew the curtain by: “Young man, I think you’re dyin’.” “O it’s I’m sick, and very, very sick, And ’tis a’ for Barbara .

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