“Dick o the Cow”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1775 (Percy papers)
Keywords: horse revenge robbery family
Found in: Britain(Scotland)

Description

Johnnie Armstrong decides on a raid, but has little luck. He is advised to steal the three kye of Dick o the Cow, a "fool." Dick seeks redress; when denied, he makes off with horses in exchange for his cattle, and finally gets a reward from his master

Notes

This ballad may have some roots in history, but had clearly been magnified beyond recognition and become rather confused in the process. Child has various speculations; most are possible but none really convincing. - RBW

References

  1. Child 185, "Dick o the Cow" (1 text)
  2. Bronson 185, "Dick o the Cow" (1 version)
  3. Leach, pp. 498-504, "Dick o the Cow" (1 text)
  4. OBB 142, "Dick o' the Cow" (1 text)
  5. Roud #4012
  6. BI, C185