The Three Ravens SHEET MUSIC BY Kids
The Three Ravens
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"The Three Ravens" is an English folk ballad, printed in the song book Melismata compiled by Thomas Ravenscroft and published in 1611, but it is perhaps older than that. More recent versions (with different music) were recorded right up through the 19th century. Francis James Child recorded several versions in his Child Ballads (catalogued as number 26). A common derivative is called "Twa Corbies" ("Two Ravens" or "Two Crows"), and it follows a similar general story, but with a cynical twist. The ballad takes the form of three scavenger birds conversing about where and what they should eat. One mentions a recently slain knight, but they find he is guarded by his loyal hawks and hounds. Furthermore a "fallow doe", an obvious metaphor for the knight's pregnant ("as great with young as she might go") lover or mistress (see "leman") comes to his body, kisses his wounds, bears him away, and buries him, leaving the ravens without an apparent meal. The narrator, however, gradually departs from the ravens' point of view, ending with â€œGod send euery gentleman/Such haukes, such hounds, and such a Lemanâ€ - the comment of the narrator on the action, rather than the ravens whose discussion he earlier describes. Alternatively, the lyrics may simply ascribe the apparent narrator's sentiments to the raven(s), which given the previous personification of the raven(s) seems just as possible.
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