Introduced by Gwilym Davies

Mercifully, the days when you could be hanged for poaching are long gone but there must have been times when the scenario of “Georgie” was very real to many. Theories abound as to the historical truth of the events of the song, but none is convincing. The ballad “George Stoole” from the 17th Century sets much the same scene and even shares some verses with more modern versions. The ballad in something approaching its present form has been noted from the 18th century onwards. This version is from Hampshire, England, and was collected by Alice Gillington from an unnamed traveler.

Here’s Gwilym Davies singing the song:

Score Georgie Single Line
Click here for a downloadable PDF


O, have you heard of a good little boy?
A good little boy as any?
Who will run five miles in one half an hour,
For to carry a letter to my Georgie,
For to carry a letter to my Georgie?

My Georgie has not robbed house, nor land,
Nor church, nor murdered any!
He have only killed six of the King’s fallow deer,
And sold them in Goenni.
And sold them in Goenni.

And when she reached to the King’s fair court,
There were lords and squires many,
Down on her bended knees she fell,
“O spare me the life of my Georgie!
O spare me the life of my Georgie!”

The up and spake the good lord Judge,
Saying, “Madam, you bide easy
For your own confession have hanged him now,
So I pity you, fair lady!
I pity you, fair lady!”

My Georgie shall be hung in a chain of gold
If he is hung in any!
Because he was of royal, royal blood,
And he courted a virgin lady!
And he courted a virgin lady!

I wish I was on Shooter’s Hill,
Where kisses I’ve had many,
With my broad sword and pistol to
I would fight for the life of my Georgie!
I would fight for the life of my Georgie!

Despite his Welsh name and ancestry, Gwilym Davies is a Hampshire man who has been resident in Gloucestershire since the 1970s. He is an experienced singer of traditional songs and, when not singing unaccompanied, accompanies himself on melodeon, concertina, banjo or guitar. For more than 40 years, Gwilym has been tracking down and recording traditional singers, and more that half his repertoire is based on songs from those singers. He sings a large number of songs from the English traveller community which he has learnt first hand. Most of his English songs come from the south and southwest of England, and he also sings a number of songs from his collecting trips to the USA.