Subscribe to our Newsletter

Arthur O'Bradley O

Back to browse page
Performer: Unknown
Place Collected: Bourton-on-the-Water
Date collected: Between 1913 and 1916
Collector: Williams, Alfred
Roud Number: 365

This song is older than at first appears. A broadside was printed in London in the 1670s entitled “A Merry Wedding or Brave Arthur of Bradley” and basically goes on to recount, in very verbose fashion, the courtship and wedding of the eponymous hero. It is impressive that it survived in oral tradition until at least the 1920s in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire and has also turned up in Sussex and Somerset. One can imagine that the performance would have been a memory tour de force.


Notes by Gwilym Davies 12 March 2016