You gentlemen both great and small,
Gamekeepers, poachers, sportsmen all,
Come listen to this simple clown,
I'll sing you the death of poor Bill Brown,
I'll sing you the death of poor Bill Brown.
One starry night, as you shall hear,
It being the season of the year.
We went to the woods to get a fat buck,
But in that night we had bad luck,
For Bill was shot and down was struck.
We went to the woods, our sport began,
And I saw the gamekeeper present his gun,
I called to Bill to climb the gate,
To get away, but it was too late,
For there he met his untimely fate.
I saw the man that shot Bill Brown -
I saw that man, I could name the clown -
For to describe him in my song,
Black jacket he had and red waistcoat on,
I know that man, his name is Tom.
I dressed myself next night in time,
I got to the wood as the clock struck nine,
The reason was, and I'll tell you why,
To find the gamekeeper I did try,
Who shot my friend, and he shall die.
I ranged the woods all over, and then,
I looked at my watch, and it was just ten;
I heard a footstep on the green,
And hid myself for fear I'd be seen,
For well I knew that it was Tom Green.
I took my gun all in my hand,
Resolved to shoot him if he should stand;
He heard a noise and turned him round,
I shot and I brought him to the ground,
My hand gave him his deep death wound.
So with revenge my hope is crowned,
I shot the man that shot Bill Brown.
Poor Bill, no more his eyes will see,
Farewell, kind friend, farewell to thee,
I've crowned your hopes and your memory.