09a. My horse and I did like lightening fly / It’s from the rich I rob and it’s to the poor give

          No. 9.

          There was another favourite song in praise of a
Highwayman of which I remember only the lines,

“My horse and I did like lightning fly
When we heard the sound of coaches.


“Its from the rich I rob, and it’s to the poor give.”

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"My horse and I" is, in fact, the same as Place's ballad #8, “Young Morgan,” which is also known as “The Flying Highwayman” and begins “Come all ye bold and swaggering Blades.” See Bodelian Archive Harding B 11(4379)Roud Index Number 5369.

"It's from the rich I rob and it's to the poor I give" may be one of the many Robin Hood ballads. I have been unable to identify it, though the line is quite similar to one of the variants of "Young Morgan," which sometimes contain the verse"

I scorn poor people for to rob,
I though it so my duty,
But when I met the rich and gay,
On them I made my booty.

The fact that Place remembers these various lines as different ballads though is of interest and is suggestive of the way floating verses, or even floating lines, were used across different ballads that involved highwaymen. Certainly these ballads have the hallmarks of quickly composed songs printed and sung opportunistically as highwaymen faced execution.

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