Yorkshire Garland

York,York for my money

Performed by:
Steve Gardham accompanied by Ray Black on the Lute
Recorded in:
Recorded on:
Recorded by:
Steve Gardham

Archival information

C minor
Time Signature:
Roud id:
Laws id:
Master title:
York, York for my money
Places Cited:


As I came through the north country
The fashions of the world to see,
I sought for my merry company,
To go to the city of London.
And when to the city of York I came
I found good company in the same,
As well disposed to every game
As if it had been at London.

York, York for my money,
Of all the cities that ever I see,
For merry pastime and company,
Except the city of London.

And in that city what saw I then,
Knights, squires and gentlemen,
A shooting went for matches ten,
As if it had been at London.
And they shot at twenty pounds a bow,
Besides great cheer they did bestow;
I never saw a gallanter show,
Except I had been at London.

These matches you shall understand
The Earl of Essex took in hand,
Against the good Earl of Cumberland,
As if it had been at London.
And agreed these matches all shall be,
For pastime and good company,
At the city of York full merrily,
As if it had been at London.

In York there dwells an alderman, which
Delights in shooting very much,
I never heard of any such
In all the city of London.
His name is Maltby, merry and wise,
At any pastime you can devise,
But in shooting all his pleasure lies,
The like was never in London.

This Maltby for the city’s sake,
To shoot (himself) did undertake,
At any good match the earls would make,
As well as they do in London.
And he brought to the fields with him,
One Upecke, an archer, proper and trim,
And Smith, that shoot about the pin,
As if it had been at London.

Then came from Cumberland archers three,
Best bowmen in the north country,
I will tell you their names what they be,
Well known to the city of London.
Walmsley many a man doth know,
And Bolton how he draweth his bow,
And Ratcliffe’s shooting long ago,
Well known to the city of London.

And the noble Earl of Essex came
To the field himself to see the same,
Which shall be had for ever in fame,
As soon as I come to London;
For he showed himself so diligent there,
To make a mark and keep it fair,
It is worthy memory to declare
Through all the city of London.

And then was shooting out of cry,
And scantling at a handful nigh,
And yet the wind was very high,
As it is sometimes at London.
They clapt the clouts so on the rags,
There was such betting and such brags,
And galloping up and down with nags,
As if it had been at London.

And never an archer gave regard
To half a bow and half a yard;
I never see matches go so hard
About the city of London;
For fairer play was never played,
For fairer lays were never laid,
And a week together they kept this trade,
As if it had been at London.

The Mayor of York with his company
Were all in the fields, I warrant ye
To see good rule kept orderly,
As if it had been at London,
Which was a dutiful sight to see,
The Mayor and aldermen there to be,
For setting forth of archery
As well as they do at London.

And there was neither fault nor fray,
Nor any disorder any way,
But every man did pitch and pay,
As if it had been at London.
As soon as every match was done
Every man was paid that won,
And merrily up and down did roam,
As if it had been at London.

And never a man that went abroad
But thought his money well bestowed,
And money laid in heap and load,
As if it had been at London.
And gentlemen there so frank and free
As a mint at York again should be,
Like shooting did I never see,
As if it had been a t London.

At York were ambassadors three
Of Russia—lords of high degree,
This shooting they desired to see,
As if it had been at London;
And one desired to draw a bow,
The force and strength thereof to know,
And for his delight he drew it so,
As seldom seen in London.

And they did marvel very much,
There could be any archer such,
To shoot so far the clout to touch,
Which is no news to London;
And they might well consider than,
An English shaft will kill a man,
As hath been proved where and wan,
And chronicled since in London.

The Earl of Cumberland’s archers won
Two matches clear, ere all was done,
And I made haste a pace to run
To carry these news to London;
And Walmsley did the upshot win,
With both his shafts so near the pin,
You could scant have put three fingers in;
As if it had been at London.

I pass not for my money it cost,
Though some I spent and some I lost,
I wanted neither sod nor roast,
As if it had been at London;
For there was plenty of everything,
Red and fallow deer for a king,
I never saw so merry shooting
Since first I came from London.

God save the city of York, therefore,
That hath such noble friends in store,
And such good aldermen send them more,
And the like good luck at London;
For it is not little joy to see,
When lords and aldermen so agree,
With such according communalty,
God send us the like in London.

God save the good Earl of Cumberland,
His praise in golden lines shall stand,
That maintains archery through the land,
As well as they do at London;
Whose noble mind so courteously
Acquaints himself with the communalty
To the glory of his nobility
I will carry the praise to London.

And tell the good Earl of Essex thus,
As he is now young and prosperous,
To use such properties virtuous,
Deserves great praise in London;
For it is no little joy to see,
When noble youth so gracious be,
To give their good wills to their country,
As well as they do at London.

Farewell, good city of York, to thee,
Tell Alderman Maltby this from me,
In print shall this good shooting be
As soon as I come to London;
And many a song will I bestow
On all the musicians that I know,
To sing the praises where they go
Of the city of York, in London.

God save our Queen and keep our peace,
That our good shooting may increase,
And praying to God let us not cease,
As well at York as at London.
This all our country round about
May have archers good to hit the clout,
Which England cannot be without,
No more than York or London.

God grant that (once) Her Majesty
Would come, her city of York to see,
For the comfort great of that country,
As well as she doth at London.
Nothing shall be thought too dear,
To see her highness’ person there,
With such obedient love and fear
As ever she had in London.

Accompanied by Ray Black on the lute.