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Richard Coeur de Lion

by Marriott Edgar
Illustrations by John Hassall

They fought all day
They fought all day

Richard Coeur de Lion was graced with that epithet even before he became king.

His granny was Matilda and like her, well used to fighting. He commanded his own army at the age of 16.

Proved by the flattering portrait on the right, kings in those days cleaned their ears with a sword. Did this stick in Richard the Lionheart's ear inspire Marriott Edgar to write Albert and the Lion?

Blondel crooning
Blondel crooning
Blondel crooning
Blondel crooning
Blondel crooning
Blondel crooning
Blondel crooning

Richard the First, Coeur-de-Lion,
Is a name that we speak of with pride,
Though he only lived six months in England
From his birth to the day that he died.

He spent all his time fighting battles,
Dressed up in most rigid attire,
For he had his suits made by the Blacksmith,
And his underwear knitted of wire.

He married a lady from Flanders,
Berengaria's what they called her;
She turned out a good wife to Richard,
In spite of a name like that there.

For when he came home from his fighting
She'd bandage the wounds in his sconce,
And every time a snake bit him
She'd suck out the poison at once.

In their 'ouse they'd a minstrel called Blondel
To amuse them at t'end of the day'
And the King had but one thing against him...
He had nobbut one tune he could play.

The Queen saw nowt wrong with the number
And would have it again and again,
And when Richard said: "Put a sock in it!"
She'd give 'im a look full of pain.

The King got fed up at the finish,
And were so sick of 'earing it played,
That he packed his spare suit on a wagon
And went off and joined the Crusade.

He got fighting the moment he landed,
And though Saracen lads did their best,
He cut off their heads in such numbers,
That the hatmakers lodged a protest.

The Sultan, whose name were Saladin,
Thought he'd best try this business to stem,
So he rode up to Richard and told him
He mustn't do that there to them.

Dressed up in rigid attire
Dressed up in rigid attire

Said Richard: "Oh! Who's going to stop me?"
Said Saladin: "I will, and quick!"
So the King poked his sword at the Sultan,
Who, in turn, swiped his skimpter at Dick.

They fought all that day without ceasing;
They fought till at last they both saw
That each was a match for the other,
So they chucked it and called it a draw.

As Richard rode home in the moonlight
He heard someone trying to croon,
And there by the roadside stood Blondel,
Still playing his signature tune.

He'd worked out his passage from England
In search of his Master and Lord,
And had swum the last part of the journey
'Cos his tune got 'im thrown overboard.

This meeting filled Richard with panic:
He rode off and never drew rein
Till he got past the Austrian border
And felt he could breathe once again.

Blondel the minstrel
Blondel the minstrel
Still playing his signature tune
Still playing his signature tune

He hid in a neighbouring Castle,
But he hadn't been there very long
When one night just outside his window
Stood Blondel, still singing his song.

This 'ere took the heart out of Richard;
He went home dejected and low,
And the very next fight he got into
He were killed without striking a blow.

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