“Archie o Cawfield”


Archie is in prison for raiding. His brothers wish they could rescue him, and at last set out with ten men. Archie laments to his brothers that he is to die. The brothers break down the doors and escape the pursuing forces


Child notes, "This ballad is in all the salient features a repetition of 'Jock o the Side' [Child #187], Halls playing the parts of Armstrongs."

Many American versions of this (Linscott's "Bold Dickie," Warner's "Bold Dickie and Bold Archie," and perhaps the variant printed by Barry in BFSSNE; the Gardner/Chickering text is still fairly Scottish) have taken on some American color, and it is possible that they are actually American inventions which have mixed with the British song. Or they may have seen influence from "Billy Broke Locks." The whole family is rather a mess.

Linscott claims that "It is known that the song was *not* sung by women." - RBW

Cross references


  1. Child 188, "Archie o Cawfield" (6 texts)
  2. Bronson 188, "Archie o Cawfield" (7 versions)
  3. Leach, pp. 509-516, "Archie o Cawfield" (2 texts)
  4. OBB 140, "Archie of Cawfield" (1 text)
  5. Gardner/Chickering 84, "Archie o' Cawfield" (1 text)
  6. Warner 191, "Bold Dickie and Bold Archie" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Linscott, pp. 172-175, "Bold Dickie" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #4}
  8. DBuchan 34, "Archie o Cawfield" (1 text)
  10. Roud #83
  11. BI, C188


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1780 (Percy papers)
Found in: Britain(Scotland) US(NE)