“Brown Robyn's Confession”


Brown Robyn and his men go to sea and meet a fierce storm. They cast lots to learn who is to blame, and Brown Robyn himself is thrown overboard. He sees the Virgin Mary, who offers to let him come to heaven or return to his men. He chooses heaven


This appears to be the only legitimate ballad that supports the doctrine of Justification by Faith. It is rather odd to find such a thing in Presbyterian Scotland. Especially given that Robyn had had incestuous relations with both his mother and his sister. - RBW

The theme of the sailor thrown overboard to calm a storm sent by God is found in Jonah 1.1-16. - BS

Cross references


  1. Child 57, "Brown Robyn's Confession" (1 text)
  2. Bronson (57) [Brown Robin's Confession], comments only with the tune belonging to "Captain Glen"
  3. OBB 21, "Brown Robyn's Confession" (1 text)
  4. PBB 8, "Brown Robyn's Confession" (1 text)
  5. Gummere, pp. 142-143+331, "Brown Robyne's Confession" (1 text)
  6. ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #412, "Brown Robyn" (1 text)
  7. Roud #3882
  8. BI, C057


Author: unknown
Found in: Britain(Scotland)