King John and The Bishop

King John and the Bishop is an English folk-song dating back at least to the 16th century. It is catalogued in Child Ballads as number 45 and Roud Folk Song Index 302.

The song recounts the poor relationship between King John and the archbishop of Canterbury, but is also an example of a riddle-song. Francis James Child makes the comment that the roots of this ballad may be much older - perhaps going back to the sixth century, when riddling was a much stronger tradition in English poetry.

It is sufficiently old and widespread to have its own entry in the Aarne-Thompson classification system of fokltale classicifications, where it is classed as "AT 922". It is theoretically possible that it began as mythic folk tale, and was superimposed onto a story from history and then written as a song.

Read more about King John And The Bishop:  Synopsis, Commentary, Cultural Relationships, Music

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King John And The Bishop - Music - Other Songs With The Same Tune
... In 1728 the ballad opera "Penelope" by Thomas Cooke and John Mottley used the tune ... To the tune of King John and the Abbot of Canterbury.' A mythological ditty of fourteen verses, each ending with a derry down ... Gentleman" magazine published a song called "A Ballad of New Scotland", to be sung to the tune "King John and the Abbot of Canterbury" ...

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