This song appears in print in the early 17th century. (source: Sail Away, Locke)


(English folk song)

Sir Eglamore was a valiant knight,
fa la lanky down dilly,
He took up his sword and he went to fight,
fa la lanky down dilly.
And as he rode o’er hill and dale,
All armored in a coat of mail.

Fa lanky down, l lanky down, fa lanky down dilly.

Out came a dragon from her den…
That killed God knows how many men…
When she saw Sir Eglamore,
You should have hear that dragon roar.  Refrain

Well, then the trees began to shake…
Horse did tremble and man did quake…
The birds betook them all to peep,
it would have made a grown man weep.  Refrain

But all in vain it was to fear…
For now they fall to fight like bears…
To it they go and soundly fight,
the live-long day from more ’till night.  Refrain

This dragon had a plaguey hide…
That could the sharpest steel abide…
No sword could enter through her skin,
Which vexed the knight and made her grin.  Refrain

But as in choler she did burn…
He fetched the dragon a great good turn…
As a yawning she did fall,
he thrust his sword up, hilt and all.  Refrain

Like a coward she did fly…
To her den which was hard by…
There she lay all night and roared,
the knight was sorry for his sword.  Refrain


  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song
Amazon links are affiliate links. I earn a small commission, but there is no extra cost to you.

Share this post

1 thought on “Sir Eglamore”

  1. This song is on Chappells Music of the Olden Time published in the 1850s. Chappell cites sources back to 1615 (The Melancholy Knight). He describes the song as a satire on the deeds recounted in old romances. This aspect seems to be overlooked in modern versions which omit the last two verses.

    When all this was done to the alehouse he went
    And by and by his tuppence was spent
    For he was so hot with tugging the dragon
    That nothing could quench him but a whole flagon

    Now God preserve our King and Queen
    And eke in London may be seen
    As many knights and as many more
    And all so good as Sir Eglamore.

    I think the City Waite’s recording from 1974 captures the satire of the lyrics quite nicely. More modern versions seem to me to miss the point.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top