Intro: Am Am C G Am Am C G/B Am The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees Am C G/B Am The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon the cloudy seas Dm G C G/B Am G The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor Dm G C G/B And the highwayman came riding, Am G Riding, riding, Am G/B Dm Am The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door. Am C G/B Am He'd a French cocked hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin, Am C G/B Am A coat of claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin; Dm G C G/B Am G/B They fitted with nary a wrinkle; his boots were up to the thigh Dm G C G/B And he rode with a jeweled twinkle, Am G His pistol butts a-twinkle, Am G/B Dm Am His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky. Am C G/B Am Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn yard, Am C G/B Am And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred; Dm G C G/B Am G/B He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there? Dm G C G/B But the landlord's black-eyed daughter, Am G Bess, the landlord's daughter, Am G/B Dm Am Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair. Am C G/B Am "One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize tonight, Am C G Am But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light; Dm G C G\B Am G Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day, Dm G C G/B Then look for me by the moonlight, Am Am Watch for me by the moonlight, Am G Dm Am I'll come to thee by the moonlight, though hell should bar the way. Am C G Am He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand Am C G/B Am But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand Dm G C G/B Am G/B As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast; Dm G C G/B And he kissed its waves in the moonlight, Am G (Oh, sweet waves in the moonlight!) Am G/B Dm Am Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west. Am C G/B Am He did not come at the dawning; he did not come at noon, Am C G/B Am And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon, Dm G C G/B Am G/B When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor, Dm G C G/B A red-coat troop came marching, Am G Marching, marching Am G/B Dm Am King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door. Am C G They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead, Am C G/B Am But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed Dm G C G/B Am G/B Two of them knelt at the casement, with muskets at their side! Dm G C G/B There was death at every window Am G And hell at one dark window; Am G/B Dm For Bess could see, through the casement, Am The road that he would ride. Am C G Am They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest; Am C G/B Am They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast! Dm G C G/B "now keep good watch!" And they kissed her. Am G/B She heard the dead man say Dm G C G/B "Look for me by the moonlight Am G Watch for me by the moonlight Am G/B Dm Am I'll come to thee by the moonlight, though hell should bar the way!" Am C G Am She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good! Am C G/B Am She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood! Dm G C G/B Am G/B They stretched and strained in the darkness and the hours crawled by like years! Dm G C G/B Till, now, on the stroke of midnight, Am G Cold, on the stroke of midnight, Am G/B Dm The tip of one finger touched it! Am The trigger at least was hers! Am C G/B Am Totelot-totelot! Had they heard it? The horse's hooves rang clear Am C G/B Am Totelot-totelot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear? Dm G C G/B Am G/B Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill, Dm G C G The highwayman came riding, Am G Riding, riding! Am G/B Dm The red-coats looked to their priming! Am She stood up straight and still! Am C G Am Totelot in the frosty silence! Totelot, in the echoing night! Am C G/B Am Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light! Dm G C G/B Am G/B Her eyes grew wide for a moment! She drew one last deep breath, Dm G C G/B Then her finger moved in the moonlight, Am G Her musket shattered the moonlight, Am G/B Dm Am Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him with her death. Am C G Am He turned; he spurred to the west; he did not know she stood Am C G Am Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood! Dm G C G/B Am G/B Not till the dawn he heard it; his face grew grey to hear Dm G C G/B How Bess, the landlord's daughter, Am G The landlord's black-eyed daughter, Am G/B Dm Am Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there. Am C G/B Am Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky Am C G/B Am With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high! Dm G C G Am G Blood-red were the spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat, Dm G C G When they shot him down on the highway, Am G Down like a dog on the highway, Am G/B Dm Am And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat. Am C G/B Am Still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees, Am C G/B Am When the moon is a ghostly galleon, tossed upon the cloudy seas, Dm G C G Am G/B When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, Dm G C G A highwayman comes riding, Am G Riding, riding, Am G/B Dm Am A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.