Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  

The Ballad of Robban's First Ride

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1972 Schroder Music Company, renewed 2000. A true story involving the singers John Roberts and Tony Barrand.

The winter came early in seventy two,
With a hell of a storm coming down,
And Mary and Tom bundled into the car,
'Cause Mary was hospital bound.
They didn't get far till the telephone rang,
It was Tony and John on the line.
"You'd better get over," said Tommy to John,
"'Cause Mary has come to her time.

A tree it has fallen athwart of the road,
And we're stuck here and cannot get by."
So our two British stalwarts start driving again
Right into the hurricane's eye.
They drove till they came to the Marlboro hill
And they helped Mary over the log,
They couldn't turn round so they had to back down,
It was nearly a mile to the road.

They leaned on the horn and they drove like the wind.
"You bastards get out of the way!
Cause the Toleno baby of Mary and Tom
Is due to be borning this day."
Said Mary, "I tell you the baby is here."
Said Tony, "Hold on for a bit.
Brattleboro is some two miles away
And the hospital's farther on yet."

But the head of the baby emerged into view,
And Tom took the shoulders in hand,
And Tony and John are as white as a sheet
And driving as fast as they can.
They wrapped the young creature in John's woolly coat
From his feet to his little round head,
And the baby said, "Ma, what you doing out here!
You ought to be home in your bed."

They pulled up the car at the hospital door
And Tony he hardly could speak.
"There's a baby was born in the back of our car!"
Said the nurse, "That's the third one this week."
The doctor he was the philosopher type,
And his thinking was easy and large.
"There's many a kid gets his first start in life
In the back of a second-hand Dodge."

They rolled out the gurney and brought in the two,
Both mother and child doing fine,
When the nurse asked the question, "Whose baby is this?"
All three of the men answered, "Mine!"
Then Tony and John went on down to the pub
To get them a jug of the brew,
And they told all the folks who were drinking around
The story I'm telling to you.

They told all the folks that were drinking around
Of the babe that was born on the road,
And they all drank a toast to the health of the child
And the heroes who carried the load.
Robban Anthony John who was born in the Dodge,
That was the new baby's name,
And the bartender set up the drinks on the house,
And I hope you'll be doing the same.

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- The Malvina Reynolds Songbook

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- Held Over

Recordings by other artists on which this song is performed:
---- Margaret MacArthur: The Old Songs (Philo PH 41001, 1975)

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This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

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