The Three Ravens is a very old song. The spelling here for raven is "rauen", which is the old way to spell it. Several other spellings in this rhyme are also archaic. This is a very sad song.




This song can be found in "Ancient Songs: From the Time of King Henry the Third, to The Revolution" (1790) by Joseph Ritson.

Ritson wrote about how this song existed in 1611 (and before): "From Ravenfcrofts 'Melifmata. Mufical Phanfies. Fitting the Cittie, and Countrey Humours. To 3, 4, and 5. voyces. Lond. 1611.' It will be obvious, that this ballad is much older, not only than the date of the book, but than most of the other pieces contained in it."