I hate Disney, not the man, but the entity. Most people have their own personal corporate villain, whether it is Bill Gates and his mammoth software company or Rupert Murdoch and his colossal entertainment enterprise. Mine is Michael Eisner and the Disney Corporation. With that said, I cannot seem to retroactively apply my current distain for the company towards certain nostalgia of old. This song is one of those things, and I must say, I continue to gain appreciation for it as time goes on.
"Not in Nottingham" is found on the 1973 Disney animated motion picture Robin Hood. This soulful song was written, arranged, and performed by country music artist Roger Miller who portrayed the part of the lute playing rooster Allan-a-Dale. Miller's character narrated the story and in addition to "Not in Nottingham", he also performed "Oo-de-lally" and "Whistle-Stop" for the movie.
I had all but forgotten about this classic tune. But a few years ago I attended punk concert where one of the bands broke from the characteristic thrash to cover this song. They performed this with an abundance of blues almost exactly as Miller had. The audience, who were of the age to have seen Robin Hood as children, was truly overwhelmed. I couldn't believe this 1970's folk song from a Disney animated picture could bring tears to the liberty spiked punkers' eyes.
The song, widely heralded as the most memorable on the soundtrack, with Miller's soothing baritone voice truly brings across the desired emotion of the moment, complete and udder despair of their broken spirit. The entire town is jailed because they couldn't pay their taxes. They are shackled, starving, cold, and wet. And compiled with their own misery, they must watch their friends and loved ones suffer along with them.
Has its ups and downs
Outnumber the downs
But not in Nottingham
I'm inclined to believe
If we were so down
We'd up and leave
We'd up and fly if we had wings for flyin'
Can't you see the tears we're cryin'?
Can't there be some happiness for me?
Not in Nottingham
The publishing rights to Not in Nottingham are owned by Disney Music Publishing. The lyrics were used fairly without permission. CST Approved