Fact Check

Robin Hood Bridal Procession

The hilarious story of a request for bridal processional music gone wrong.

Published Aug. 9, 1998


Legend:   A bride who requests the theme from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves as her processional music is shocked to find herself making her way to the altar to the strains of a different "Robin Hood" song.

Example:   [Healey & Glanvill, 1993]

A friend of a friend went out with his girlfriend for a romantic evening, topped off by a visit to the cinema to see the blockbuster movie Robin Hood — Prince of Thieves. They loved this touching, rather tender film, and especially the smoochy theme song, "Everything I Do, I Do It For You." Later the same night, as they listened to "their" song in a local pub, the boyfriend went down on one knee, proposed, and his paramour enthusiastically said yes.

Come the day of the wedding, the groom, waiting for his future wife to arrive at the church, had a word with the church organist. He asked the organist if he could play their song, the theme from Robin Hood, instead of the standard wedding march. The organist, a stickler for tradition, asked the groom if he was sure. The groom said he'd never been more sure of anything.

As the bride entered the hushed church, the organist stuck up the Robin Hood theme as arranged. The only problem was he'd never heard of Bryan Adams. Instead, he accompanied the bride's procession with the jaunty and highly inappropriate "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen" theme from the Sixties television series of the same name.

Origins:   Though not a critical favorite, the 1991 Kevin Costner film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves made its mark in the annals of romance both for showing a buck naked Robin Hood being lusted after while bathing by a peeping Maid Marian and for including a syrupy theme song,

Robin Hood

Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You." The song was particularly well received, and soon after its release demands for it inundated the request lines. As love songs go, it was a humdinger. Beautiful Bryan Adams as Robin Hood, swearing his undying love to an absent Maid Marian. You can't get much more romantic than that.

Though we don't know if any bride used this particular Bryan Adams song as her processional music, it's certainly a believable choice for a song to elbow out the more traditional "Here Comes the Bride."

That a song this sighed over came from a Robin Hood movie most likely spawned this legend when it opened the door for the creation of a funny story. The effect of its punchline depends upon knowledge of a fifty-year-old British television series, The Adventures of Robin Hood (also broadcast in the U.S. by CBS from 1955-1958). It had a theme song, but it was of a more robust (and literal) nature than the Bryan Adams hit:

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen;
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men.
Feared by the bad,
Loved by the good,
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood!

He called the greatest archers to a tavern on the green.
They vowed to help the people of the King.
They handled all the trouble on the English country scene,
And still found plenty of time to sing.

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen;
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men.
Feared by the bad,
Loved by the good,
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood!

The mental image of the beautiful, picture-perfect bride about to make a grand and memorable entrance up the aisle of the church to join her handsome groom, only to be greeted by the exuberant strains of "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen . . ." is what makes this legend. Weddings are supposed to be serious and solemn events, so it pleases us to imagine all that drama and meticulous planning being foiled by an unfortunate mixup in the music.

Barbara "sherwood love to see that" Mikkelson

(A point of trivia: The theme for The Adventures of Robin Hood television series was sung by Dick James, who later entered the music publishing business and landed the original publishing rights to nearly all of the Beatles' song catalog.)

Additional information:  

    Theme from 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' Theme from 'The Adventures of Robin Hood'

Last updated:   9 July 2005

  Sources Sources:

    Brooks, Tim.   The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows.

    New York: Ballatine Books, 1999.   ISBN 0-345-42923-0   (p. 17).

    Healey, Phil and Rick Glanvill.   Now! That's What I Call Urban Myths.

    London: Virgin Books, 1996.   ISBN 0-86369-969-3   (pp. 243-244).

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