Mudcat Café message #2143178 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104565   Message #2143178
Posted By: GUEST,Shimrod
07-Sep-07 - 07:27 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
Around 1967/68 I heard the late, great Bert Lloyd sing his anglicised version of the Scottish ballad, 'Tam Lin' at Peterborough Folk Club. I believe that Bert's version was partly based on a version (or versions) collected in the mid 60s from Scots Travellers. I'm sure that Bert called the protagonist of his version 'Tamberlane' or 'Tamburlane'. To this day I have no idea why.

'Tamburlaine'/'Tamerlane' (sometimes referred to as 'Timur the Lame') was, of course (as has been pointed out above), a Tartar warrior who, at the end of the 14th Century/beginning of the 15th Century conquered Persia and, at the battle of Ankara(1402)defeated and imprisoned the Ottoman Sultan, Bayezit. No connection whatsoever with a Scottish ballad, as far as I can see. But Bert was a wily old fox, who, no doubt, knew very well who Tamburlaine was. But, try as I might, I can't come up with a rational reason for why he should have deliberately set out to cause such confusion (perhaps he was imbuing an already mysterious ballad with yet another layer of mystery).