Mudcat Café message #3619284 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #154305   Message #3619284
Posted By: GUEST,domjohnson
16-Apr-14 - 07:28 AM
Thread Name: Tam Lin (Child #39-I)
Subject: Tam Lin (Child #39I)

So, I've been trying to wade through child ballad 39I - a particularly unusual version of Tam Lin - for a while and thought maybe I should ask here for some interpretations of some of the verses, particularly these three:

        That we got us between?
39I.26        'The truth ye'll tell to me, Tamlane,
        A word ye mauna lie;
        Gin eer ye was in haly chapel,
        Or sained in Christentie?'
39I.27        'The truth I'll tell to thee, Janet,
        A word I winna lie;
        A knight me got, and a lady me bore,
        As well as they did thee.
39I.28        'Randolph, Earl Murray, was my sire,
        Dunbar, Earl March, is thine;
        We loved when we were children small,
        Which yet you well may mind.

In the first of the three, the last two lines are a complete puzzle to me - I know essentially no Scots dialect (basing the rest of the interpretations from what I know of today's North-Eastern dialect which is, of course, very different) so trying to untangle what it means is difficult. Is Janet asking if he is a supernatural being (Another version has this as "If eer ye were in holy chapel//Or christendom did see" which would suggest passing away).

As for the last two, I am struggling quite a bit so any interpretations are appreciated. I'm not sure the very last appears in other versions, hence the difficulty!

Many thanks (and I hope you all find these interesting)