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Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine

DigiTrad:
TAM LIN
TAM O THE LINN
TAMLIN
TAMLYN


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Cstargazy 06 Sep 07 - 12:53 PM
The Borchester Echo 06 Sep 07 - 01:00 PM
The Borchester Echo 06 Sep 07 - 01:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Sep 07 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Billy 06 Sep 07 - 04:22 PM
The Borchester Echo 06 Sep 07 - 07:26 PM
Barry Finn 06 Sep 07 - 08:13 PM
Effsee 06 Sep 07 - 09:37 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Sep 07 - 02:43 AM
PMB 07 Sep 07 - 04:26 AM
Jack Blandiver 07 Sep 07 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Sep 07 - 07:27 AM
PMB 07 Sep 07 - 07:43 AM
manitas_at_work 07 Sep 07 - 08:45 AM
Cstargazy 07 Sep 07 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Billy 07 Sep 07 - 10:48 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 Sep 07 - 10:58 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 Sep 07 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Billy 07 Sep 07 - 11:08 AM
PMB 07 Sep 07 - 11:14 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 Sep 07 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Sep 07 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Tommy 07 Sep 07 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Crazy_Man_Michael 07 Sep 07 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Crazy_Man_ Michael 07 Sep 07 - 03:31 PM
Jim McLean 07 Sep 07 - 03:56 PM
GUEST,Crazy_Man_Michael 07 Sep 07 - 04:41 PM
Lighter 07 Sep 07 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Crazy_Man_Michael 07 Sep 07 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Sep 07 - 05:26 PM
Cstargazy 07 Sep 07 - 05:59 PM
Dave Sutherland 08 Sep 07 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 08 Sep 07 - 06:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Sep 07 - 07:01 AM
Geoff the Duck 08 Sep 07 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Crazy_Man_Michael 08 Sep 07 - 11:08 AM
Art Thieme 08 Sep 07 - 12:49 PM
Lighter 08 Sep 07 - 05:46 PM
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Subject: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Cstargazy
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 12:53 PM

Is there a link between Tam Lin and Tamberlaine/


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 01:00 PM

Can't think of one.

Tam Lin is a tale of fornication with fairies at Carterhaugh whereas Tambulaine is a Marlowe play based loosely on a Persian emperor, Timor the Lame.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 01:02 PM

Oops, Tamburlaine the Great.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 01:38 PM

Tamberlaine also a long poem by Poe. Threads on Tam lin here at Mudcat.
But Diane's answer is to the point- no relation.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 04:22 PM

Fornication with fairies? Diane Easby hasn't a clue! Read or listen to the tale before taking her silly comment seriously.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 07:26 PM

'None that go by Carterhaugh
but they leave him a pledge
Either their mantles of green
or else their maidenheads

For if my love were an earthly knight
as he is an elfin grey
I'd not change my own true love
for any knight you have'


So what else would you call it?
OK Tam Lin isn't a real fairy.
The Queen of the Fairies transformed him from a human after he fell off his horse.
For seven years (isn't it always?)
And the night, very conveniently, was Halloween, so he's rescued before the Queen can turn him into a tree.
Hurrah.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Barry Finn
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 08:13 PM

F ornication
U nder the
C onsent of the
K ing

in Tam Lin's case, under the Queen?

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Effsee
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 09:37 PM

Diane, I think you'll find that Timor the Lame was a Ta(r)tar who actually conquered the Persians.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 02:43 AM

He conquered everybody and created a really big Persia.
Tam Lin didn't.
All he did was get Janet to beat the Fairy Queen.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: PMB
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 04:26 AM

Any connection between Tam Lin and Tam Pax?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 04:44 AM

It says Tim Lin on the cover of my wife's CD copy of Leige & Lief; no doubt a relative of Staines Norris on her CD copy of Anthems in Eden...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 07:27 AM

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).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: PMB
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 07:43 AM

And is he the same as the little Tammy Lin in Ding Dong Bell?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 08:45 AM

I had that as Tommy Flynn.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Cstargazy
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 09:25 AM

Thank you all, especially Shimrod. I too thought the gap was too far to bridge, but I too had a recollection of Bert Lloyd connecting/conflating the two guys...he said many amazing things when he came to our college folk club in the sixties...giving Buddhist Bodisivetta origins to the 'Twa Magigians'and ancient mediterranean basin links to 'God Rest you merry Gentlmen'...must get another copy of his big book ..which some unpleasant toad took from my bookshelf...mmm could have been my brother...and I quite like him....anyway thanks and any further thoughts on possible link welcomed


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 10:48 AM

So, Diane Easby, he didn't fornicate any witches.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 10:58 AM

'Fornicate' is a transitive verb requiring a direct object (and in this case, a preposition).
OK, It's not very nice to call Janet an 'object' but Tam Lin sure as hell shagged her.
But nobody said she was a witch . . .

Well up then spoke her father clear
and he spoke meek and mild
"Oh and alas Janet" he said
"I think you go with child."

Oh they will turn me in your arms
to a newt or a snake
But hold me tight and fear not,
I am your baby's father.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 11:04 AM

A multiplicity of versions of Child #39


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 11:08 AM

Exactly, he didn't fornicate with a witch as you first suggested.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: PMB
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 11:14 AM

No, she said fairies, I think she was trying to suggest that young Tam was gay, which would make young Janet male. Personally I see no evidence of this, but the fairy queen was a bit of a bitch.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 11:25 AM

PMB, I think you're veering somewhat into The Rocky Horror Show . . .


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 02:47 PM

I should really do some research before I sound off!

First, the Scottish Travellers from who the 'Tam Lin' versions were collected were Betsy Johnston and Willie Whyte. The texts are very fragmentary but I think that I can hear Bert's tune in both versions. You can hear these tantalising fragments on the CD 'The Muckle Sangs' (Greentrax Records, CDTRAX 9005, 1992). The frustrating thing about this CD is that the notes by Hamish Henderson talk in very general terms about Scottish balladry but tell us nothing specific about these two remarkable recordings. In addition, neither singer names the male protagonist of their respective fragments (so we get no clue about the validity of the 'Tamberlaine' form of the name). One thing that does strike me, though, is that these recordings are from ORAL tradition. I have heard it said that 'Tam Lin' is only known from print - these two recordings suggest that this view is mistaken.

Second, there is a recording of Bert singing his version available on CD. The recording in question is 'Classic A.L.Lloyd' (Fellside FECD98, 1994). This is a live recording made at a Runcorn folk club in 1972. Bert can be heard introducing the ballad as "Tam Lin or Young Tambling". The protagonist's name doesn't occur until some verses into the ballad when Bert sings 'Tambling' ("She hadn't pulled a herb, a herb, a herb but barely one, when up then spoke the Young Tambling says, Margaret leave it alone..."). In the next verse I'm sure that I can hear another syllable ("Come tell me now, Young Tam-BER-lin(g?) she said, if a mortal man you be ...").
In my memory of the occasion at which I first heard him sing the ballad, in Peterborough, 4 or 5 years earlier than the Runcorn performance, I'm convinced that he used the 3 syllable form (and the last syllable was closer to 'lane'/'laine' than 'lin'/'ling'.

So, I think that the simple explanation is that Bert often used a 3-syllable version of the name because it scanned better when used in the Traveller derived tune; the similarity to the name of a medieval Tartar conqueror is just an unfortunate coincidence.

Finally (and I've gone on far too long already!), Child's G version uses a 3-syllable name, ie. 'Tam-a-line' and his H and I versions use the forms 'Tam Lane' and 'Tamlane' respectively.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Tommy
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 03:12 PM

It could be, of course, that Bert was wrong.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Crazy_Man_Michael
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 03:16 PM

"Fornication with fairies? Diane Easby hasn't a clue!"

Tis you, Master Billy who doesn't have a clue...reading the lyrics is generally a very good idea...oh and take you brain out of neutral before putting your mouth in gear *LOL*

Sorry Joe, couldn't resist... :-D

....anyway...has anyone had a look at this website on Tam Lin?

Tam Lin Balladry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Crazy_Man_ Michael
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 03:31 PM

A novelisation of the Tam Lin myth is An Earthly Knight by Janet Mcnaughton. It's set in 12th century in the border areas of Scotland.

An Earthly Knight


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Jim McLean
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 03:56 PM

I clicked on Crazy Man Michaels' penultimate post 'Tam Lin Balladry' and found the version listed under Alastair McDonald was one I had written and arranged for an LP sung by Alastair McDonald which I had produced and arranged in 1970 for Young Blood Records. I have just played it again and am still impressed by Alasdair McDonald's performance.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Crazy_Man_Michael
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 04:41 PM

and a very fine translation of the song it is too, Jim...I just finished reading it


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 05:09 PM

Heh. From the liner notes to Oscar Brand's "Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads Vol. 4" (Audio Fidelity AFLP 1847), ca.1957: "'Tom Bolynn' - A very ancient song, this has been found by Oscar Brand in half a dozen versions in many countries. It is apparently based on the exploits of one Tam Lynn, legendary king of the fairies and a hero of the sexual world."

Got that? And Anne Boleyn's father was named "Tom" too. If Tamburlaine, Tom Boleyn, Tom Bolynn, Tommy Linn, Tambling, Tam Lin, and Russ and Amber Tamblyn all played the tambourine, that would cinch it for me.

Lloyd's book makes no mention of any of these people or songs.

Why the cover-up?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Crazy_Man_Michael
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 05:17 PM

I see the court jester is in.... from the court of the Queen of Faery mayhap? *LOL*


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 05:26 PM

"It could be, of course, that Bert was wrong."

What?? I don't think that I can be bothered to respond to that!

"Lloyd's book makes no mention of any of these people or songs."

That's probably because 'Lloyd's book' is called, 'Folk Song in England' ... and 'Tam Lin' is a Scottish ballad ... doohhh!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Cstargazy
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 05:59 PM

Oh dear, I didn't mean to suggest the book would contain any answers to my query;just that the mention of Bert Lloyd reminded me that my copy of his big book was missing....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 04:54 AM

Tam Lin is a Border ballad - please allow us from those parts some ownership of such a magnificent tale. Actually Lloyd does mention Tam Lin in "Folksong in England" in The Big Ballads section(he spells it Tam Lin too) but only refers to the story and does not publish any of the text. However in "Journeyman" MacColl gives a few pages over to the balled and also publishes a full version of the ballad which is pretty much the variant that I know. I have heard both MacColl and Lloyd sing versions of "Tam Lin" live but the first person I ever heard sing it was Paddy Tunney.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 06:40 AM

Wish I'd heard Paddy Tunney sing 'Tam Lin'! I assume that it was a Scottish/Border version? It would be very interesting to find that there are Irish versions of this ballad ... ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 07:01 AM

Irish versions of this ballad

There is this one, The Fairie Queen's Reply by Jennifer Lawrence, from the parodies section of the site linked to above: http://www.tam-lin.org/oddities1.html#rebuttal


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 07:14 AM

Diane - I wouldn't take much notice of Guest, oh I can't even be bothered to look back to see who!
Let's face it. If anyone knows all about not fornicating with fairies, it's a troll. Fairies have got more sense than.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: GUEST,Crazy_Man_Michael
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 11:08 AM

there are a number of "guests" here. I could log in but am on the run this morning...and yes...there are a fair number of trolls are there not....?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 12:49 PM

Run the fag up the pole and see who salutes. ;-)

Just a JOKE-----really! -- (Art)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tam Lin and Tamberlaine
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 05:46 PM

DaveS, I have found Lloyd's mentions of "Tam Lin" in his "Big Ballads" chapter.

For some reason, though, none of the book's three indices notice them.

Why the cover-up? Did someone have to be...propitiated?


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