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Lyr Req: Tam Lin (Ewan MacColl)

DigiTrad:
TAM LIN
TAM O THE LINN
TAMLIN
TAMLYN


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GUEST,Roberto 21 Nov 03 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Lighter 21 Nov 03 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,Lighter 21 Nov 03 - 01:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Nov 03 - 01:56 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Nov 03 - 02:04 PM
GUEST 21 Nov 03 - 02:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Nov 03 - 02:27 PM
Roberto 22 Nov 03 - 04:13 AM
Le Scaramouche 29 Jun 05 - 01:45 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: TAM LIN (from Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST,Roberto
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 04:31 AM

I've taken this text from the booklet that goes together with the Folkways' CD Cold Snap, by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. I've corrected some small mistakes easy to guess, but I'm not sure that everything is right by now. Could somebody check and correct this text? One more question: does somebody know something about the tune to which Ewan MacColl sings this ballad? Did he get the tune together with the song, or did he choose this tune to bear the ballad he knew only from a written source? Ewan MacColl writes in the booklet that "this fine ballad is not found in possession of any people but the Scottish", but the only scottish recording I know of this ballad is the one by Betsy Johnston, on The Muckle Sangs, while the other recordings I know are all of them English (A. L. Lloyd's; Mike Waterson's; Anne Briggs'; Dave and Toni Arthur's, beside the folk-rock versions of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span). Where does Bert Lloyd's version come from? Thank you, and here is MacColl's text:

I forbid ye, maidens a'
That wear gowd in your hair
Tae come or gae by Carterhaugh
For young Tam Lin is there

There's nane that gaes tae Carterhaugh
But pays to him their fee
Either their rings or green mantles
Or else their maidenheid

Janet has kilted her green kirtle
A little abune her knee
And she has gane tae Carterhaugh
As fast as she could hie

She hadnae pu'd a double rose
A rose but and a briar
When oot and started young Tam Lin
Says – Lady, ye'll pu' nae mair

Why pu' ye the rose, lady
And why break ye the wand
And why come ye tae Carterhaugh
Withooten my command?

Carterhaugh is mine – she said
My daddy gied tae me
And I will come tae Carterhaugh
Withoot the lief o' thee

He's ta'en her by the milk-white haund
And by the grass-green sleeve
And laid her doon upon a bank
And didnae ask her leave

Janet has kilted her green kirtle
A little abune her knee
And she has gane tae her daddy's hoose
As fast as she could hie

There were fowre-and-twenty ladies fair
A-playin' at the ba'
And Janet gaed like ony queen
A flooer amang them a'

There were fowre-and-twenty ladies fair
A-playin' at the chess
And Janet gaed amang them a'
As green as ony grass

Oot spak then an auld grey knicht
Stood owre the castle wa'
And said – Alas, dear Janet
But I fear ye've gotten a fa'
Your petticoat is gey shorter
And we'll be blamed a'

O haud your tongue, ye auld grey knicht
And an ill deith may ye dee
Faither my bairn on wha I will
I'll faither nane on thee

Then oot spak her auld faither
Says – Janet, you're beguiled
Your petticoat is gey shorter
I fear ye gang wi' child

O, if I gang wi' bairn, faither
It's I will tak' the blame
There's no' a knicht aboot your ha'
Shall bear my bairnie's name

Janet has kilted her green kirtle
A little abune her knee
And she has gane tae Carterhaugh
As fast as she could hie

She hadnae pu'd a double rose
A rose but and a briar
When oot and started young Tam Lin
Says – Janet, ye'll pu' nae mair

Why pu' ye the rose, Janet
Amang the leaves sae green?
A' for to kill the bonnie babe
That we gat us between

Tell me noo, Tam Lin – she said
For 's sake wha died on tree
Gin ever ye were in holy kirk
Or else in Christendee

Roxburgh was my grandfaither
And wi' him I did ride
And it fell oot upon a day
That wae did me betide

Ay, it fell oot upon a day
A cauld day and a snell
When we were fae the hunting come
That fae my horse I fell

The Queen o' Elfinland passed by
Took me wi' her to dwell
E'en whaur there is a pleasant place
For them that in it dwell
Though at the end of o' seiven year
They pay their soul to Hell

The nicht it is auld Hallow E'en
When elfin folk do ride
And them that would their true-loves win
At Miles Cross they maun bide

But tell me noo, Tam Lin – she said
When ye're amang the thrang
Hoo would I ken my ain true-love
Amang that unco band?

Some will ride the black, the black
And some will ride the broon
But I'll be on the milk-white horse
Shod wi' the siller shoon

The ae hand will be gloved, Janet
The other will be bare
And by these tokens I'll gie ye
Ye'll ken that I am there

The first company that passes by
Say "na" and let them gae
The second company that passes by
Then let them gang their way
But the third company that passes by
Then I'll be yin o' they

Ye'll hie ye tae my milk-white steed
And pu' me quickly doon
Throw yoor green kirtle owre me
To keep me fae the rain

They'll turn me in your airms, lady
Tae an adder and a snake
But haud me fast unto your breist
To be your worldly make

They'll turn me in your airms, lady
A spotted toad to be
But haud me fast unto your breist
T' enjoy your fair body

They'll turn me in your airms, lady
Tae a mither-naked man
Cast your green kirtle owre me
To keep me fae the rain

First put me in a stand o' milk
Syne in a stand o' water
And haud me fast unto your breist
I am your bairn's father

Janet has kilted her green kirtle
A little abune her knee
And she has gane tae Miles Cross
As fast as she could hie

The first company that passed her by
She said "na" and let them gae
The second company that passed her by
She let them gang their way
But the third company that passed her by
Then he was yin o' they

She's hied her to his milk-white steed
And pu'd him quickly doon
Cast her green kirtle owre him
To keep him fae the rain

They've turned him in his lady's airms
Tae an adder and a snake
She haud him fast unto her breist
He was her worldly make

They've turned him in his lady's airms
A spotted toad to be
She haud him fast unto her breist
T' enjoy her fair body

They've turned him in his lady's airms
Tae a mither-naked man
She's cast her green kirtle owre him
To keep him fae the rain

She's put him in a stand o' milk
Syne in a stand o' water
She held him fast unto her breist
He was her bairn's father

Oot spak the Queen o' Elfinland
Oot o' a bush o broom:
O, wha' has gotten young Tam Lin
Has gotten a stately groom

Oot spak the Queen o' Elfinland
Oot o' a thorny tree:
O, wha' has goten young Tam Lin
Has taen my love fae me

Gin I had kent, Tam Lin – she said
A lady would borrow thee
I would hae torn oot thy twa grey e'en
Put in twa e'en o' a tree

Gin I had kent, Tam Lin – she said
When first we come fae hame
I would hae torn oot that hairt o' flesh
Put in a heart o' stane


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan MacColl' s Tam Lin
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 01:35 PM

The


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan MacColl' s Tam Lin
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 01:41 PM

As I was saying, the Sassenach recordings have all been more or less rewritten from the only complete version known, recovered (and almost certainly improved) by Robert Burns. This was published with a melody in The Scots Musical Museum, and appears in Child. Words and melody appear in Bronson.

MacColl got his text, which I have not heard, from Burns.

A bare handful of independent but woefully fragmentary texts have been collected in Scotland in the last 60 years.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan MacColl' s Tam Lin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 01:56 PM

MacColl was talking about traditional versions of the song; recordings by revival performers such as you mention are irrelevant to any consideration of provenance. As it happens, he was wrong; the song has occasionally been found in tradition in both Ireland and the USA, though it is Scottish in origin and the great majority of traditional examples have been found there. The set Bert Lloyd recorded will have been a re-write of his own making, based on existing texts. The DT file Tamlyn seems to be a transcription of Pete Morton's adaptation of Mike Waterson's adaptation of Lloyd's adaptation, though no source is acknowledged. The matter is touched upon in the discussion Young Tamblin

MacColl's text appears to be Child's example B, from the Glenriddell MS (1791), shortened and slightly altered, and with verse 7 introduced from elsewhere. No tune is known for that version, so MacColl will have set the words to a melody from elsewhere. What did he say about the song in his sleeve notes?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan MacColl' s Tam Lin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 02:04 PM

MacColl may have got his tune (which I have not heard) from the Burns set (Scots Musical Museum, V, 1796, no.411, 423, Child's A text) but that was not the source of the text quoted above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan MacColl' s Tam Lin
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 02:21 PM

And Mike Waterson almost certainly got his version from Bert.

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan MacColl' s Tam Lin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 02:27 PM

As I've already said, Dave...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan MacColl' s Tam Lin
From: Roberto
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 04:13 AM

1.Malcolm, the only things MacColl says about the song in his sleeve notes are those I've already quoted.
2.Malcolm,I don't think revival performers such as Lloyd, or MacColl, are always "irrelevant to any consideration of provenance", as you write, when they refer to a specific, traditional, collected version of a song, as they sometimes do.
3.Dave, if I remember well, Mike Waterson's lp had notes by Bert Lloyd, who said Mike asserted he got his Tam Lin by him, but he didn't seem to share Mike's opinion.
Roberto


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan MacColl' s Tam Lin
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 01:45 PM

Has anyone discovered where MacColl's tune came from yet?
Shame to leave it open like this.
Anyway, surely what is ment by revivalists being irrelevant is that a student in Shanghai or a middle-aged businessman from Pondicherry could buy an album and start singing Tam Lin. All it means is they liked the song.


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