Episode 12 of the 1 Scot 1 Not Podcast is all about the Ballad of Tam Lin. Whether you listen to the song version of new (or old) or read the myriad of funny, serious, or old English versions, or read the comic book variation, watch the movie or play the video game (yeah you heard me!!!) one thing is for certain, Tam Lin has been around for a LONG time and isn't going ANYWHERE! So sit back, relax and be prepared to meet quite a cast of characters!!
In case you'd like to hang out with us in our living rooms while we have our chat!
Scroll down to have a listen to some amazing song renditions!!!
Many variations (over 50 and counting!)
This one is my fave (Karen).
Except it seems to end before they get to the Fairy Queen part (lyrics below)? But the singers voice is just beautiful! Love it!
Janet sits in her lonely room Sewing a silken seam And looking out on Carterhaugh Among the roses green And Janet sits in her lonely bower Sewing a silken thread And longed to be in Carterhaugh Among the roses red She’s let the seam fall at her heel The needle to her toe And she has gone to Carterhaugh As fast as she can go She hadn’t pulled a rose, a rose A rose, but only one When then appeared him, young Tamlin Says, “Lady, let alone” “What makes you pull the rose, the rose? What makes you break the tree? What makes you come to Carterhaugh Without the leave of me?” “But Carterhaugh is not your own Roses there are many I’ll come and go all as I please And not ask leave of any” And he has took her by the hand Took her by the sleeve And he has laid this lady down Among the roses green And he has took her by the arm Took her by the hem And he has laid this lady down Among the roses red There’s four and twenty ladies fair Sewing at the silk And Janet goes among them all Her face as pale as milk And four and twenty gentlemen Playing at the chess And Janet goes among them all As green as any glass Then up and spoke her father He’s spoken meek and mild “Oh, alas, my daughter I fear you go with child” “And is it to a man of might Or to a man of means Or who among my gentlemen Shall give the babe his name?” “Oh, father, if I go with child This much to you I’ll tell There’s none among your gentlemen That I would treat so well” “And, father, if I go with child I must bear the blame There’s none among your gentlemen Shall give the babe his name” She’s let the seam fall at her hell The needle to her toe And she has gone to Carterhaugh As fast as she could go And she is down among the weeds Down among the thorn When then appeared Tamlin again Says, “Lady, pull no more” “What makes you pull the poison rose? What makes you break the tree? What makes you harm the little babe That I have got with thee?” “Oh I will pull the rose, Tamlin I will break the tree But I’ll not bear the little babe That you have got with me” “If he were to a gentleman And not a wild shade I’d rock him all the winter’s night And all the summer’s day” “Then take me back into your arms If you my love would win And hold me tight and fear me not I’ll be a gentleman” “But first I’ll change all in your arms Into a wild wolf But hold me tight and fear me not I am your own true love” “And then I’ll change all in your arms Into a wild bear But hold me tight and fear me not I am your husband dear” “And then I’ll change all in your arms Into a lion bold But hold me tight and fear me not And you will love your child” At first he changed all in her arms Into a wild wolf She held him tight and feared him not He was her own true love And then he changed all in her arms Into a wild bear She held him tight and feared him not He was her husband dear And then he changed all in her arms Into a lion bold She held him tight and feared him not The father of her child And then he changed all in her arms Into a naked man She’s wrapped him in her coat so warm And she has brought him home
If you pay close attention you can see how different the lyrics are!
Here's another rendition with the lyrics below.
I forbid ye maidens all who let fly your lovely hair to go down to Carterhaugh for young Tam Lin is there x2 Janet tied her kirtle green above her knee and not below and she's gone to Carterhaugh as fast as she can go Janet tied her kirtle green above her knee and not below and she's off to Carterhaugh as fast as she can go She's come to the roses growing wild she's pulled a single one when a wild young man appears and cries 'O, lady, let alone! 'How dare you pull my roses out, How dare you break my tree How dare you run in these green woods Without asking leave of me? ' Says Janet fair 'this wood's my own My father gave it me And I can pluck myself a rose Without asking leave of thee. ' Bold as brass, he takes her hand and color rises to her skin She looks the young man in the eye and knows him now for young Tam Lin. refrain Janet holds her petticoats well above her dirty knee and she's away to her father's hall just as fast as she can hie. All the ladies of the court at their play turn red as rose except for Janet, fainting fast, green as growing grass she goes Out then speaks her father dear, doting, caring, meek and mild. 'Janet, darling daughter mine, I fear you go with child. 'Father, if I be with child, be sure myself shall bear the blame. There's not a knight within your hall shall get the baby's name. Father, if I be with child, 'twill prove a wondrous birth for well I swear it's not the get of any mortal man on earth.' refrain Janet's tied her kirtle green When near nine months are gone And she's away to Carterhaugh, To speak with young Tam Lin. But young Tam Lin will not be found and Janet's in despair to the forest floor she falls and swift her lover catches her Janet asks 'Tam Lin, my love, why is it in these woods you hide?' 'The queen of faeries stole me hence, alas, when I was but a child. 'My lordly sire was a skillful man and hunting he loved well but I was prey for the faerie Queen when from my horse I fell. 'Ever since, in yon green hill, with the Queen I'm bound to dwell I'd never tire of living there for Faerie does me well 'But at the end of seven years, the queen doth pay a tithe to hell I am so fair and full of flesh, I fear 'twill be myself.' refrain Tonight's the night of Halloween, and the fairy court will ride; And she that would her true love win at Miles Cross must bide. 'But how shall I thee ken, Tam-lin? Or how shall I thee know? Amang a troupe of faerie knights, The like I never saw?' 'First let pass the horses black then let pass the brown Run ye to the milk white steed and pull that rider down. 'They will change me in your arms into a deadly adder but hold me fast and fear me not I am the baby's father They will change me in your arms into a bear or lion bold but hold me fast and fear me not I am the father of your child 'At last they'll change me in your arms into a naked knight. Then cast your mantle over me and keep me out of sight. refrain Gloomy, gloomy, was the night, And eerie was the way, As Janet in her mantle green To Miles Cross did hie. The heavens dressed in baleful black and all was silent as the grave, But Janet waited in the dark Her own true love to save Betwixt the hour of twelve and one, the north wind blew and tore and rent she heard the elfin bridles ring upon the wind where e'er it went Janet stood, with mind unmoved, The gloomy heath upon, And louder, louder rang the bells, As the fairy court came riding on. And first rode by the night black steeds and then went by the brown; then up she ran to the charger pale and pulled her lover down. They changed him in her arms to all the beasts and flames and hateful things, but she did all that her lover bade and young Tam Lin she won. Up then spoke the Faery Queen An angry queen was she. 'Woe betide the wretch who's ta'en the best knight of Our company. 'Had I but known, Tam-Lin, she said What defeat this night I'd see I'd've stolen both thine eyes and changed thee fast into a tree Had I but known, Tam-lin, she said before we left this night to roam, I'd've et thy heart of flesh and left thee with a heart of stone!' refrain x2 Janet tied her kirtle green above her knee and not below and she's off to Carterhaugh as fast as love can go.
Lucy Brydon & Karen Campbell
Talking all things Scotland!