Tam Lin Balladry

A website of folklore and discovery.

Tam Lin: 39N

Source: The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, 1882-1898 by Francis James Child

cites: 'Tamlane,' " Scotch Ballads, Materials for Border Minstrelsy," No 96 a; in the handwritine of John Leyden

Title: Tamlane

Site reference number: 12c


The unnamed female complains to Thomas about losing her virginity, while the Queen of Fairies complains about Tamlane's escape.


  1. 'Gowd rings I can buy, Thomas,
    Green mantles I can spin,
    But gin ye take my maidenheid
    I'll neer get that again.'
  2. Out and spak the queen o fairies,
    Out o a shot o wheat,
    She that has gotten young Tamlane
    Has gotten my heart's delight.'

Version Notes

Why version 12C: This version is a fairly fragmented and corrupted version of Tam Lin, and portions have been incorporated into the version called Child's Notes. Child's Notes contained more complete verses than some of the fragments that were assigned letters, and I felt that one version on the website to account for this was a reasonable solution.

Note that within the space of two stanzas, the name of the male protagonist changes, so the two verses that make up this version have no actual link between them.

Added to site: October 1997