Tam Lin Balladry

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Tam Lin: Mediaeval Baebes

Source: Mediaeval Baebes

album: Mirablis

Title: Tam Lin

Site reference number: 35


Janet scolded for pulling roses, to which she responds that she needs no permission to do so. She is taken by the hand and laid upon the fairy ground. Her lover then tells her how he was captured by the fairies when he was out hunting with his father. The fairies perform sacrifices to hell, and he fears he will be next as he is so fit. He informs her that she may rescue him if she waits at Miles Cross at midnight, which she does. The Fairy Queen then angrily states that she wishes she's replaced Tam Lin's eyes with ones of stone.

Tam Lin

  1. What gar's ye pu' the rose, Janet?
    What gars ye break the tree?
    I'll come and go by Carterhaugh
    And ask nae leave of thee.
  2. He's ta'en her by the milk white hand
    And by the grass green sleeve
    He's led her to the fairy ground
    (He's led her to the fairy ground)
    And spier'd at her nae leave
  3. "A word I winna lie, Janet
    The truth to thee I'll tell
    My father was a noble knight
    And loved hunting well
  4. "And on a cold and frosty day,
    Down from my horse I fell
    The Queen of Fairies she caught me
    (The Queen of Fairies she caught me)
    In yon green hill to dwell.
  5. "And at the end of seven years
    We pay a tiend to Hell.
    I am sae fair and fu' of flesh
    I'm feared it be myself."
  6. This night is Hallwe'en, Janet
    When fairy folk mun ride,
    And they that would their true-love win
    (And they that would their true-love win)
    At Miles Cross they must bide.
  7. So gloomy gloomy was the night
    And eerie was the way
    As Janet in her mantle green
    To Miles Cross she did gae.
  8. And then up spoke the Fairy Queen
    "Tam Lin if I had known
    (Tam Lin if I had known)
    I would have pulled out both your eyes
    (I would have pulled out both your eyes)
    To give you eyes of stone"
    (To give you eyes of stone")


Version Notes

Performed by the group Mediaeval Baebes on their album Mirablis. More information is available about the group through their website

Added to site: September 2005