Tam Lin Balladry

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Tam Lin: Crawfurd 86

Source: Andrew Crawfurd's Collections of Ballads and Songs, edited by E. B. Lyle, Vol II, 1996

cites: Crawfurd's 86. Crawfurd cites Thomas MacQueen, who obtained the ballad from from Rachel Rogers, Wallace Street, Ayr, Ayrshire Scotland. 1827

Title: A Fairie Sang

Site reference number: 45


Lady Margaret goes to the greenwood to gather nuts, when a knight dressed in green appears and lays her down on the grass. Afterwards, she asks his name, and he relays that he was a nobleman and was carried away by the fairies. If she wants to save him, she must go to Aucht-Mile_Brig. He tells her how to recognize him among the Seelie troop, and the sequence of his transformations. When she has won him, the Seelie Queen expresses that she wished she'd replaced his heart with a heart of clay. Lady Margaret responds by cursing the Seelie Queen for keeping her true love from her for so long

A Fairie Sang

  1. Ladie Margaret's to the greenwod gane
    As fast as she can flee
    To pou the ripe nuts as thay grow
    Upon the hazel tree
  2. She hadna pouit a nit at aw
    A nit but onlie three
    Till a bonnie knicht rase at her side
    Aw drest in green was he
  3. He laid her doun upon the grass
    She cried O fye for shame
    An whan he gat his will o her
    She spierit what was his name
  4. My father was a nobleman
    He wonnit in fair Scotland
    But the queen of the Fairies staw me awa
    Whan I was but a little ane
  5. The morn's nicht is new Halloween
    Whan aw the Fairies ryde
    An she that intends her luve to win
    At the Aught-Mile-Brig maun byde
  6. But should I gae to the Aucht-Mile-Brig
    How wad I ken you there
    My richt hand will be gluvit he said
    An my left hand will be bare
  7. Ye'll first pass by the bonnie black
    An syne the bonnie brown
    An whan ye cum to the milk white steed
    Ye'll pu the ryder doun
  8. The first thing that they turn me to
    Will be to a fyrie snake
    But haud me fast and feir me not
    I'm ane o God's ain mak
  9. The neist thing that they'll turn me to
    Will be to a Bear sae wild
    But haud me fast and fear me not
    I'm the father o your child
  10. The neist thing that they'll turn me to
    Will be a nakit man
    But wrap your mantle round my waste
    An then ye'll hae me won
  11. Then out an spek the seilie queen
    As she was on her flicht
    There'll be a ladie at the Aucht-Mile-Brig
    Will win a prize this nicht
  12. Ladie Margaret kilit up her coat
    An sae did she her gown
    An till she cam to Aucht-Mile-Brig
    She never lute them doun
  13. The first thing that they turnit him to
    Was to a fyrie snake
    But she held him fast an feirit him not
    He was ane o God's ain make
  14. The neist thing that they turnit him to
    Was to a bear sae wild
    But she held him fast and feirit him not
    He was father to her child
  15. The neist thing that they turnit him to
    Was to a nakit man
    She wrapt her mantle round his waist
    An then she had him round
  16. Out then spak the seily queen
    An angrie queen was she
    Ladie Margaret ye've tane the bravest lord
    That eir rade in my brave menyie
  17. But had I kent what I ken now
    But twa short hours ere day
    I'd hae tane out his braw wee heart
    An put in a heart o clay
  18. My curse upon ye seily queen
    An an ill death may ye dee
    For ye hae kept my ain trew love
    This monie a yeir frae me.

Version Notes

Added to site: June 2015