Tam Lin Balladry

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Tam Lin: Movie

Source: Pentangle
performed in : The 1970 film version of Tam Lin

Title: Tam Lin

Site reference number: 30


Maidens are forbidden to enter Carterhall for fear of Tam Lin. Tam Lin goes walking one morning by the waters. Maidens are again warned against entering Carterhaugh for fear of Tam Lin. Tam Lin encounters his lady love by the church. Soon afterwards, Tam Lin, who has been living int he fairy land, begins to fear he will be the next sacrifice to hell. Janet plucks a rose, and Tam Lin asks if she means to harm the child of theirs she carries. The fairy Queen speaks out angrily, saying that the best knight in her company is gone, and she should have taken out his eyes rather than letting him go.

Tam Lin

  1. Oh I forbid you maidens all
    That wear gold in your hair
    to come or go by Carterhall
    For young Tam Lin is there.
  2. Tam Lin went awalking one bright morning
    Across the hills so green
    And he cared nothing for where he'd go
    Nor nothing for where he'd been
  3. And he's passed over the little foot bridge
    And down to Carterhall
    Witrh steps so wide he passes by
    you'd think he owned it all
  4. So swiftly did the waters flow
    as he came down beside
    And you must go and greet him there
    for now's no time to hide
  5. Oh I forbid you maidens all
    who wear gold in your hair
    to come or go by Carterhall
    for young Tam Lin is there
  6. As he stood so still by the church yard wall
    He spied his lady fair
    and they surely knew that they must live
    and love without a care
  7. Oh pleasant is the fairy land
    but an eerie tale to tell
    but at the end of seven years
    we pay a tithe to hell
    I am so young and fair of face
    I'm feared it will be myself
  8. She had not pulled a double rose
    a rose but only two
    When up then started young Tam Lin
    says "Think what you mean to do"
  9. Oh Why you pull the rose, Janet
    Among the groves so green?
    You must not kill the bonny babe
    that we got us between
  10. Up Spoke the queen of the fairy land
    and an angry woman was she
    She's taken away the bonniest knight
    in all my company
  11. And adieu Tam Lin, but had I known
    the secrets in your mind
    I would have picked out your two fine eyes
    and left you beggar blind


(movie clip)

Version Notes

From the 1970 film version of Tam Lin (imdb), performed by the band Pentangle, lyrics by William Speir, performed by Salena Jones. Individual verses were sung as a sort of narrative at several points in the movie.

Added to site: January 2001