The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142843   Message #3294709
Posted By: gnomad
22-Jan-12 - 06:51 PM
Thread Name: The King sits in Dunfermline town
Subject: RE: The King sits in Dunfermline town
By heck, PR, well diagnosed. I take it you have been studying the many versions in some detail to have come so precisely upon the right one (or was it just the verse-count that gave the game away?)

I am sure that PipR will already be aware, but others may not, that some believe this to be a telling of events surrounding the death of Princess Margaret, known as the Maid of Norway, around 1290. I would think it a possible telling of an old folk-memory, but the verses sound rather later in origin. Clearly they don't tell the full tale, given that the job was to bring back "the King's daughter". Margaret died in Orkney, so presumably she either survived, or was not aboard, the wreck.