The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165274 Message #3962601
Posted By: Jim Carroll
21-Nov-18 - 06:13 AM
Thread Name: Lord Bateman True or False
Subject: RE: Lord Bateman True orFalse
This is a note to the ballad (sung as a lullabye) from an album by Sandy and Caroline Paton, which explains the connection
It suggests that the ballad pst-dates Gilbert Beckett's travels, but as nobody knows when these ballads originated - "Nobody knows" as they are always saying on Q.I.
"Perhaps it was during the Crusades that sorties and ballads first became popular in Western Europe about heroes captured by Turks or Arabs, freed by loving Oriental maidens, and pursued home by the said maidens who arrive in the nick of time to marry their man. Germans, Scandinavians, French and Italians all have ballads of this theme, and in England the story of the Oriental girl who follows Thomas a Becket's father across the sea, and found him by wandering abound the country crying “Gilbert! Gilbert!” has been preserved in a manuscript from about 1300. Clearly Lord Bateman has been influenced by the legend about St Thomas's father, though the ballad is probably of later date. It remains a firm favourite through the centuries, and gained a new lease of life through its use by music-hall comedians in the mid-19th century. It has shown itself to be very common in all areas of the United States where folk song collecting has been carried out. The present version is considered by some to be local to Kentucky, but in fact more or less identical forms are current in many other areas. It is said that the Patons hit on this way of singing the ballad while Caroline Paton was washing up in the kitchen and listening to her husband, Sandy, singing in another room."