The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35994   Message #494984
Posted By: GUEST,Steve Winick
29-Jun-01 - 03:52 PM
Thread Name: Le Roi Renaud
Subject: RE: Le Roi Renaud
just to second Malcolm, I think is is indeed meant to be his own intestines in his hands; the whole song is about how it is slowly revealed to his bride that he has been mortally wounded.

I've always been interested in this song's connection to the Olaf ballad, because the versions of Olaf that occur in English [mostly Orcadian] recount the wound but not the aftermath--Olaf is riding through the woods and enclunters a fairy woman who tries to seduce him; he refuses, because he is betrothed, so she gives him his death wound. (Steeleye Span's Dance With Me is a version of this song, for instance). I have always presumed that the old norse versions recount both the wound and the return. Can anyone confirm this?

BTW, in what days was it common to take intestines as trophies? And in what country? I hadn't heard of this tradition.

Finally, just to be perverse, I've always LOVED Bensusan's version. Though I enjoy June Tabor's, I find it almost histrionic by comparison. I guess it's all a matter of taste!