The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8950   Message #56574
Posted By: Ian HP
31-Jan-99 - 07:25 AM
Thread Name: LORD BATEMAN query
Subject: LORD BATEMAN query
The song Lord Bateman is apparently based on the true story of Gilbert Bekett and Shusha Pye who, after the song ends, went on to have a son called Thomas. The song Young Bekie, closer to the name Bekett (which appears in 'The Oxford Book of Ballads') has a virtually identical story, the difference being that young Bekie was a knight rather than a lord, who went to France to serve in the king's court rather than Turkey for the sake of travel, and he fell in love with the king's daughter Burd (ie. maid or lady) Isbel. Similarly, in Young Bicham (a name halfway between Bekie and Bateman, it seems to me), which follows in 'Oxford', Bicham is a prince from London rather than Northumberland, goes to to "strange countries", is "ta'en by a savage Moor", and is rescued by "Shusy Pye" (virtually Shusha Pye) who bribes her father's men. In all versions she crosses the sea to be with him again and interrupts his wedding to become his bride. I find this song fascinating and wonder if anyone knows the history. Who exactly were Gilbert Bekett and Shusha Pye? In which century did they live? Were they English and Turkish respectively, as the song says? How closely does the song follow the history (as far as we can tell?) Is there an account of their story anywhere?

Cheers Ian HP