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Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?

the button 13 Apr 08 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,Nerd 13 Apr 08 - 08:14 PM
the button 13 Apr 08 - 08:23 PM
The Borchester Echo 13 Apr 08 - 08:47 PM
the button 13 Apr 08 - 09:11 PM
RTim 13 Apr 08 - 11:05 PM
Nerd 14 Apr 08 - 01:55 AM
Dave Sutherland 14 Apr 08 - 02:48 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Apr 08 - 02:53 AM
the button 14 Apr 08 - 02:56 AM
Roberto 14 Apr 08 - 03:57 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 14 Apr 08 - 05:30 AM
Fred McCormick 14 Apr 08 - 05:59 AM
Folk Bloke 14 Apr 08 - 06:53 AM
Brian Peters 14 Apr 08 - 07:03 AM
Fred McCormick 14 Apr 08 - 08:38 AM
Nerd 14 Apr 08 - 11:16 PM
Art Thieme 15 Apr 08 - 12:07 AM
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Subject: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: the button
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:00 PM

As much as I love Mike Waterson's version, I was wondering if there were any recordings out there of traditional singers performing this beautiful ballad? Just for comparison, like.

I suppose (as a Londoner and an EFDSS member) I could make a pilgrimage to the VWML and have a look, but I'd love to get hold of commercially-available version.


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:14 PM

The compilation The Muckle Sangs has a version by Betsy Johnston which, if memory serves, is a fragment. I can tell you more about it once I get home and find my copy--but someone will surely beat me to it!


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: the button
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:23 PM

Cheers, Nerd. Appreciate it.


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:47 PM

Comprehensive listing of Tam Lin recordings on this site includes several source recordings.


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: the button
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 09:11 PM

Oooh.... thanks for that Diane. That's a bit of a find.

Wonder if any of the source recordings will put a lump in my throat at the "But she held him tight, and she feared him not..." bit, like MW's does, every single time. (If indeed, they have that section).


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: RTim
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:05 PM

There is also the Child Ballad web site, that lists nearly all recording, etc. of the ballads - Tam Lin being no. 39
se - http://members.chello.nl/r.vandijk2/index.html

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: Nerd
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 01:55 AM

Yes, that Tam Lin site is nice, if a bit fannish. (I actually supplied her with about half of the discographic references some ten years ago, hence she writes: "My thanks to Steve Winick for supplying the url as well as much information below."

The site Tim put you on to is a bit more comprehensive, and lits the Duncan Williamson recording (which probably counts as a "source singer recording," although I understand Duncan adapted it from his grandmother's version with much recourse to books--so it will depend on what you want to consider a "source singer.")

Also listed on Tim's site are two Eddie Butcher recordings. I'd caution that the second of those is a version of "The Stolen Bride," a ballad that exists in Irish and English. Though it's similar to Tam Lin, it's obviously different in many particulars, especially that the person abducted is a young wife and it is her husband who must rescue her. (Very different from a knight being abducted and rescued by a girl he meets AFTER being kidnapped.) You can find modern revival recordings of this song from the group Cran (in English) and from Padraigin Ni Uallachain (in Irish). I don't know if the first is indeed Tam Lin, but I suspect so, as the line about Halloween doesn't occur in Stolen Bride versions that I know of.

As for The Muckle Sangs, this CD had a huge booklet that sold separately, and I didn't get it. So there's limited info in the booklet I have, and I don't have time to listen and report back now! But it lists two versions, one by Johnston and the other by Willie Whyte, and together they are seven minutes long--so there's probably a good chunk of the story there, but not as much as in Mike's (which was originally Bert Lloyd's adaptation).


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:48 AM

Not much help I know, but I did once have a fragment of Paddy Tunney performing it back in 1968. The blasted tape ran out just as Janet was explaining to her father what had happened. Still, it prompted me to learn it from the book.


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:53 AM

The Butcher's recording is unique, but it's only a small fragment.
Can be heard on Hugh Shields Topic (vinyl) album 'Folk Ballads of Donegal and Derry' and European Ethnic Oral Traditions cassette 'Early Ballads in Ireland' (as 'Saturday Night is Halloween Night').
Both of these are out of print unfortunately, but well worth looking out, particularly the latter.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: the button
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:56 AM

Thanks everybody -- I get up (a bit late: eep), and there's all these responses.


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: Roberto
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:57 AM

The button, I would say these four are the recordings of Tam Lin from source singers available, two on CD and two on cassette:
Betsy Johnson; Willie Whyte; Duncan Williamson; Eddie Butcher. If you are interested in the two that were on cassette, possibly not available at the moment, PM me, I've put them on CD and I'd send them to you. R


Tam Lin
Betsy Johnston, on The Muckle Sangs, Classic Scots Ballads, School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, Greentrax recordings, CDTRAX 9005

Lady Margaret, Lady Margaret
Been sewing at a seam
She lookèd East, she lookèd West
And she saw those merry green woods growing green
She saw those merry green woods

For she kiltit up her petticoats
It's up to them she ran
And when she came to those merry green woods
She pulled those branches down, my dear
She pulled those branches down

For it's there she spied a gentleman
Coming through the wood by her side:
Oh, it's who gave you, oh, leave, my dear
To pull those branches down, my dear
It's who gave you, oh, leave?

For it's onst I could pull those trees, those trees
It's onst I could pull those trees
It's onst I could pull those trees, those trees
All without the leave of you, my dear
All without the leave of you

For he catched her by the middle small
He gently laid her down -
It's since you've got your will of me
Come tell to me your name, kind sir
Come tell to me your name

For tomorrow it is new Halloween
And the quality's goin to ride
You'll pass them by at the old millbridge
As they go ridin by, my dear
As they go ridin by

For the first will be is a white milk-steed
And it's then there'll be a black
You hold his head, you'll fear no ill
He's the father of your child, my dear
He's the father of your child

For the next will be
Is into a snake so large
You hold his head, you'll fear no ill
He's the father of your child, my dear
He's the father of your child

For the next will be
Is into a naked man
You'll throw your mantle all around
And cry – You're won, my dear, you're won
You're the father of my child

***

Tam Lin
Willie Whyte, on The Muckle Sangs, Classic Scots Ballads, School of Scottish Studies: University of Edinburgh, Greentrax CDTRAX 9005, 1992 (first issued 1975)

Oh for the sea may run dry, and fishes fly
And the rocks melt wi' the sun
And if ever I prove false unto you
It's my heart's blood it may run, ma dear
Is It's my heart's blood it may run

When I am on the sea, oh pray think of me
When I'm far on a foreign shore
For it's hold me fast, forget me not
I'm the father of your child, ma dear
I'm the father of your child

For the very first thing that you may turn me into
May it be a lion so fierce         
But hold me fast and fear me not
I'm one of God's own make, ma dear
I am one of God's own make

***

Lady Margaret
Duncan Williamson, Put another log in the fire, Songs and tunes from a Scots Traveller, Veteran Tapes VT128 (cassette)

O Lady Margaret she sat in her high chamber
She was sewing her silken seams
For she luikit east and she luikit west
And she saw those woods grow green, grow green
She saw those woods grow green

So picking up her petticoats
Beneath a harlin gown
And when she came to this merry green wood
There she laid them down, down
There she laid them down

For she had not pulled one nut, one nut
One nut nor scarcely three
When the highest lord in all the countryside
Came a-riding through the trees, the trees
Came a-riding through the trees

How dare you pull those nuts, those nuts
How dare you bend my trees
How dare you come to my merry green wood
Without the leave of me?

But Sir, once on time those woods were mine
Without the leave of yours
And I can pull thjose nuts, those nuts
And I can bend those trees, those trees
I can bend those trees

So he took her gently by the hand
And he gently laid her down
And when he had his will of her
He rose her up again

She said - Now you've had your will of me
Come tell to me your name
And if a baby I should have
I will call it the same

He said - I'm an earl's son from Carlyle
And I own all those woods so green
But I was taken when I was small
By an evil fairy queen

But tomorrow night is Hallo'een
And all those nobles you could see
If you will to come to the five mile gate
There you could set me free, O free
There you could set me free

O first they will come some dark, some dark
Then they will come some brown
But when there comes a milkwhite steed
You may pull the rider down, down
You may pull its rider down

O first I'll turn to a wicked snake
And then to a lion so wild
But hold me fast and fear me not
I may be the father of your child

Then I'll turn to a naked man
O an angry man I'll be
Just throw your mantle over me
And then you shall have me free, O free
then you shall have me free

So that night at the midnight hour
Lady Margaret made her way
And when she came to the five mile gate
She waited patiently, O ly
She waited patiently

O first there came some dark, some dark
Then there came some brown
But when there came a milkwhite steed
She pulled the rider down, down
She pulled the rider down

O first he turned to a wicked snake
And then to a lion so wild
She held him fast for she feared him not
He may be the father of her child

Then he turned to a naked man
O an angry man was he
But she threw her mantle over him
Then she had him free, O free
Then she had him free

Then cried a voice of the fairy queen
O an angry queen was she
Saying - If I had have known yesterday what I know today
I'd took out your very heart's blood
And put in a heart of clay, of clay
And put in a heart of clay

So Lady Margaret on the white milk steed
Lord William on his dappled grey
With a bugle and horn hangin down by the side
It's merrily they rode away, away
It's merrily they rode away

***

Saturday Night Is Hallowe'en Night
Eddie Butcher, co. Derry, on Early Ballads in Ireland 1968-1985, edited by Hugh Shields & Tom Munnelly, European Ethnic Oral Traditions, cassette; recording made in 1975

This man lost his wife. And he went to the fairies to see how, what he would dae or how he would get her back again. And they told him:

Saturday Night is Hallowe'en night
The quality's all to ride
And he who has his bride to meet
At the Five-Mile Brig he'll bide

First you'll meet the black
And second you'll meet the brown
And catch thew bay by the bridle rein
And pull the rider down

And he pulled down his ain wife. The fairies, you know, knows a lot.


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 05:30 AM

I heard Bert Lloyd sing his (anglicised) reconstruction of Tam Lyn at Peterborough Folk Club around 40 years ago. It made a deep impression on the young lad I was then. Not surprisingly it was taken up and recorded by several of the notable Revival singers eg. Mike Waterson and Frankie Armstrong, among others.

I hear echoes of Bert's tune in the versions sung by the two Scottish trad. singers who sing Tam Lyn on the 'Muckle Sangs' - has anyone else noticed this? Would anyone, who is more musically literate that what I am, care to speculate on whether or not this is where he might have got his tune?


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 05:59 AM

My understanding is that Bert adapted the tune from a version of Let No Man Steal Your Thyme, which Isla Cameron used to sing and recorded on an early 10" Topic LP. Still I Love Him by Isla Cameron and Ewan MacColl.


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: Folk Bloke
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 06:53 AM

Wasn't there a Hammer film of this in the early 70s?


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 07:03 AM

The tune is quite similar in shape, particularly with respect to its refrain lines, to Martin McDonagh's 'Lady Margaret' (a version of 'Young Hunting') on 'Songs of the Irish Travellers'. I'm sure I've heard it attached to other ballads as well. Possibly one of those generic ballad melodies?


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 08:38 AM

I can't bring Martin McDonagh's tune to mind at the moment. However, it is fairly widely known and turns up as What Put the Blood? that Paddy Doran used to sing, and which Paddy Tunney learned off him. What I meant was that I have a dim recollection of being told, or reading, that Bert rejigged the version of the tune which Isla Cameron sang.

Hammer horror version? There were plans to make a movie version in the late 60s/early 70s. However, I can't remember any such film ever being released and always assumed it had been shelved. Maybe the Elfin Queen got to it first.


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: Nerd
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 11:16 PM

There was indeed a film, with Ava Gardner as the Faerie Queen, Ian McShane as Tom Lynn, and a supporting cast that included Joanna Lumley (among others). It's the only film Roddy McDowall directed. You can read about it here.


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Subject: RE: Tam Lyn: any 'source singer' recordings?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:07 AM

I had a VHS video of the film. Roddy McDowall introduces the film with a rather long and rambling intro that is more about how beautiful and cool Ava is/was than anything else. I don' think he ever made it clear that this film of his was taken from a classic old ballad. The film's action is updated to modern times---possibly Manhattan high rise night life. It's a real stretch and not very good as I remember it. Kind of fascinating though.

I did send a copy of it to Ann Hills and Mark Moss. They named their daughter Tamlynn. (Not sure if my spelling of her name is correct.) I don't think Ann and Mark ever got back to me to say what they thought of it. Then I just forgot about it---until now.

Art Thieme


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