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Lyr Add: The Laidley Worm of Spindleston-Heugh

DigiTrad:
EAT WORMS
GLOW LI'L GLOW-WORM
LAIDLEY WORM
THE LAIDLEY WORM.
THE LAMBTON WORM
THE THOUSAND LEGGED WORM
THE WORMS CRAWL IN
WHEN THE ICE WORMS NEST AGAIN
WORMS UP MY NOSE


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*#1 PEASANT* 29 Nov 00 - 12:15 PM
MMario 29 Nov 00 - 12:58 PM
SINSULL 29 Nov 00 - 01:17 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 29 Nov 00 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,loathsome dragon 31 Oct 06 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 01 Nov 06 - 05:59 AM
leeneia 01 Nov 06 - 12:10 PM
leeneia 02 Nov 06 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,loathsome dragon 22 Nov 06 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,Laidley 02 Dec 06 - 12:27 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAIDLEY WORM OF SPINDLESTON-HEUGH
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 29 Nov 00 - 12:15 PM

THE LAIDLEY WORM OF SPINDLESTON-HEUGH^^

Virgo jam serpens sinuosa volumina versat,
Mille trahens varios adverso sole colores,
Arrectis horret squamis et sibilat ore;
Arduaque insurgens navem de littore pulsat.

"A song above 500 years old, made by the old mountain bard,
Duncan Frasier, living on the Cheviot, A.D. 1270.
Printed from an ancient manuscript.
By Mr. Robert Lambe, Vicar of Norham"

The king is gone from Bamborough Castle,
Long may the princess mourn,
Long may she stand on the castle wall,
Looking for his return.

She has knotted the keys upon a string,
And with her she has them ta'en,
She has cast them o'er her left shoulder,
And to the gate she is gane.

She tripped out, she tripped in,
She tript into the yard;
But it was more for the king's sake,
Than for the queen's regard.

It fell out on a day, the king
Brought the queen with him home;
And all the lords, in our country,
To welcome them did come.

Oh! welcome father, the lady cries,
Unto your halls and bowers;
And so are you, my step-mother,
For all that's here is yours.

A lord said, wondering while she spake,
This princess of the North
Surpasses all the female kind in beauty, and in worth.

The envious queen replied, At least,
You might have excepted me;
In a few hours, I will her bring
Down to a low degree.

I will her liken to a Laidley worm,
That warps about the stone,
And not, till Childy Wynd comes back,
Shall she again be won.

The princess stood at the bower door
Laughing, who could her blame?
But e'er the next day's sun went down,
A long worm she became.

For seven miles east, and seven miles west,
And seven miles north, and south,
No blade of grass or corn could grow,
So venomous was here mouth.

The milk of seven stately cows,
It was costly her to keep,
Was brought her daily, which she drank
Before she went to sleep

At this day may be seen the cave,
Which held her folded up,
And the stone trough, thievery same
Out of which she did sup.

Word went east and word went west,
And word is gone over the sea,
That a Laidley worm in Spindleston-Heughs
Would ruin the North Country.

Word went east, and word went west,
And over the sea did go;
The Child of Wynd got wit of it,
Which filled his heart with woe.

He called straight his merry men all,
They thirty were and three:
I wish I were at Spindleston,
This desperate worm to see.

We have no time now here to waste,
Hence quickly let us sail:
My only sister Margaret,
Something, I fear, doth ail.

They built a ship without delay,
With masts of the rowan tree,
With fluttering sails of silk so fine,
And set her on the sea.

They went on board. The wind with speed
Blew them along the deep,
At length they spied an huge square tower
On a rock high and steep.

The sea was smooth, the weather clear,
When they approached nigher,
King Ida's castle they well knew,
And the banks of Bambroughshire.

The queen look'd out at her bower window,
To see what she could see;
There she espied a gallant ship
Sailing upon the sea.

When she beheld the silken sails,
Full glancing in the sun,
To sink the ship she went away,
Her witch wives every one.

The spells were vain; the hags returned
To the queen in sorrowful mood,
Crying that witches have no power,
Where there is rowan-tree wood.

Her last effort, she sent a boat,
Which in the haven lay,
With armed men to board the ship,
But they were driven away.

The worm leapt out, the worm leapt down,
She plaited round the stone;
And aye as the ship came to the land
She banged it off again.

The child then ran out of her reach
The ship on Budley-sand;
And jumping into the shallow sea,
Securely got to land.

And now he drew his berry-broad sword,
And laid it on her head;
And swore if she did harm to him
That he would strike her dead.

O! quit thy sword and bend thy bow,
And give me kisses three;
For though I am a poisonous worm,
No hurt I'll do to thee

Oh! quit thy sword, and bend thy bow,
And give me kisses three;
If I'm not won e'er the sun go down,
Won I shall never be.

He quitted his sword and bent his bow,
He gave her kisses three;
She crept into a hole a worm,
But out stept a lady.

No clothing had this lady fine,
To keep her from the cold
He took his mantle from him about,
And round her did it fold.

He has taken his mantle from him about,
And in it he wrapt her in,
And they are up to Bambrough castle,
As fast as they can win.

His absence and her serpent shape,
The king had long deplored,
He now rejoiced to see them both
Again to him restored.

The queen they wanted, whom they found
All pale, and sore afraid;
Because she knew her power must yield
To Childy Wynd's, who said,

Woe be to thee, thou wicked witch,
An ill death mayst thou dee;
As thou my sister has lik'ned,
So lik'ned shalt thou be.

I will turn you into a toad,
That on the ground doth wend;
And won, won, shat thou never be,
Till this world hath an end.

Now on the sand near Ida's tower,
She crawls a loathsome toad,
And venom spits on every maid
She meets upon her road.

The virgins all of Bambrough town
Will swear that they have seen
This spiteful toad, of monstrous size,
Whilst walking they have been.

All folks believe within the shire
This story to be true,
And they all run to Spindleston,
The cave and trough to view.

This fact now Duncan Frasier
Of Cheviot, sings in rhime;
Lest Bambrough-shire-men should forget
Some part of it in time.

-Source: The Northumberland Garland; or Newcastle Nightingale, Joseph Ritson, Newcastle, MDCCXCIII, Harding and Wright, London, 1809.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Laidley Worm
From: MMario
Date: 29 Nov 00 - 12:58 PM

conrad, is there a tune that goes with that? Can you post it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Laidley Worm
From: SINSULL
Date: 29 Nov 00 - 01:17 PM

Didn't this spawn "The Lair of the White Worm", a tongue-in-cheek horror movie? The worm was kept in check with bagpipes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Laidley Worm
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 29 Nov 00 - 01:26 PM

This is not the version in the DT there are some tunes to that version but I do not know how they relate. Checked the web but I didnt find it.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Laidley Worm of Spindleston-Heugh
From: GUEST,loathsome dragon
Date: 31 Oct 06 - 02:02 PM

Its probable author was Robert Lambe (1712-1795)
who probably was inspired by Kemion or Kempe Owyne

Its possible that the Kemp--- tunes were a reference to events from
about 1308AD to 1328AD during the reign of Edward II

His wife Queen Isabella spent some time at Bamburg Castle during the troubles
with Robert Bruce,and Robert Lambe might have been alluding to those
times

The ballad technically is a snake-maiden narrative in a class
of Woman in White tales common in Scotland,Germany and Switzerland
where the snaky heroine is a metaphor for the soul of the land


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Subject: Tune Add: THE LAIDLEY WORM OF SPINDLESTON-HEUGH
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 05:59 AM

Here's the tune from the Northumbrian Minstrelsy:

X:1
T:The Laidly Worm of Spindleston Haugh
M:C
L:1/4
Q:1/4=108
K:A Minor
E|{E}AA    AE   |AA/A/ AE |GB/c/ dc|B3
z|   EE/E/ ED/D/|EG   (ED)|EA/A/ BG|A3|]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Laidley Worm of Spindleston-Heugh
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 12:10 PM

It's been a long time, but thanks for posting.

This would have been a good song for last night - Halloween. No doubt it would be a good idea to excise some of the 40 verses, and if children are present to skip the full-frontal nudity round about verse 31.

FYI, it should be laidly, not Laidley. laidly = loathly, ugly, repulsive.

And today we would call a worm a dragon. A child is, among other things, a youth of noble birth. (The spellings childe and chylde are modern.)

Was there ever a King Ida? The name sounds more like something from the dark ages - cf Horsa and Offa.

Got to run.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Laidley Worm of Spindleston-Heugh
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 09:17 PM

Can anyone tell me why the spelling "Laidley" seems like a place or personal name while "laidly" seems like an adjective?
--------
"The spells were vain; the hags returned
To the queen in sorrowful mood,
Crying that witches have no power,
Where there is rowan-tree wood.

Her last effort, she sent a boat,
Which in the haven lay,
With armed men to board the ship,
But they were driven away."

Obviously we have a medicre enchantress here. Like many jealous people, she is secretly angry with herself for not studying harder heretofore.

When she tried to make her stepdaughter into a laidly worm, she also failed to meet expectations. In the oldest versions of the this tale, the worm has lovely green scales, underwings a lovely pink shading into coral, and golden eyebrows. Thus it didn't take much persuading for the noble youth to give her three kisses.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Laidley Worm of Spindleston-Heugh
From: GUEST,loathsome dragon
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 02:21 PM

Ida was an Angle invader who settled in the Northumberland area around 540 AD and Bamburg is named after his wife Bamba (sp)

Basically decades after he came, King Urien was assassinated and his son Child Winde (Owayne, Owyne, Owain) formed an alliance with the King of Ulster. One speculation is that the Ulster king took along his ugly ill tempered daughter over to the civil war (about the 580's) and tight fisted Owyne (if it's the Owyne Talesin made an elegy to) and the Princess got together. Apparently Ida's boys took advantage of the situation and at one point the Angle's were stuck on Holy Island while the Irish and Owyne's forces surrounded them. Probably by the 580's the actual RL Ida the Flamebearer/Flamebringer had other things to do then get involved in these battles.

It appears that Robert Lambe lived during a time when the British populace really needed to get in touch with its roots. The Industrial Revolution, the wholesale clearing of tenants from rural properties, the corruption of 18th century European civilisation as compared to the 'noble savage' of North America all ensured a situation where the Scots, Irish, Welsh and English all wanted to know where they'd come from.

The 7 Years War with France was over and Britain was on top of the world in 1763.

One problem was that during the 18th century most of the knowledge and tools we have in the 21st century didn't exist. The antiquarians and intelligentsia such as Robert Lambe were hard pressed to supply the demanded ancient history their customers wanted.

In 1760 a Scotsman named James MacPherson put forth a book supposedly containing the poems of a 3rd century blind Gaelic bard named Oisin. Demand was brisk, cuz Oisin seemed to be the Scottish Homer people were looking for.

The English were not to be left behind and in 1765 Thomas Percy put forth "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry" (sp)

Robert Lambe seems to have kept up a steady correspondence with Percy (both were in the clergy profession) from about Oct 17 1767 where he sent the Laidly Worm ballad (probably in fragments) to Percy. MacPherson had Oisin, and Lambe had Duncan Frasier, perfectly fluent in the 'Geordie' dialect apparently.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Laidley Worm of Spindleston-Heugh
From: GUEST,Laidley
Date: 02 Dec 06 - 12:27 PM

The name, Laidley is very personal and comes from a long line of folk singers, whom favor a Martin D28 guitar as their instrument of choice.


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