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lord Randall


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Esperanza email, 14 Jan 97 - 08:23 PM
Bill Day 14 Jan 97 - 08:51 PM
Bill 14 Jan 97 - 09:37 PM 15 Jan 97 - 07:41 PM
Jerry Friedman, 16 Jan 97 - 01:44 PM
Bill Galbraith 15 Feb 97 - 12:25 PM
LaMarca 16 Feb 97 - 11:02 AM
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Subject: lord Randall
From: Esperanza email,
Date: 14 Jan 97 - 08:23 PM

We, (my third, fourth and fifth grade class and me) are tryin to find out who Lord Randall was and who poisoned him. It seems to be linked to Edward whose mother convinced him to stab his father. Please help.

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Subject: RE: lord Randall
From: Bill Day
Date: 14 Jan 97 - 08:51 PM

there are various versions of 'Lord Randall' most, it seems to be his own sweetheart/lover/girlfriend, but in some versions there seems to be an implication that his own mother, or his girlfriends mother does it...the origins of the story/ballad are lost in history. It has been seen in Italian, German, Swedish,etc.versions, as well as the English/Scottish versions set out in F.J. Child.The basic story is just that there was a young man who went out one day, had supper away from home, and was poisioned by someone he trusted. He is sometimes called 'Lord Ronald", and other names....You will probably get several answers to this...Lord Randal is one of the best known of the 'Child Ballads', and has a number of very fine and different tunes associated with it.

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Subject: RE: lord Randall
From: Bill
Date: 14 Jan 97 - 09:37 PM

Oh--it is not really linked to 'Edward', most versions of which have a young man killing his brother and being questioned by his mother about it....(both of these old murder ballads-- and others, have been traced back to the 1500's or earlier and are found in various countries...especially Scandinavia)..(The version of Lord Randal given in the 'Digital Tradition' database is a pretty good representation of the basic story, though by no means the only one).

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Subject: RE: lord Randall
Date: 15 Jan 97 - 07:41 PM

My favourite version is done by Pete Seeger, in which the poisoned protagonist is actually named Henry. It's one that my nephews (in that 8-11 age range) enjoy. It's a more humorous (in a grotesque sort of way) rowdy version and a great sing along.

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Subject: RE: lord Randall
From: Jerry Friedman,
Date: 16 Jan 97 - 01:44 PM

Harry Belafonte recorded an Appalachian (I guess) version that ends something like the way "Edward" does. Something like

What will you leave to your mother, my son? What will you leave her, my darling young one? My love to keep you, mother [2x] Oh make my bed soon, For I'm sick to the heart, And fain would lie doon.

And what will you leave to your sweetheart, my son? [etc.] A rope from hell to hang her [etc.]

No accusation of the mother for giving bad counsels. By the way, the album is called _Mark Twain_, and it's got a lot of good stuff and a only little mediocre. I wish my illegal tape of it hadn't broken, but that's what I get.

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Subject: RE: lord Randall
From: Bill Galbraith
Date: 15 Feb 97 - 12:25 PM

I have been told that there really was a "Lord Rendall" who was an important Scottish general, poisoned on the eve of battle with the English by a female family member he trusted. The English with their gold were always the bane of Scotland.

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Subject: RE: lord Randall
From: LaMarca
Date: 16 Feb 97 - 11:02 AM

Being a good Sicilian-American, I can't let this theft of a good Italian murder plot by the English and Scots go unnoticed. One of the major sources for the ballad listed by Child and others is an Italian/Sicilian ballad about a poisoned lover. We Italians have ALWAYS been fond of poison as a means of ridding ourselves of unwanted people...remember the Borgias? Martin Carthy recorded a version in which the poisoner was the wicked stepmother, but the girlfriend is the culprit in most versions.

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