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Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord Lankin

DigiTrad:
BO LAMKIN
FALSE LAMKIN
LAMKIN
LONG LANKIN
YOUNG ALANTHIA


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Why didn't Lamkin get paid? (84)
(origins) info req: Long lankin (18)
Lyr Req: Long Lankin (Bill Caddick) (13)
Penguin: Long Lankin (7)


Catrin 04 Oct 02 - 02:28 AM
GUEST 04 Oct 02 - 04:17 AM
IanC 04 Oct 02 - 04:20 AM
Catrin 04 Oct 02 - 02:32 PM
Willie-O 04 Oct 02 - 05:17 PM
GUEST 04 Oct 02 - 06:39 PM
GUEST 04 Oct 02 - 06:53 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Oct 02 - 08:47 PM
Jon Bartlett 04 Oct 02 - 11:58 PM
Catrin 05 Oct 02 - 04:26 AM
Catrin 13 Oct 02 - 08:25 AM
John Routledge 13 Oct 02 - 11:50 AM
Phil Cooper 13 Oct 02 - 12:53 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Oct 02 - 12:56 PM
toadfrog 13 Oct 02 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,Colin Meadows 22 Jan 08 - 10:08 PM
Nerd 22 Jan 08 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,Black Hawk 23 Jan 08 - 02:44 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Jan 08 - 02:49 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Jan 08 - 02:55 AM
GUEST,Colin Meadows 23 Jan 08 - 05:14 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Jan 08 - 05:18 AM
GUEST 23 Jan 08 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 23 Jan 08 - 05:52 AM
Roberto 23 Jan 08 - 06:41 AM
Matthew Edwards 23 Jan 08 - 06:44 AM
Matthew Edwards 23 Jan 08 - 07:29 AM
Matthew Edwards 23 Jan 08 - 09:18 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jan 08 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,Dave (Bridge) 24 Jan 08 - 04:16 PM
BB 24 Jan 08 - 04:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Jan 08 - 07:40 PM
Jack Blandiver 25 Jan 08 - 05:06 AM
Brian Peters 25 Jan 08 - 01:37 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Jan 08 - 03:01 PM
Brian Peters 25 Jan 08 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,Miriam Backhouse 15 Mar 08 - 09:08 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Catrin
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 02:28 AM

Hi folks,

I have been looking for a version of this (not the one on the DT). I have looked everywhere, spent ages ploughing through search results in Google, but no luck.

The version I am looking for (as sung by Terry Yarnell at the recent Ewan Maccoll memorial) has the nurse actually open the door to the villain and let him into the house. Ita also has a verses about the lady asking the nurse to hush the baby with a bell (and something else) and about the lady walking down the steps of the stair, in the dark. It has lots and lots of verses actually. about twice as many as Martin Carthy's version or of the version in the dt.

And it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck...

any help would be most gratefully received.

Thanks,

Catrin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 04:17 AM

Hi Catrin, I thought Terry Yarnell's singing of this was extremely powerful; he seemed to draw me into the life of the story, so that , like you, I found myself spellbound while he sang it, and captivated by the story despite having heard it often before.
Anyway this site Child Ballads gives the 25 different versions found by F J Child, of which 93.G looks nearest where the nurse is called "Orange". But I would expect that Terry either got the ballad from Ewan and Peggy, or from a traditional source.
I'll see if I can find anything more.
I'm afraid the Child Ballad site takes ages to scroll through, but be patient!

matthew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: IanC
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 04:20 AM

Catrin

Many of the "Lamkin" variants have the nurse letting him in. This one here is an example.

BTW - I've never seen him described as Lord Lankin.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Catrin
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 02:32 PM

Thanks matthew and Ian,

I have just scoured through all 25 versions on the child website (which I have now bookmarked!). None of them are the version I want, which does have the nurse named 'orange'. Actually Ian, your version is probably the nearest. It doesn't talk about _why_ they want to plot to kill the baby and the lady, it's left as a mystery, which I quite like. (not sure if _like_ is the right word here, but it will have to do.

I will keep trying though...

Thanks again,

Catrin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Willie-O
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 05:17 PM

Hey, Lamkin (love that name) had a perfectly good grievance. He built Lord Weary's castle, but payment he got nane.

So he HAD to go stab the baby.

It's perfectly obvious.

Willie-O
would a done the same. (That's where me and my alter ego part compnay though)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 06:39 PM

Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger did record LPs of the English and Scottish Ballads in various projects in the 50's and 60's with ARGO and Riverside labels, among others. I can't find a full discography, but a search for "Lamkin" in the National Sound Archive Catalogue NSA Catalogue shows that both Ewan and Peggy recorded versions of the song for ARGO.(Not yet reissued on CD)

MacColl sometimes "collated" the texts from Child with versions from traditional singers to creat his own version, but Terry Yarnell has also collected quite extensively in his own right and may have a different source.

Anyone got access to Roud's index? or to Bronson's "Tunes..."?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 06:53 PM

So far as I can find the only recordings of traditional singers available are:- as "Lankin" by George Fradley of Derbyshire on Veteran cassette VT114, and as "Cruel Lincoln" by Ben Butcher from Hampshire on Vol 3 of Topic's Voice of the People series TSCD 653.

However as the title has so many variants there could well be many others around.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 08:47 PM

The Roud Index doesn't list any examples of this song collected by either Yarnell or MacColl. However, it's been found very widely (as usual, more frequently in the USA and Canada than in Britain or Ireland), and Bronson devotes a large section to it. I don't have that bit copied yet, so I can't provide more "Orange" examples for the moment.

As for additional recordings from tradition; three can be heard at   The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection:

False Lamkin   As sung by Jane Robinson, Fayettville, Arkansas on December 17, 1958.

False Lamkin   As sung by Mrs. Irene Carlisle, Fayetteville,Arkansas on June 23, 1960.

False Lamkins   As sung by Boyce Davis, Lincoln, Arkansas on February 29, 1968.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 11:58 PM

My partner Rika Ruebsaat and I have just published "Lamkin, 'The Terror of Countless Nurseries'" which reviews all previous articles on this ballad we could find and presents our own view of its "meaning". It's in Canadian Folk Music, Fall 2002 Vol 36.3 ISSN 0829-5344. We think the song at bottom is about abandonment, not unpaid masons, lepers, the devil, etc.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Catrin
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 04:26 AM

This is fascinating stuff. I feel like a detective.

I have an idea about how to find the version. If I am successful, I'll post the words here.

Thanks for your input everyone - Jon, yours and Rika's book sounds amazing - I'll look out for it.

There are some really good versions around, I suppose part of the reason I want Terry Yarnell's specifically, is because I heard him sing it and he brought it to life so well. Also, this has become a bit of a mission...

I'll keep you all posted,

Catrin


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Subject: Lyr Add: LAMBKIN
From: Catrin
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 08:25 AM

OK, here it is - I finally managed to locate the words, and since this version isn't in the DT, I'll post them here.

And the version _does_ talk about why Lankin 'did it' - interesting that I hadn't retained that Part in my memory of the song.

Cheers,

Catrin
^^
LAMBKIN
(As sung by Terry Yarnell)

A better man than Lambkin
He never built with stone.
He built Lord Wearie's castle
But of payment he got none

"O pay me Lord Wearie
O pay me my fee!"
"I cannot pay you Lambkin
For I'm going o'er the sea."

Lord Weary and his lady
Were walking on the quay
"Oh look our for bold Lambkin
When he comes up this way."

"Why should I look for Lambkin?
Why should I look out for him?
When my doors are fast bolted
And the windows all pinned in."

But the nurse was as false one
As ever hung on tree
She laid a plot with Lambkin
When her Lord was on the sea.

Lord Wearie hadn't gone long
When Lambkin came nigh
He knocked at the front door
And the Nurse let him by.

"Where are the men of the house
That calls me Lambkin?"
"They're in the barn threshing
And they'll not come in."

"Where are the women of the house
That call me Lambkin?"
"They're at the well washing
And they'll not come in."

"Where is the lady of the house?
Is she not within?"
"She's in her room sewing
And she'll not come in."

"What shall we do?" said Lambkin
"To make her come in."
""Pierce the babe in the cradle."
Said the false nurse to him.

So the Lambkin he pierced it
And the false nurse she sang
And the blood from the cradle
Through each bar it ran.

"O mistress, dear mistress
How can you sleep so fast?
Can't you hear young Sir Johnson
A crying his last?

"O, please my child Orange.
O, please him with the key."
"He won't be pleased lady
Not for all my nurses fee."

"O please my child Orange,
O please him with the wand."
"He won't be pleased lady.
Not for all his father's land."

"O please my child Orange
O please him with the bell."
"He won't be pleased lady.
'Til you come down yourself."

"How can I come down stairs,
On a cold winter's night
With no spark of fire burning
Nor no candle alight?"

"You've two Holland sheets there
As white as the snow.
I pray you come down here,
By the light of them do so."

Now the first step she's taken
She's trod on a stone,
And the next step she's taken
She's trod on Lambkin.

"O mercy, mercy, Lambkin.
O, mercy on me.
Although you've killed my Johnson
You shall have all your fee."

"If you'd give me the money,
Like the sands of the sea,
I'd not keep my sharp knife
From your white skin so free.

"Now, shall we kill her Orange?
Or shall we let her be?"
"O, kill her, kill her Lambkin
For she's been no good to me."

"Go fetch the silver basin,
Go scour it nice and clean,
For to catch the lady's heart blood
For she comes of noble kin."

"You need no basin Lambkin.
Let the blood run through the floor.
What's better than the heart blood
Of the rich, than of the poor?"

And with that, bold Lambkin
He stuck his knife keen.
And the rich lady's heart blood
It dropped on the stone.

Lord Wearie in a month or more
Came sailing o'er the foam
And sad and bitter was his heart
When he rode in his home.

There was blood in the nursery
There was blood in his hall
There was blood on the stairs
And her heart blood on all.

"Come here, come here, Lambkin
And I'll pay you your fee."
And the fee that he paid him,
He hung him on a tree,

"Come here, come here Orange
And I'll pay you your hire."
And the hire that he paid her,
He burnt her in the fire.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: John Routledge
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 11:50 AM

Catrin, Nick Caffrey sings a very similar/identical version.In a recent edition of Living Tradition he wrote an article about the background to the song but my copy is out on loan. Should get it back before 15Nov so I can let you have a read. Great song


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 12:53 PM

Catrin, good version there. I can see why it passed the hair test.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 12:56 PM

At first glance, I'd say that Terry Yarnell's text is a collation, with Scottish word-forms Anglicised, from several sources, chiefly Child 93A, which came from Mrs. Anna Brown of Falkland in the later years of the 18th century. "Orange", which occurs as mentioned earlier in 93G, has been substituted throughout for (variously) nourice and false nurse, and some verses have been partly re-written. Other verses have been introduced from (probably) both English and Scottish versions, but it isn't immediately obvious from exactly which.

Nick Caffrey's piece on Lamkin appeared in issue 48 of Living Tradition. There are some sound-samples relating to it at The Tradition Bearers: Lamkin.

Some strangeness to do with the use of style sheets prevents the page from loading in some iterations of Netscape. Note also that the sound-samples are not as labelled.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: toadfrog
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 01:10 PM

Willie0: That's definitely the way they did things in the Middle Ages, or the late middle ages, anyway. Authorities are pretty much in agreement about that. People were very passionate. No police in those days. You settled the score by stiking the bad guy with a knife or, if you were a nobleman, by raiding his lands and burning his castle. I can recall hearing a paper read at an AHA convention where a historian remarked that 15th Century Florence was the most civilized and well-regulated city of its day, and "compared to 15th Century Florence, Central Park is like the Elysian Fields."

Lamkin is remarkable only to the extent that he got revenge against a person higher in rank. And in the version I know, got burned alive, probably for treason rather than murder.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: GUEST,Colin Meadows
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 10:08 PM

To the best of my recollection this ballad is called Lamkin or Lambkin. It strikes me as a derogatory reference to a man who was never going to be paid for his work and who is treated with contempt by the man for whom he worked.
I also remember McColl sometimes introducing this ballad with a reference to Charles Seeger's view that the song was an allegorical reference to the "Peasant's Revolt"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 10:49 PM

Many traditional songs have been imaginatively linked to the peasants revolt, but the links are always in the minds of the scholars, not in the evidence! It was usually A. L. Lloyd who pushed that connection.

Colin, your memory is right about the name, but it was professor Child who assigned the "standard" name Lamkin. In many versions he is not called this; he is often called "lankin," and often "long lankin." This means, roughly, "tall, lean one." He is also called Rankin, or Linkin, or even Lambert Linkin. In other versions, especially here in the US, he gets a first name, Bo, so he's Bo Lamkin or even Bolakins.

There are a few versions in which he asks, menacingly, "where are those who call me lamkin," suggesting just what Colin says above, that the name was an insult meant for someone they assumed would meekly submit to being cheated. But this is a small minority of versions. Anne Gilchrist has pointed out that in fact Lamkin/Lambkin is a well-attested English diminutive of the name Lambert, and that throughout the ballad's existence the name has been present in England and Scotland. She suggests that it might originally have denoted, not a lamb, but a Flemish ethnicity, the most likely ethnicity to bear the name. This would make him a "bloodthirsty foreigner" as opposed to a "meek lamb."

Anyway, there's plenty more to explore on this song...but I just realized this is an old thread just revived by Colin!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: GUEST,Black Hawk
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 02:44 AM

Best version I ever heard was by Miriam Backhouse on tour last year from South Africa.
I heard her perform it on 5 different occasions & she brought the story alive each time.

She tours again this year I believe so catch her show if you can!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 02:49 AM

Hello Colin Meadows - long time no see
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 02:55 AM

Excellent! I had so long wanted a song that told of the way teh mason was cheated that I had started writing it myself! Now I find what I wanted was almost there all along.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: GUEST,Colin Meadows
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 05:14 AM

Hi Jim Carroll. Likewise. Regards to Pat and yourself. How can we talk away from this public forum?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 05:18 AM

Whilst the cheating of the mason is undoubtedly the scenario of Child #93 (see http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/child-ballads/ch093.htm ), the way people are talking here it seems they think murder was a justifiable course of action on the part of Lamkin (call him what you will) which is obviously not the sentiment of the ballad at all.

What creates a monster? In most cases, it would seem, circumstance; before which they would have been a perfectly reasonable human being. Even in the episode of Batman shown last night on BBC4 some account was given of the events the turned the mind of King Tut from brilliant academic to criminal mastermind, but this wasn't mired in the sort of causal sentiment we might be susceptible to today.

Interesting therefore that for the most part Child #93 exists without the back story because, cheated mason or not, it's Grand Guignol (complete with concluding comeuppance) that gives the ballad its appeal, rather than any personal / political 'reason' that might account for Lamkin's behaviour.

Meanwhile, here's a wee film of me singing Long Lankin in Hollywell Dene in Northumberland, self accompanied on the Turkish kemence :   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVzsWVuDMm0


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 05:40 AM

plus devils interval did the Emma Clewer version from lincolnshire and Barry lister does the Martin Carthy version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 05:52 AM

There's a rather short version of it, albeit as 'Lambkin', on Megson's 'Smoke of Home'CD. Ithas a good tune, but I'm not keen on the chorus.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Roberto
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 06:41 AM

5 recordings of LAMKIN (#93)

a) Cruel Lincoln
Ben Butcher, on O'er his grave the grass grew green, Tragic Ballads, The Voice of the People Vol.3, Topic TSCD 653, ballad recorded 1955, first released on Topic 12T317

Says the lord to the lady - I am now going out
Beware of cruel Lincoln whilst I am gone out

What cares I for Lincoln or any of his kin
My doors are all bolted, my windows are pinned

As soon as the lord had got out of sight
Cruel Lincoln crept in at the middle of the night

Got and pinched my sweet baby which caused it to cry
Whilst the nurse sat a-singing - Oh, hush-a-lulliby

Oh, nurse, oh, nurse, how sound you do sleep
Whilst my little baby most bitterly does weep?

Oh, Lady, dear Lady, come and take it in your lap
For I cannot quiet it with milk nor with pap

The lady came down, not thinking any harm
Cruel Lincoln stood a-waiting for to catch her in his arms

Oh, Lincoln, cruel Lincoln, spare me life for one hour
You shall have my daughter Betsy, who is thy blood's flower

Go and fetch your daughter Betsy, she will do very well
To hold up this silver basin for to catch her mother's blood

There was blood in the kitchen, there was blood in the hall
There was blood in the parlour where the lady did fall

As soon as the lord had heard what was done
Tears from his eyes gently flowed

Saying - The nurse shall be hanged on the gallows so high
Cruel Lincoln shall be burned in the fire close by

b) Long Lankin
Martin Carthy, But Two Came By (with Dave Swarbrick), Topic TSCD343, original lp release, Polygram 1968

Says me lord to me lady
As he mounted his horse
Beware of Long Lankin
That lives in the moss

Says me lord to me lady
As he went on his way
Beware of Long Lankin
That lives in the hay

See the doors are all bolted
See the windows all pinned
And leave not a crack
For a mouse to creep in

Oh the doors were all bolted
Oh the windows were pinned
But at the small peep in the window
Long Lankin crept in

Where's the lord of this household?
Cries Long Lankin
He's away out to London
Says the false nurse to him

Where's the lady of the household?
Cries Long Lankin
She's asleep in her chamber
Says the false nurse to him

Where's the heir of the household?
Cries Long Lankin
He's asleep in his cradle
Says the false nurse to him

We'll pinch him and we'll prick him
All over with a pin
And that'll make me lady
To come down to him

So they pinched him and they pricked him
All over with a pin
And the false nurse held the basin
For the blood to drip in

O nurse how you slumber
O nurse how you sleep
You leave my little son
To cry and to weep

O nurse how you slumber
O nurse how you snore
You leave me little baby
To cry and to roar

Oh I tried him with the milk
And I've tried him with the pap
Come down my fair lady
And rock him in your lap

Oh I've tried him with the rattle
I've tried him with the bell
Come down my pretty lady
And rock him yourself

How dare I come down
In the dead of the night
When there's no candles burning
Nor no fires alight?

You have three silver gowns
All bright as the sun
Come down my pretty lady
All by the light of one

Oh the lady came downstairs
She was thinking no harm
Long Lankin he stood ready
For to catch her in his arm

There's blood in the kitchen
There's blood in the hall
There's blood in the parlour
Where me lady did fall

Her handmaid stood out
At the window so high
And she saw her lord and master
Come ariding close by

O master, O master
Don't lay no blame on me
Twas the false nurse and Lankin
That killed your lady

O master, O master
Don't lay no blame on me
It was the false nurse and Lankin
That killed your baby

Long Lankin shall be hanged
On the gallows so high
And the false nurse shall be burned
In the fire close by



c) Long Lankin
A. L. Lloyd, on A. L. Lloyd & Ewan MacColl, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (The Child Ballads), Volume III, Riverside RLP 12-625/626. Collected by Ceil Sharp in 1909 from a nun, Sister Emma, of Clewer, Buckinghamshire. Included in R. Vaughan Williams and A. L. Lloyd, The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, 1959.

Said the lord to the lady, as he mounted his horse:
'Beware of Long Lankin that lives in the moss.'

Said the lord to the lady, as he rode away:
'Beware of Long Lankin that lives in the hay.'

'Let the doors be all bolted and the windows all pinned,
And leave not a hole for a mouse to creep in.'

So he kissed his fair lady and he rode away,
And he was in fair London town before the break of day.

The doors was all bolted and the windows all pinned,
Except one little window where Lankin crept in.

'Where's the lord of this house?' says Long Lankin,
'He's away in fair London.' said the false nurse to him.

'Where's the little heir of this house?' said Long Lankin.
'He's asleep in his cradle,' said the false nurse to him.

'We'll prick him, we'll prick him all over with a pin,
And that'll make me lady to come down to him.'

So he pricked him, he pricked him all over with a pin,
And the nurse held the basin for the blood to flow in.

'O nurse, how you slumber. O nurse, how you sleep.
You leave my little son Johnson to cry and to weep.

'I've tried him with apples, I've tried him with a pear.
Come down, my fair lady, and rock him in your chair.

'I've tried him with milk and I've tried him with pap.
Come down, my fair lady, and rock him in your lap.'

'How can I come down so late in the night
Where's no fire a-burning nor candle to give light?'

'You have three silver mantles as bright as the sun.
Come down, my fair lady, all by the light of one.'

My lady came down the stairs, a-thinking no harm.
Long Lankin stood ready to catch her in his arm.

There's blood in the kitchen. There's blood in the hall.
There's blood in the parlour where my lady did fall.

Her maiden looked out from the turret so high,
And she saw her master from London riding by.

'O master, O master, don't lay the blame on me.
'Twas the false nurse and Lankin that killed your fair lady.'

Long Lankin was hanged on a gibbet so high
And the false nurse was burnt in a fire close by.

d) Lamkin
Geordie McIntyre, on Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre, Ballad Tree, The Tradition Bearers, LTCD1051, 2003

Lamkin was as guid a mason
As ever hewed a stane
He built Lord Louden a castle
And payment he got nane

The Lord said to the Lady
Ere he gaed abroad
Beware o' Lamkin
That lives in yonder wood

But the nursie was as fause a limmer
As e'er hung on a tree
She made a plot wi' Lamkin
When the Lord was o'er the sea

She made a plot wi' Lamkin
When the servants were awa'
Let him in at a wee windae
An' brought him tae the ha

Whaur's the lady o' this hoose
That calls me Lamkin
She's in her bower sewing
But we soon can bring her doon

Then Lamkins ta'en a lang knife
That hung doon by his gaire
An' he has gi'en the bonny bairn
A deep wound and a sair

Lamkin he rocked
An' the fause nursie sang
Frae ilka bore o' the cradle
And the red bluid oot it ran

Then oot spak' the lady
At the top 'o the stair
What ails my bairn nursie
That he's greetin sae sair

O still my bairn nursie
Still him wi' the pap
He'll no be stilled lady
For this nor for that

Still my bairn nursie
Still him wi' the bell
He'll no be stilled lady
Til ye cam doon yersel'

How can I cam' doon
It's a cauld winters nicht
There's neither coal nor candle
Tae show me doon licht

There's twa globes in your chaumer
As bricht as the sun
Tak' ane o' them wi' ye
It'll show ye licht doon

The firstan step she steppit
She steppit on a stane
The neistan step she steppit
She met wi' him Lamkin

Oh mercy mercy Lamkin
Hae mercy upon me
Though ye've ta'en my young son
Let me be....

O sall I kill her nursie
Or sall I let her be
Aye kill her, kill her Lamkin
She ne'er was guid tae me

And scour the basin nursie
Scour it fair and clean
For this lady's hearts-bluid
She comes o' noble kin

Ye need no basin Lamkin
Let it run through the floor
What better is the hearts bluid
O' the rich than o' the poor

Twa or three months had past and gaen
Lord Louden he cam' hame
And weary was his heart
When first he cam hame

Wha's bluid is this - he says
That lies in my ha'?
It is your bairns hearts bluid
It's the clearest of a'

Wha's bluid is this - he says
That's lyin in my chaumer?
It is your lady's hearts bluid
It's as clear as the lammer

And bonny bonny sang the linty
That sat upon the tree
But sair grat Lamkin
When he was condemned tae dee

And bonny bonny sang the mavis
Oot o' the thorny brake
But sair grat the nursie
Whe she was burnin' at the stake

e) Bolakins
Mrs. Lena Bare Turbyfill at Elk Park, North Carolina, 1939, on Anglo-American Ballads, volume two, The Library of Congress, Archive of Folk Culture, Rounder CD 1516; original released as Recording Laboratory, Library of Congress AFS L7, 1943

Bolakins was a very fine mason
As ever laid stone
He built a fine castle
And the pay he got none

"Where is the gentleman?
Is he at home?"
"He's gone down to Marion
For to visit his son."

"Where is the lady?
Is she at home?"
"She's upstairs sleeping,
" Said the foster to him

"How will we get her down
Such a dark night as this?"
"We'll stick her little baby
Full of needles and pins."
They stuck her little baby
Full of needles and pins

The foster she rocked
And Bolakins he sung
While blood and tears
From the cradle did run

Down come our lady
Not thinking any harm
Old Bolakins
He took her in his arms

"Bolakins, Bolakins,
Spare my life one day
I'll give you many marigolds
As my horse can carry away

"Bolakins, Bolakins
Spare my life one hour
I'll give you my daughter Bessie
My own blooming flower."

"You better keep your daughter Bessie
For to run through the flood
And scour a silver basin
For to catch your heart's blood."

Daughter Bessie climbed up
In the window so high
And saw her father
Come riding hard by

"Oh, father, oh, father,
Can you blame me?
Old Bolakins
Has killed your lady.

"Oh, father, oh, father,
Can you blame me?
Old Bolakins
Has killed your baby."

They hung old Bolakins
To the sea-gallows tree
And tied the foster
To the stake of stand-by


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 06:44 AM

Its great to see this thread revived after such a long time. The Devil's Interval do sing this song very well indeed, but their CD notes correctly attribute the words to Sister Emma from Clewer in Berkshire. She was a Sister in the Anglican order of nuns of the Community of St John the Baptist in Clewer; she gave Cecil Sharp some 14 songs including Lamkin in 1909. As some of these songs had a Northeastern connection, and since some of the nuns in the community were of noble birth there was a notion that Sister Emma herself came from some high born Northumbrian family.

The Clewer Village website has added some more information about Sister Emma based on a manuscript recently discovered in the Clewer Community archives. The story of St Augustine's Home for Boys in A History of Clewer includes extracts from Sister Emma's own account of running the home. The site also notes that she was formerly known as Emma Waring, and that she took her vows to the Sisterhood in 1872. She died on 22 March 1909, very soon after Cecil Sharp had collected the songs from her.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 07:29 AM

I should correct the number of songs Sharp collected from Sister Emma in my previous post; there are in fact 26 songs altogether in Steve Roud's Folk Song Index.

As I was Going to Banbury
As She Was Keeping Her Flock
Bessy Bingle ("Bessy Bingle had a little pig")
Bonny Pit Laddie
The Carrion Crow
Dance to Thee Daddy
"Dancing Thumbkin Dancing" Nursery Song
The Derby Ram
Gang O'er the Burn My Canny Hinny
Giles Collins
The Gypsy Laddie ("My lady came down in a silken gown")
The Knight all out of Spain
Lamkin/Long Lankin
Last Night About Ten O'Clock
Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor/Eleanor
The Mermaid
My Dearie Will Ye Come Ben Ben
Robin A Thrush
"She was upstairs sewing her silk" Nursery Song
Sir Hugh/Little Sir Hugh
Three Little Tailors
We Be Soldiers Three
When First I Went to London Town
Willie's Courtship
Wraggle Taggle Gipsies O
Young Henry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 09:18 AM

Sister Emma's origins are becoming more mysterious! I wonder if indeed the Sister Emma who gave Lamkin and all the other songs to Sharp is the same Sister Emma as the one in the Clewer Community archive and who was formerly known as Emma Waring. The only Emma Waring I can find in Census records for the House of Mercy in Clewer was born in Lyme Regis in 1840; she is also known as Eleanor Emma Waring and was apparently the daughter of a solicitor from Herefordshire and her mother came from Bristol.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 03:15 AM

Is my memory failing or did Steeleye Span record a version of Lambkin, during which they appeared to get bored with it and played a reel in the middle. It ranks pretty highly on my scale as one of the worst renditions of a ballad ever.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: GUEST,Dave (Bridge)
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 04:16 PM

Lankin's well is a few miles west of Newcastle upon Tyne and is supposed to be the scene of the event


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: BB
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 04:41 PM

Hello Colin,

In answer to your question, if you register with Mudcat, you can use the PM button to talk privately to Jim, and perhaps ask him for his e-mail address.

Glad to know you're still around!

Barbara Brown


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 07:40 PM

Various local traditions exist in both England and Scotland as to the 'original' location of the action, and many 'explanations' have been suggested for it; but it seems unlikely that the ballad was based on a real event. Scottish versions tend to contain the unpaid mason motif, while English forms (including what is probably the earliest surviving example, Child 93K, sent to Percy by a correspondent in Kent in 1775) don't. The latter concentrate on the horror of a bloody and motiveless murder, and are, I think, the more powerful for it. John DeWitt Niles ('Lamkin: The Motivation of Horror' in Journal of American Folklore 90, 1977, 49-67) makes a number of interesting suggestions drawing on folktale motifs, but it is his opening comments that are most telling:

'Everyone loves a good killing. The more bloody and cruel the killing, the more interesting it is likely to be, especially when the victims are helpless: a woman alone, an infant child. But the most fascinating murder of all, to the popular mind, is a bloody killing of helpless persons with no plausible motive.'

Only one broadside edition, by Pitts, is known; it can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

The Lambkin

Although an incomplete tune is printed, it doesn't belong to 'Lankin' at all. See Steve Gardham's piece at Musical Traditions for details:

The Lambkin


Interesting to see the 'new' information on Sister Emma, which wasn't on the Clewer site last time I looked at it. Thanks for pointing it out, Matthew. She learned the bulk of her songs in childhood from her mother and her nurse, incidentally; so it may very well be the nurse, not the family, who was from the northeast.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 05:06 AM

When we were kids, the story of Long Lankin became somehow mixed up with that of Starlight Castle, the romantic ruins of which stand along Hollywell Dene, in Seaton Sluice, Northumberland.

The story we were told (and would indeed tell) was that at some pont in the mid 1700s, the notorious Sir Francis Delaval needed a home for one of his many concubines and so made a wager with a local stone-mason that if could build him a castle overnight, he would be paid thrice over the odds, but, should the mason fail, he would get nothing.   Seemingly the mason made his task easier by having large sections of the castle prefabricated, so all that remained was to assemble these overnight, hence the name Starlight Castle. Hearing of this, however, Sir Francis called him a cheat and refused payment. In revenge, the mason brutally murdered the subsequent incumbent of the castle (whose ghost is said to haunt the spot to this day) for which crime the mason, who is remembered as Curry, was hung in a gibbet at a place on the nearby coast known to this day as Curry's Point.

There is historical fact here, as anyone will find out who Googles Delaval Starlight Castle, but the rest would appear to come wholesale from the ballad of Long Lankin - apart from the detail of Curry, who did indeed hang in a gibbet at Curry's Point, but for the murder of a local landlord some years before the building of Starlight Castle.

I must add that I knew the story long before ever I heard the ballad, so in my mind Long Lankin is forever associated with Starlight Castle, and Curry's Point with the dastardly mason therein.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 01:37 PM

Two more recordings by traditional singers:
John Reilly Jnr., 'False Lankum' on 'Songs of the Irish Travellers' (PPCD004) - a very full text with a good melody.

Hockey Feltwell. 'Lamkin' on 'Heel and Toe' (VT150CD)

Liner notes to the second of these mention a further recording, of George Frosby of Hampshire, on Rounder 1775.

There are quite a few English versions notated in Bronson, as well as several American ones - one of which calls the villain "Bold Dunkins". Perhaps he continued his dastardly criminal career by poisoning large swathes of the American public with sugary doughnuts and bad coffee.

A quick hum through the first two versions in Bronson (both from Cambs.) reveals an interesting similiarity with the John Reilly Jnr. tune. I used to sing a great (if rather demanding in terms of range) version from Sam Henry's 'Songs of the People', but I don't do it so often these days because it made my audiences cry. Me too, sometimes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 03:01 PM

Brian,
Is that George Fosbury of Axbury, Hampshire, recorded by Bob Copper in 1955 for the BBC and discussed in 'Songs and Southern Breezes'?
The Singer's Club used to have a feature evening entitled 'You Name It, We'll Sing It' where the residents with the largest repertoires would sit on stage and have bits of paper passed up on which audience members had written not requests, but clues to songs. One night somebody sent up "Unpaid brickie goes berserk and slaughters two". Bert Lloyd guessed it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 03:41 PM

>> Is that George Fosbury of Axbury, Hampshire <<

I bet is is, Jim (no typo on my part - 'Frosby' is what the notes say). Some time since I read that book, so I didn't spot it.

Loved the Singers' Club story.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord lankin
From: GUEST,Miriam Backhouse
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 09:08 AM

Dear Sir / madam,
Thankyou for your kind words about my rendition of Long Lankin.
My children always had a morbid fascination with it and called it
"The pricky song " !!!
I'll be back in the UK at the end of May.
For a tour list, please go to my photos on
www.myspace.com/miriambackhouse
Please come and tell me who you are,if you come along to a gig.
Fond regards,
Miriam


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