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Thomas the Rhymer (NOT Steeleye Span)

DigiTrad:
THOMAS THE RHYMER
TRUE THOMAS
TRUE THOMAS (2)


Related threads:
Any ideas?? Thomas the Rhymer (18)
(origins) lyric discussion: Thomas The Rhymer (46)
Lyr Req: True Thomas (14th century version) (13)
happy? - Mar 18 (Thomas Rymer) (1)
Origins: Thomas the Rhymer-seek MacColl Recording (26)
Lyr Add: Thomas Rymer (6)


DrAM 05 Mar 05 - 10:56 AM
open mike 05 Mar 05 - 12:38 PM
DMcG 05 Mar 05 - 12:53 PM
wildlone 05 Mar 05 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Mar 05 - 04:03 PM
Joe Offer 05 Mar 05 - 07:00 PM
masato sakurai 05 Mar 05 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,MCP 05 Mar 05 - 07:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Mar 05 - 08:39 PM
Phil Cooper 06 Mar 05 - 12:41 AM
Roberto 06 Mar 05 - 02:35 AM
John C. 06 Mar 05 - 08:55 AM
DrAM 07 Mar 05 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Bill the Collie 07 Mar 05 - 10:29 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Mar 05 - 11:07 AM
Snuffy 07 Mar 05 - 07:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Mar 05 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Wulv413 07 Mar 12 - 01:51 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Mar 12 - 01:39 PM
Jim McLean 08 Mar 12 - 02:10 PM
Susan of DT 09 Mar 12 - 08:47 AM
Reinhard 09 Mar 12 - 05:44 PM
Elmore 10 Mar 12 - 11:10 AM
Reinhard 10 Mar 12 - 03:05 PM
Bettynh 10 Mar 12 - 03:20 PM
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Subject: Thomas the Ryhmer (NOT S.Span)
From: DrAM
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 10:56 AM

Anyone know of a recording of the whole ballad Thomas the Rhymer (NOT the S.Span one)?


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Ryhmer (NOT S.Span)
From: open mike
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 12:38 PM

speaking of him, where is the mudcat who went by that name??
Thomas the Rhymer...?


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Ryhmer (NOT S.Span)
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 12:53 PM

A good way to answer that sort of question is to search the GraceNote CDDB, which brings up lots of entries, only some of which are Steelete Span!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THOMAS THE RHYMER
From: wildlone
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 03:09 PM

Taken from
The Oxford book of Ballads
Ed James Kinsley

THOMAS THE RHYMER

TRUE Thomas lay on Huntlie bank;
A ferlie he spied wi' his e'e;
And there he saw a ladye bright
Come riding down by the Eildon Tree.

Her skirt was o' the grass-green silk,
Her mantle o' the velvet fyne;
At ilka tett o' her horse's mane,
Hung fifty siller bells and nine.

True Thomas he pu'd aff his cap,
And louted low down on his knee
'Hail to thee Mary, Queen of Heaven!
For thy peer on earth could never be.'

'O no, O no, Thomas' she said,
'That name does not belang to me;
I'm but the Queen o' fair Elfland,
That am hither come to visit thee.

'Harp and carp, Thomas,' she said;
'Harp and carp along wi' me;
And if ye dare to kiss my lips,
Sure of your bodie I will be.'

'Betide me weal; betide me woe,
That weird shall never daunten me.'
Syne he has kiss'd her rosy lips,
All underneath the Eildon Tree.

'Now ye maun go wi' me,' she said,
'True Thomas, ye maun go wi' me;
And ye maun serve me seven years,
Thro' weal or woe as may chance to be.'

She 's mounted on her milk-white steed,
She 's ta'en true Thomas up behind;
And aye, whene'er her bridle rang,
The steed gaed swifter than the wind.

O they rade on, and farther on,
The steed gaed swifter than the wind;
Until they reach'd a desert wide,
And living land was left behind.

'Light down, light down now, true Thomas,
And lean your head upon my knee;
Abide ye there a little space,
And I will show you ferlies three.

'O see ye not yon narrow road,
So thick beset wi' thorns and briers?
That is the Path of Righteousness,
Though after it but few inquires.

'And see ye not yon braid, braid road,
That lies across the lily leven?
That is the Path of Wickedness,
Though some call it the Road to Heaven.

'And see ye not yon bonny road
That winds about the fernie brae?
That is the Road to fair Elfland,
Where thou and I this night maun gae.

'But, Thomas, ye sall haud your tongue,
Whatever ye may hear or see;
For speak ye word in Elfyn-land,
Ye'll ne'er win back to your ain countrie.'

O they rade on, and farther on,
And they waded rivers abune the knee;
And they saw neither sun nor moon,
But they heard the roaring of the sea.

It was mirk, mirk night, there was nae starlight,
They waded thro' red blude to the knee;
For a' the blude that 's shed on the earth
Rins through the springs o' that countrie.

Syne they came to a garden green,
And she pu'd an apple frae a tree:
'Take this for thy wages, true Thomas;
It will give thee the tongue that can never lee.'

'My tongue is my ain,' true Thomas he said;
'A gudely gift ye wad gie to me!
I neither dought to buy or sell
At fair or tryst where I might be.

'I dought neither speak to prince or peer,
Nor ask of grace from fair ladye!'—
'Now haud thy peace, Thomas,' she said,
'For as I say, so must it be.'

He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,
And a pair o' shoon of the velvet green;
And till seven years were gane and past,
True Thomas on earth was never seen.

Huntlie---A tributary of the river Tweed, near Melrose
ferlie-----marvel
Eildon---hills in the parish of Melrose
ilka tett---each tuft
louted----bowed
carp-------sing/recite
wierd-----fate
daunton--downcast/cast down
syne------then
maun-----must
lily--------lovely
leven------lea
mirk------dark
stern------star
dought---dare
tryst------market
even cloth-smooth cloth

An interesting link


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 04:03 PM

Thanks very much for the post, wildlone. I enjoy this kind of thing very much.


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 07:00 PM

I looked and looked for this one, but the only recording I could find was the one by Steeleye Span, which is on several of their CD's. Seems a shame - it's a great tune and a good story. It's certainly one of the better-known ballads. Maybe some Mudcat balladeer should record it.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 07:16 PM

THOMAS THE RHYMER is on Ewan McCOLL: RIVERSIDE RLP-12-621 1956 (info from folktrax).


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 07:34 PM

You can check out the entries in The Child Ballads Project, a start at listing recorded sources of Child Ballads. (6 entries shown for #37 I think. I came across the site a while ago when I found I'd got 3 entries there -#76, #183, #209!)

Mick


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 08:39 PM

The Kinsey text (from Scott, though unatttributed here) has been posted before and is also, I think, in the DT. Plenty of information in various earlier threads on the song: see links above.


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 06 Mar 05 - 12:41 AM

I believe the storyteller Duncan Williamson has recorded a version on a cassette of some of his stories. I'm not sure if a label or publisher released it, or whether it's a self-released project.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THOMAS RYMOUR / THOMAS THE RHYMER
From: Roberto
Date: 06 Mar 05 - 02:35 AM

Two fine recordings, one by Ewan MacColl and the other by Duncan Williamson. I have another recording of this ballad, by Hermes Nye, on Folkways. R

a) Thomas Rymour
Ewan MacColl, English and Scottish Popular Ballads (Child Ballads) sung by Ewan MacColl, volume 1, Folkways FG 3509, 1961

True Thomas lay on Huntlie bank
A ferlie he spied wi' his e'e
And there he saw a lady bright
Come riding down by Eildon Tree

Her skirt was o' the grass-green silk
Her mantle o' the velvet fyne
At ilka tett o' her horse's mane
Hung fifty siller bells and nine

True Thomas he pull's aff his cap
And louted low down to his knee:
All hail, thou mighty Queen o' Heaven!
For thy peer on earth I never did see

O no, o no, Thomas – she said
That name does not belong to me
I am but the queen of fair Elfland
That am hither come to visit thee

Harp and carp, Thomas – she said
Harp and carp along wi' me
And if ye dare to kiss my lips
Sure of your body I will be

Betide me weal, betide me woe
That weird shall never daunton me
Syne he has kissed her rosy lips
All underneath the Eildon Tree

Now ye maun gang wi' me – she said
True Thomas, ye maun gang wi' me
And ye maun serve me seven years
Thro' weal and woe, as may chance to be

She mounted on her milk-white steed
She's ta'en True Thomas up behind
And aye whene'er her bridle rung
The steed flew faster than the wind

O they rode on and farther on
The steed gaed swifter than the wind
Until they reached a desert wide
And living land was left behind

Light down, light down now, True Thomas
And lean your head upon my knee
Abide and rest a little space
And I will show you ferlies three

O see ye not yon narrow road
So thick beset with thorns and briars?
That is the path of righteousness
Tho' after it but few enquires

And see ye not that braid, braid road
That lies across that lily leven?
That is the path of wickedness
Tho' some ca' it the road to heaven

And see ye not that bonny road
That winds about the fernie brae?
That is the road to fair Elfland
Where thou and I this night maun gae

But, Thomas, ye maun hold your tongue
Whatever ye may hear or see
For if you speak word in Elfyn land
Ye'll ne'er get back to your ain countrie

Syne they came on to a garden green
And she pu'd an apple frae a tree:
Take this for thy wages, True Thomas
It will gi' ye the tongue that can never lie

My tongue is mine ain – True Thomas said
A guidly gift ye wad gie to me!
I neither dought to buy or sell
At fair or tryst where I may be

I dought neither speak to prince or peer
Nor ask of grace from fair ladye.
Now hold thy peace – the lady said
For as I say, so must it be

He has gotten a coat of the even cloth
And a pair of shune of velvet green
And till seven years were gane and past
True Thomas on earth was never seen



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

O true Thomas he lay on a Huntly bank
Beneath an Eilton tree
O when he saw a lady fair
Comin ridin oer the lea

O her mantle it was of the forest green
And her tresses they were so fair
And from every tass of her horse's mane
Hung twenty siller bells and mair

O Thomas he doffed off his hat
He got down upon his knee
He said - Lady you're the greatest queen
That ever I did see

O no O no O Thomas - she said
That name does not belong to me
For I have come from Elfinland
I have come to visit wi thee

And you maun come O Thomas - she said
You maun come along wi me
For I am bound for Elfinland
It is very far away

So they rode and they rode and they merrily merrily rode
They rode for a night and a day
Until they came to a red river
That lay across their way

What river is this? O Thomas he said
O please to me do say
This is a river of blood - she said
That is spilled on this earth in one day

So they rode and they rode and they merrily merrily rode
O merrily they rode away
Until they came to a crystal river
That lay across their way

What river is this? O Thomas he said
O please to me do say
This is a river of tears - she said
That is spilled on this earth in one day

So they rode and they rode and they merrily merrily rode
O merrily they rode away
Until they came to a thorny road
That lay across their way

What road is that? O Thomas he said
O please to me do tell
That is a road you must never lead
For that road it leads to hell

So they rode and they rode and they merrily merrily rode
Merrily they rode away
Until they came to a great orchard
That lay across their way

Lie down, lie down O Thomas - he cried
O it's hungry that I maun be
Lie down, lie down O Thomas he cried
Some fine apples I do see

O touch them not - the Elfin queen said
Please touch them not I say
For they are made from the curses
That fall on this earth in one day

Then reachin up into a tree
Into a tree so high
She plucked an apple from a tree
As they went riding by

O eat you this O Thomas - she said
As we go riding by
And it will give to you a tongue
You shall never tell a lie

So they rode and they rode and they merrily merrily rode
O they rode for a year and a day
Until they came to a great valley
That lay across their way

What place is this? O Thomas he said
O please to me do say
O this is Elfinland - she said
And it's here that you maun stay

So Thomas got a coat of lovely brown
And some shoes of elfin green
And for seven long years and a day
On earth he was never seen


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: John C.
Date: 06 Mar 05 - 08:55 AM

I know that Bob Blair sings this (brilliantly!) but I don't think that he has recorded it. If you get to hear Bob sing live it might be worth asking him to sing it.


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: DrAM
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 06:21 AM

Anyone GOT the Ewan McColl version, from LP Eng and Scots Popular Ballads Vol 1 (Riverside or Folkways labels)?

I'd love to buy the album or pay for a copy.

Thanks for all the useful stuff ...


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: GUEST,Bill the Collie
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 10:29 AM

Child no.37 "Thomas Rhymer", from Scott's Minstrelsy (1802), 2.251.

Emily Lyle, by the way, notes that the earliest references in the ballads to historical characters or events are in the late 13th century - the time of the earliest named poet in Scots, Thomas of Erceldoune called the Rhymer, who lived in the reign of Alexander III.


See also E.B.Lyle, "The relationship between Thomas the Rhymer and Thomas of Erceldoune", Leeds Studies in English 4, 23-30.


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 11:07 AM

I'll bookmark this thread and take a look at my LPs this evening. I have several McColl albums--but best I could do is make a copy.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 07:40 PM

IIRC I have two differtent versions by Steeleye - one about 4 minutes and the other over 7 minutes. Perhaps their longer version might be suitable.


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT S.Span)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 10:33 PM

I don't have that album, at least not on LP. Dad had lots of cassettes and reel-to-reel copies of things, but I haven't looked there (they're not in any order yet). I have some McColl and Peggy Seeger, should you go looking for that, but those are probably pretty easy to come by.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT Steeleye Span)
From: GUEST,Wulv413
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 01:51 PM

There's also a nice (though not complete) version of this song on the 2009er Album "Sing as you slay" by Lamp of toth, there's a chorus inserted and it only covers about half of the original lyrics, but its a nice version anyways.... Made me look for the lyrics in the first place!


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT Steeleye Span)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 01:39 PM

As somebody said, Bob Blair makes a beautiful job of this - I believe it was included on the Argo series 'Poetry and Song' by him - long out of pressing but well worth a search
There's some quite rare stuff in the 14 albums by McColl, Seeger and The Critics Group -and others (Tom Paley among others).
The same goes for a similar Argo series, 'Voices'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT Steeleye Span)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 02:10 PM

I researched and produced a version of Tam Lin sung by Alastair McDonald and recorded for Young Blood Records in 1971. I believe Alastair recently issued an LP on his own label which I assume is a copy of my arrangement/production but haven't heard it.


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT Steeleye Span)
From: Susan of DT
Date: 09 Mar 12 - 08:47 AM

Some Recordings:

Ewan MacColl    Child Ballads, 1   
Hermes Nye       Early English Ballads   Folkways FA2305 (vinyl)
Jenny Armstrong The Leaves Entwine
Sileas          File Under Christmas(?)
Tania Opland    Choice Fare
Uncle Dirtytoes Make Them Come


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT Steeleye Span)
From: Reinhard
Date: 09 Mar 12 - 05:44 PM

Mary Macmaster and Patsy Seddon not only sang True Thomas on their hard to find Sileas cassette "File Under Christmas" but also in 1995 as part of Clan Alba on the group's same-named double CD.


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT Steeleye Span)
From: Elmore
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 11:10 AM

Rick Lee, an excellent singer from the Boston Ma area recorded "True Thomas" on his album, "Look What Thoughts Will Do." He has three albums which can be purchased at Swift River Music, or Waterbug records. I highly recommend them.


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT Steeleye Span)
From: Reinhard
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 03:05 PM

Halewijn Vandijk's Child Ballad Database lists 63 recordings of Child Ballad 037: Thomas Rymer, 20 of them being by Steeleye Span.


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Subject: RE: Thomas the Rhymer (NOT Steeleye Span)
From: Bettynh
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 03:20 PM

The Folkways album is available as a download or custom CD from the Smithsonian, Britain's greatist gift to the American people. The liner notes are also available (free) as a PDF. Please let me know if there's difficulty outside the US with this.


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