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Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye

31 Aug 00 - 06:19 PM (#288792)
From: Thomas the Rhymer


In London city was Beichan born,
He longed strange countries for to see,
But he was ta'en by a savage moor,
Who handled him right cruelly.

For through his shoulder he put a bore,
And through this bore has pitten a tree
And he's gard him draw the carts o wine
Where horse and oxen had wont to be.

He's casten him in a dungeon deep,
Where he could neither hear nor see
He's shut him up in a prison strong
And he's handled him right cruelly

O this moor he had but ae daughter
I wot her name was Susie Pye
She's doen her to the prison house,
And she's called young Beichan one word by

"O hae ye any lands or rents
Or cities in your ain country,
Could free you out of prison strong,
And could maintain a lady free?"

"O London city is my own,
And other cities twa or three
Could loose me out o'prison strong
And could maintain a lady free.

O she has bribed her father's men
Wi' mickle gold and white money,
She's gotten the key o' the prison doors,
And she has set young Beichan free.

She's gi'n him a loaf o' the good white bread,
But an a flask o' Spanish wine,
And she bade him mind on the lady's love
That kindly freed him out o' pine.

"Go set your foot on good ship board,
And haste you back to your ain country,
And before that seven years has an end,
Come back again, love, and marry me."

It was long or seven years had an end
She longed full sair her love to see
She's set her foot on good ship board,
And turned her back on her ain country.

She's sailed up, so has she down,
Till she came to the other side;
She's landed at young Beichan's gates,
And I hope this day she shall be his bride.

"Is this Young Beichan's gates?" says she,
"Or is that noble prince within?"
"He's up the stairs wi' his bonny bride.
And many a lord and lady wi' him."

"O has he te'an a bonny bride,
And has he clean forgotten me?"
And sighing said that gay lady
"I wish I were in my ain country!"

But she's pitten her hand in her pocket,
And gi'n the porter guinaes three;
Says, "Take ye that, ye proud porter,
And bid the bridegroom speak to me."

O when the porter came up the stair,
He's fa'n low down upon his knee:
"Won up, won up, ye proud porter,
And what makes all this courtesy?"

"O, I've been porter at your gates
This mair nor seven years and three,
But there is a lady at them now
the like of which I never did see.

"For on every finger she has a ring,
And on the mid-finger she has three,
And there's as mickle goud aboon her brow
As would buy an earldom o' land to me."

Then up it started Young Beichan,
And sware so loud by Our Lady,
"It can be none but Susie Pye,
That has come o'er the sea to me."

O quickly ran he down the stair,
O' fifteen steps he has made but three;
He's ta'en his bonny love in his arms
And I wot he kissed her tenderly.

"O hae you ta'en a bonny bride?
And Hae you quite forsaken me?
And hae you Quite forsaken her
That give you life and liberty?"

She's lookit o'er her left shoulder
To hide the tears stood in her ee;
"Now fare thee well, Young Beichan," she says,
"I'll strive to think nae mair on thee."

"take back your daughter, madam," he says,
"And a double dowry I'll gi' her wi';
For I maun marry my first truelove,
That's done and suffered so much for me."

He's ta'en his bonny love by the hand,
And led her to yon fountain stane;
He's changed her name frae Susie Pye,
And he's called her his bonny love, Lady Jane.

"English Literature", American Book Company, 1935
The assignment that follows contains these Questions:
There are at least fifteen versions of this ballad extant. Why do you suppose it was so popular? Do you think Lord Beichan was influenced by the porter's description of Susie's jewelry? Would he have been so hospitable if she had appeared in rags?

31 Aug 00 - 09:29 PM (#288917)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Child ballad #53, "Young Beichan". That above is Child's A text, from the Jamieson-Brown MS. Bronson's 'The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads' has 115 tunes, most with texts.

31 Aug 00 - 10:18 PM (#288948)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye
From: Malcolm Douglas

Here are a few cross-references:

On the DT:

Lord Bateman Text as recorded by some band called "Golden Ring" (no original source given), tune from Cecil Sharp's 100 English Folksongs (1916)

Lord Beichan and Susie Pye From Ancient Scottish Ballads, (Kinloch; no date given) with tune.

The Turkish Lady From Songs the Whalemen Sang, (Huntington; no date given), with tune. Not really related.

In the Forum:

Lord Bateman query Some discussion of the (supposed) historical background.

Entries at The Traditional Ballad Index:

: Young Beichan

The Turkish Lady [Laws O26]

At Lesley Nelson's Child Ballads site:

Lord Bateman Version from Cecil Sharp's 100 English Folksongs, with tune. Collected by Sharp from Henry Larcombe (82) at Haselbury Plucknett, Somerset, in 1905.

There are a large number of broadside versions at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads: too numerous to mention at this time of night. May be found by searching for Lord Bateman and Lord Beigham.

Any chance of a tune belonging to the text you've posted?

Traditional Ballad Index Entry added by Joe Offer:

Young Beichan [Child 53]

DESCRIPTION: A young lord is taken prisoner by a foreign king. The king's daughter frees him after receiving a promise that he will wed her in seven years. Seven years later she comes to England to see him being married. When he sees her, he marries her instead
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1783 (Jamieson-Brown)
KEYWORDS: wedding marriage promise courting prison escape
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland,England) US(Ap,MW,NE,NW,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf)Ireland
REFERENCES (40 citations):
Child 53, "Young Beichan" (14 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #94}
Bronson 53, "Young Beichan" (113 versions plus 9 in addenda)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 106-122, "Lord Bateman" (5 texts, all very full, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #8, #87}
Randolph 11, "Lord Bateman" (4 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes) {A=Bronson's #3, C=#44, E=#7}
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 25-28, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 11E) {Bronson's #7}
Eddy 10, "Young Beichan" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering 49, "Lord Bateman's Castle" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #80}
Flanders/Brown, pp. 204-208, "Lord Bakeman" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #11}
Flanders/Olney, pp. 54-57, "Lord Bakeman" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #1}
Davis-Ballads 12, "Young Beichan" (7 texts plus 2 fragments; the fragments, especially "I," might perhaps be "The Turkish Lady"; 2 tunes entitled "Lord Bateman and the Turkish Lady, or The Turkish Lady," "The Turkish Lady"; 3 more versions mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #55, #47}
Davis-More 16, pp. 102-110, "Young Beichan" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
BrownII 14, "Young Beichan" (5 texts plus mention of 1 more)
Chappell-FSRA 7, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #35}
Hudson 8, pp. 75-76, "Young Beichan" (1 text)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 26-34, "Young Beichan" (4 texts plus 1 fragment, 3 tunes) {Bronson's #64, #3, #13}
Greenleaf/Mansfield 7, "Lord Ateman" (1 text)
Leach, pp. 169-174, "Young Beichan" (2 texts)
Wyman-Brockway I, p. 58, "Lord Batesman, or the Turkish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #98}
Friedman, p. 128, "Young Beichan (Lord Bateman)" (1 text)
OBB 44, "Young Bekie"; 45, "Young Beichan"; 164, "The Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman" (3 texts)
Warner 43, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-100E 6, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Niles 22, "Young Beichan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gummere, pp. 256-259+356-357, "Young Beichan" (1 text)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 10, "Lord Bateman (Young Beichan)" (1 text, 1 tune, slightly edited) {Bronson's #14}
Copper-SoBreeze, pp. 276-277, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 100-102, "[Turkish Lady]" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart, p. 41, "Young Beichan (Lord Bateman)" (1 text)
DBuchan 7, "Young Bicham"; 8, "Young Bekie" (2 texts, 1 tune in appendix) {Bronson's #112}
MacSeegTrav 8, "Young Beichan" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
TBB 2, "Young Beichan" (1 text)
HarvClass-EP1, pp. 84-86, "Young Bicham" (1 text)
Abrahams/Foss, pp. 101-103, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H470, p. 491, "Lord Beichan" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 14, pp. 33-36, "Lord Bayham" (1 text)
JHCox 8, "Young Beichan" (3 text plus mention of 1 more)
JHCoxIIA, #7A-C, pp. 22-31, "A Turkish Lady," "Turkish Lady," "Lord Wetram" (3 texts, 3 tunes) {Bronson's #54, #53, #93}
Darling-NAS, pp. 67-69, "Lord Bateman" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 212, "Lord Bateman" (1 text)
DT 53, LORDBATE* LRDBEICH* (The DT editors also list TURKLADY* as Child 53, but it belongs with Laws O26)

Roud #40
Ollie Gilbert, "Lord Batesman" (on LomaxCD1707)
Aunt Molly Jackson, "Lord Bateman" (AFS; on LC57)
Willie Mathieson, "The King's Daughter" (on FSBBAL1)
Pleaz Mobley, "Lord Bateman" (AFS L 12, 1937; on LC12) {Bronson's #97}
Thomas Moran, "Lord Bateman" (on FSB4, FSBBAL1)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Lord Bateman" (on NLCR14)
Balis Ritchie, "Lord Bateman and the Turkish Lady" (on Ritchie03)
Jean Ritchie, "Lord Bateman" (on JRitchie01)
Jeannie Robertson, "Lord Bateman" (on FSB4, FSBBAL1)
Mary Sullivan, "Lloyd Bateman" (AFS; on LC57)
Joseph Taylor, "Lord Bateman" (cylinder, on HiddenE) {Bronson's #34}
cf. "The Turkish Lady" [Laws O26]
cf. "Mustang Gray (The Maid of Monterey)" (plot)
cf. "Thomas o Yonderdale" [Child 253] (plot)
Lord Beham
Susan Price
Lord Batesman
Notes: This song is commonly connected with the story of Gilbert Becket, the father of Thomas (the clerical adversary of England's Henry II). But, although the song's widespread currency implies that it is old, it is unlikely that it is that old.
Child believed that it may have been affected by the Becket legend, but was probably independent.
The plot very much resembles "The Turkish Lady" [Laws O26], and some scholars lump them, but the latter emphasizes the conversion of the princess rather than, as in this song, her pursuit and reunion.
A minor footnote: In the Scottish "Young Beichan" texts, the Turkish girl is typically called "Susan (Susie) Pye," with no obvious derivation that I can see. But in the more numerous "Lord Bateman" texts, she is usually "Sophia." But "Sophia" (Greek for "wisdom") is not a Turkish name. Perhaps the girl had more reasons than love for wanting to escape. One might even speculate that she had (or that some singer intended her to have) a Christian mother. Or that she would rather marry an infidel than live in a harem.
And, yes, that's an awfully long chain of inference to hang on one name.... - RBW
File: C053

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31 Aug 00 - 10:58 PM (#288978)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

There's no tune for the text above, but curiously the same manuscript contains another version from the same Mrs. Brown, Child's C text. The tune for this C text was later obtained from Mrs. Brown and Bronson gives it (his #112) from the Ritson-Tytler-Brown MS (but says, in effect, that the tune is strange).

31 Aug 00 - 11:50 PM (#288998)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye
From: Thomas the Rhymer

Hi, Bruce!
Am I to understand that there is no "Known" tune for these lyrics?
Blessings, Thomas

01 Sep 00 - 12:00 AM (#289003)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Correct, for that version.

14 Jan 05 - 08:10 AM (#1378861)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye
From: GUEST,Pavane

While browsing the Bodleian library, I came across this strange version of Lord Bateman, which seems to have been transliterated into (possibly) the old Cockney dialect, for no obvious reason (Particularly as it was printed in Durham!)


Lord Bateman vos a noble lord...

Vere he vos taken and put in prisin..

This Turk he had one only darter...

O in sevin long years I'll make a vow

Full text here
The loving ballad of Lord Bateman

14 Jan 05 - 08:11 AM (#1378862)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye
From: GUEST,pavane

Not to mention

A bottle of the werry best vine

14 Jan 05 - 10:34 AM (#1378902)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye
From: Malcolm Douglas

The "Cockney" Bateman was originally published as a small book in 1839, with illustrations by George Cruikshank. The text and "scholarly" notes were anonymous, but are generally considered to have been a collaboration between Dickens and Thackeray. The book was reprinted many times (and, of course, the text pirated on broadsides) and copies frequently turn up in second hand book shops. My copy is an 1883 reprint.

14 Jan 05 - 10:16 PM (#1379276)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye

See also the recent thread Minor characters deserving own song for the extra verses written especially for the book. And -why not- the final illustration:

Lord Bateman, his other bride, and his favorite domestic, with all their hearts so full of glee (George Cruikshank, 1839).

15 Jan 05 - 11:52 AM (#1379396)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye
From: John C.

The Northamptonshire poet, John Clare, collected a version of Lord B. from a (local Northamptonshire?) shepherd (see 'John Clare And The Folk Tradition' by George Deacon, Sinclair Browne, 1983, p.189). The text is very similar to the versions collected in Lincolnshire, at the beginning of the 20th Century, by Percy Grainger, except that each pair of adjacent verses are run together (if that makes sense!). Clare does not appear to have collected a tune so Deacon has used one of the Lincolnshire tunes (that given to Grainger by Mr Thompson of Barrow, 1906). For anyone who is wondering, the bit of Northamptonshire where Clare lived (just North of Peterborough) is now incorporated into Cambridgeshire (you didn't really need to know that but I threw it in any way!).

15 Jan 05 - 02:46 PM (#1379531)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye
From: Malcolm Douglas

Bateman was very common in England, largely, I think, because it was so widely printed on broadsides; texts tend to be quite consistent for the same reason.