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Tam Lin

No: 39; variant: 39H

  1. I FORBID ye, maidens a’, That wears gowd in your hair, To come or gang by Carterhaugh, For young Tam Lane is there.
  2. I forbid ye, maidens a’, That wears gowd in your green, To come or gang by Carterhaugh, For fear of young Tam Lane.
  3. ‘Go saddle for me the black,’ says Janet, ‘Go saddle for me the brown, And I’ll away to Carterhaugh, And flower mysell the gown.
  4. ‘Go saddle for me the brown,’ says Janet, ‘Go saddle for me the black, And I’ll away to Carterhaugh, And flower mysel a hat.’
  5. She had not pulld a flowr, a flowr, A flower but only three, Till up there startit young Tam Lane, Just at bird Janet’s knee.
  6. ‘Why pullst thou the herb, Janet, And why breaks thou the tree? Why put you back the bonny babe That’s between you and me?’
  7. ‘If my child was to an earthly man, As it is to a wild buck rae, I would wake him the length of the winter’s night, And the lea lang simmer’s day.’
  8. ‘The night is Halloween, Janet, When our gude neighbours will ride, And them that would their true-love won At Blackning Cross maun bide.
  9. ‘Many will the black ride by, And many will the brown, But I ride on a milk-white steed, And ride nearest the town: Because I was a christened knight They gie me that renown.
  10. ‘Many will the black ride by, But far mae will the brown; But when ye see the milk-white stead, Grip fast and pull me down.
  11. ‘Take me in yer arms, Janet, An ask, an adder lang; The grip ye get ye maun haud fast, I’ll be father to your bairn.
  12. ‘Take me in your arms, Janet, An adder and a snake; The grip ye get ye maun haud fast, I’ll be your warld’s make.’
  13. Up bespak the Queen of Fairies, She spak baith loud and high: ‘Had I kend the day at noon Tam Lane had been won from me,
  14. ‘I wad hae taen out his heart o flesh, Put in a heart o tree, That a’ the maids o Middle Middle Mist Should neer hae taen Tam Lane frae me.’
  15. Up bespack the Queen of Fairies, And she spak wi a loud yell: ‘Aye at every seven year’s end We pay the kane to hell. And the koors they hae gane round about, And I fear it will be mysel.’