(This score available as
a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available
Tamlin Oh, I forbid you maidens all That wear gold in your hair To come or go by Cartershay For young Tamlin is there, my love For young Tamlin is there There's none that go by Cartershay But they leave him a wad Either their rings or their green mantles Or else their maidenheads May Margery sat in her castle tower Sewing her silken seam She looked from out her high window And she saw the leaves growing green She's let the seams drop to her foot The needle to her toe And she's away to Cartershay As fast as she can go She had not pulled a red, red rose A rose but barely three When up there started young Tamlin Says, Let the roses be Why pulls thou the rose, Margaret? And why breakest thou the wand? And why comes thou to Cartershay Withouten my command? Cartershay it is my own; My father gave it me And I will go to Cartershay And ask no leave of thee He's taken her by the milk-white hand Among the leaves so green And what they did I cannot say The green leaves were between Now since you've had your will of me Come tell to me your name But she nothing heard and nothing saw And all the woods grew dim May Margery's kilted her green, green skirt A little above her knee And she is to her father's hall As fast as she can hie Four and twenty ladies fair Were playing at the ball And out it's come Lady Margaret Who was once the flower of all Four and twenty ladies fair Were playing at the chess And out it's come Lady Margaret As green as any glass Out then spoke her old waiting maid And she spoke meek and mild And ever alas, sweet Margaret, she says I think thou goes with child Out then spoke an old grey knight Lay over the castle wall And ever alas, fair Margaret, for thee But we'll be blamed for all Oh hold your tongue, you ill-faced knight Some ill death may you die Father my child on whom I will I'll father none on thee Out then spoke her old father dear And he spoke meek and mild And ever alas, fair Margaret, he says I think thou goes with child If that I go with child, Father, Myself must bear the blame There's ne'er a lord about your hall Shall get the baby's name If my true love were an earthly knight As he's an elfin grey I would not give my own true love For any lord here today The horse that my true love rides on Is lighter than the wind With silver he is shod before With burning gold behind Out then spoke her mother dear And ever alas, said she I know an herb in the merry green wood That will scathe thy babe from thee May Margery's braided her yellow hair A little above her breast And she's away to Cartershay Without a moment's rest She had not pulled at Cartershay An herb but barely one 'Till up there started young Tamlin Says, Leave the herbs alone Why pulls thou that bitter herb Among the leaves so green? And all to kill the bonnie babe That we got us between Now tell to me the truth, Tamlin A truth - we will not lie- If ever you were a mortal man And christened the same as me? Oh, I will tell the truth, Margaret A truth - I will not lie - It's truth I've been in holy chapel And christened as well as thee But once it fell upon a day As hunting I did ride As I rode East and I rode West Strange chance did me betide There blew a drowsy, drowsy wind And sleep upon me fell The Queen of Fairies she was there And she took me to herself And never would I tire, Margaret In fairyland to dwell And pleasant is the fairyland But an eerie tale to tell For aye, at every seven years They pay a tithe to Hell And I'm so fair and full of flesh I'm feared 'twill be myself The night is Halloween, Margaret The morn is Hallowday The win me, win me, and ye will For all I know ye may Just at the mirk and midnight hour The elfin folk will ride And they that would their true love win At Miles Cross, they must bide But how shall I thee ken, Tamlin And how shall I thee know? Among so many unearthly knights The like I never saw? Oh, first let by the black, black steed And then let by the brown But haste ye to the milk white steed And pull the rider down For I'll be on the milk white steed With a gold star in my crown Because I was an earthly knight They gave me that renown And they will turn me in your arms Into a beast so wild But hold me fast and fear me not I'm the father of your child And they'll change me in your arms Into the red hot iron But hold me fast and fear me not I'll do you no harm They'll turn me in your arms, my love Into an awful snake But hold me fast and fear me not For I'm to be your mate At last they'll turn me in your arms Into the melting lead Then throw me into clear well water And throw me in with speed And then I'll be your own true love I'll turn a naked knight Cover me with your green mantle And cover me out of sight My right hand will be gloved, Margaret My left hand will be bare Cocked up shall my helmet be No doubt I shall be there Gloomy, gloomy was the night And eerie was the way When Margaret in her green mantle To Miles Cross she did gae About the middle of the night She heard the bridles ring Margaret was as glad of that As any mortal thing First went by the black, black steed And then went by the brown But quickly she ran to the milk-white steed And pulled the rider down And thunder rolled across the sky And the stars they burned like day And out then spoke the Queen of the Fairies Crying young Tamlin's away They turned him to a bear so bold Then to a lion wild She held him fast and feared him not He was the father of her child And then they turned him in her arms Into iron like hot fire She held him fast and feared him not He was her heart's desire They turned him, changed him in her arms Into a hissing snake She held him fast and feared him not He was to be her mate At last they turned him in her arms Into the molten lead She threw him into clear well water And threw him in with speed And then he turned a naked knight She young Tamlin did win She covered him with her green mantle As blithe's a bird in spring Out then spoke the Queen of the Fairies Out of a bush of broom She that has gotten young Tamlin Has gotten a stately groom Out then spoke the Queen of the Fairies And angry queen was she Shame betide her ill-starred face And an ill death may she die Out then spoke the Queen of Fairies Out of a bush of rye She has gotten the fairest knight In all my company If what I'd see this night, Tamlin Last night I'd understood I'd have torn out thy two grey eyes And put in two of wood If what I see this night, Tamlin Last night I'd only known I'd have taken out your heart of flesh Put in a heart of stone If I'd but half the wit yestereen That I have bought today I'd have paid my tithe seven times to Hell E'er you'd been won away ___________ verses compiled by Michael Cooney from various sources. Sung by Michael Cooney, Frankie Armstrong ("Here's a health to man and maid"), Ann Briggs, etc. Child #39 SOF
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!