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Tam Lin Lyrics

Tam Lin by Fairport Convention  

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Tam Lin I forbid you maidens all that wear gold in your hair
To travel to Carterhaugh for young Tam Lin is there
None that go by Carterhaugh but they leave him a pledge
Either their mantles of green or else their maidenhead
Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
And she's gone to Carterhaugh as fast as go can she
She'd not pulled a double rose, a rose but only two
When up there came young Tam Lin, says "Lady, pull no more"
"And why come you to Carterhaugh without command from me?"
"I'll come and go", young Janet said, "and ask no leave of thee"

Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
And she's gone to her father as fast as go can she
Well, up then spoke her father dear and he spoke meek and mild
"Oh, and alas, Janet," he said, "I think you go with child"
"Well, if that be so," Janet said, "myself shall bear the blame
There's not a knight in all your hall shall get the baby's name”
For if my love were an earthly knight as he is an elfin grey
I'd not change my own true love for any knight you have"
Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
And she's gone to Carterhaugh as fast as go can she
"Oh, tell to me, Tam Lin," she said, "why came you here to dwell?"
"The Queen of Faeries caught me when from my horse I fell
And at the end of seven years she pays a tithe to Hell
I so fair and full of flesh and feared it be myself
But tonight is Hallowe'en and the faerie folk ride
Those that would their true love win at Miles Cross they must buy
First let past the horses black and then let past the brown
Quickly run to the white steed and pull the rider down
For I'll ride on the white steed, the nearest to the town
For I was an earthly knight, they give me that renown
Oh, they will turn me in your arms to a newt or a snake
But hold me tight and fear not, I am your baby's father
And they will turn me in your arms into a lion bold
But hold me tight and fear not and you will love your child
And they will turn me in your arms into a naked knight
But cloak me in your mantle and keep me out of sight"

In the middle of the night she heard the bridle ring
She heeded what he did say and young Tam Lin did win
Then up spoke the Faerie Queen, an angry queen was she
”Woe betide her ill-fought face, an I'll death may she die”
"Oh, had I known, Tam Lin," she said, "what this night I did see
I'd have looked him in the eyes and turned him to a tree”



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