Tam Lin

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Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention are an English folk rock and later electric folk band, formed in 1967 who are still recording and touring today. They are widely regarded as the most important single group in the English folk rock movement. Their seminal album Liege & Lief is generally considered to have launched the electric folk or English folk rock movement, which provided a distinctively English identity to rock music and helped awaken much wider interest in traditional music in general. The large number of personnel who have been part of the band are among the most highly regarded and influential musicians of their era and have gone on to participate in a large number of significant bands, or enjoyed important solo careers. Since 1979 they have hosted the Cropred… more »


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"I forbid you maidens all that wear gold in your hair 
To travel to Carter Hall for young Tam Lin is there 

None that go by Carter Hall 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 Carter Hall 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 Carter Hall 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 Carter Hall 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 faery folk ride 
Those that would their true love win at Miles Cross they must buy 

So 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 Faery Queen, an angry queen was she 
Woe betide her ?ill-fought? face, an ill death may she die 

"Oh, had I known, Tam Lin," she said, "what this knight I did see 
I have looked him in the eyes and turned him to a tree"

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"Tam Lin Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 17 Jan. 2020. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/19605969/Fairport+Convention>.

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Tam Lin

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