MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Lord Bateman

Performed by Raymond Noseworthy Accession # 78-054 NFLD 1 Tape 14 Track 3
Community: Pouch Cove Audio: Yes
Genre: Child Ballad Child 53 Musical notation available

Transcription

Lord Bateman was a noble lord
A noble lord of high degree
He shipped himself on board of a ship
From some foreign country he would go see

He sailed east and he sailed west
Until he came unto Turkey
Where he was taken and put in prison
Until his life it grew quite weary

Here in this prison there grew a tree
It grew so very stout and strong
Where he was chained around the middle
Until his life it was almost gone

This Turk he had but one only daughter
So fair a creature as your eyes did see
She stole the keys of her father's prison
And swore Lord Bateman she would set free

"Has you got houses has you got land
And does Northumberland belong to thee
What would you give to the fair young lady
That out of prison would set you free?"

"I have got houses and I have got land
And that Northumberland belongs to me
I'd give it all to the fair young lady
That out of prison would set me free."

She took him to her father's castle
And gave to him the best of wine
And every health that she drank to him was
"I wish Lord Bateman that you were mine

"Seven long years I will make a vow
And seven long years I will keep it strong
If you will wed with no other woman
Then I will wed with no other man."

When seven long year had gone and passed
And fourteen days well known to me
She packed up her gay golden clothing
And said Lord Bateman she would go see

So when she reached Lord Bateman's castle
So boldly there she rang the bell
"Who's there who's there?" cried the proud young porter
"Who's there who's there, unto me tell."

Said she, "Is this Lord Bateman's castle
Or is his Lordship here within?"
"Oh yes oh yes," cried the proud young porter
"He's just now taken his young bride in."

"Tell him to send me a slice of cake
And a bottle of the best of wines
Not to forget the fair young lady
That did release him when he was close confined."

Lord Bateman in a passion flew
His sword he broke in splinters three
"I will have all my father's riches
Now since Sophia has crossed the sea."

Then up spoke his young bride's mother
Who was never known to speak so free
"You made a bride of my only daughter
Although Sophia has crossed the sea."

"I own I've made a bride of your daughter
She's none the better nor worse for..
She came to me on a horse and saddle
She may go back in a coach and three."

Another wedding was prepared
With both their hearts so full of glee
"I'll roam no more to foreign countries
Since Sophia has come to me."

(speaks) Amen: all clear (laughter)


Notes

Sources:   Child ballad #53, "Young Beichen"; Mercer 198; Greenleaf 1968: 17, Karpeles 1934: 88; Peacock 210 (2 versions); recorded by Anita Best on Crosshanded (Amber, 1997); Roud 40; for a long list of variants and recordings, see http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/BalladSearch.html .

History: Also called "Young Beichan," the popularity of this ballad was enhanced by numerous broadside publications in the 19 th century. The narrative is also found in the folklore of Spain, Italy, and Scandinavian countries.

Text notes: An exotic tale in which Lord Bateman is imprisoned, usually in a Turkish jail, rescued by the daughter of the jailor. They promise to wed in seven years. She seeks him out after this time but finds he has just married another. But he frees himself in order to marry the jailor's daughter.  

Tune notes: Bronson notes that the earliest tunes (dating from the late 18 th century) are in duple time while more recent ones are generally in triple metre. This performance tends toward 5/8.   Peacock collected two tunes, one in 5/4.   Anita Best sings a variant of this tune on her solo album, Cross-handed.

Leach also collected this from Mr.M. Curran of Calvert.

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