As I got such a great response to my query about rowan trees, I
am going to ask another plant-related question.
In the ballad "Tam Lin", at the time when Janet first goes to
Carterhaugh, there are the lines:
She had na pu'd a double rose,
A rose but only twa,
Till up then started young Tam Lin,
Says, "Lady, thou's pu nae mae."
My question is, and it's a question of context, what the heck
did Janet pull? A single rose? Two roses? No roses? A double
rose growing off of one stem?
I have read all the versions of this ballad I can find in Childs'
collection and others, and have listened to both Fairport Convention's
and Tempest's versions of the ballad, and I still can't figure out
exactly what Janet did. As it is the way that she "summoned"
Tam Lin, I would like to know exactly what happened...
- Douglas MacGowan
[log in to unmask]