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Subject: Re: Tam Lin
From: Douglas Macgowan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date:Thu, 24 Feb 1994 14:19:57 PST

text/plain (29 lines)

Well, I can give some info about the ballad.
It is known as "the classic" Scottish ballad, first
listed in a book from the 1590's and called "an old ballad"
even then.
There are many versions of the ballad listed in Frances Child's
ballad collection, but the core story is pretty much the same.
The interesting highlights of the ballad is, unlike most
folklore and "tale" ballads, it is the woman who rescues the
The ballad is full of fascinating details that outlines
beliefs in The Fair Folk and the thin line between this
world and The Other.
The ballad was recorded in recent times by the bands Fairport
Convention and Tempest.  Children's books based on the
ballad (minus the sex, of course) were done by Jane Yolen and
one other author whose name escapes me for the moment.  The
sci-fi author Pamela Dean wrote a novel called "Tam Lin"
that is very loosely based on the ballad, bringing the story
to modern times and moving the action from the conjunction of
the Ettrick and Yarrow rivers in Scotland to New England.
- Douglas MacGowan
  [log in to unmask]

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