I forbid you maidens all, that wear gold in your hair
To travel down to Carter Haugh, for young Tam Lin is there
Them that go by Carter Haugh, but they leave him a pledge
Either their mantels of green, or else their maidenhead

Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
And she's gone straight to Carter Haugh as fast as go can she
She doth pull up the double rose, a rose but only two
And then up came young Tam Lin, says "lady pull no more"

"And why you come to Carter Haugh without command from me?"
"I'll come and go", young Janet said, "and ask no leave of thee"

Then up spoke her father dear, and he spoke meek and mild
"Well 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 halls shall get the baby's name"

"Oh tell to me, Tam Lin" she said, "why came you here to dwell?"
"The Queen of Fairies caught me when from my horse I fell
But tonight it is Halloween and the fairy court it rides
Those that would let true love win, at Miles Cross they must hide"

"First let pass the horses black and then let pass the brown
Quickly run to the white steed and pull the rider down"

"They will turn me in your arms to a newt or to a snake
Hold me tight and fear not, I'm the father of your babe
And they will turn me in your arms into a lion bold
Hold me tight and fear not, and you will love your child"

And in the middle of the night she heard the bridle ring
She heeded what he said, and young Tam Lin did win
Then up spoke the Fairy Queen, and an angry queen was she
"Woe betide her ill-fared face, an ill death may she die".


Lyrics submitted by eyrian

The Tale Of Tam Lin song meanings
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