Child Ballads
The Child Ballads are 305 traditional ballads from England and Scotland and their American variants, collected by Francis James Child during the second half of the 19th century. Their lyrics and Child...
Child Ballads - Wikipedia
The Bonnie Earl O' Moray
"The Bonnie Earl o' Moray" is a popular Scottish ballad, which may date from as early as the 17th century. It is catalogued as Child Ballad No. 181. Versions can be heard on Isla St Clair's album Gre...
The Bonnie Earl O' Moray - Wikipedia
The New-Slain Knight
The New-Slain Knight is Child ballad number 263.
A man tells a woman that he has seen a knight murdered outside her father's garden. She insists on a description and laments that she has no fathe...
Child Maurice
Child Maurice or Gil Morrice is Child ballad 83.
The hero sends tokens to his lady and asks her to see him in the woods. Her lord learns of it and comes to where he will meet her, and kills him u...
The Gardener (ballad)
The Gardener is Child ballad 219; the collection includes several variants, many fragmentary.
A gardener wooes a lady, proposing to dress her in various flowers. She rejects him with a suggestion...
Jock o' the Side
Jock o the Side or Jock O' the Side is Child ballad 187, a border ballad, existing in several variants. The rescue it depicts is recorded solely in popular tradition, although Jock o the Side himself...
Dick o the Cow
Dick o the Cow is Child ballad 185 and a border ballad. The ballad tells the story of a man who regains his stolen cows.
John Armstrang raids England, but finds only six sheep, which would humili...
Northumberland Betrayed By Douglas
Northumberland Betrayed By Douglas (also Northumberland Betrayed by Dowglas) is Child ballad 176. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 4006. It tells of the Seventh Earl of Northumberland fleeing t...
Northumberland Betrayed By Douglas - Wikipedia
The Friar in the Well
The Friar in the Well is Child ballad 276.
A friar tries to seduce a maiden. She cites fear of hell for refusing. He says he could whistle her out. She hangs a cloth in front of the well and in...
Robin Hood's Death
Robin Hood's Death is the 120th ballad of the Child ballads collection published by Houghton Mifflin. The fragmentary Percy Folio version of it appears to be one of the oldest existing tales of Robin ...
Robin Hood's Death - Wikipedia
The Earl of Mar's Daughter
"The Earl of Mar's Daughter" is Child ballad number 270.
The Earl of Mar's daughter saw a lovely bird, and promised it a golden cage if it would come to her. It did, and that night transformed in...
Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight
"Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" (Child #4; Roud #21) is the English common name representative of a very large class of European ballads. The subject matter is frequently associated with the genre o...
Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight - Wikipedia
The Unquiet Grave
"The Unquiet Grave" is an English folk song in which a young man mourns his dead love too hard and prevents her from obtaining peace. It is thought to date from 1400 and was collected in 1868 by Franc...
The Unquiet Grave - Wikipedia
Young Waters
Young Waters is Child ballad number 94.
The queen sees Young Waters ride to court. A clever lord asks her who the comeliest man is, and she says Young Waters. The king is angry that she did not ...
Young Waters - Wikipedia
Edward (ballad)
Edward is a traditional murder ballad existing in several variants. In English its versions were collected by Francis James Child as Child ballad number 13. The Roud number is 200.
A mother questi...
The Keach i the Creel
The Keach I the Creel is Child ballad 281.
A young woman tells a man that her parents keep her too close for them to meet. The man has his brother make a ladder and a pulley to hoist a basket (cr...
The Mermaid (ballad)
The Mermaid is a ballad, catalogued as Child Ballad #289. Dating to around the mid-18th century, this song is known by a number of names, including Waves on the Sea, The Stormy Winds and The Wrecked S...
Broom of the Cowdenknowes
"Broom of the Cowdenknowes" is a traditional Scottish love ballad, Child #217. It is traceable back to the seventeenth century, but the exact origin is unknown. The title of the song references the Sc...
The Grey Cock
The Grey Cock or Saw You My Father is one of the famous English/Scots Child ballads (number 248). and is sometimes known as 'The Lover's Ghost'It has been recorded many times, in particular by Eliza C...
The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward
The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward or The Lord of Lorn and the Flas Steward or The Lord of Lorn is Child ballad number 271.A ballad, Lord of Lorn and the False Steward, was entered in the Statione...
Prince Robert
Prince Robert is Child ballad number 87, existing in several variants, and a murder ballad.
Prince (or Earl or Lord) Robert married against his mother's wishes and went to beg her blessing. She p...
Glenlogie
Glenlogie or Bonnie Jeannie o Bethelnie is Child ballad number 238.
Jeannie, fifteen or seventeen, sees Glenlogie and falls in love. Various attempts to persuade her that he's unsuitable for her,...
The Young Earl of Essex's Victory over the Emperor of Germany
The Young Earl of Essex’s Victory Over the Emperor of Germany is Child Ballad 288. With variations, the main story tells of an earl who goes to sea and confronts the German ships. The earl defeats th...
The Earl of Errol
The Earl of Errol is child ballad 231, existing in several variants.
The earl marries; the bride, if named, is Kate; some variants mention the agreement about her dowry. In various combinations, t...
The Bonny Lass of Anglesey
The Bonny Lass of Anglesey is Child ballad 220.
Fifteen English lords come to the king "To dance and win the victory." In this context "dance" refers to a sword duel or fight not the modern meanin...
Allison Gross
"Allison Gross" (also known as Alison Cross) is a traditional ballad, catalogued as Child Ballad #35. It tells the story of "the ugliest witch in the north country" who tries to persuade a man to bec...
Johnie Scot
Johnie Scot is Child ballad number 99.
Johnie Scot served the king of England and got his daughter pregnant. The king threw her in prison to starve. One day, back in Scotland, he sent a shirt to...
The Cruel Brother
"The Cruel Brother" is Child ballad 11 and Roud #26.
A knight (or lord) courts a lady. She tells him he must win the consent of her kin. He neglects that of her brother John. John mortally stab...
The Battle of Otterburn (ballad)
The Battle of Otterburn (or Otterbourne) is a Scottish ballad, catalogued as Child Ballad #161. It is an account of the Scottish victory at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388. This battle also inspired T...
The Battle of Otterburn (ballad) - Wikipedia
The Rose of England
The Rose of England is Child ballad 166. It is an account of Henry VII of England claiming the throne from Richard III of England, frequently allegorically. It may be the oldest ballad on the Battle...