Lord Randall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Lord Randall"
Lord Randal.jpg
Illustration by Arthur Rackham in Some British Ballads, ca. 1919
Song
Written17th century (earliest known)
GenreBorder ballad, folk song
Songwriter(s)Unknown

"Lord Randall", or "Lord Randal", (Roud 10, Child 12) is an Anglo-Scottish border ballad[1] consisting of dialogue between a young Lord and his mother.[2] Similar ballads can be found across Europe in many languages, including Danish, German, Magyar, Irish, Swedish, and Wendish.[3] [4] Italian variants are usually titled "L'avvelenato" ("The Poisoned Man") or "Il testamento dell'avvelenato" ("The Poisoned Man's Will"), the earliest known version being a 1629 setting by Camillo il Bianchino, in Verona.[5]

Summary[edit]

Lord Randall returns home to his mother after visiting his lover. Randall explains that his lover gave him a dinner of eels and that his hunting dogs died after eating the scraps of the meal, leading his mother to realize that he has been poisoned.[6][7] In some variants, Randall dictates his last will and testament in readiness for his impending death, dividing his possessions among family members and wishing damnation on his lover. Her motive for poisoning him is never discussed.[7]

Traditional Recordings[edit]

Many traditional versions of the ballad survived long enough to be recorded by folklorists and ethnomusicologists.

Most traditional English versions are called "Henry, My Son". Dorset traveller Caroline Hughes sang a version to Peter Kennedy in 1968[8] and another to Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger in the early 1960s which can be heard online on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website.[9] Fred Jordan of Ludlow, Shropshire also sang "Henry, My Son" to Mike Yates in 1964[10] and Gwilym Davies in 1994.[11] Louisa Hooper of Somerset, England (sister of the traditional singer Lucy White) was recorded singing a version entitled "Lord Rendal" by the BBC and Douglas Cleverdon in 1942.[12]

James Madison Carpenter recorded many Scottish versions between 1929 and 1935, which can also be heard on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website.[13][14][15][16] Scottish singer Betsy Miller sang her traditional version with her famous son Ewan MacColl to Alan Lomax in 1953[17] and on the 1960 album A Garland Of Scots Folksong.[18][19] Scottish traveller Jeannie Robertson had her version entitled "Lord Donald" recorded by Peter Kennedy in 1953[20] and again by the BBC in 1963,[21] and her nephew Stanley Robertson was later recorded singing the same version,[22][23] the audio of which is available on the Tobar an Dualchais website.[24]

The Irish traditional singer Elizabeth Cronin was recorded several times singing a version called Lord Rendal.[25][26][27]

Several Appalachian musicians recorded the ballad; Jean Ritchie sang the Ritchie family version on the album Jean Ritchie: Ballads from her Appalachian Family Tradition,[28] whilst Frank Proffitt was recorded singing another traditional version in 1961.[29] The ballad was also collected extensively throughout the rest of America.[30]

Cultural uses[edit]

In 1962, Bob Dylan modeled his song "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" on "Lord Randall", introducing each verse with variants of the introductory lines to each verse of "Lord Randall". Dylan's ballad is often interpreted as a reaction to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dylan himself disclaimed this as an oversimplification, and in reality, Dylan first publicly performed the song a month before the crisis.[31][32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Border Ballads By William Beattie, Compiled by William Beattie, Published by Penguin Books, 1952, p. 17
  2. ^ Francis James Child, English and Scottish Popular Ballads, "Lord Randal"
  3. ^ Leonhardt, Luise (1968). "Spin Magazine article on Finding Folk Songs". Spin Magazine. 6 (4): 17.
  4. ^ Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, v. 1, pp. 153–55, Dover Publications, New York 1965
  5. ^ Alessandro D'Ancona, La poesia popolare italiana Livorno, 1878, cf. "L'avvelenato"
  6. ^ Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, v. 1, p. 153, Dover Publications, New York 1965
  7. ^ a b Hallissy, Margaret (1987). Venomous woman: fear of the female in literature. New York: Greenwood Press. p. 24. ISBN 0313259194. OCLC 15790392.
  8. ^ "Henry My Son (Roud Folksong Index S208024)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  9. ^ "Henry My Son (Roud Folksong Index S370306)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  10. ^ "Henry My Son (Roud Folksong Index S302186)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  11. ^ "Henry My Son (Roud Folksong Index S237686)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  12. ^ "Lord Rendal (Roud Folksong Index S182618)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  13. ^ "Lord Randal (VWML Song Index SN17894)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  14. ^ "Lord Randle (VWML Song Index SN17099)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  15. ^ "Lord Roland (VWML Song Index SN19385)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  16. ^ "Lord Randle (VWML Song Index SN17133)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  17. ^ "Lord Randall (Roud Folksong Index S341570)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  18. ^ "Lord Randal (Roud Folksong Index S346064)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  19. ^ "Betsy Miller and Ewan MacColl - A Garland Of Scots Folksong". ewan-maccoll.info. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  20. ^ "Lord Donald (Roud Folksong Index S213594)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  21. ^ "Lord Donald (Roud Folksong Index S182538)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  22. ^ "Lord Donald (Roud Folksong Index S433874)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  23. ^ "Lord Donald (Roud Folksong Index S433873)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  24. ^ "Tobar an Dualchais Kist O Riches". www.tobarandualchais.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  25. ^ "Lord Rendal (Roud Folksong Index S182619)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  26. ^ "Lord Randal (Roud Folksong Index S448301)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  27. ^ "Lord Randal (Roud Folksong Index S243505)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  28. ^ "Jean Ritchie: Ballads from her Appalachian Family Tradition". Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  29. ^ "Lord Randall (Roud Folksong Index S213866)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  30. ^ "Search: RN10 sound USA". www.vwml.org. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  31. ^ Mike Marqusee,Wicked messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s. Seven Stories Press, 2005, pp. 64ff
  32. ^ Robert Shelton,No direction home: the life and music of Bob Dylan. Da Capo Press, 2003, p. 152

External links[edit]