Lord Bateman
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

This ballad is also known as Lord Beichan. It is known in the Southern Appalachians, with only slight variations in the lyrics, as The Turkish Lady. The earliest printed version in Child of the tune appeared in Jamieson's Popular Ballads in 1783, however, a broadside of Lord Bateman was registered in England December 14, 1624 with the Stationers' Company. The heroine's name is variously Sophia, Isabel, Essels and Susan Pye.

This ballad is Child Ballad #53 (Lord Beichan).

There is an ancient legend of St. Thomas Becket's father, Gilbert Becket that suggests the story of the tune.

For a complete list of Child Ballads at this site go to Francis J. Child Ballads.

Lord Bateman was a noble lord,
A noble lord of high degree.
He shipp'd himself all aboard a great ship,
Some foreign country to go and see.

He sailed East, he sailed West,
He sailed unto proud Turkey.
Here he was taken and put in prison,
Until his life was quite weary.

And in this pris'n there grew a tree,
It grew so stoutstout, it grew so strong,
He was chained up all by the middle,
Until his life was almost gone.

The Turk he had one only daughter,
The fairest creature that ever you'd see.
She stole the keys of her father's prison,
And swore Lord Bateman she would set free.

O, have you lands, O, have you livings?
And does Northumb'rland belong to thee?
What will you give a fair young lady,
If out of prison she'll set you free?

Yes, I've got lands and I've got livings,
And half Northumb'rland belongs to me;
I'll give it all to a fair young lady,
If out of prison she'll set me free.

She took him to her father's cellar
And gave to him the best of wine.
And ev'ry health that she drank unto him:
I wish, Lord Bateman, that you were mine.

For seven long years we'll make a vow,
For sev'n long years we'll keep it strong;
If you will wed with no other woman,
Then I will wed no other man.

She took him to her father's harbour,
She gave to him a ship of fame:
Farewell, farewell to you, Lord Bateman,
I fear I never shall see you again.

Now seven long years are gone and past
And fourteen days, well known to me;
She packed up all her gay clothing,
And swore Lord Bateman she'd go and see.

And when she came to Lord Bateman's castle,
How boldly she did ring the bell.
Who's there? Who's there?
Cried the young proud porter,
Who's there, who's there, come quickly tell.

O, is this called Lord Bateman's castle?
And is his lordship here within?
O yes! O yes! cried the young proud porter
He has just now taken his young bride in.

You tell him to send me a slice off bread,
And a bottle of the best of wine;
And not forgetting that fair young lady
That did release him when close confined.

Away, away went the young proud porter,
Away, away, away went he,
Until he came to Lord Bateman's chamber,
Down on his bended knees fell he.

What news, what news, my young proud porter?
What news, what news hast thou brought to me?
There is the fairest of all young ladies
That ever my two eyes did see.

She has got rings round every finger;
Round one of them she has got three.
She has gold enough all round her middle
To buy Northumb'rland that belongs to thee.

She tells you to send her a slice of bread,
And a bottle of the best of wine;
And not forgetting that fair young lady,
That did release you when close confined.

Lord Bateman then in a passion flew;
he broke his sword in splinters three;
Half will I give of my father's portion
If but Sophia have a-crossed the sea.

O then up spoke the young bride's mother,
Who was never heard to speak so free:
You'll not forget my only daughter
If but Sophia have a-crossed the sea.

I own I made a bride of your daughter;
She's neither the better nor worse for me.
She came to me on a horse and saddle;
She may go back ina coach and three.

Lord Bateman prepared another marriage,
And both their hearts were full of glee.
I will range no more to a foreign country
Now since Sophia have a-crossed the sea.
From One Hundred English Folksongs
See Bibliography for full information.