Short or long, I still love the story that this ballad relates.
Thanks for posting,
Apparently early versions of the ballad ‘Fair Annie’ travelled across Europe in the 13th century, but it was first collected and printed in Britain in the eighteenth century, in Scotland. Francis Childs recorded a number of different variants in his ‘English and Scottish Popular Ballads’, and you can consult them online here.
The basic story line of the song is as follows. Lord Thomas tells his mistress, Annie (with whom he has had seven sons) that he is going across the sea to collect a bride. ‘With her I will get gold and gear; with you I never got none’. He tells Annie that her new job will be to keep his house when he brings his bride home., and this she does with dignity.
However, the new bride (who is never named) turns out to be the hero of the story. When she arrives at the castle…
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