Young Beichan [Child 53]

DESCRIPTION: A young lord is taken prisoner by a foreign king. The king's daughter frees him after receiving a promise that he will wed her in seven years. Seven years later she comes to England to see him being married. When he sees her, he marries her instead
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1783/1799 (GordonBrown/Rieuwerts)
KEYWORDS: wedding marriage promise courting prison escape
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,North,South),Scotland(Aber)) US(Ap,MW,NE,NW,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland
REFERENCES (76 citations):
Child 53, "Young Beichan" (14 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #94}
Bronson 53, "Young Beichan" (113 versions plus 9 in addenda)
BronsonSinging 53, "Young Beichan" (16 versions: #1, #6, #9, #12, #23, #30.2, #34, #37, #45, #74, #92, #94, #100, #101, #105, #112)
ChambersBallads, pp. 91-98, "Young Bekie" (1 text)
HarrisLyleMcAlpineMcLucas, p. 174, "Young Becon" (1 fragment, 1 tune) {Bronson's #94}
GordonBrown/Rieuwerts, pp. 106-113, "Young Bekie" (2 parallel texts plus a photo of the badly-transcribed tune plus a reconstruction on p. 267); pp. 114-118, "Young Bicham" (1 text)
Dixon I, pp. 1-10, "Young Bondwell" (1 text)
Dixon-Peasantry, Ballad #8, pp. 85-95,243, "Lord Beichan"; Ballad #9, pp. 95-98, "Lord Bateman" (2 texts)
Bell-Combined, pp. 144-151, "Lord Beichan"; pp. 268-290, "Lord Bateman" (2 texts)
Broadwood/Maitland, pp. 62-63, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Williams-Thames, pp. 147-149, "Lord Bateman" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 362)
Kidson-Tunes, pp. 33-36, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly2 31, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
RoudBishop #33, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
GlenbuchatBallads, pp. 136-140, "Young Bonwell" (1 text)
Greig #78, pp. 1-2, "Young Beichan" (2 texts)
GreigDuncan5 1023, "Lord Brechin" (13 texts, 14 tunes)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 106-122, "Lord Bateman" (5 texts, all very full, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #8, #87}
Randolph 11, "Lord Bateman" (4 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes) {A=Bronson's #3, C=#44, E=#7}
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 25-28, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 11E) {Bronson's #7}
High, pp. 14-15, "Lord Batsman" (1 text)
Eddy 10, "Young Beichan" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering 49, "Lord Bateman's Castle" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #80}
Flanders/Brown, pp. 204-208, "Lord Bakeman" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #11}
Flanders/Olney, pp. 54-57, "Lord Bakeman" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #1}
Flanders-Ancient2, pp. 9-69, "Young Beichan" (19 texts plus 6 fragments, 8 tunes; a few of the versions combine multiple collections from family members or have other complex histories) {F=Bronson's #1, H=#11}
Davis-Ballads 12, "Young Beichan" (7 texts plus 2 fragments; the fragments, especially "I," might perhaps be "The Turkish Lady"; 2 tunes entitled "Lord Bateman and the Turkish Lady, or The Turkish Lady," "The Turkish Lady"; 3 more versions mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #55, #47}
Davis-More 16, pp. 102-110, "Young Beichan" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
BrownII 14, "Young Beichan" (5 texts plus mention of 1 more)
BrownSchinhanIV 14, "Young Beichan" (2 excerpts, 2 tunes)
Chappell-FSRA 7, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #35}
ReedSmith, #III, pp. 104-106, "Young Beichan" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #111}
Joyner, pp. 28-30, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris, #154, "Young Beichan" (1 text)
Hudson 8, pp. 75-76, "Young Beichan" (1 text)
Moore-Southwest 15, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 210-213, "Young Beichan" (1 text, with local title "The Jailer's Daughter"; 1 tune on pp. 410-411) {Bronson's # 39}
Creighton/Senior, pp. 26-34, "Young Beichan" (4 texts plus 1 fragment, 3 tunes) {Bronson's #64, #3, #13}
Creighton-Maritime, pp. 7-8, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 7, "Lord Ateman" (1 text)
Peacock, pp. 210-213, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Karpeles-Newfoundland 7, "Lord Bateman" (2 texts, 3 tunes) {Bronson's #101}
Mackenzie 5, "Lord Bakeman" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #22}; "Lord Bateman" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Lehr/Best 68, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Leach, pp. 169-174, "Young Beichan" (2 texts)
Leach-Heritage, pp. 81-86, "Young Beichan" (1 text)
Wyman-Brockway I, p. 58, "Lord Batesman, or the Turkish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #98}
Friedman, p. 128, "Young Beichan (Lord Bateman)" (1 text)
OBB 44, "Young Bekie"; 45, "Young Beichan"; 164, "The Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman" (3 texts)
Warner 43, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roberts, #2, "Lord Batesman" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 13 "Young Beichan" (7 texts plus 5 fragments, of which"D" and "L" in particular may be "The Turkish Lady"; 12 tunes){Bronson's #36, #99, #10, #107, #106, #110, #14, #57, #42, #41, #102, #68}
Sharp-100E 6, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Niles 22, "Young Beichan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gummere, pp. 256-259+356-357, "Young Beichan" (1 text)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 10, "Lord Bateman (Young Beichan)" (1 text, 1 tune, slightly edited) {Bronson's #14}
Copper-SoBreeze, pp. 276-277, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 100-102, "[Turkish Lady]" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-Southern, pp. 22-23, "The Turkish Lady" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart, p. 41, "Young Beichan (Lord Bateman)" (1 text)
DBuchan 7, "Young Bicham"; 8, "Young Bekie" (2 texts, 1 tune in appendix) {Bronson's #112}
MacSeegTrav 8, "Young Beichan" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
TBB 2, "Young Beichan" (1 text)
HarvClass-EP1, pp. 84-86, "Young Bicham" (1 text)
Abrahams/Foss, pp. 101-103, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H470, p. 491, "Lord Beichan" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 14, pp. 33-36, "Lord Bayham" (1 text)
JHCox 8, "Young Beichan" (3 text plus mention of 1 more)
JHCoxIIA, #7A-C, pp. 22-31, "A Turkish Lady," "Turkish Lady," "Lord Wetram" (3 texts, 3 tunes) {Bronson's #54, #53, #93}
Gainer, pp. 32-33, "Lord Bateman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Whitelaw-Ballads, pp. 23-25, "Lord Beichan"; pp. 25-27, "Young Bekie" (2 texts)
Morgan-Medieval, pp. 78-81, "Young Beicham" (1 text)
Darling-NAS, pp. 67-69, "Lord Bateman" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 212, "Lord Bateman" (1 text)
DT 53, LORDBATE* LRDBEICH* (The DT editors also list TURKLADY* as Child 53, but it belongs with Laws O26)
ADDITIONAL: Leslie Shepard, _The Broadside Ballad_, Legacy Books, 1962, 1978, p. 147, "Lord Bateman" (reproduction of a broadside page containing this and "I'll Dream of Thee No More")

Roud #40
RECORDINGS:
Anita Best, "Lord Bateman" (on NFABest01)
M. Curran, "Lord Bateman" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Ollie Gilbert, "Lord Batesman" (on LomaxCD1707)
Roby Monroe Hick, "Young Beham" [excerpt] (on USWarnerColl01)
Aunt Molly Jackson, "Lord Bateman" (AFS; on LC57)
Willie Mathieson, "The King's Daughter" (on FSBBAL1)
Pleaz Mobley, "Lord Bateman" (AFS L 12, 1937; on LC12) {Bronson's #97}
Thomas Moran, "Lord Bateman" (on FSB4, FSBBAL1)
Howard Morry, "Lord Bateman" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
New Lost City Ramblers, "Lord Bateman" (on NLCR14)
Raymond Noseworthy, "Lord Bateman" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
John Reilly, "Lord Baker" (on Voice17)
Balis Ritchie, "Lord Bateman and the Turkish Lady" (on Ritchie03)
Jean Ritchie, "Lord Bateman" (on JRitchie01)
Jeannie Robertson, "Lord Bateman" (on FSB4, FSBBAL1)
David Slaunwhite, "Lord Bateman" (on MRHCreighton)
Mary Sullivan, "Lloyd Bateman" (AFS; on LC57)
Joseph Taylor, "Lord Bateman" (cylinder, on HiddenE) {Bronson's #34}

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 28(174), "Lord Bateman," W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824; also 2806 c.16(213), Harding B 11(2196), Firth c.21(10), Johnson Ballads 1687, Firth c.21(28), Firth b.25(164), Harding B 11(2198), Harding B 25(1140), Johnson Ballads 549[some words illegible], Harding B 11(2199), Harding B 11(2200), Firth b.25(93), "Lord Bateman"; Harding B 17(170b), Harding B 26(379), "Lord Beigham"
LOCSinging, as100980 [incomplete], "Lord Bakeman," unknown, 19C
Murray, Mu23-y1:030, "Lord Beigham," James Lindsay Jr. (Glasgow), 19C
NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(136a), "Lord Beigham," unknown, c. 1820

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Turkish Lady" [Laws O26]
cf. "The Araby Maid" (subject)
cf. "Mustang Gray (The Maid of Monterey)" (plot)
cf. "Thomas o Yonderdale" [Child 253] (plot)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Lord Beham
Susan Price
Lord Batesman
Lord Akeman
NOTES: This song is commonly connected with the story of Gilbert Becket, the father of Thomas (the clerical adversary of England's Henry II); for citations on this, see the story "Young Bekie" on pp. 579-580 of volume A.1 of Briggs. But, although the song's widespread currency implies that it is old, it is unlikely that it is that old.
Child believed that it may have been affected by the Becket legend, but was probably independent.
The plot very much resembles "The Turkish Lady" [Laws O26], and some scholars lump them, but the latter emphasizes the conversion of the princess rather than, as in this song, her pursuit and reunion.
It is interesting to note that, according to the Rosenberg/Kreuzer translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, p. LII, the "love interests [in the crusading romances] were frequently unintentionally humorous: the Saracen princesses in literature were almost as aggressive in their behavior as the knights they aided."
Baugh,p. 125, commenting on the romance "Bevis of Hampton": "[The Saracen Emperor] Ermin's daughter Josian, after the manner of Saracen pricesses in romance, falls in love with the hero, especially after he has successfully defended her against a king named Brademond who has come to marry her, by force if necessary."
CHEL1, p. 305, sums up "Bevis" as follows: "Beves of Hamtoun... presents almost entirely crusading tendencies, but few traces remain of the earlier form. Beves, who has been despatched as a slave to heathen parts by a treacherous mother, ultimately arrives at the court of the Saracen king Ermyn. Here he is the recipient of handsome favours, and is offered the hand of the princess Josian, on condition that he foresakes the Christian faith. This he refuses to do, but the valour he displays in staggering exploits still keeps him in favour, and Josian, for his love, is prepared to renounce her native gods [sic.]. The king hears of this, and Beves is committed to a neighbouring potentate, by whom he is kept in a horrible dungeon for some seven years. After a marvelous escape from his terrible surroundings, Beves seeks out Josian, and both flee to Cologne, where they are duly wedded. The hero's career continues to be as eventful as ever; but he is finally induced to turn toward home, where he succeeds in regaining his inheritance, and is recognised as a worthy knight by the reigning king Edgar."
Thus, in "Bevis," the girl and the guy are reunited after seven years, just as in this ballad -- although, in the romance, it is she, not he, who is married to another -- involuntarily, in this case, but she maintains her virginity magically while he spends seven years in Brademond's custody. Beves and Josian finally die in each others' arms.
A minor footnote: In the Scottish "Young Beichan" texts, the Turkish girl is typically called "Susan (Susie) Pye," with no obvious derivation that I can see. In the more numerous "Lord Bateman" texts, however, she is usually "Sophia." But "Sophia" (Greek for "wisdom") is not a Turkish name. Perhaps the girl had more reasons than love for wanting to escape. One might even speculate that she had (or that some singer intended her to have) a Christian mother. Or that she would rather marry an infidel than live in a harem.
And, yes, that's an awfully long chain of inference to hang on one name.... - RBW
Bibliography Last updated in version 4.2
File: C053

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