Lord Thomas and Fair Annet [Child 73]

DESCRIPTION: (Lord Thomas) asks his mother to help him decide between (Fair Annet) and the "Brown Girl." The mother prefers the wealthy Brown Girl. Thomas consents, inviting Annet to the wedding, where the jealous brown girl stabs her; (Thomas kills her and himself)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1677 (broadside, Bodleian Douce Ballads 1(120b))
KEYWORDS: marriage poverty death courting jealousy homicide suicide wedding
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber,Bord),England(All)) US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland
REFERENCES (97 citations):
Child 73, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (10 texts)
Bronson 73, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (147 versions+4 in addenda, though 2 versions are relegated to an appendix for no evident reason; many of the other texts are also fragmentary and might belong elsewhere)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 73, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (11 versions: #1, #8, #21, #71, #91, #95, #97, #103, #115, #136, #143)
Ritson-AncientSongsBalladsFromHenrySecondToTheRevolution, pp. 225-228, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 text)
Chambers-ScottishBallads, pp. 239-246, "Sweet Willie and Fair Annie" (1 text plus an excerpt from Percy's text)
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #124, pp. 1-2, "Sweet Willie and Fair Annie"; #108, pp. 1-2, "Sweet Willie and Fair Annie" (2 texts plus 1 fragment)
Greig/Duncan2 212, "Sweet Willie and Fair Annie" (5 texts, 3 tunes) {A=Bronson's #142, C=#129}
Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume1 48, "The Nut-Brown Bride" (1 text)
Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume2 112, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 text)
Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs, pp. 42-43, "Lord Thomas" (1 text, 1 tune)
Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 165, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor"; Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 623, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 text plus1 fragment)
Leather-FolkLoreOfHerefordshire, pp. 200-202, "Lord Thomas and Fair Elinor" (1 slightly composite text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #39}
Roud/Bishop-NewPenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs #48, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #39}
Williams-FolkSongsOfTheUpperThames, pp. 135-137, "Fair Eleanor and the Brown Maid" (1 text) (also Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 132, "Fair Eleanor and the Brown Girl")
Kidson-TraditionalTunes, pp. 40-42, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Barry/Eckstorm/Smyth-BritishBalladsFromMaine pp. 128-134, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (2 texts plus 1 fragment, 1 tune) {Bronson's #110}
Percy/Wheatley-ReliquesOfAncientEnglishPoetry III, pp. 82-85, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor"; pp. 234-238, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (2 texts)
Rimbault-Musical IllustrationsOfBishopPercysReliques XLIX, pp. 94-95, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor"; LLXVIII, pp. 112-113, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (2 partial texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #95, #1}
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 37-48, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (3 full texts, fragments of 4 others, 1 tune, and listing of 5 unprinted versions) {Bronson's #109}
Randolph 15, "The Brown Girl" (8 texts plus 2 fragments, 5 tunes) {A=Bronson's #51, F=#147, G=#4, H=#124, J=#26}
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 31-34, "The Brown Girl" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 15H) {Bronson's #124}
Arnold-FolkSongsofAlabama, pp. 108-109, "The Brown Girl" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #82}
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #7, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 fragment)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 18, "Lord Thomas and the Brown Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-1ed, pp. 39-42, "Fair Ellender" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #10}
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 17-20, "Fair Ellender" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, pp. 33-336, "Fair Eleanor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Eddy-BalladsAndSongsFromOhio 11, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (2 texts plus 2 fragments, 1 tune) {Bronson's #140}
Stout-FolkloreFromIowa 3, pp. 5-7, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune) {Bronson's #40}
List-SingingAboutIt-FolkSongsInSouthernIndiana, pp. 272-281, "Fair Eleanor," "Fair Ellender" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Neely/Spargo-TalesAndSongsOfSouthernIllinois, pp. 136-137, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (1 text)
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, pp. 209-213, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #97}
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland2, pp. 89-121, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (10 texts plus two fragments, 8 tunes) {A=Bronson's #97, F=#98}
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 4, "Lord Thomas" (1 text plus an excerpt, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #54, #100}
Davis-TraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 18, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (17 texts plus a fragment, 7 tunes entitled "Lord Thomas and Fair Elenor," "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor," "Fair Ellen," "Lord Thomas and the Brown Girl," "The Brown Girl, or Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender," "Lord Thomas and Fair Elinor," "Fair Ellender, or Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor"; 17 more versions mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #31, #81, #120, #36, #37, #60, #144}
Davis-MoreTraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 18, pp. 123-137, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (6 texts plus some excerpts, 5 tunes)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 19, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (4 texts plus 6 excerpts and mention of 4 more)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 19, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (15 excerpts and fragments, 15 tunes)
Chappell-FolkSongsOfRoanokeAndTheAlbermarle 9, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellen" (1 text)
Smith-SouthCarolinaBallads, #5, pp. 109-120, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (5 texts plus mention of 1 more; 3 tunes) {Bronson's #138, #80, #85}
Joyner-FolkSongInSouthCarolina, pp. 35-37, "Lord Thomas" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #157, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (3 texts, 3 tunes) {Bronson's #112, #59, #113}
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 10, pp. 78-87, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (5 texts)
Hudson-FolkTunesFromMississippi 13, "The Brown Girl" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #93}; 21, "The Brown Girl" (1 fragment, 1 tune) {Bronson's #53}
Fuson-BalladsOfTheKentuckyHighlands, pp. 49-51, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellendar" (1 text)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, pp. 34-36, "Lord Thomas"; pp. 115-116, "The Brown Girl" (2 texts)
Henry-SongsSungInTheSouthernAppalachians, pp. 41-44, "The Brown Girl" (1 text)
Wolfe/Boswell-FolkSongsOfMiddleTennessee 2, pp. 4-7, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol1, pp. 25-27, "Lord Thomas, or, Fair Eleanor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Rosenbaum-FolkVisionsAndVoices, pp. 62-63, "Lord Thomas" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-ASongCatcherInSouthernMountains, pp. 105-114, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet," with individual titles "The Brown Girl," "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellen," "Lord Thomas,"Lord Thomas," "Fair Ellender," "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellendar" (5 texts plus a fragment; the "A" text has lost the ending; 4 tunes on pp. 391-393) {Bronson's #74, #14, #73, #57}
Thomas-DevilsDitties, pp. 88-90, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellen" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #11}
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 10, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (6 text plus 2 fragments)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 39-41, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol2, pp. 96-99, "The Three Lovers"; pp. 100-101, "The Brown Girl" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 19 "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor" (8 texts plus 20 fragments, 31 tunes){Sharp's A=Bronson's #103, Aa=#38, B=#,122 Bb=#35, C=#104, Cc=#32, D=#102, Dd=#6, E=#5, Ee=#71, F=#43, G=#101, H=#60, I=#96, J=#117, K=#119, L=#15, M=#145, N=#134, O=#133, P=#3, Q=#42, R=#127, S=#130, T=#46, U=#47, V=#72, W=#88, X=#89, Y=#92, Z=#91}
Sharp-OneHundredEnglishFolksongs 28, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #99}
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 11, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #13}
Carey-MarylandFolkLegendsAndFolkSongs, pp. 95-96, "The Brown Girl" (1 text)
Creighton/Senior-TraditionalSongsOfNovaScotia, pp. 40-41, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #136}
Creighton-MaritimeFolkSongs, pp. 9-10, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-SongsAndBalladsFromNovaScotia 4, "Lord Thomas and Fair Elinor" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #34}
Greenleaf/Mansfield-BalladsAndSeaSongsOfNewfoundland 8, "Lord Thomas" (1 text)
Peacock, pp. 617-619, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Mackenzie-BalladsAndSeaSongsFromNovaScotia 6, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor" (1 text); "Lord Thomas" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #128}
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 239-246, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (3 texts plus a translated Danish text)
Quiller-Couch-OxfordBookOfBallads 54, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (1 text)
Friedman-Viking/PenguinBookOfFolkBallads, p. 84, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (1 text)
Wyman/Brockway-LonesomeSongs-KentuckyMountains-Vol2, p. 14, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellendor (or, The Brown Bride)" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #132}
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 140, "Lord Thomas" (1 text+1 fragment, 2 tunes)
Grigson-PenguinBookOfBallads 39, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (1 text)
McNeil-SouthernFolkBalladsVol1, pp. 137-139, "Three Lovers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Niles 28, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (4 texts, 3 tunes)
Gummere-OldEnglishBallads, pp. 231-235+353, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (1 text)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 15, "Lord Thomas and Fair Elinore" (1 text, 1 tune -- a composite version) {Bronson's #145}
Sandburg-TheAmericanSongbag, pp. 156-157, "The Brown Girl or Fair Eleanor" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #85}
VaughanWilliams/Lloyd-PenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs, pp. 62-63, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #76}
Ritchie-SingingFamilyOfTheCumberlands, pp. 17-20, "[Fair Ellender]" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #126; note that the tune is slightly different, and the text noticeably different, from the Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians version}
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, pp. 60-61, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender" (1 text, 1 tune) {note that the tune is slightly different, and the text noticeably different, from the Ritchie-SingingFamilyOfTheCumberlands version}
Cohen/Seeger/Wood-NewLostCityRamblersSongbook, p. 57, "Lord Thomas" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart-FaberBookOfBallads, p. 122, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (1 text)
Pound-AmericanBalladsAndSongs, 12, pp. 27-31, "Lord Thomas" (1 text)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 10, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (9 texts plus mention of 2 more)
Whitelaw-BookOfScottishBallads, pp. 19-20, "Fair Annet"; pp. 20-23, "Sweet Willie and Fair Annie" (2 texts)
Whiting-TraditionalBritishBallads 15, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (1 text)
HarvardClassics-EnglishPoetryChaucerToGray, pp. 61-65, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (1 text)
Abrahams/Foss-AngloAmericanFolksongStyle, pp. 46-47, "Three Lovers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chappell-PopularMusicOfTheOldenTime, p. 145, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor" (1 excerpt, 1 tune) {Bronson's #95}
Forget-Me-Not-Songster, pp. 236-238, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor" (1 text)
Morgan-MedievalBallads-ChivalryRomanceAndEverydayLife, pp. 75-78, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 222, "Fair Ellender" (1 text)
Olson-BroadsideBalladIndex, ZN173, "Amongst the Forresters of old"; ZN1719, "Lord Thomas he was a bold Forrester"
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, W. Amos Abrams, "Horton Barker: Folk Singer Supreme," Vol. XXII, No. 4 (Nov 1974), p. 151-152, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Charlotte Sophia Burne, editor, Shropshire Folk-Lore (London, 1883 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 545-546,651, "Lord Thomas" (1 text, 1 tune)
[Ambrose Phillips?,] A Collection of Old Ballads, (London, 1723 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol I, #35 pp. 249-251, "A Tragical Ballad on the unfortunate Love of Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor, together with the Downfal of the Brown Girl" (1 text)
Leslie Shepard, _John Pitts, Ballad Printer of Seven Dials, London 1765-1844_, Private Library Association, 1969, p. 115, "A TRAGICAL BALLAD OF THE UNFORTUNATE LOVE'S (sic) LORD THOMAS AND FAIR ELEANOR" (reprint of a Pitts broadside)

Roud #4
Horton Barker, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellendar" (AAFS 33) {Bronson's #21, but as "The Brown Girl"}; "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender" (on Barker01)
James Decker, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
Acie Cargill, Debra Coawn, and Kristina Olsen, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender" (on HCargillFamily)
Texas Gladden, "Lord Thomas" (AFS 5232 ; on USTGladden01)
Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annie" (on SCMacCollSeeger01)
Jessie Murray, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellen (Lord Thomas and Fair Annet)" (on FSB4, FSBBAL1)
Jean Ritchie, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender" (on JRitchie01) {cf. Bronson's #126}
Ritchie Family, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender" (on Ritchie03) {cf. Bronson's #126}
Mike Seeger, "Lord Thomas" (on MSeeger01)
Cas Wallin, "Fair Ellender and Lord Thomas" (on FarMtns4)
Doug Wallin, "Fair Eleanor and Lord Thomas" (on FarMtns3)

Bodleian, Douce Ballads 1(120b), "A Tragical Story of lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor" ("Lord Thomas he was a bold forrester"), F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright and J. Clarke (London), 1677; also Douce Ballads 3(58b), "A Tragical Ballad on the Unfortunate Love of Ld Thomas and Fair Eleanor"; Harding B 3(93), Douce Ballads 4(36), Harding B 3(94), Harding B 3(91), Harding B 3(92), Johnson Ballads 385, Johnson Ballads 386, Harding B 11(2208), "A Tragical Ballad of the Unfortunate Love's of Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor"; Harding B 11(2209), 2806 c.16(298), Harding B 37(38), "Lord Thomas and fair Eleanor"
cf. "Thomas o Yonderdale" [Child 253] (plot)
cf. "The Hunting of the Cheviot" [Child 162] (tune)
Lord Thomas and Fair Ellen
Thomas and Ellen
The Nut-Brown Maid
NOTES [210 words]: According to Bertrand Bronson, this is second only to Barbara Allen in popularity among the Child ballads. He notes that the Scottish tunes, though they are few, seem related to "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight," also among the most popular of the ballads.
Grieg/Keith see this as much the same ballad as Child #74, and Bronson sees similarities in the tunes, but concludes that the melodies, like the texts, justify separating them. - RBW
[Lloyd dates this to no later than the] late 17th century (broadside in reign of Charles II).
[Silber & Silber mis-identify] this as Child 295, which is actually "Brown Girl (I)." - PJS
The broadside Lloyd mentions appears to be mentioned also by Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety; he believes that it is the ancestor of all American versions, plus most recent British versions. But he believes the original was Scottish, and preceded the broadside. - RBW
A number of the Bodleian broadsides have as subtitle "with the downfall of the brown girl."
re A Collection of Old Ballads Vol I/II/III: Ambrose Philips, whose name does not appear in the Google Books copy is, according to Google Books, the editor. The New York Public Library catalog says "Compilation usually attributed to Ambrose Philips" - BS
Last updated in version 6.2
File: C073

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