Lady Anne

DESCRIPTION: Lady Anne bids false Sir William farewell as he goes to war. One day she sees three boys playing ball and is asked to choose one. She would clothe the naked boy who has been with them one year. The boy reveals he is her son murdered and buried by a nurse
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1803 (Scott)
KEYWORDS: homicide pregnancy adultery childbirth burial children accusation supernatural ghost
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Child 20 Appendix, "Lady Anne" (1 text)
GreigDuncan2 194, "Lady Anne" (1 text)
Whitelaw-Ballads, pp. 197-198, "Lady Anne" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Walter Scott, Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (Edinburgh: Longman and Rees, 1803 ("Digitized by Microsoft")), second edition, Vol. III, pp. 261-263, "Lady Anne" (1 text)

Roud #9
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Cruel Mother
NOTES: The following plot elements are shared with Child 20: a woman murders a baby and continues her life as if the baby had never been born; after some time she sees a boy playing and says that if he were hers she'd dress him in finery; she is told he was hers.
Why is the baby murdered? In Child 20 it is to avoid exposure at the lady's wedding. Here it appears that Lady Anne had an affair in Sir William's absence and was avoiding exposure at his return. The nurse (midwife?) murders, or at least buries, the baby after it is stabbed to death. - BS
This raises the interesting question of why Sir William is called false when it was Lady Anne who had the affair. Had he had his own dalliance before leaving, or did she suspect he would while he was gone? Was she trying to get back at him? Just some points to ponder.... - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
File: GrD194

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.