Lord Randal [Child 12]

DESCRIPTION: (Lord Randall) comes home; his mother questions him about his day. He answers each question accurately but incompletely, concluding with a request to rest. At last he reveals that his sweetheart has poisoned him.
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: homicide lover farewell lastwill food poison
FOUND IN: Britain(England,Scotland(All)) US(All) Ireland Canada(Mar,Que) West Indies(Jamaica) Australia
REFERENCES (81 citations):
Child 12, "Lord Randal" (21 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #31, #33}
Bronson 12, "Lord Randal" (103 versions plus 9 in addenda)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 12, "Lord Randal" (20 versions: #1, #8, #14, #24, #31, #33, #35.1, #35,2, #43, #43.2, #48, #53, #60, #61, #72, #84, #90, #94, #97, #98, #99)
Chambers-ScottishBallads, pp. 287-289, "Lord Randal" (1 text plus excerpts of others)
Buchan/Moreira-TheGlenbuchatBallads, p. 88, "Shouly Linkum Old Fragment" (1 short text)
Bell-Combined-EarlyBallads-CustomsBalladsSongsPeasantryEngland, pp. 210-211. "Lord Randall" (1 text)
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #112, pp. 1-2, "Lord Ronald" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan2 209, "Lord Ronald" (10 texts, 8 tunes) {A=Bronson's #85, B=#29, C=#34, E=#40, H=#43}
Porter/Gower-Jeannie-Robertson-EmergentSingerTransformativeVoice #79, p. 262-264, "Lord Donald (Lord Randal, Child 233)" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #43.2}
Lyle-Andrew-CrawfurdsCollectionVolume2 162, "My Bonnie Wee Cruidland Dou" (1 text)
Broadwood-EnglishTraditionalSongsAndCarols, pp. 96-97, 124-125 "King Henry, My Son" (2 texts, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy-YellowbellyBalladsPart2 59, "Young Henery My Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-EnglishCountrySongbook, #55, "Henry, My Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hamer-GarnersGay, pp. 76-77, "Henry My Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
OCroinin/Cronin-TheSongsOfElizabethCronin 84, "Lord Randal" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Barry/Eckstorm/Smyth-BritishBalladsFromMaine pp. 46-72, "Lord Randall" (12 texts plus 3 fragments and 2 quotations from non-Maine sources, 6 tunes plus 1 unrelated item; the "N" text is a rewrite which ends with Randall's accidental death) {Bronson's #42, #37, #16, #72, #23, [], #11; Bronson's #70 is a tune for the "J" text, which is printed without a melody}
Flanders/Olney-BalladsMigrantInNewEngland, pp. 37-39, "Jimmie Rendal"; pp. 200-201, "Lord Randall" (2 texts)
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, pp. 197-198, "Mother, Make My Bed Soon" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #30}
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland1, pp. 175-207, "Lord Randall" (13 texts plus 6 fragments, 12 tunes) {H=Bronson's #30}
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 191-193, "Dirante, My Son or Lord Randall" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #12}
Davis-TraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 6, "Lord Randal" (15 texts [two of them in an appendix] plus a fragment; 4 tunes entitled "John Willow, My Son," "Johnny Rillus," Johnny Rilla," "Lord Randal"; 2 more versions mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #64, #28, (F version not reproduced), #58}
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 24-28, "Lord Randall" (5 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #41}
Randolph 5, "Johnny Randolph" (4 texts, 3 tunes) {A=Bronson's #21, B=#26, D=#96}
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 7A, "My Ramboling Son"; 7B, "Jimmy Random My Son" (1 text plus 1 fragment, 2 tunes)
Smith-SouthCarolinaBallads, #II, pp. 101-103, "Lord Randal" (2 texts); p. 64, "(Poor Anzo)" (1 text)
Joyner-FolkSongInSouthCarolina, pp. 23-24, "McDonald"; pp. 25-26, "Poor Anzo" (2 texts)
Eddy-BalladsAndSongsFromOhio 5, "Lord Randal" (4 texts, 3 tunes) {Bronson's #73, #95, #94}
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 3, "The Cup of Cold Poison" (1 text)
Peters-FolkSongsOutOfWisconsin, p. 195, "Dirandel" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 7, "Lord Randall" (1 text)
Davis-MoreTraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 7, pp. 51-60, "Lord Randal" (5 texts plus an excerpt, 3 tunes)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 6, "Lord Randall" (3 texts)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 6, "Lord Randall" (5 excerpts, 5 tunes)
Chappell-FolkSongsOfRoanokeAndTheAlbermarle 4, "Lorendo" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #8}
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #148, "Lord Randal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 4, pp. 69-70, "Lord Randall" (2 texts)
Wolfe/Boswell-FolkSongsOfMiddleTennessee 6, pp. 13-15, "Lord Randall" (1 text plus an excerpt from another, 1 tune)
Scarborough-ASongCatcherInSouthernMountains, pp. 178-180, "Lord Randall" (1 text, with local title "Randal, My Son")
Creighton/Senior-TraditionalSongsOfNovaScotia, pp. 9-11, "Lord Randal" (2 texts plus 1 fragment, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #48, #86}
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 81-85, "Lord Randal" (4 texts)
Leach-HeritageBookOfBallads, pp. 3-6, "Lord Randall," "Croodlin Dow" (2 texts)
Quiller-Couch-OxfordBookOfBallads 66, "Lord Randal" (1 text)
Friedman-Viking/PenguinBookOfFolkBallads, p. 178, "Lord Randall" (3 texts)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 107, "Lord Randall"; 108, "Jimmy Ransome" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 7 "Lord Randal" (13 texts, 13 tunes) {Bronson's #13, #14, #17, #74, #3, #56, #47, #53, #54, #49, #63, #68, #62}
Sharp-OneHundredEnglishFolksongs 18, "Lord Rendal" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #90}
Wells-TheBalladTree, pp. 101-102, "Lord Rendall" (1 text, 1 tune); p. 166, "The Croodin' Doo" (1 short text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #100}
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 1, "Lord Randall" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #35}
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #3, "Lord Ransom" (2 texts)
Niles 9, "Lord Randall" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Hirsh-MedievalLyric-MiddleEnglishLyricsBalladsCarols #43, "Lord Randal" (4 texts [3 from Child, 1 from Niles-BalladBookOfJohnJacobNiles])
Gummere-OldEnglishBallads, pp. 168+336-337, "Lord Randal" (1 text)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 7, "John Randolph (Lord Randal)" (1 text, 1 tune -- an expanded composite version) {Bronson's #53}
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, pp. 50-51, "Lord Randal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scott-TheBalladOfAmerica, pp. 23-24, "Lord Ronald" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart-FaberBookOfBallads, p. 34, "Lord Randal" (1 text)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 4, "Lord Randall" (6 texts plus mention of 6 more)
Cox/Hercog/Halpert/Boswell-WVirginia-A, #3, pp. 14-15, "The Jealous Lover" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #38}
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol5, pp. 89-91, "Willy, My Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
Geiner, pp. 16-17, "Johnny Randal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord-BothySongsAndBallads, pp. 458-459, "Lord Randal" (1 text)
Pound-AmericanBalladsAndSongs, 1, p. 3, "Johnny Randall"; p. 4, "Jimmy Randolph" (2 texts)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 4, "Lord Randall" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
MacColl-PersonalChoice, pp. 3-4, "Lord Randall" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 44, "Where have you been today, Billy, my son" (3 texts)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #287, pp. 167-168, "(Where have you been today, Billy, my son)"
Montgomerie/Montgomerie-ScottishNurseryRhymes 199, "The Wee Croodin Doo" (1 text)
Whiting-TraditionalBritishBallads 11, "Lord Randal" (1 text)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H814, p. 415, "Lord Ronald" (1 text, 1 tune, incorrectly labelled "Child 92")
Whitelaw-BookOfScottishBallads, p. 238, "The Croodlin' Doo"; pp. 238, ("Where have you been to-day, Billy my son?") [Child 12G]; p. 239, "Lord Randal"; pp. 239-240, "Lord Donald" (3 texts plus 1 fragment)
Behan-IrelandSings, #60, "My Bonny Brown Boy" (1 text, 1 tune, modified)
Scott-ACollectorsNotebook-31TraditionalSongs, p. 5, "Henry My Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, pp. 43-44, "Lord Randall"; "Johnny Randall" (2 texts)
Morgan-MedievalBallads-ChivalryRomanceAndEverydayLife, pp. 21-22, "Lord Randal" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 346, "Lord Randall" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: James Kinsley, editor, Burns: Complete Poems and Songs (shorter edition, Oxford, 1969) #352, p. 485, "Lord Ronald, my son--" (1 short text, 1 tune, from 1792)
Robert Chambers, The Popular Rhymes of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1870 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 51-53, "The Croodin Doo" (1 tune)
Frank Harte _Songs of Dublin_, second edition, Ossian, 1993, pp. 30-31, "Henry, My Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
Katherine Briggs, _A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language_, Part A: Folk Narratives, 1970 (I use the 1971 Routledge paperback that combines volumes A.1 and A.2), volume A.2, p. 396, "The Croodin Doo" (1 text)
Olive Lewin, "Rock It Come Over" - The Folk Music of Jamaica (Barbados: The University of the West Indies Press, 2000), p. 119, "Lord Randall" (1 fragment)

Roud #10
Grace Carr, "Henry, My Son" (on Saskatch01)
Sara Cleveland, "My Bonny Bon Boy" (on SCleveland01)
Mary Delaney, "Buried in Kilkenny" (on Voice17)
Em & Doreen Elliott, "Henry, My Son" (on Elliotts01)
Pete Elliott, "Henry, My Son" (on Elliotts01)
Ewan MacColl, "Lord Randal" (on ESFB1, ESFB2)
John MacDonald, "Lord Ronald" (on Voice03)
Lawrence Older, "Johnny Randall" (on LOlder01)
Paddy Reilly, "Buried in Kilkenny" (on IRTravellers01)
Jean Ritchie, "Lord Randall" (on JRitchie02)
Jeannie Robertson, Elizabeth Cronin, Thomas Moran, Colm McDonough, Eirlys & Eddis Thomas [composite] "Lord Randal" (on FSB4, FSBBAL1) {cf. Bronson's #43.2 in addenda}
Pete Seeger, "Lord Randall" (on PeteSeeger25)

cf. "Billy Boy"
Jimmy Randolph
Jimmy Randal
Bonnie Wee Croodlin Doo
Tiranti, My Love
Henry, My Son
Willie Ransom
Oh Mak' My Bed Easy
NOTES [418 words]: A few versions, such as that recorded by Lawrence Older, make Randall's wife, rather than his sweetheart, his murderer. Wonder if she found out about that other girl he was fooling around with. - RBW
And in Grace Carr's version, it's his father who poisons him. It's worth noting that the title "Henry, My Son" almost inevitably denotes a parody version. - PJS
Chambers, referring to "The Croodin Doo": "the same as a ballad called Grandmother Addercook, which is popular in Germany." - BS
I've seen several sources (notably Davis) mention that John Randolph of Virginia knew the song which sometimes bears his name. The text Randolph cited appears, however, to have been "Wheel of Fortune" or something similar.
Barry et al claim "It is reasonably safe to assert that, of all the English ballads, 'Lord Randall' holds in the United States the leading position, as regards the extent of purely traditional currency. 'Barbara Allen' and 'Lord Thomas' are, no doubt, known to more folk-singers, yet it cannot be said that their popularity is due solely to tradition, since both have been many times reprinted in pocket songsters. On the other hand, we know of no American broadside or songster text of 'Lord Randall.'"
Morgan-MedievalBallads-ChivalryRomanceAndEverydayLife, following Hodgart, suggests that this is about Ranulf, Earl of Chester, the greatest English landowner in the early 1200s, who was the presumed subject of the comment in Piers Plowman that Sloth knew "rhymes of Robin Hood and (Ranulf/Randolph) Earl of Chester." Supporting evidence for this is nil except the similarity in names and the throwaway line in Langland.
Nonetheless something similar does exist in an old British manuscript, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 48 -- a manuscript Child knew but largely ignored, citing from it only one piece, "The Hunting of the Cheviot" [Child 162]. (See that ballad for background on Ashmole 48). But item LXVIII has several verses that resemble "Lord Randall" both in the last line and in stanza form, e.g.
Fare well haukynge and huntynge bothe;
Fare well game, solace, and gle;
Fare well, my ladye, fayre of face,
I wene I wyll the never more se.
I so sycke, make my bed, I will dye nowe.
Farewell hawking and hunting both;
Farewell game, solace, and glee;
Fare well, my lady, fair of face,
I expect I will never more see you.
I [am] so sick, make my bed, I will die now.
For this text, see David C. Fowler, A Literary History of the Popular Ballad, Duke University Press, 1968, p. 121. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.1
File: C012

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