An Earthly Knight

from The Ballad of Tam Lin by Molly Pinto Madigan

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lyrics

AN EARTHLY KNIGHT (THE KING/MARGARET)

KING:
The king has been a prisoner
And a prisoner to the throne
With aching heart he’s looked up now
To find his daughter grown.

“What ails you, what ails you, my daughter dear?
For you look so pale,” he said,
“Oh, have you had any sore sickness
Or taken a man to your bed?

“Cast off, cast off your grass-green gown,
And stand naked there before,
So I may know you by your shape
Whether you be a maiden no more.”

MARGARET:
“Well, if I pricked my finger on
A thorn that bit to bone
Would you begrudge the beauty gleaned
For one so long alone?

“And if I go with child,” she said,
“Myself shall bear the blame,
There’s not a knight in all your hall,
That’ll give the babe his name.”

KING:
“Oh, was it with a lord or a duke or a knight?
Or a man of pedigree?
Or was it with one of my serving men?
For hanged he shall be.”

MARGARET:
“Oh would my love were an earthly knight,
As he’s an elfin gray.
Yet I’d not trade my own true love
No matter what you say.

“The steed that my fey love rides on
Is swifter than the wind.
With silver it is shod before,
And/with burnished gold behind.”

KING:
“My dear, in Carter Hall there grows,
An herb that spurns the sun.
So, Maggie, hasten to the briar,
And do what must be done.”

credits

from The Ballad of Tam Lin, released July 3, 2020
Music: Traditional ("Willie O'Winsbury")
New lyrics by Molly Pinto Madigan

Molly Pinto Madigan: Voice, guitar
Vance Gilbert: Voice
Eva Walsh: Violin

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Molly Pinto Madigan Salem, Massachusetts

Singer. Songstress. Poet. Novelist. Lover of roses, ballads, ballroom dancing, and beaches, where she spends her time indulging her mermaid nature.

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