The Border Ballads are rooted in the wild and beautiful lands that lie between England and Scotland, a traditionally lawless area whose inhabitants owed allegiance first to kin and laird, and only then to the authorities in London or Edinburgh. Recording a violent, clannish world of fierce hatreds and passionate loyalties, the ballads tell vivid tales of raids, feuds and betrayals, romances and acts of revenge. They celebrate ungovernable heroes and powerful women, often in laments for the murderous results of breaking tribal codes, and they evoke the presence of an older border, between the natural and the supernatural worlds. The Border Ballads were long regarded as primitive poems. This selection restores their identity within the oral tradition, setting them in the context of their time and place with the aid of maps and a glossary.
Cover -- Title Page -- Dedication -- Contents -- Introduction -- Maps -- Suggestions for Further Study -- BALLADS OF THE WEST MARCHES -- KINMONT WILLIE -- JOCK O' THE SIDE -- HOBIE NOBLE -- DICK O' THE COW -- JOHNIE ARMSTRONG -- THE FRAY OF SUPORT -- FAIR HELEN OF KIRCONNELL -- THE LOCHMABEN HARPER -- BALLADS OF THE MIDDLE MARCHES (1) -- JAMIE TELFER IN THE FAIR DODHEAD -- THE OUTLAW MURRAY -- THE DEATH OF PARCY REED -- THE RAID OF THE REIDSWIRE -- THE BATTLE OF OTTERBURN -- BALLADS OF THE MIDDLE MARCHES (2) -- THE DOUGLAS TRAGEDY -- THE DOWIE DENS OF YARROW -- RARE WILLIE DROWNED IN YARROW -- THE LAMENT OF THE BORDER WIDOW -- LAMKIN. -- THE CRUEL SISTEREDWARD -- LORD RANDAL -- THE TWA CORBIES -- THE FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND -- THE BROOM OF COWDENKNOWS -- TRUE TAMMAS -- BALLADS OF THE SUPERNATURAL -- THE YOUNG TAMLANE -- THE BROOMFIELD HILL -- THOMAS THE RHYMER -- THE WEE WEE MAN -- THE CRUEL MOTHER -- CLERK SAUNDERS -- PROUD LADY MARGARET -- THE WIFE OF USHER'S WELL -- YOUNG BENJIE -- Glossary -- About the Author -- Copyright
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