Lord Bateman

Grainger recorded a number of versions of Lord Bateman, all quite similar, from the singing of Joseph Taylor, George Wray, Joseph Leaning, and Mr. Thomson. It was one of the most popular of all the ballads, well known among traditional singers on both sides of the Atlantic. It's certainly a good tale, and it's nice to have an occasional long ballad that doesn't end in tragedy and death for all the protagonists.

Lord Bateman was a noble lord, a noble lord of some high degree,
He set his foot all in a ship, some foreign country he would go see.

He sailed east, and he sailed west, until he came to proud Turkey,
Where he was taken and put in prison, till of his life he was quite weary.

All in this prison there grew a tree, it grew so stout and it grew so strong,
Where he was chained all by the middle, until his life it was almost gone.

This Turk, he had an only daughter, the fairest creature my two eyes did see,
She stole the key from her father's pillow, and said Lord Bateman she would set free.

"Oh, have you houses, and have you lands, and does Northumberland belong to thee?
And what would you give to the fair young lady as would release you and set you free?"

"Oh, I have houses, and I have land, and half Northumberland belongs to me;
I'd give it all to the fair young lady as would release me and set me free."

She took him to her marble parlor, she gave him cake and a bottle of wine,
And every health that she drank unto him, "I wish, Lord Bateman, that you were mine.

"And it's seven long years I'll make a vow, and seven long years I will keep it strong,
If you will wed with no other woman, then I'll not wed with no other man."

She took him to her father's harbor, she gave to him a ship of fame,
"Farewell and adieu to you, Lord Bateman, I fear I'll never see you again."

Now the seven long years were past and gone, and fourteen days, well-known to me,
She set her foot all in a ship, and said Lord Bateman she would go see.

And when she's come to Lord Bateman's castle, she knocked so loudly upon the pin,
And who should come down but the proud young porter, to rise and let this fair lady in.

"Is this here Lord Bateman's castle, and is Lord Bateman here within?"
"Oh yes, oh yes," said the proud young porter, he's just now taken his new bride in."

Tell him to bring me a loaf of bread, a bottle of the very best wine,
And not to forget the fair young lady as did release him when close confined."

"What news, what news, my proud young porter? What news, what news? Now, tell to me."
"There is the fairest of all young ladies as ever my two eyes did see.

"She bid you send her a loaf of bread, a bottle of the very best wine,
And not to forget the fair young lady as did release you when close confined."

Lord Bateman he flew in a passion, he broke the table in splinters three,
"I'll wager all my father's lands and riches that my Sophia has come from sea."

Then up and spoke the young bride's mother, who never was known to speak so free,
"What will you do for my only daughter, if your Sophia has come from sea?"

"I own I wed your only daughter, she's neither the better nor the worse for me,
She came to me on a horse and saddle, she shall ride home in a carriage and three."

Then he's prepared another wedding, and both their hearts so full of glee,
"Oh, never more will I sail the ocean, now my Sophia has come to me."

© Golden Hind Music