Young Edward In The Lowlands


Another murder ballad and Jon attributes  Martin Carthy once again as his source saying, “I’m not sure where Martin Carthy got this version, but I think I prefer it to the more common Irish version, although that’s great too (particularly when Paul Brady sings it.)” The message in this cautionary tale seems to be simply, “don’t flash your cash.” Various alternatives have the unlucky lad as Edwin and Edmund and Martin actually recorded it as Young Emma, the female in love with the victim in the tale. This link is instructive and you can see from that Louis Killen and Steeleye Span have both recorded Edwin variants of the title. Peter Bellamy also gives it his unique unaccompanied treatment as Edmund In The Lowlands, which you’ll find on the recently re-released CD,  Both Sides Then, one of the Topic 70 series. Interestingly, Martin’s version seems to have traversed the Atlantic twice over, which may explain the slight difference. Mudcat away here too, I suspect that searching the title variants will yield even more if that hasn’t sated your appetite.

The buy links should now work properly. We had some problems with a duplicate track and everything needed to be updated, but I’ve just tested them and they are now OK!

You can buy the digital album now from the following stores:


17 Responses to “Young Edward In The Lowlands”

  1. Thank you for that fine song!

    Admin, can you please correct a typo: Both Sides Now is a song by Joni Mitchell. The Peter Bellamy album you mentioned is called Both Sides Then.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Anne Dunn, Jon Boden. Jon Boden said: Latest Post: Young Edward in the Lowlands […]

  3. admin says:

    Ooops careless fingers again – thanks Reinhard.

  4. Nick Hallam says:

    More about Young Edward in the Lowlands from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

    This is an interesting one. Under this title there is actually only one in the Library from the Baring-Gould collection.

    We used the Roud number to cross reference against different titles for the song. When searched on Roud No. the records jump to 223 and is also known as Come All Young Men and Maidens, The Drive Boy, Edwin in the Lowlands and is collected in Utah, Missouri, Newfoundland and, of course, England. It is amongst Cecil Sharp’s collections (Hambridge 1905) and Maud Karpeles (Conception Harbour 1929).

    If you wish to see more detail on each record, change the ‘output’ to ‘record’ and press ‘submit query’.

    There are 7 records of the song in the Take 6 Archive, 6 from the Gardiner collection and 1 from Hammond – also known as Young Emma the Servant Maid.

    To find these go to enter the name of the song into the first empty field, select ‘Title’ from the drop down menu ‘all fields’ and press ‘submit search.

    We use the Roud index and the Take 6 online collections in the search for information on Jon’s selections.

    For more information, or to carry out your own search for songs, please visit
    If you need any help accessing the library online or have any questions, please contact the VWML on 020 7485 2206 or

  5. Reinhard says:

    By the way, Louis Killen’s album Ballads and Broadsides with Young Edwin in the Lowlands on it has recently been re-released in the Topic 70 CD series too.

  6. Reinhard says:

    By the way, Louis Killen’s album Ballads and Broadsides with Young Edwin in the Lowlands on it has recently been re-released in the Topic 70 CD series, too.

  7. edith lewis says:

    Lovely version

  8. admin says:

    Reinhard – please see the latest post. Sorry you got caught by the spam filter. If you don’t see your comments come up straight away this is why. I have approved the comment above, so hopefully it will now learn that you are genuine. But please bear with us and if anything else gets caught I will fix it. Thanks for all of your comments so far and the Louis Killen tip. I only have so many hours in the day to research this stuff, so additions are most welcome.

  9. Jane Ramsden says:

    Lovely…sad, but lovely. One does wonder how many times murder was seen as a solution or means to gain in times when it was less easily detected. Beautifully sung, Jon.

  10. […] Released by Drag City in the US and by Navigator in the UK, Alasdair Roberts Too Long In This Condition is out this week. In typically surprising style 10 of the 11 featured tracks are traditional folk songs, delivered with Alasdair’s tradmark dextorous guitar picking and vocal delivery. A pretty dark bunch of tales they are too, which makes the somewhat jaunty backing, provided by some of Glasgow’s finest, all the more potent. Having spent the last couple of months blogging A Folk Song A Day, at least two of these have made Jon’s list and I’m certain there are more to come, but what’s really intriguing is to hear such wildly different interpretations of the same ballads. Anyway, courtesy of the Guardian here are three links to Alasdair a review of the album, a longer feature from The Observer and also a video of him talking about the writing of and then performing the title track from the Farewell Sorrow album. But to clue you in on the new record, here’s an audio of Young Emily, also know as Edward (Edwin, Edmund) Of The Lowlands, that nicely flags up the dark deeds mentioned afore. If you’re interested you can read more about this murderous ballad on the AFSAD site by folowing this link. […]

  11. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    Halloooo…..Simon…..I think the Spam filter is misfiring!

  12. Jane Ramsden says:

    Anf it’s not me referred to in the last bit of spam ‘free sex clip jesse jane’ – honest!

  13. Diana says:

    So many versions of this song but all dealing with murder. The ladies in some of these songs certainly suffered either losing their lovers by some foul deed or else finding them to be unfaithful. Vey few of them won.

  14. Diana says:

    @Pewter: If you are back with us I expect you will have covered a lot of miles recently, and in a variety of weather. Hope you enjoyed yourself.

  15. Pewter says:

    Hi Diana. Yes, a very sunburned Pewter is back and playing catch up!

  16. Diana says:

    Lucky you Pewter! Are you sure it is sunburn and not rust? Sun is shining here today, a nice change but we are invariably plagued with a strong wind, very seldom is it still although it is very pleasant if the weather should turn hot.

  17. Linda says:

    Diana, see you there. Might want to have a look at whats on at The Met.

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