Jon calls this one “a ballad I’ve always meant to get around to learning. This version is from Bert Lloyd. I’ve just today been lstening to An Evening With A. L. Lloyd a new release by Fellside which is a whole live gig with Lloyd – all brilliant stuff. He sings this there but adds a few extra verses – perhaps he edited them out later, not sure.”
Mainly Norfolk will give you a good chance to contrast and compare as there are several different transcripts of this, from the surprisingly brief to the truly epic. It’s also in the child collection and is #53. I was going to start by saying we’re on familiar territory, but realised that’s probably overstating it a little. Although it has been my privilege to see Chris Wood perform this a couple of times fairly recently, so it’s clearly lodged in my brain. I’ll also recommend the Fellside CD of Bert live (in fact I’m sure I have before) where this at almost 6 minutes long goes into Tamlyn at just over seven and a half. Two epics back to back. I guess it’s not entirely surprising to see this being linked to a true story, with Lord Bateman actually being Gilbert Bekett, father of Thomas. This Mudcat thread will get you into that. If anyone has the wherewithal to research this further, or has done previously, I’d like to know. As it says somewhere down that thread, you don’t turn to folk songs for history lessons, but it’s nice to be aware when they cross over. Things are rarely that simple, however.