Elliot Cole, Fiona Gillespie y Makaris: Tam Lin

Elliot Cole, Fiona Gillespie y Makaris han integrado un conjunto que nos cuenta una historia tradicional Celta Barroca a la cual dan vida con nueva música original, desarrollada a manera de cantata sobre un estilo folk rock sin dejar de lado su perfil tradicional en cuanto a estilo musical e instrumentación para integrar una pieza de aproximadamente media hora, la cual ya se encuentra disponible en plataformas como Apple MusicSpotify, bellamente ilustrada con un vídeo producido por Kevin Eikenburg y Four Ten Media, filmado en la iglesia de St. Mary en la calle Grand de NYC.

Tam Lin nos cuenta la historia de Jenny, una joven con un embarazo no planeado que desafía las expectativas sociales para convertir una mala situación en buena, perseguir un amor poco convencional y luego realizar el atrevido rescate de su amado de las garras del mundo oculto.

Growing up in the Celtic music tradition, one of my favorite stories was the Ballad of Tam Lin. Like countless singers and storytellers before me, I’m pulled in by the weave of elements in this story. As a child, I loved the evil fairies, animalistic transformations, and a heroine in a plaid. As an adult, I’m also drawn to the rich symbolism, cultural history, the issues around societal standards and pressures that still resonate… and a heroine in a plaid! The more I understood everything contained in its 43 verses, the more complex it became to interpret easily. It challenges me, as I think it has – and as the best fairy tales do – all of us who have been sharing it for centuries.
Al crecer en la tradición de la música celta, una de mis historias favoritas fue la Balada de Tam Lin. Al igual que innumerables cantantes y narradores antes que yo, me atrae la trama de elementos de esta historia. De niña, me encantaban las hadas malvadas, las transformaciones animales y una heroína con un plaid (banda de tela con un diseño a cuadros que se lleva sobre el hombro en el traje escocés tradicional). Como adulto, también me atrae el rico simbolismo, la historia cultural, los problemas relacionados con los estándares sociales y las presiones que aún resuenan… ¡y una heroína con un plaid! Cuanto más entendía todo lo contenido en sus 43 versos, más complejo se volvía de interpretar con facilidad. Me desafía, como creo que lo ha hecho, y como lo hacen los mejores cuentos de hadas, a todos los que lo hemos estado compartiendo durante siglos.

I asked my dear friend Elliot to join me (and guide me!) in setting this ballad as a cantata-style dramatic piece. We composed it together, weaving our tunes, chords and concepts into one, and then brought it to our friends, the great medieval, baroque and folk musicians of Makaris, to bring it to life.
Le pedí a mi querido amigo Elliot que se uniera a mí (¡y me guiara!) para configurar esta balada como una pieza dramática estilo cantata. Lo compusimos juntos, entretejiendo nuestras melodías, acordes y conceptos en uno, y luego se lo llevamos a nuestros amigos, los grandes músicos medievales, barrocos y folclóricos de Makaris, para que le dieran vida.

Fiona Gillespie

Elliot Cole, Fiona Gillespie y Makaris, Tam Lin…

O I forbid you maidens all

That wear gold in your hair

To come or go by Carterhaugh

For young Tam Lin is there

There’s none that goes by Carterhaugh

That they leave him a toll

Either their rings or verdant cloaks

For he won’t leave them whole

Jenny has tucked up her skirt

A little above knee-high

And Jenny has pulled up her hair

A cap it’s hidden inside

And she’s away to Carterhaugh

As fast as she can ride

When she came to Carterhaugh

Tam Lin was at the well

And there she found his steed standing

But away was himself

She had not pulled a double rose

A double rose she tore

Till up then started young Tam Lin

Says, «Lady, thou pulls no more

Why pull’s thou the rose, Jenny,

And why’s thou break the wand?

And why comes thou to Carterhaugh

Withouten my command»?

«Carterhaugh it is my own

My father gave it to me

I’ll come and go by Carterhaugh

And ask no leave of thee»

Jenny has tucked up her skirt

A little above knee-high

And Jenny has pulled up her hair

A cap it’s hidden inside

And she’s away to Carterhaugh

As fast as she can ride

Four and twenty ladies fair

Were playing at the ball

And out then came fair Jenny

The flower among them all

Four and twenty ladies fair

Adorned in jewels and glass

And out then came the fairy Jenny

As green as summer grass.

Out then spoke an old grey knight

Lay o’re the castle wall

And says, «Alas, Fairy Jenny for thee

But we’ll be blamed for all»

«Hold your tongue you old-faced knight

Some ill death fall on thee

Father my babes on whom I will

But you’ll father none on me»

Out then spoke her father dear

And he spoke meek and mild

And says, «alas, sweet Jenny

I think thou art with child»

«If that I am with child, father

Myself, I’ll bear the blame

There’s ne’er a lord about your hall

Shall get the baby’s name

«If my love were an earthly knight

As he’s an elfin grey

I would not give my own true love

For any lord here today»

«The steed that my true-love rides on

Is lighter than the wind

With silver shoes

And burning gold behind»

Jenny has tucked up her skirt

A little above knee-high

And Jenny has pulled up her hair

A cap it’s hidden inside

And she’s away to Carterhaugh

As fast as she can ride

When she came to Carterhaugh

Tam Lin was at the well

And there she found his steed standing

But away was himself

She had not pulled a double rose

A double rose she tore

Till up then started young Tam Lin

Says, «Lady, thou pulls no more»

«Why thou pulls the rose, Jenny?

Among the grove so green

For to kill the bonny babe

That we’ll have us between?»

«O tell me, tell me, young Tam Lin

For Christ that died on the tree

If ever you were in holy church

Or Christendom did see?»

«Roxburgh he was my grandfather

Took me with him to bide

And once it fell upon a day

That woe did me betide

And once it fell upon a day

As round the cold wind swelled

When we were from the hunting come

That from my horse I fell

The Queen the of Fairies caught me

In yon green hill do dwell

And pleasant is the fairy land

But an eerie tale

Ay, at the end of seven years

We pay a tithe to Hell

I am so fair and full of flesh

I fear it be myself

But the night is Halloween

The morn is Hallowday

Then win me, win me, if you can

And spirit me away

At the dark and midnight hour

The fairy folk will ride

And if you hope to rescue me

At Miles Cross you must bide»

«But how shall I see you, dear Tam Lin

Oh how my true-love know

Among so many armored knights

The like I never saw»?

«Oh first let pass the black pony

Then let pass the brown

Quickly run to the milk-white steed

Pull that rider down

My right hand will be gloved my lady

And the left will be bare

I will push my helmet back

And you will see my hair

And when my horse comes round

You must pull me down

And then you must hold me tight, my lady

And do not be afraid

They’ll turn me into an asp and adder

But my soul will remain

They’ll turn me into a bear’s sharp claws

And then a lion’s roar

But hold me fast and fear me not

And you shall have me forever more

They’ll turn me into an eagle don’t be scared

They’ll turn me into a wolf but I won’t bite you

Next a burning coal you’ll have to carry

And then I will become a man, and we can marry»

Gloomy, gloomy was the night

Upon that Hallowday

As Jenny in her verdant cloak

To Miles Cross made her way

At the dark and midnight hour

She heard the bridles ring

She was glad to hear that sound

And her heart began to sing

First she let the black pass by

And then she let the brown

But quickly she ran to the milk-white steed

And pulled the rider down

So well she did what he had said

And young Tam Lin did win

She covered him with her verdant cloak

And kissed the man within

Out then spoke the Queen of Fairies

An angry curse she lay

Upon fair Jenny of the woods

On New Year’s Hallowday

«Seven years Tam Lin has dwelled

With us beneath the hill

By seven years his time has come

To pay a tithe to Hell

Shame betide her ill-fared face

An ill death fall on she

Whose taken away the bonniest knight

In all my company

But had I known, Tam Lin

What now this night I see

I would have taken out your eyes

And put in two eyes of tree

Jenny has tucked up her skirt

A little above knee-high

And Jenny has pulled up her hair

A cap it’s hidden inside

And she’s away to Carterhaugh

As fast as she can ride

Tam Lin lyrics

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