1 Elven Queen Thomas

Episode 2: Tam Lin

2: Tamlin
byTales of Britain and Ireland.

A second Scottish border ballad, this time with the wrong character named in the title and featuring our old friends the Fair Folk. Musical credits, sources and more at https://talesofbritainandireland.com/episode-2-tam-lin/ #myth #mythology #folklore #legends

“Gae ye not into Carterhaugh woods…”

Janet and Tamlin

This second episode there’s another ballad from the Scottish borders, featuring what might be one my favourite opening sequences to any story.

The titular character has clearly been chosen incorrectly, the Queen of the Elves makes another appearance, there’s tithes to pay, lust and its results, one BAMF woman and a climax which goes to some unusual places.

A very popular tale which has worked its way into all kinds of modern Faerie and Elf lore, song and fiction over the years.

Story in summary (Warning – contains spoilers!)

The story in brief, without the detail or discussion – not a transcript.

If you’ve already listened and just want a refresh, only want the bare bones of the story, or really don’t care about spoilers then please do click below to read on…

Tam Lin

Tam Lin in Depth

If you really want to dig deep into this story you are in look. The website https://tam-lin.org/ has a frankly astonishing amount of material on there about it featuring different versions, the history of it, images and, as they say, so much more.

It is incredibly deeply researched, this is one of the most in depth looks at a tale I’ve ever had the fortune to encounter and a no brainer if you’re interested in this tale.

The ballad with music, by Steeleye Span

You can get the whole story by listening to the ballad sung by world famous folk band Steel Eye Span (of “All around my hat” fame).

At nearly 10 minutes long it’s a bit of a beast but still not as long as the podcast!

Tam Lin is also the name of a rather good fiddle reel… if you’re into that kind of thing I’d suggest giving it a google.

Selected Sources

  • Tam-Lin.org It may not be done to have just one source but if you want more they’re all linked from here – leave this website and go to Tam-lin.org immediately if you want to know more about the tale

Musical credits for Episode 2: Tamlin

Intro and outro theme from the incredibly talented Alice Nicholls Music

Other music, used under various Creative Commons licenses:

Fear a bhata
Gander in the Pratie Hole, Morrison’s Jig, Drowsy Maggie


Hot October

Damiano Baldoni
A Ghrà

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Welcome to Tales of Britain and Ireland!

Welcome to Tales of Britain & Ireland: A podcast telling folktales, myths and legends from across Britain and Ireland. Hosted by Graeme Cooke.

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