The Gleeman

Notes on The Outlandish Knight



The Outlandish Knight is included under #4 in the Child cannon (Lady Isable and the Elf Knight). The closest variant in Child (1882-1898)CPB seems to be #4E (vol I, pp58-59). Indeed, apart from the odd word, they are almost identical.

Titles for the alternative versions include "May Colvin, May Collean", and "False Sir John". Both Scottish and English versions are to be found.

According to Kidson, "The "Outlandish Knight" is the English copy of the story, and it was first edited in a volume issued by the Percy Society, by Mr. J. H. Dixon; Scottish Traditional Versions of Ancient Ballads, 1846." Incidentally, Child gives J. H. Dixon as the source for #4E; Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England, p74.

Regarding the air, it "was obtained in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and is certainly an early tune."

A brief note on typographical errors; should any be spotted, please let me know! That said, the quote marks in the second stanza are as Kidson's book - the verse starts with a double quote, but finishes with a single.

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