The Gleeman

Notes on Thomas the Rhymer (True Thomas)



This is #37 in the Child cannon.The variant here is #37C. It should be noted that Child (1882-1898)CPB (vol I, pp325-326) seems to use the version in the 1802 edition of Scott's work, which seems to be different to the version in the later 1833 (and subsequent) editions. I, along with Bronson (1959-1972)BTT (vol I, pp324-325) have used the later version.

According to Scott, he obtained it "from a lady residing not far from Ercildoune, corrected and enlarged by one of Mrs Brown's MSS.".

Regarding the lyrics in the typeset score, the lyrics are as set out in Scott's book. The lyrics do not quite match the words in the text. Furthermore, in typesetting the score, I have ignored the piano accompaniment that Scott also provided. The linebreaks are also different.

An alternative title to the ballad is "True Thomas". This is, in fact, the title given for the air.

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