Lord Beichan

Find traditional instrumental music
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Lord Beichan


LORD BEICHAN. English, Air (3/4 time). England, Northumberland. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "There are several versions of this highly popular and apparently ancient ballad in the works of Jamieson, Kinloch, Motherwell, &c., and in the Local Historian's Table Book, vol. II, p. 20, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, 1842, the last being an English traditional version communicated by Mr. J.H. Dixon, of Seaton Carew. Jamieson suggests that the name of the hero should not be 'Beichan,' but 'Buchan;' and another editor or annotator (Percy Society Publications, No. 43) surmises 'that the hero was one of the ancient and noble border family of 'Bertram'; whilst Motherwell refers the ballad to an incident in the life of Gilbert, father of the celebrated Thomas a Becket. In this opinion he is supported by Professor Child, of Boston, USA. There is also the popular song 'Lord Bateman,' a ludicrously corrupt copy of this ballad,an edition of which (in the Cockney vernacular, with comic illustrations by George Cruickshanks, and notes of a burlesque character) was published by Tilt, of London, many years ago, containing the air to which the ballad was sung in the South of England--totally different from the Northern melody, which is here given" (Bruce & Stokoe).

Lord Beichan was a noble lord,
A noble lord of high degree;
He shipped himself on board a ship,
He longed strange countries for to see. ... (Bruce & Stokoe)

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; pp. 64-70.

Recorded sources:




Back to Lord Beichan