Mudcat Café message #4062093 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168014   Message #4062093
Posted By: Susan of DT
29-Jun-20 - 07:38 PM
Thread Name: Mudcat Worldwide Singaround - On Zoom Mondays
Subject: RE: Mudcat Worldwide Singaround NOW!!!!
Joe asked me for the words to the version of Boy and the Mantle (Child #29) that I sang. The one in the Digital Tradition is the long version from Percy. I played with it quite a bit to get a singable version, most of the word editing was from Allan Taylor. I did not like his tune, so I asked Dick Greenhaus to give some tunes it would sing to and selected one. Here is my version:


IN the third month of the year, to Carlisle did come                        
A gentle and a courteous child, that knew much wisdom
God speed thee, King Arthur, sitting at thy meat
And the goodly Queen Guenever, I cannot her forget.

I have with me a mantle no lady can resist
But it shall ne’er become that wife that once has done amiss
But if she be unfaithful, in tatters it shall fall
And if she be honest, she will brighten any hall

And first there came Queen Guenever, for she should lead the way
But if she was surely in great doubt, she did not say
And then she took the mantle as if she had been a maid:
Suddenly from the top to the toe it loosely fell in shreds.

And then it colored brightest red, and then it colored green
And then it colored darkest black, so ill did her beseem
And then upspoke King Arthur, and angrier he grew
By all the knights in this court, I think thou be not true

She threw down the mantle, for all the court to see;
And blushed as red as roses, and to her room did flee.
Sir Kay called forth his lady, and bade her to come near;
And said, if thou be guilty, I pray thee hold thee there

So forth came his lady so bold she did appear
And likewise was embarrassed and cried for all to hear
And likewise all the gentle knights who thought their wives most true
Commanded them to try it on and bitterly did rue

Then there came a faded knight, Sir Craddock was his name
And all the knights of Arthur’s court, of him had sport and game
Win this mantle, lady, and it shall all be thine,
If thou ever did amiss, the shame it shall be mine.

When his lady took the mantle his lady cast it her about,
Bow down, good mantle, and shame me not for nought.
For once I did but one amiss, I’ll tell you certainly,
For once I lay in Craddock’s bed before he married me.

When she had made confession, and all her sins she had told;
The mantle stood about her in bright array she stood
So seemly of color, and glittering like gold:
Then all the knights about this court her beauty did behold.
So Craddock stood in glory, his lady proven true
All the knights in Arthur’s court have surely got their due

Printed in Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, vol III
version sung by Allan Taylor to a different tune than I use
Child #29