Lady Of Carlisle

Songfacts®:

  • Or "The Lady Of Carlisle," this old English folk song has many names and as might be expected there are many different versions. "The Lion's Den" and "The Fan" are two of its other names. It is possible the song dates from the 17th Century, and may be of French origin, though it remains to be seen if it is based on actual events in 1666.
  • The Lady of Carlisle has two suitors, and the one who will win her hand is the one who will descend into the lion's den and retrieve the fan she has thrown there. One says wisely that he will not kill himself for love. The other accepts the challenge, descends into the lion's den, and, fortune favoring the brave, retrieves the glove, but decides that a woman who will demand that of him would not make a suitable wife.
  • "The Lady Of Carlisle" has been widely recorded, including as the B-side of "Antique Annie's Magic Lantern Show" by Marian Henderson, and by Clay Walters (for Alan Lomax) in 1937. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

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