Prince Heathen

Songfacts®:

  • "Prince Heathen" is Child Ballad 104 and number 3336 in the Roud Index; modern recordings include 1969 by Martin Carthy, but it is much older than that. As with most anonymous and ancient songs, there is no standard version but in his 2015 book Love Songs: The Hidden History Ted Gioia says of the villain of the piece he "holds a young woman captive, rapes her and forces her to bear his child."

    In one variant he tells her:

    I killed your father in his bed
    And your gay mother by his side
    And your seven brothers, ane and ane
    And they were seven pretty men


    Then he declares his love for her! Dude, you're doing it wrong. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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