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FDelFabbro - Oh where ha' you been,, Lord Randal, my son
by FDelFabbro - (2019-02-25)
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TITLE: considering the title I think the ballad tells about a mother who’s son has returned after a long time of absence

LAYOUT AND STRUCTURE: The poemi is arranged into ten stanzas of four lines each. The first line of each stanza finishes with “Lord Randal, my son” and the second line of each stanza ends with “my handsome young man?” The last two lines of each stanza finish with “mak my bed soon” / “and fain wad lie doon”. The first five stanzas end with “For I’m wearied” and the last six and “For I’m six”.

It’s a dialogue between mother and son in direct speach. All the lines start with a capital letter. The first line is the title of the ballad. The poet uses some archaic words such as fain, wad, doon, gat, d’ye. He use salso some abbreviations and apostrophies: becam/mak.



STANZA 1: The mother asks Lord Randal where he had being. The son answers that he had been at the wood hunting, that he was very tired so he asks his mother to make his bed because he wants to lie doon.

STANZA 2: He answers he met his true love

STANZA 3: The mother asks him what his love gave him and he answers that she gave him fried eels.

STANZA 4: Mother asks what was left. He answers his hawks, his dogs.

STANZA 5: He answers that they died.

STANZA 6: Mother said she feared that he had been poisoned and he answers that he was.

STANZA 7: Mother asks him what he would like to his mother. He answers twenty – four cows.

STANZA 8: His sister: he lefts his gold and silver

STANZA 9: His brother: he lefts his houses and his lands

STANZA 10: His true-love: he lefts her hell and fire because she had poisoned him

The relationship between m other and son is asymmetric. The mother loves him, she’s possesive and his son gives her orders. Thereader can tell from the numerous questions that the mother asks him and tha hasty way he answers that the she adores her son in a possesive way and her son loves her but he is rather disrespectful in his answering.


Lord Randal goes hunting in the wood where he meets his true-love (before he had other delusive relationship). She gives him poisoned - eels fried to eat and he gives the leanings to his dogs. He goes back home feeling very tired and sick. He says to his mother the will. Then he dies.