Thomas o Yonderdale is Child ballad number 253; Roud number 3890. Child assessed that this "apocryphal" ballad seemed like a recent fabrication from a pastiche of other ballads.
Lady Maisry had many suitors to choose from. It was Thomas of Yonderdale who "gaind the love o this ladie," but once deprived of her virginity Thomas ceased coming near her bower. One day he passes by and overhears her speaking to the young son she bore by him, reproaching the father's neglect. Thomas is moved to tears, and declares he is come to "comfort" her. She reminds him of his earlier empty promise of marriage, and Thomas avows he will make good on the promise and marry her when he returns from voyage overseas.
Despite her wish for a storm, it is fine weather on Saturday, and he sails off to his destination (England, according to Buchan) where he tarries three months and seduces another maiden. Then Lady Maisry appears in a dream upbraiding his infidelity. He summons his errand boy at night to carry a letter to Lady Maisry. The boy promises to do so even if his legs gave out and he had to crawl in the dark. Thomas instructs that Lady Maisry be dressed in a silk gown and cramasie (crimson cloth) coat, and be given a horse to ride with bells on the tips of its mane, and fine trappings. She thus arrives, and appears as magnificent as the Scottish queen in the eyes of Thomas's would-be-bride (an Englishwoman, according to Buchan). Thomas's boy then explains that the guest is no queen but Thomas's first love, at which the pretender bride despairs that he will never choose herself over this rival, and indeed, when Lady Maisry confronts Thomas about what his intent was, Thomas declares his will to marry Lady Maisry. The jilted bride then asks what is in store for her, and is only offered a ride home in a fine coach. She negotiates to have Thomas cede two-thirds of his land to his brother, and arrange to have her marry the brother. But Thomas refuses to part with his land, and says he has no power to choose a bride for his brother.
Svend Grundtvig felt that this Scottish ballad, despite its suspicious and derivative nature, was probably based on an earlier form analogous to the Scandinavian ballad group represented by Danish Slegfred og Brud "Mistress and Bride" (DgF 255). Other cognates in this group are the Icelandic Elja kvæði (ÍF 48), Faroese Brúnsveins vísa (CCF 119), and the Norwegian Bendik og Videmø.. Francis J. Child makes hint of this parallel in passing, under the chapter for another Scottish ballad, No. 62 Fair Annie .
It may be noted that the Scandinavian ballad group is categorized TSB D 259: "Bride gives up bride-groom so that he may marry mistress".This is not what happens in "Thomas of Yonderdale," though it is what happens in Fair Annie and the Danish Skjøn Anna where the would-be-bride recognizes the mistress Annie/Anna as her long lost sister abducted abroad. Modern scholars however conclude that the Scandinavian ballad of Anna is of later composition, derived from a German original (Die schöne Hannale), and do not assign a TSB number to the Skjøn Anna group.
Billy Blind is an English and Lowland Scottish household spirit, much like a brownie. He appears only in ballads, where he frequently advises the characters. It is possible that the character of Billy Blind is a folk memory of the god Woden or Odin from Germanic mythology, in his "more playful aspect" and is speculated to have been the same character as Blind Harie, the "blind man of the game" in Scotland.
"Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" is the English common name representative of a very large class of European ballads.
Willie's Lady is Child ballad number 6 and Roud #220. The earliest known copy of the ballad is from a recitation transcribed in 1783.
"Young Beichan", also known as "Lord Bateman", "Lord Bakeman", "Lord Baker", "Young Bicham" and "Young Bekie", is a traditional folk ballad categorised as Child ballad 53 and Roud 40. The earliest versions date from the late 18th century, but it is probably older, with clear parallels in ballads and folktales across Europe. The song was popular as a broadside ballad in the nineteenth century, and survived well into the twentieth century in the oral tradition in rural areas of most English speaking parts of the world, particularly in England, Scotland and Appalachia.
"Kemp Owyne" is Child Ballad number 34.
Fair Annie is Child ballad number 62, existing in several variants.
"Lord Thomas and Fair Annet", also known as "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor", is an English folk ballad.
Fause Foodrage is a Scottish murder ballad of the 17th or 18th century. It was first printed by Walter Scott in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802). Scott cited Elizabeth, Lady Wardlaw as the ballad's probable author.
"Clerk Colvill" is Child ballad No. 42, otherwise known as "The Mermaid".
The Bonny Birdy is Child ballad 82.
"Gil Brenton" is Child ballad 5, Roud 22, existing in several variants.
Sweet William's Ghost is an English Ballad and folk song which exists in many lyrical variations and musical arrangements. Early known printings of the song include Allan Ramsay's The Tea-Table Miscellany in 1740 and Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry in 1765. Percy believed that the last two stanzas of the version he published were later additions, but that the details of the story they recounted were original.
Clerk Saunders is Child ballad 69. It exists in several variants.
The Earl of Errol is Child ballad 231, existing in several variants. Sometimes the ballad is called Lady Errol.
Lord Thomas and Lady Margaret or Clerk Tamas (and Fair Annie) (Child ballad # 260; Roud # 109) is a traditional folk song.
The Twa Knights is a traditional Scottish ballad. It was collected by Francis James Child as Child ballad number 268. It is highly possible that the ballad was popularly unknown in Scotland, and only known through print. It has since been given the Roud number of 303.
"Elveskud" or "Elverskud" is the Danish, and most widely used, name for one of the most popular ballads in Scandinavia.
Jean Fleming, Countess of Cassilis (1553/4–1609) was a Scottish noblewoman and courtier at the court of James VI of Scotland, and a survivor of domestic violence.
Marie Stewart, Countess of Mar (1576-1644) was a Scottish courtier. She was the daughter of Esmé Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox, a favourite of James VI of Scotland, and Catherine de Balsac. After her marriage, as was customary in Scotland, she did not change her name, and signed her letters as "Marie Stuart".
Margaret Vinstarr, was a Danish or German courtier in Scotland to Anne of Denmark commemorated by the ballad "The Laird o Logie" for rescuing her imprisoned lover.