World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Rose the Red and White Lily

Article Id: WHEBN0005539332
Reproduction Date:

Title: Rose the Red and White Lily  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Willie and Earl Richard's Daughter, Guy of Gisbourne, Child Ballads, Maid Marian, Gilbert Whitehand
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rose the Red and White Lily

"Rose the Red and White Lily" is Child ballad number 103.[1] (Roud 3335)[2]


Rose the Red and White Lily had lost their mother, and their father had remarried an evil stepmother. They had two stepbrothers who fell in love with them, and their stepmother sent them away. When they asked her to treat their loves as well as she treated them, she vowed they would never see them again.

They ran away and dressed as men. Rose the Red went to court to find Bold Arthur. White Lily went to the greenwood in search of her love Brown Robin—or in some variants Robin Hood -- she found him, and became pregnant. When she went into labor, she asked him to blow the horn to summon her brother. Jealous, he refuses. She blows it, Rose the Red comes, and Brown Robin fights her until she is wounded and admits to being a woman.

The news that one of Brown Robin's men has given birth spread to the court, and the king and Bold Arthur, Rose the Red's love, came to see. They found White Lily, Rose the Red, and Brown Robin. The king insisted on a double wedding, and Rose the Red commented on what their stepmother's reaction would have been, if only she could see.


The birth in the wood is a common ballad motif, being found in Willie and Earl Richard's Daughter, Willie o Douglas Dale, and Leesome Brand.[3]

In one variant, this ballad introduces Robin Hood; the sisters both go to the wood and end up marrying Robin Hood and Little John. This is not part of the Robin Hood cycle and appears to stem from the hero's name being Brown Robin, suggesting a connection.[3]


  1. ^ Francis James Child, English and Scottish Popular Ballads, "Rose the Red and White Lily"
  2. ^ "Vaughan Williams Memorial Library - Welcome to the English Folk Dance and Song Society". Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  3. ^ a b Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, volume 2, p 416, Dover Publications, New York, 1965
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.