Tam Lin Balladry

A website of folklore and discovery.

Tam Lin Marriage Equality Filks

Why Marriage Equality?

The following information and versions of Tam Lin were used for the site's front page during the week of October 12th, 2003.

Why Tam-Lin.org is taking a stance on the issue of Marriage Equality and Marriage Protection

On October 12th 1998, a young man named Matthew Shepard died as the result of a hate crime. He was killed for being gay. This was an act of human hatred and intolerance.

October 12th 2003 marks the begininng of the Bush administration's "Marriage Protection Week". The Bush administration has clearly spoken out against the calls for the right to gay marriage. Their choice of this date to mark their campaign for the protection of their value set is no coincidence. This is also an act of intolerance.

We have to hold on to each other to make it through life. The woods are dark and frightening, and there are terrible powers out there. Sometimes those in charge will sacrifice the weakest among us, or the ones who are different, and say it is for the common good. Sometimes the person you love is not the person your family or your friends want you to love. Sometimes you find love in places you didn't expect, with someone you did not expect.

If you find you are more yourself after a transformation or two, or if you find that the person you love is more than what they look like on the outside, and if you find that what you want most is to hold on to someone else no matter what curses the society around you throws at you as a result, this website will understand.

The bedrock of human civilization is not heterosexual marriage; it is humans behaving in a civilized manner. We need to treat each other with respect. We need children to grow up in a world where they understand tolerance and compassion, where they can love as they choose to love without condemnation, and where the defining aspect of a family is the commitment to every member of that family, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

The issue raised by the second version of Tam Lin, that of immigration and sexual orientation, is also serious. As noted by the author of the piece, the INS treats same-sex binational couples quite differently than it does those of different genders. We hope thatincluding this filk on the website will help raise awareness of this issue.

If you or someone you know is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, please take time this week to mark the progress that has been made and the distance we still have to travel.

The versions of Tam Lin used on the website front page for anti-marriage protection week were as follows:

The True Form

By Tam NonLinear

  1. The last thing that they turned him to
    was to a woman's shape.
    She held him fast and held on tight
    he was her worldly mate.
  2. Janet threw her mantle over her
    crying "Oh Tam Lin!
    The shape you have is a surprise
    but you are the same within."
  3. The Queen of faeries, she spoke up
    and condemning was her tone
    "You are a woman, and so a man
    is all you can take home."
  4. "You are a woman and may not love
    one who is same as you
    To love one who is of your own sex
    is a forbidden thing to do."
  5. Janet shook her head and cried
    "My love I have won free
    and be she woman or be he man
    she is the same to me."
  6. "I have faced the trial you set
    and I have risked my life
    to win free the one I love
    and she shall be my wife."

The Rocky Road of Tam Lin

(to the tune of The Rocky Road to Dublin)

written by Tony Delgado. Presented with permission.

  • In the merry month of May
    Janet went a touring
    Through a wide array
    Of foreign parts alluring.
    Left Los Angeles,
    Drank in bars Sicilian
    Wandered through the trees
    Of rain forests Brazilian.
    Traveled o'er the earth,
    Spent some time in Perth,
    Got to Solway Firth
    By plane and boat and cam'l an'
    Then she met a smart
    Lass who stole her heart.
    That was just the start
    On the rocky road of Tam Lin.
  • Chorus:
    One, two, three, four, five.
    Fight for love and freedom
    Down the rocky road
    And all the way to Tam Lin,
  • There in Carterhaugh,
    Tam Lin sold her flowers
    (Plus she studied law
    In her extra hours.)
    Janet picked a rose,
    Found it rather thorny.
    "Why do you suppose
    A girl has made me horny?
    Up till now I've thought:
    'Lesbian, I'm not!'
    Still, I'm getting hot
    From this sexy mamm'l." An'
    Tam Lin too was fond
    Of the Yankee blonde.
    Soon a flame was spawned
    On the rocky road of Tam Lin.
  • Quite a pair were they,
    Deep in love. However,
    Janet couldn't stay
    With Tam Lin forever.
    Flying 'cross the foam,
    Janet started weepin'.
    In her LA home,
    Tears she couldn't keep in.
    Tam was far away,
    Much to her dismay,
    Standing in her way:
    Rats like those from Ham'lin.
    'Twas the INS
    Who, as you can guess,
    Added lots of stress
    To the rocky road of Tam Lin.
  • Head of visas there,
    Lady named Regina,
    Said, "A legal pair
    Has but one vagina.
    So your entry form
    Always will be pending.
    Learn to meet the norm;
    Marriage I'm defending."
    Tam got really pissed,
    'Cause her love she missed,
    Vainly tried to twist,
    The rules and laws a-tramm'lin'.
    Since their love was banned,
    Janet left her land,
    Took her lady's hand
    On the rocky road to Tam Lin.


Added to site 2003