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Lady Diamond is Child ballad 269, existing in several variants.[1]


A great king has a daughter (Lady Diamond, Daisy, Dysmal, or Dysie), who falls in love with his kitchen boy. She becomes pregnant. Her father demands to know the boy, and she tells him. He has the kitchen boy secretly murdered, but then, in most variants, brings his heart to his daughter. She dies. In most variants, the king laments the deaths.


The story is derived from that of Ghismonda and Guiscardo from The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio.[2]

Steeleye Span recorded a version on their 1986 album Back in Line.

The 2011 debut album by Bryony Griffith & Will Hampson of The Demon Barbers is entitled Lady Diamond and features a recording of the ballad.

A corresponding Scandinavian ballad (TSB D 390) exists in Danish ("Hertug Frydenborg", DgF 305), Swedish ("Hertig Fröjdenborg och fröken Adelin", SMB 172),[3] and (fragmentary) Norwegian ("Frydenborg og Adelin") variants.[4]


  1. ^ Francis James Child, English and Scottish Popular Ballads, "Lady Diamond"
  2. ^ Helen Child Sargent, ed; George Lymn Kittredge, ed English and Scottish Popular Ballads: Cambridge Edition p 583 Houghton Mifflin Company Boston 1904
  3. ^ Child, Francis James (1894). "269. Lady Diamond". The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. pp. 30–31. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  4. ^ "TSB D 390 Frydenborg og Adelin". Norske mellomalderballadar: Riddarballadar 2 (in Norwegian). Nasjonalbiblioteket. 2016. ISBN 978-82-7965-295-3. Retrieved 13 May 2018.