“Flambeau d'Amour (Torch of Love)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1960 (Peacock)
Keywords: foreignlanguage courting drowning suicide sea storm father lover
Found in: Canada(Newf)

Description

French. A father puts his daughter in a tower to keep her from her lover. She lights a torch to signal him to come to her. He tries but drowns in a storm. She finds his body. She cuts her vein to mix their blood and bring him back to life. She dies.

Notes

The belief that blood not only sustains but *is* life is ancient; the Bible, e.g., says so in Leviticus 17:11, 14. And, of course, in Christian belief, the shedding of Jesus's blood brought life to those otherwise doomed.

There is also the interesting point that to mingle blood is often to make a covenant -- the girl's sacrifice might also be a pledge of fidelity.

Other folk beliefs might also be involved, e.g. the belief that the blood of virgins could cure various diseases, such as leprosy. - RBW

References

  1. Peacock, pp. 671-672, "Flambeau d'Amour" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Pea671