Albert B. Lord, The Singer of Tales
Introduction to the Second Edition
Part I. The Theory
1. Introduction 2. Singers: Performance and Training 3. The Formula 4. The Theme 5. Songs and the Song 6. Writing and Oral Tradition Part II. The Application
7. Homer 8. The Odyssey 9. The Iliad 10. Some Notes on Medieval Epic Appendix I Appendix II Appendix III Appendix IV Appendix V Appendix VI
Appendix IV. Return-Rescue Songs
A. Parry 1921 and 1940, by Murat Žunić in Bihać
B. Parry 6431, by Mujo Velić in Bihać
C. Parry 897, by Hajdar Habul in Gacko
D. Parry 923, by Suljo Tunović in Gacko
E. Parry 275a, by Hajdar Đozo of Bare
Theme One: Shouting in Prison
Place is Zadar. Prisoner, Zaim Alajbey of Glasinac, is shouting. Had gone to window in morning, asked sun if it was shining on Glasinac, his mother, and his wife, or was his house in ruins, his mother dead, and his wife returned to her family? Ban hears and goes to jail. Zaim does not rise to meet him. When asked, explains his faith will not allow. Has been there seven years. Asks either to be released for ransom or to be killed.
Place is Zadar. Thirty prisoners are shouting, especially Bunić Mujo. Dizdarević Meho tells him to be quiet. He has been in prison twelve years and has not cried. Mujo says he would cry if he had wife and child at home. Meho says he has house, mother, little sister eight years old, serfs, horse. His sister ready to marry, but he still won't cry. Ban hears conversation, goes to jail. All prisoners rise to greet him except Meho. Ban asks prisoners why they are shouting. They say they are homesick and ask to be released. Meho says nothing.
Place is Janok. Two prisoners, Buničević Mujo, Dizdarević Meho. Mujo tells Dizdarević how he went raiding on border, captured daughter of Ban of Janok. (Blank record) Ban asks Meho why he did not rise to greet him. Meho describes prison. Has been there three years. Ban says he will execute him. Meho says he has nothing to be sorry about.
(Beginning missing) Bunić Alibey and Đulić Nuhan are brought before the ban. Ban asks Bunić why he is shouting. Bunić has been there twelve years. Asks either to be released or to be killed.
Two prisoners in Požun, Alijić Alija and Velagić Ibrahim. They talk of how they were captured, what they are most sorry about. Alija tells how he had just  brought home a bride when his sister announced they were being attacked. Alija joined in defense, was captured, but horse went home. Has been in prison seven years. Is most sorry about bride. Shouts three days. Disturbs banica and two sons. Banica goes to ban, complains. If he will not release prisoner or execute him, she will go home and leave children. Ban goes to jail. Alija asks to be released or to be killed. Ban refuses, asks what is wrong: Alija describes prison.
Theme Two: Bargaining for Terms
Ban says that Zaim has tried to capture his daughter Ruža and has been taken prisoner, but he will release him for one hundred ducats, horse, clothes given him by sultan, hostage, and bird that he had given to sultan. Zaim would agree to all except last two, which are with sultan. Ban will not release. Zaim warns him to look out for Ruža. Ban says he will gather his bones and throw them into sea.
Ban says he will release all thirty except Meho. In a week he will roast him alive, wrap his ashes in paper and send them to Mustajbey.
Ban asks Mujo if he will give one thousand ducats. Mujo agrees and is released.
Ban requires one thousand ducats, his best suit of clothes, sword that sultan had given him, horse, and sister. Bunić would give all but sister. Ban puts him back into lower dungeon, but releases Đulić without ransom.
Ban requires fifty serfs, seed, oxen, mills for cloth, mills for grain, one thousand ducats, horse with trappings, and wife. Alija refuses to give wife. Ban will execute Alija and take bones, etc.
Theme Three: Message Home
Zaim writes letter. Has paper in pocket. Writes in blood with little finger to mother to sell everything; writes to wife to take horse and remarry.
Meho asks Mujo to go to his house and tell his mother to sell their goods, including horse; his sister to marry a mighty hero to avenge her brother even in ninth year; then go to Kozličić Nura (bride), tell her to marry again. Tell mother to go to Mustajbey, scold him for not rescuing him. Mazul Alibey will be there; scold him. When Mazul had been in prison in Malta for twelve years, Mustajbey had sent men to find him. They had disappeared. Mazul's mother had come to Meho asking him to find son. He went to seacoast, searched for  year, went to Ćorfez, asked ship captain about Mazul. Captain said he was in Malta. Мeho got money from Mazul's mother for passage. While she was getting money, he went to visit his own mother and sister. After week, went to Vrljika. Mazul's mother gave him money. He went to captain, who took him to Malta. Meho came upon woman with three-year-old son. Meho gave boy golden apple. Mother invited him to their tavern in tower of King of Malta. She was queen. Meho was disguised as general. King, queen, child came. Child ran to Meho. Queen asked him if he would cut child's hair. Meho said he was son of King of Ćorfez, in service of emperor in Vienna for seven years. He had come in search of a wife. They told him there were many girls at church. They would help him find one. Next morning they went to church. He stayed in Malta a month looking for Mazul. Again he found sea captain, who told him that king would go to sea with army for a month. He should abduct child. Captain would give them passage. Meho abducted child. Wrote king for exchange of prisoners, which was carried out (full treatment). When Mazulbey left King of Malta, he repented having killed king's two brothers. Mazul's mother reimbursed Mazul for money spent and gave gifts.
Meho asks Mujo to take message to blood brother Tanković Osman, not to expect him again. Then to go to his mother, tell her of execution. Tell sister to marry. Then go to Lika to scold Mustajbey for not rescuing Meho, Mujo, and Halil.
Bunić gives message to Đulić. Tell mother not to wait for son, but to sell goods. Wife to marry again and take horse. Sister to marry a mighty hero.
Alija asks ban by life of two sons to allow him to send letter home. Alija dictates, ban writes. Alija tells mother where he is in prison and of coming execution. Advises her to divide his things among friends (list given), sell horse and give money to bride and send her home, build mosque for him with school.
Theme Four: Journey of Messenger
Zaim finds messenger, who comes to grating of prison and agrees to take letter. Mother will reward him. Messenger goes home, puts on walking clothes, goes to Glasinac to tower of Zaim.
After Meho's story, Mujo leaves prison, is given money and pass by ban. With stick in hand, goes to Mount Velibit, to tower of Tanković Osman.
Mujo goes to barber; gets shave and manicure. Then to tavern; eats and drinks. Says good-by to friends and crosses mountains. 
Đulić departs. When he comes to a place above Bunić, he looks at town and recognizes Bunić's tower. He proceeds to it.
Alija finds messenger, who goes to tower.
Theme Five: Arrival of Message
Message delivered to mother and wife of Zaim. Wife puts on men's clothes, prepares horse, rides to Stambol. Puts up at han and tells keeper she is Osmanpasha of Travnik and seeks school of Sultan Sulejman, where she has blood brother, Mehmedbey of Bosnia. Keeper, Omer, goes to school, gets Meho. Wife asks how she can see sultan. They prepare petition. Sometime later Meho and schoolmaster, Talib, take her to sultan with directions how to proceed in audience. She reveals identity to sultan, tells story, gives him Zaim's letter. Sultan sends her home, says he will seek Zaim. Instructs Ahmedpasha to raise army and to go to Bosnia to Mustajbey, to bring back Ban of Janok dead or alive or lose his own head. (In Parry 1940 the message is given in full.)
Mujo delivers message to Tanković Osman, Meho's mother and sister, and betrothed, and to Mustajbey, Mujo, Halil, and Mazulalibey. He tells women that he and the other heroes will rescue Meho. He recounts again to Mazul much of the long story given before. They all agree to gather forces and go to Zadar. They gather them. Mustajbey prepares to lead them.
Mujo gives messages to Tanković Osman, Meho's mother and sister, and finally to Mustajbey, Mujo and Halil, who decide to go to Meho's execution. Mustajbey gathers the Border. While they are waiting for men to arrive, Mujo's brother Ibro joins him. Last to arrive is Tale. Bunitević Mujo is lacking a horse; Mustajbey sends Đulić to get Meho's horse. Meho's sister promises to marry him if he will put Meho on the horse.
In courtyard Đulić sees woman grooming horse. He knocks. Woman goes into house to get rifle, but opens when she hears it is Đulić, who tells her message from Alija. Wife refuses to marry again, but will care for mother. Mustajbey arrives. Đulić scolds wife for having him as lover, but is told he is really courting Alija's sister. Đulić goes to bey and arranges marriage. Guests arrive and bring bride to bey. In marriage chamber girl reminds Mustajbey of promise of rescuing brother before marriage consummation. He leaves that night. He sets out for Zadar, where he is recognized, captured, and put in prison. When word of this reaches Alija's sister, she gives orders to have Alija's horse prepared. She dresses as a man and sets out for Zadar. 
Wife reads letter to mother and sends servant Huso to tavern to give letter to Mustajbey, who says he cannot save Alija. Požun is too strong a citadel. Huso reports to wife. She then sends him to their father with the letter. He refuses to help, and even curses and threatens. Huso reports. She tells him to disguise the horse. She disguises herself, says farewell to mother, mounts, departs. Mustajbey and aghas watch. She and horse are frightened on Mount Jadika. Journey described. At first guardpost she is questioned for passport. She says she is from Vienna, sister's son of Ban of Požun, sent to attend execution. Guard gives her pass for the other twenty-nine posts. She arrives at city gate.
Theme Six: Rescue
Wife goes to Glasinac, but en route decides not to stop. Continues to Cetina to tower of Mahmutagha. Mahmut sees her, has her called in. He asks if she is Bey Ljubović. She does not lie, but says she is his sister and wife of Zaim. She tells him her story. He tries to dissuade her, saying sultan will be angry and he will send his men to rescue Zaim. She persists and asks for disguise. She dresses and mounts. Mahmut gives route. At Zadar's gate she sees boy crying, cursing ban, and mentioning Mustajbey. He explains his name is Vojvodić Nikola. Was servant of ban. Ban gave daughter Ruža to Mate of Ćorfez. Nikola wanted to dance at wedding then in progress, but ban drove him away. Wants to complain to Mustajbey. Wife says if he will take her to ban, she will plead his cause. She pretends to be from Vienna and tells ban she will report him to emperor. Ban asks her to join dance and instructs daughter to take her to her room. Ruža does. Ruža reports to father that wife instructs him to settle well with Nikola. Ruža explains to wife that she is being married to an old man she doesn't like, but she is in love with prisoner, Zaim. Ban had discovered she was visiting him and had taken keys from her. Wife instructs Ruža to tell father to take Zaim and give him food and drink, because emperor had not ordained such treatment of prisoners. She will take Zaim to Vienna. At night Ruža tries to buy Zaim from wife and to take both of them from Zadar. Ruža gets Zaim, who is puzzled by wife. Wife goes to ban, who is asleep, kills him. Puts his head under her cloak, so daughter will not see. When she returns, Ruža and Zaim have fled, but she joins them in courtyard. Next morning banica discovers headless husband and calls son. No pursuit. As Zaim and others are crossing plain, Nikola joins them. On mountain they meet sons of Mahmutagha and later the army from Stambol with Mustajbey. Mustajbey asks Zaim who freed him, but he does not know. Wife declares her identity and gives sword to Zaim. She gives head to pasha. They all return home. Zaim remarries wife and also marries Ruža, who becomes Moslem. Zaim builds tower and gives land to Nikola. All get praise and gifts from sultan. (In Parry 1940 told more fully. Ban gave daughter to Captain Peter.)
At Rudina, Maljković Stipan, Mazul, and others, including Uskok Radovan, volunteer to go in disguise to Zadar. Radovan suggests they tell the sentinel at  gate they are from Vienna, to find out from ban if he needs help against the Turks. On the way, guns of Zadar boom. They ask an old man watching sheep why. He tells them of coming execution and that many soldiers will be present. At gate Radovan's ruse is successful. They are welcomed by ban. Next day, prisoners are brought out for execution. Meho recognizes friends in disguise. Two others are condemned with Meho, according to priest's books; remaining twenty-eight prisoners are to be set free. Meho tells ban his actions against Christian garrisons. Ban strikes him and battle is started by Maljković Stipan, who kills ban. While fight in courtyard is going on, Mustajbey enters and tries to stop it, but just then the armies outside begin to pursue his army. There is a big battle. Turks are victorious. They go back to Zadar for prisoners, whom they outfit with clothes, arms, and horses, captured in Zadar, and with money. All return home.
Forces set out. When they draw near, heroes volunteer for rescue, including Buničević Mujo, Ibro, Halil, Đulić, and others. When Meho appears by church, he sings about Halil. Buničević Mujo and brother appear before ban just as Meho weeps and explains to ban that he hears neighing of his horse. Ban kills horse from under Ibro and asks Mujo if he has brought ransom. Mujo says he has not, rides up and releases Meho. Fight begins. Turks rescue Meho and capture ban.
Sister goes to tavern of Pava for night. She is seen out walking by ban's daughter, who falls in love with her and sends for her. Pava takes her to castle. Sister declares identity, asks help. Girl suggests stealing ban's son, whom she will give to her. This is done. Banica misses child. Scolds ban, who has Alija brought before him. Tells him to send letter to sister asking what she wants in return for child. She asks for Alija. Ban brings Alija out of jail, cleans him up and feeds him. Alija demands money, clothes, Mustajbey, Ana, and golden table. Alija returns with booty. Child is brought to border and returned to ban.
Wife goes to tavern, hears cannon. Keeper tells of pending execution; suggests Ana, ban's daughter, could find wife for him in kolo of girls. Wife goes to courtyard to watch kolo. When Ana sees wife, she runs into house, calls slave Kumrija to bring wife in. Finally wife reveals her identity to Ana and tells her purpose. Ana will help if wife will take her to Turkey. She is in love with Ibro of Rudin. Wife agrees. Wife is instructed to wait for procession to church, to cut Alija's bonds, put him on horse, and come to her coach, where she will have clothes for her. Alija will then rescue them both. In procession prisoner is described. He recognizes his horse, but not the rider. Before execution, Alija sings of coming battle. Wife releases him, puts him on horse, goes to coach. Turks under Tale and Mustajbey attack. Tale is described. Turks are victorious. All return home.