Category Archives: folk music

Love in folk songs

I’ve been listening to Nic Jones (great man; his set at Towersey a few years ago is one of the highlights of my musical experience) and, well, after an evening in the company of Annachie Gordon and a Bonny Light … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, folk music, folk song, love, Music, Nic Jones, verse | 1 Comment

Songs behind stories

This started out as a blog about folk songs. It’s evolved since then into a more general blog about books and writing, but the songs are still there in the background to my work. The inspiration they provide is nothing … Continue reading

Posted in After the Ruin, Child Ballad, fantasy novel, folk music, folk song, The Crooked Path, thoughts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

An encounter with Captain Wedderburn

Yesterday I visited Rosslyn Chapel. It wasn’t raining, I wanted to get out of the city for a couple of hours and the chapel does, of course, have some of the finest and most characterful mediaeval stone carvings in Scotland, … Continue reading

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Comfort listening: five songs

This started off as a blog about folk songs. I haven’t talked about them much recently but they are there still as the backdrop to my writing and so, to give you something of their flavour, here’s a post about five of the Child … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, folk music, folk song, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Short Story: Usher’s Well

She waits by the window. Behind her, the kitchen clock beats out the time. Seconds slip away into minutes; minutes pile up into hours. Strangers’ voices fill the room: the pips, the news, The Archers, drama, more news. She listens. … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, death, folk music, folk song, Harriet Goodchild author, Karine Polwart, Music, short story | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Selkies

It’s been a while since I posted on a folksong but I’ve had one going around in my mind for a fair time. It’s Child Ballad no. 113, The Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie. The version in my music collection … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, folk music, folk song, Kidnapped, Nineteenth century fiction, Robert Louis Stevenson, Scotland | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Night visiting

Well, it’s autumn, the evenings are darkening, the clocks are about to go back and Hallowe’en is approaching. Time to think about ghost stories. One of the most poignant I know is the Wife of Usher’s Well (Child Ballad no. … Continue reading

Posted in Allegory, Child Ballad, death, folk music, folk song, Karine Polwart, love, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The tender side of a monster

History in song again. I think Henry VIII a monstrous figure, even within the context of his time. He set no limit on himself, and others suffered for it. Nevertheless there is a very tender portrayal of him in Child … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, death, folk music, folk song, Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, love, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lady Glencora and Lord Bateman

I’m going to follow up my post on Kidnapped with another one exploring a folk song reference in a nineteenth century novel. This time the book is Anthony Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her? and the song is Lord Bateman (sometimes … Continue reading

Posted in Anthony Trollope, Child Ballad, Chris Wood, folk music, love, Nineteenth century fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blood in the borders

Very short post this one: a reminder that the United Kingdom hasn’t always been so, and may not be so again. History’s a bloody, messy thing and today’s a day to remember that. It’s the 499th anniversary of the battle of … Continue reading

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