Tag Archives: Cecil Sharp

Of farmers and fishermen

I wrote last time of John Barleycorn and have been thinking since of double meanings in folk songs. These are not usually terribly deep or terribly hidden – a typical example is the old equation of human and earthly fertility, … Continue reading

Posted in Allegory, folk music, folk song, Maclaine Colston, Music, Saul Rose | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

bread, beer and blood

It’s summertime, in my hemisphere anyhow, and oats and beans and barley grow and thus today’s song is John Barleycorn. This is as bloody a tale of murder as any border ballad. Little Sir John is brutally slain, dragged around, … Continue reading

Posted in Billy Bragg, folk music, folk song, Imagined Village, John Barleycorn, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

True true love. But no happy ending.

I was a bit scathing about true love in my last post. So to redress the balance I’m going to quote, in full, my all time favourite ballad. It’s The Unquiet Grave (Child Ballad no. 78; Oxford Book of Ballads … Continue reading

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