Tag Archives: folk song

The Crooked Path, winding its way into the world

The Crooked Path is published today! Stories link together. What is done in one time and place spreads out across the world to shape the future: there is never a single beginning, never a simple end. But, since this tale … Continue reading

Posted in Allegory, fantasy novel, Hadley Rille Books, Harriet Goodchild author, novel, The Crooked Path | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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

Bones and silence (an image from a tale not told)

The following is something I wrote ages back. The story I’d had in mind – something very loosely based on Thomas the Rhymer – never properly coalesced and so this fragment is all there is. Maybe I’ll revisit it some day. … Continue reading

Posted in work in progress | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

‘Folk song’ in fantasy (Another post on world-building)

It’s no secret that After the Ruin was largely inspired by folk songs and that the book is a conscious response to many of the themes and motifs found in the Child Ballads. I’ve written about such things here so I won’t … Continue reading

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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

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

A land divided: songs and politics in Kidnapped

More thoughts of Scottish history remembered in song again this time. One of my favourite rainy day books (and today is a very rainy day) is Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886). It’s set in 1751, in the aftermath of … Continue reading

Posted in Appin Murder, Highland politics, Jacobite uprising, Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson, Scotland | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 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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Cross-dressing lovers and faithless sailors

I was at a folk festival a couple of weeks ago and Ioscaid were playing. I hadn’t heard them before but hope I will again very soon. One of the songs in their set seemed familiar enough to start with, … Continue reading

Posted in folk music, folk song, love | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments