Tag Archives: love

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

Old tales, retold

Where do stories come from? Who knows, is the only answer; from somewhere deep inside us as we try to make sense of our place within the world. However, once they exist they get retold, over and over, and reformed … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, death, folk music, folk song, Kathleen Ferrier, love, Malinky | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love – and death – on the highway

Highwaymen ride high in the popular imagination. A higher class of cutpurse and the archetype of the romantic rogue. As the type specimen I offer you Alfred Noyes’ The Highwayman (1906)*. There’s a fair few ballads about highwaymen (Salisbury Plain and Newry Town … Continue reading

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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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