Tag Archives: Martin Carthy

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

Knights, and their impossible demands

More upon knights in this post (for some reason, my readers like posts about knights and who am I to disappoint them?).  Child Ballad no. 2 is The Elfin Knight. It has a certain overlap with The Outlandish Knight (Child … Continue reading

Posted in Allegory, Child Ballad, Dr Faustus, folk music, folk song, Imagined Village, knights, love | 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

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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