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10 posts tagged with ballads. (View popular tags)
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The first country music star

Vernon Dalhart (1881-1948), born Marion Try Slaughter, was the first star of country music. He sold so many records in the early 1920s he owned two Cadillacs. Gather round and have a listen to some of Vernon Dalhart's greatest hits. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Sep 2, 2014 - 8 comments

And it's my plan if some great man, Dies with a broken head, Sirs, With much bewail I does detail, His death before he's dead, Sirs!

You wouldn't think so from its trendy shops and restaurants today, but Seven Dials was once one of the worst slums in London. Intended as a smart residential area when its construction was completed in 1710, this cartwheel of streets between Charing Cross Road and Covent Garden quickly declined to become an over-crowded refuge for the city's thieves. It was here that London's thriving trade in gallows ballads made its home.
A collaboration across more than 100 years, from the jobbing hacks writing ballads and selling them at the foot of the gallows to the historical investigation of the British Library's broadsheet collection by MeFi's own Paul Slade, to modern rock, folk, and blues musicians, and then to your ears. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jan 6, 2013 - 9 comments

It's not a first-rate love song until somebody dies

How do you like your snow white pillow? How do you like your sheet?
And how do you like the fair young bride that's lying in your arms asleep?

What banks, what banks, are those, my love,
that rise so dark and cold?

And every jow that the dead bell gave
Cried: Woe to Barbara Allen. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena on Feb 6, 2010 - 30 comments

Long Form Journalism on Secret London, Murder Ballads, and other topics of interest

What do Cliff Edwards (1928), Lloyd Price (circa 1959), The Rulers (1967), R.L. Burnside (late 1980s/ early 1990s), Grateful Dead (live in 1993), and Nick Cave (live in 1996) have in common? If nothing else, they all sang some variation of the crime of Lee Shelton, also known as Stack O'Lee, Stagolee, Stack-a-Lee , Stackerlee, Stagger Lee and other names, with as many variations in the details of that fateful night. Join MeFite Paul Slade with his journalistic narrations of murder ballads, tales of Secret London (previously), and other works of long-form journalism (which may or may not be ideal for the web, previously). [via mefi projects; more clips and bits inside] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 22, 2009 - 29 comments

Such is life.

On November 11, 1880, Ned Kelly, Australia's most famous bushranger, was hanged at the Melbourne Gaol with the last words "Such is life." And so today, on the anniversary of his death and as his gun is due to go under the hammer, now is an excellent time to look at the history of the man sometime referred to as Australia's answer to Robin Hood. Many more Ned Kelly resources are to be found inside. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 10, 2007 - 12 comments

Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads

Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads Digital images, plus the occasional sound file, for the Bodleian's massive collection. In addition, Samuel Pepys was an enormously important collector, and the Early Modern Center at UCSB has digitized his collection--again, with some sound files. See also the Francis J. Child Ballads, taken from Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. (For previous MeFi sojourns in the wonderful world of ballads, see here, here, and here.)
posted by thomas j wise on Apr 14, 2006 - 8 comments

In the pines, in the pines....

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection from the University of Arkansas. "John Quincy Wolf began collecting Ozark ballads while an undergraduate at Arkansas (now Lyon) college. His first serious professional interest in Ozark folksongs dates from his attendance at the Old Settler's folk music festival at Blanchard Springs in 1941. He and his wife Bess began to seek out folksingers in the White River and surrounding areas, often placing advertisements in local newspapers for people who knew 'old songs'. Wolf recorded hundreds of Ozark folksingers between 1952 and 1963, including Almeda Riddle, Neal Morris, Oscar and Ollie Gilbert, and Jimmy Driftwood. [...] The Wolf Folksong Collection at Lyon College contains hundreds of recordings." Site contains the field recordings of Ozark Folksongs, as well as sections for Memphis Blues, Sacred Harp Singing, and more. The folk song recordings are indexed by song title and singer. Music files play in Windows Media or Real.
posted by jokeefe on Jun 7, 2005 - 10 comments

Oh you're absolutely fine ...

I LOVE YOU I WANNA LOVE YOU TENDER. You could be my only sweet surrender. I would never bring you any kind of sorrow. (38 Mb QT)
posted by Peter H on Jan 13, 2005 - 23 comments

Casey Jones, Stagolee, Frankie and Johnny - Murder and Death Ballad Back Stories

My Back Pages--Interesting in his own right Eyolf Østrem still maintains the fan's fan tab, chords and music site, the standard by which all others are judged. I just revisited it the other night, while trying to recall how that little run in Dylan's version of Delia went, and dang, if it didn't have the back story of that ballad. I love this kind of stuff. The source of that account, John Garst, is the folklorist king of such research--he puts John Henry at a railroad tunnel near Leeds, Alabama, just east of Birmingham on September 20, 1887, for example. Murder and heroic death ballad back stories are of extreme interest to me, so I decided to post a few more here: Frankie and Albert, Frankie and Johnny, Casey Jones and Stagger Lee. Did I say I love this kind of stuff?
posted by y2karl on Sep 23, 2004 - 10 comments

Bawdy ballads of saints, sinners, cutpurses and sundry other folk

The Saint Turned Sinner, or the Dissenting Parson's Text Under the Quaker's Petticoats - the bawdy tale of "A Gospel Cushion thumper, who dearly loved a Bumper," from Blackletter Ballads, a small but fine collection of ballads with themes ranging from cutpurses to kings, all gleaned from 17th century broadsheets.
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 4, 2003 - 4 comments

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