Pat’s Essential Eleven Traditional Murder Ballads

Introduction We here at Murder Ballad Monday are soon fixing to close our second year of writing about our topic of choice!  Don’t worry; we have a few more weeks to go before we get to our holiday hiatus, and we’re planning a Year Three.  But I’ve been reflecting on … → read more

“Them coats that hang on the mountain…”

“Whatever happened to the good old days when kids was scared to death of their parents?” – Archie Bunker For the fourth time this week we embark on an exploration of the ballad “Young Emily” – Laws M34 or Roud #182 – and in Appalachia today we’ll finish our trek.  We introduced … → read more

I ain’t gonna be treated this way… “Rain and Snow,” Part 2

As we found out in the introductory post this week, “Cold Rain and Snow”, which most folks know as a staple in the Grateful Dead’s repertoire, is an American ballad written by an unknown author after a man murdered his wife in Madison County, North Carolina a decade or two … → read more

Cold Rain and Snow – Introduction

I first heard our subject ballad for the week from the same source I’m sure the majority of people who know it today did – the Grateful Dead.  It had been part of their repertoire since their start in 1965, and by the time I was going to Dead shows … → read more

God Make You Safe and Free

Romeo and Juliet – Sir Frank Dicksee, 1884 Note: This is Part 3 of a three part series.  See also Part 1 and Part 2. Introduction What is it about this week’s song, “Matty Groves”, that attracts us so?  (If you’re not familiar with the ballad, check out the introductory post … → read more