Murder and Mother Columbia: American Murder Song

"Mr. Tender" (Terrance Zdunich) and "Mr. Storm" (Saar Hendelman) (photo from American Murder Song, source: Facebook)

Murder ballads in sepia We heard from the folks at American Murder Song last month. Their touring production of original murder ballads, set in an mostly imagined early 19th century America, intrigued me enough to want to explore it here. I hoped I might find something provocative to add to … → read more

“He’s dressed himself in silk so rare.”

Tim Eriksen – from his Facebook fan page Our initial post this week took up the first of our two goals; to look more closely at Tim Eriksen‘s work and place it in the context of how we experience murder ballads at their most powerful.  In checking out two new … → read more

The Natural and the Unnatural, Naturally

Study for “There Were Three Maidens Pu’d Flower” by Charles H. Mackie Death Before Dishonor?The themes in “Babylon” pointed me back to reviewing Pat’s excellent series of posts on “Edward,” (Child 13), particularly this one, which is a careful, reluctant, and thorough exploration of the incest theme in that ballad. … → read more

Why dois your brand sae drap wi bluid?

Note: This is Part 3 of a 4 part series – see also Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4 This week’s first post introduced us to the ballad “Edward” in Ireland and America.  My second post this week introduced a version from England and one from Scotland, and mainly … → read more

It’s all about a little holly bush…

Note: This is Part 2 of a 4 part series – see also Part 1, Part 3, and Part 4 We saw in the introductory post for the week that in the murder ballad “Edward“, or Child 13, at least as sung in America and Ireland the murder is sparked … → read more

Edward / What Put the Blood? / The Blood on His Shirt Sleeve

  Cain Leadeth Abel to Death – Chromolithograph book plate, James Tissot, 1904 Note: This is Part 1 of a 4 part series – see also Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 This week we’re back in to the Child Ballads.  It’s been over a month since Ken’s last foray into this territory, so I … → read more