Stagolee: A Digital Compendium – “Stagolee, he’s still alive…” The 21st Century, Part 1

This is Chapter 5 of Stagolee: A Digital Compendium.   See also Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 4. Introduction The original idea for this post was to look at Stagolee in the 21st century, to see what’s happened to this ballad in our new age.  Sounds easy enough, right?  We’ve … → read more

Some are carpenters’ wives

[This is the third post on Child ballad 243, “The Demon Lover” or “House Carpenter.”  Read the first one here, and the second one here.] “James Harris,” the demon figure in Child 243, does not represent just any potential lover leading the carpenter’s wife away, but a lover from her … → read more

Frankie and Albert

The Frankie and Johnny mural in the House Lounge at the Missouri State Capitol “Frankie and Johnny” or “Frankie and Albert” is the most popular and commercially successful murder ballad.  I can’t think of a song that really comes remotely close.  “Frankie,” “Frankie and Albert,” “Frankie and Johnny,” and a … → read more

Bow and Balance to Me

Ok, let’s bring this one on home. In the introductory post for the week, we learned that Child 10, the ballad commonly known as “Two Sisters“, is in fact quite old, with Scandinavian roots stretching back perhaps a thousand years.  We saw great diversity among the versions we listened to, … → read more

I’ll be true unto my love…

When I was linking the lyrics for Clannad’s version of “Two Sisters” for this week’s main post, I was stumped when I saw the refrain on several sites listed as “the boys are born for me”.  I’d always heard it as “the boys are bound for me”.  So I asked … → read more