Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight / False Sir John / May Colvin / The Outlandish Knight

This is the first post concerning the ballad Child 4.  See also Part 2. Introduction I love this image; it’s so evocative!  What secret does this young gentle lady want her pretty parrot to keep? Well, you know the title of this blog – so it’s not hard to guess. … → 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