Pat’s Essential Eleven Non-Traditional Murder Ballads

Introduction A few weeks back I assembled a list of my ‘essential eleven’ traditional murder ballads.  While we here at Murder Ballad Monday usually delve deeply into one ballad or theme, we saw some possible value in a lighter ‘list-based’ approach from time to time.  Judging from reader response to … → read more

A ruthless man and a dangerous outlaw

Jeffrey Foucault and Mark Erelli This is the second post this week on Norman Blake’s “Billy Gray.”  Read the first here.Outlaw RhetoricThat I haven’t read Aristotle‘s Poetics yet is a gap in my education.  I’ll need to get right on that, as it would doubtless help me here.  I know something … → read more

One little kiss, and Faleena goodbye

Bob Weir [This is the fourth post this week on Marty Robbins’s “El Paso.”  You can find the first one here, the second here, and the third here.]I’ve found over the course of doing my weeks at the blog that my interaction with a song usually takes one of two … → read more

Life is no more, but we’re together

[This is the third post this week on Marty Robbins’s “El Paso.”  Read the first here, and the second here.] In today’s post, let’s give a listen to some of the Western material that Robbins created both at the time of “El Paso’s” initial release and after its enormous success … → read more

My love was deep for this Mexican maiden

Laurette Luez  [This is the second post on the song “El Paso.”  Read the first one here.]Crossing BordersIn his essay on “El Paso” in The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad,” music critic and political scientist James Miller describes the origin of “El Paso.” … → read more