Keepers of the garden – Crazy Man Michael, pt. 2

Natalie Merchant “I kept on positing that [folk music] is any music that serves the people and describes the culture” Natalie Merchant on NPR’s American Routes, November 7, 2003 Introduction I wrote in the previous post on “Crazy Man Michael” that there seem to be two prevalent ways of interpreting … → read more

And his mama cries: In the Ghetto

Elvis Presley, 1970 In considering Chris Smither’s song “Every Mother’s Son” in preparation for this week’s first post, I kept being drawn to the contrast between it and Elvis Presley’s blockbuster “In the Ghetto.”  The two songs appeared within three or four years of each other, both being a little … → read more

Diver Boy / Young Edwin in the Lowlands Low / Young Emily

Excerpt from a broadside from Durham, England ca. 1860 – National Library of Scotland Here at Murder Ballad Monday we hope every week to achieve two equally important goals; we strive to curate the best possible musical selection around a chosen song and we try to give you something to think … → read more