While the Whole World Sings

“Like there’s nothing going wrong” I first heard Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “The Body Electric” through a National Public Radio article by Ann Powers last month: “The Political Folk Song of the Year.”  I appear to be rather late to the game on this song. If you’ve spent any … → read more

Delia’s Gone – A Digital Compendium, 1993 – Present

Note: This is Part 2 of a two part series on “Delia’s Gone” –  See also Part 1 Introduction Today’s post isn’t about Johnny Cash’s song “The Beast in Me“, but it is all about restraint, and lack thereof.  After all, when a man sings about tying a woman to … → read more

Little Sadie – Old Time, Bluegrass, and Beyond

Clarence "Tom" Ashley - ca. early 1960's

Note: This is Part 3 of a three part series on “Little Sadie” – See also Part 1 and Part 2 Introduction I went out one night for to make a little round I met Little Sadie and I shot her down Went back home, got into bed Forty-four smokeless … → read more

Making arrangements

The D.K. Wilgus article I mentioned in my first post this week divides the American versions of what it refers to as the “Rose Connoley” ballad into two forms.  The first is what Wilgus calls the “Come-all-ye” form, which normally includes about 12 stanzas, the first beginning with that phrase, … → read more

Firm Foundations

“Omie Wise” has been with us a long time, and been “folk processed” in a number of different directions.  That it is still with us is evidence of its power to move and affect the singer and the listener.  That there are quite a few professional recordings of it by … → read more