Border Ballads: Bruce Springsteen as Corridista

Border ballads

Ghosts, Orchards, and Borders Last November, in a post about Bruce Springsteen’s “Highway Patrolman,” I wrote of Nebraska’s palliative effects. I listened to that album without moderation during a hard time in high school. Years later, I listened to another Springsteen album during another hard time. It wasn’t vinyl, as … → read more

Dan Dutton, Part 1 – “The Sweet Music of the Chase”

Somerset is in the Knobs of Kentucky, and if you live among those hills you know that the red clay you can find thereabouts is perfect for spurring a child’s imagination.  One of Somerset’s native sons, who grew up making things from that earth, is artist and musician Dan Dutton. … → read more

A Cage of Beaten Gold – “False Sir John”

Golden Cage 4 - acrylics on canvas. 2008 by Fareha Zeba

This is the second post concerning the ballad Child 4.  See also Part 1. Introduction In my first post this week, I looked briefly at the history of the ballad Francis Child cataloged as his #4, known by many names; “Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight”, “False Sir John”, “May … → read more

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

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