Danse Macabre (the first installment)

Danse Macabre

Murder ballads made for dancing The Corries’ performance of “The Massacre of Glencoe” on our Facebook page several days ago prompted one reader to comment that older songs like it differed with more recent “hardcore” music in that the tenderness of the music contrasted with the grimness of the story. I … → read more

Dom Flemons: MBMonday Interview, Part Two

This is Part Two of Murder Ballad Monday’s interview with Dom Flemons. Read Part One here. MBM: I’d be interested to find out about current projects. Prospect Hill came out last year, 2014. What’s coming up next for you. Will you be going into any of this territory [murder ballads] … → read more

Stagolee: A Digital Compendium – “Stagolee, he’s still alive…” The 21st Century, Part 1

This is Chapter 5 of Stagolee: A Digital Compendium.   See also Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 4. Introduction The original idea for this post was to look at Stagolee in the 21st century, to see what’s happened to this ballad in our new age.  Sounds easy enough, right?  We’ve … → read more

Stagolee: A Digital Compendium – “They give him the road…” The 1920’s

This is Chapter 4 of Stagolee: A Digital Compendium.   See also Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 5 Introduction Our online compendium celebrating the great American folk song and tale “Stagolee” has grown now and, though I’m not tired of the music, I’m ready to move on to … → read more

Stagolee: A Digital Compendium – “The Bucket of Blood”

This is Chapter 3 of Stagolee: A Digital Compendium.  See also Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5 Caveat – While I will make every reasonable effort to maintain propriety and decorum in writing this post, the language and narrative content of the media herein is decidedly not appropriate … → read more

Stagolee: A Digital Compendium – “I’m in a World of Trouble”

This is Chapter 2 of Stagolee: A Digital Compendium.  See also Chapter 1,  Chapter 3, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5 Introduction In the introduction to the first chapter of this digital compendium, I claimed that today we can all look to Stagolee to find some inspiration.  I called him a shaman, … → read more

“The baddest man in the whole damn town…”

Friends, I’ve got a confession to make.  I’m white, but I love Stagolee.  And I don’t just mean the Grateful Dead’s “Stagger Lee”, which was my gateway to the story – I love to hear them all.  I’ve been too busy this week to do this song justice with another … → read more

Stagolee – A Digital Compendium: The Classics

This is Chapter 1 of Stagolee: A Digital Compendium.  See also Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5 Introduction He was a bad man – Stagolee. Folks have been singing, talking, writing, laughing, cussing, and crying about him since 1895, when he shot his friend Billy and grabbed back his Stetson … → read more