On the lam

Scene from The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Greetings, faithful Murder Ballad Monday readers!  Greetings, completely new readers who have just stumbled on to the blog!  We are now on a temporary hiatus.  It’s time to let the field lie fallow.  It’s time to re-charge the batteries, re-fill the reservoir.  Pick your metaphor. … → read more


Harry Belafonte: Sing Your Song

          HARRY BELAFONTE Sing Your Song: The Music Sony 93951 www.sonymusic.com   This sixteen-track compilation features some of the multi-talented veteran’s most venerated recordings, from his own Mississippi riverboat-themed tale of “Mark Twain” to a reflective cover of calypso great Lord Burgess’ “Can’t Cross Over,” and … → read more

LAURIE LEWIS: Skippin’ and Flyin’

Laurie Lewis: Skippin and Flyin'

          LAURIE LEWIS Skippin’ And Flyin’ Spruce And Maple 2006 www.spruceandmaplemusic.com   Though virtually unknown east of the Mississippi until the mid-1980s, the past three decades have seen Laurie Lewis establish herself as one of the leading lights of American acoustic music, a genuine national treasure. … → read more

“He’s dressed himself in silk so rare.”

Tim Eriksen – from his Facebook fan page Our initial post this week took up the first of our two goals; to look more closely at Tim Eriksen‘s work and place it in the context of how we experience murder ballads at their most powerful.  In checking out two new … → read more

“Tim Eriksen – Sowing a Silken Seam”

Tim Eriksen – hardcore americana This week at Murder Ballad Monday will be a mix of celebration and reflection, with a bit of correction thrown in for balance.Celebration? Quite simply, we’re still here and still finding plenty to write about even after eleven months of weekly blogging on a rather rarefied topic. And … → read more

The Mariner’s Revenge Song

Mariner’s Revenge Song (photo by Alicia J. Rose) In its epic sweep and scope, and with its literary shades of Poe, Dickens, Shakespeare, and Melville, “The Mariner’s Revenge Song,” by The Decemberists could probably give us enough material for a week of its own here at Murder Ballad Monday.  Nevertheless, … → read more

My Fondest Childhood Memories

Macy Gray We continue this week’s “Vengeance of the ‘Inner Child’” series with Macy Gray‘s “My Fondest Childhood Memories.”  Earlier this week, we gave a listen to Jim White’s “The Wound That Never Heals,” the musically-framed story of a damaged soul exacting misplaced revenge on a series of men in … → read more

Baby, why don’t you cry?

Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct (1992) We have discussed here and there in previous weeks how children encounter murder ballads–what role such songs may have played in children’s upbringing in earlier times, and how that role may or may not be different in our current age.  Our contemporary time being one … → read more