Dear [Murder] Balladeer: John Jacob Niles and Forest Mountain Hymnal

We were honored to receive a shout-out recently from Dear Balladeer, a blog run by the folk duo Forest Mountain Hymnal. FMH is the family business of Jonathan and Rebecca Moody, two teachers and artists based in Nashville. The Dear Balladeer project is a year-long musical and literary exploration of The Ballad Book of … → read more

JOHN JACOB NILES: The Boone-Tolliver Recordings

        JOHN JACOB NILES The Boone-Tolliver Recordings LM Dupli-cation 4 LM Dupli-cation Website   “Over coffee and liqueurs we would sometimes listen to John Jacob Niles’ recordings. The metallic clang of his dulcimer never failed to produce ecstasy… Like a psalmodist, he intoned his verses in … → read more

The price, my dear, is you.

  In the last post on Led Zeppelin’s “Gallows Pole,” we looked at how a centuries-old English tale about a fair maiden who loses a golden ball evolved into two different stories – one with a fairy tale ending in which the maiden is rescued by a prince and one with … → read more

The Natural and the Unnatural, Naturally

Study for “There Were Three Maidens Pu’d Flower” by Charles H. Mackie Death Before Dishonor?The themes in “Babylon” pointed me back to reviewing Pat’s excellent series of posts on “Edward,” (Child 13), particularly this one, which is a careful, reluctant, and thorough exploration of the incest theme in that ballad. … → read more