Murder Ballad Comedy, Part One: “The Irish Ballad”

Tom Lehrer (r) “Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog. You understand it better but the frog dies in the process.”  — E. B. White You’re killing them out there Over the next week or two, we’re going to lighten the mood a little, and focus on comic murder … → read more

The Underbelly of Myth

Thereby Hangs a (Folk) Tale In the last post, I suggested that there seemed to be a certain implausible, or perhaps contrived, quality, to the narrative of   “Babylon,” “The Bonnie Banks o’ Fordie,” or “Fair Flowers of the Valley,” (Child 14).  Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it … → read more

April, May (Margaret), and June

River Clyde, near Abington Drawn into the Clyde Water My introduction to “Drowned Lovers” began with hearing a spare bit of guitar playing, opening up with regular, almost transmitter-like pulses as the tenth track on Kate Rusby‘s solo debut album, Hourglass, (1997).  The earlier part of the album had been … → read more