Pat’s Essential Eleven Traditional Murder Ballads

Introduction We here at Murder Ballad Monday are soon fixing to close our second year of writing about our topic of choice!  Don’t worry; we have a few more weeks to go before we get to our holiday hiatus, and we’re planning a Year Three.  But I’ve been reflecting on … → read more

True Love Knows No Season

Adam McCulloch (r) “A rip-roaring yarn” Earlier this year, when researching my posts for “Babylon” (Child 14), I came across a terrific Scottish recording of the tune, “The Bonnie Banks of Airdrie” by Adam McCulloch.  McCulloch’s album In These Times, also led me to “Willie Taylor” and an interesting week … → read more

God Make You Safe and Free

Romeo and Juliet – Sir Frank Dicksee, 1884 Note: This is Part 3 of a three part series.  See also Part 1 and Part 2. Introduction What is it about this week’s song, “Matty Groves”, that attracts us so?  (If you’re not familiar with the ballad, check out the introductory post … → read more

Down in the Willow Garden

“Down in the Willow Garden” brings us a tune with slightly different roots, and an interesting story about branches.  It’s the first ballad we’ve taken up with distinctively Irish origins.  For our first post this week, we’ll introduce the ballad a bit, with some of its earliest recorded performances, and … → read more