The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113833   Message #2424086
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
28-Aug-08 - 04:23 AM
Thread Name: definition of a ballad
Subject: RE: definition of a ballad
Here's a thing of wonder; Mrs Pearl Brewer of Pocahantas, Arkensas, singing a five verse version of The Cruel Mother (All Down by the Greenwood Side) in 1958 and bringing it in around 2 minutes.

This, to my ears, is a consummate reduction to the very essence of the ballad; like the work of a skilled saucier, albeit one achieved by means of the folk process*. First time I heard this my wife was on night shift & I was sitting up in the wee small hours exploring The Max Hunter Archive (as one does) and chanced on Mrs Brewer's superlative rendering - quite chilled me to the marrow so it did.

* Another term which has inspired long debate, and rightly so.