The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138245 Message #3164601
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
03-Jun-11 - 04:48 AM
Thread Name: Ballad Books
Subject: RE: Ballad Books
If almost the same version is available in Child, I don't want to see it in another ballad book.
It can be refreshing to get away from Child sometimes; I've got any amount of old ballad books - originals / facsimiles and weird little early 20th century in which traditional material is presented alongside Tennyson, Keats, Kipling and WS Gilbert! I find it heartening that Alison Gross, Binnorie and The Wife of Ushers Well existed in such popular editions back in 1924, where the focus is very much on Literature rather than the emergent (!) Folk Revival. I love Faber Books in general for their classic design and would recommend The Faber Book of Popular Verse to any lover of Folk Song and Ballad; likewise, of course, The Faber Book of Ballads. A favourire recent find was Robert Graves' English and Scottish Ballads in its first (and only?) 1957 hardback edition which cost the pincely sum of £1 from a noted antiquarian bookseller in a picturesque town on the Lancashire coast. And a 60ukpennies who could resist the Dover Thrift edition of Child's Lord Randall and Other British Ballads (unabridged) which would have cost me 95p in 1996 (or $1 in USA). I love Dover books too. Do I mention Llanerch? Hmmmm - dodgy editions, but not without a certain charm; I have numerous volumes, including Roy Palmer's Book of British Ballads and The Nortumbrian Minstrelsy which I wouldn't have otherwise.
Maybe my love of books is on a par with my love of ballads. But sometimes seeing a ballad outside of Child gives them a life that otherwise they wouldn't have. Like I say, just the idea that poetry lovers read Binnorie back in 1924 is very special to me, especially when that particular volume came from the bookshelf of a favourite aunt who to my certain knowledge never spoke the word Folk in her life...