The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #158878   Message #3761150
Posted By: GUEST,Anne Neilson
27-Dec-15 - 03:26 PM
Thread Name: folk process: tune evolution?
Subject: RE: folk process: tune evolution?
In Bronson's great work 'The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads', he found that 'Barbara Allan' was the ballad with the greatest number of tunes -- but I have a wee notion that many of them are close, based on no evidence other than my own ear and the several times that I've heard a version from a distance so that I couldn't detect the words; the giveaway is always the phrasing of the final line with the words 'hard-hearted Barbara Allan'.

If you can find it, a great example is Dolly Parton's version -- starts with someone else singing a verse a cappella in Irish Gaelic and segues into Dolly singing a full, traditional American version with accompaniment.