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Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?

Tigger the Tiger 13 Nov 11 - 07:23 AM
Maryrrf 13 Nov 11 - 07:58 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Nov 11 - 08:31 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Nov 11 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,GloriaJ 13 Nov 11 - 11:03 AM
Tigger the Tiger 13 Nov 11 - 11:32 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Nov 11 - 11:34 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Nov 11 - 11:36 AM
Vic Smith 13 Nov 11 - 11:38 AM
Banjiman 13 Nov 11 - 12:26 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Nov 11 - 12:52 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,GloriaJ 13 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Nov 11 - 01:49 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Nov 11 - 03:44 PM
Tunesmith 13 Nov 11 - 04:56 PM
Commander Crabbe 13 Nov 11 - 05:22 PM
Beer 13 Nov 11 - 11:15 PM
Beer 13 Nov 11 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,babypix 14 Nov 11 - 12:03 AM
GUEST,Azoic 14 Nov 11 - 12:53 AM
Commander Crabbe 14 Nov 11 - 08:48 AM
Sailor Ron 14 Nov 11 - 09:40 AM
RoyH (Burl) 14 Nov 11 - 10:19 AM
Banjiman 14 Nov 11 - 11:36 AM
Elmore 14 Nov 11 - 11:53 AM
Anne Neilson 14 Nov 11 - 01:45 PM
Dave Sutherland 14 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM
Bill D 14 Nov 11 - 07:17 PM
Paul Davenport 15 Nov 11 - 05:05 AM
GUEST,Baz Parkes 15 Nov 11 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,AlanG at work 15 Nov 11 - 06:08 AM
theleveller 15 Nov 11 - 08:17 AM
Arkie 15 Nov 11 - 10:14 AM
Arkie 15 Nov 11 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,DrWord 16 Nov 11 - 12:27 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Nov 11 - 03:11 AM
Valmai Goodyear 16 Nov 11 - 05:12 AM
Vic Smith 16 Nov 11 - 08:16 AM
TheSnail 16 Nov 11 - 09:48 AM
Paul Davenport 16 Nov 11 - 10:35 AM
Beer 16 Nov 11 - 06:38 PM
Greg B 16 Nov 11 - 07:08 PM
Elmore 17 Nov 11 - 08:29 AM
Vic Smith 17 Nov 11 - 09:22 AM
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Subject: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 07:23 AM

One of my votes would go to Tommy Makem and the Clancy Bros. in the very early performance of The Butcher Boy on Seeger's show. What are your favorites?


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 07:58 AM

Here's a link to that performance. Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers - Butcher Boy


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 08:31 AM

Don't want to get into the definition thing too soon: but what performances are you after? Is Butcher Boy a ballad? By which definition? NB ~ the term is in general taken to exclude first person narratives; tho clearly there will be some exceptions.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 08:35 AM

Anyone else remember being as impressed as I always was by Ewan MacColl's singing of The Battle Of Harlaw? I remember a Princess Louise Ballads & Blues session in about 1957 when Ewan sang that, followed by Peggy singing The House Carpenter.

Oh, you young people don't know what ballad-singing was in the old times, Hrrmmmppphhh Hrrrmmmppphhh...


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: GUEST,GloriaJ
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:03 AM

Elizabeth Cronin singing Lord Gregory.I wasnt there to hear it of course, but the recording is unexpectedly sublime


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:32 AM

Sorry for my lack of definition of the ballad form. I learned folk songs in the sixties from the performers in the clubs and from other students at protest marches. Just sort of a person to person education.I guess I am looking for a certain vocal quality and ability to communicate through song.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:34 AM

So - narrative songs, yes?


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:36 AM

Agreed re Mrs Cronin's Lord Gregory. Seamus Ennis used to sing it superbly also.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:38 AM

Gloria J wrote:-
Elizabeth Cronin singing Lord Gregory.I wasnt there to hear it of course, but the recording is unexpectedly sublime.


I can think of a very few who might be considered the equals of Mrs Cronin - Walter Pardon, Jeannie Robertson, Sheila Stewart, Paddy Tunney and a handful of others - but none who I would consider to be better than her.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Banjiman
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 12:26 PM

Well, I've been listening to "Sheath & Knife" by Gordeanna McCulloch today..... stunning.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 12:52 PM

Tony Rose the best singer of The Banks Of Green Willow IMO. Also did an excellent Sheath & Knife; though agree Gordeanna's v fine also.

Clude Waters/Drowned Lovers ~~ Little to choose for me between Martin Carthy's & Nic Jones' ~ similar tunes but not identical, ditto texts,
tho Martin's is fuller & includes the "Thought it was his true love's voice, but it was no such thing; It was the voice of her mother", which makes the story a bit clearer; and the "Brother stood on the further bank", whcih Child denounces as an absurdity but is effective dramatically:

I often play them back-2-back. Kate Rusby's version is Nic's, pretty well word4word & note4note.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM

Clyde Waters, bugger·it!...


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: GUEST,GloriaJ
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM

Nice to see some respected critics agree with me about Mrs Cronin.Talking of Sheath And Knife (and Gordeanna MacCulloch is a great singer) I think Tony Rose's version was beautiful - a real lesson in how to sing a ballad


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 01:49 PM

Mrs Cronin - wonderful
Most memorable was hearing Sheila Stewart singing Tiftie's Annie for the first time - 'hairs on the back of the neck' experience I can still feel
Quite like Clude's Water!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 03:44 PM

Ah ~ well Clude up!


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 04:56 PM

Well, here's the marvelous Hedy West's take on Barbara Allen.

youtube link


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 05:22 PM

Here is Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh singing "Leaving Limerick" on Transatlantic Sessions Episode 5 (Run the time on to 13:18)

TS5 Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

And here's Emily Smith singing "The Silver Tassie" form TS4

Emily Smith

CC


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Beer
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:15 PM

Does this qualify??

http://youtu.be/5uKGWpqnS8E

Hope it does.
ad.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Beer
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:48 PM

Commander Crabbe, you put me in a dream world.
Thank you for those great links.
ad.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: GUEST,babypix
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 12:03 AM

When I first heard Liam Clancy singing Eric Bogle's "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" on a radio program interview, I was listening on the car radio, and had to pull over to the side of the road, I was so teary.

Let's also not forget Martyn Wyndham-Read's singing of Henry Lawson's verse set to music, "The Water Lily"

Deborah Robins


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: GUEST,Azoic
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 12:53 AM

June Tabor's "The Irish Girl", "The Border Widow's Lament" and "As I Roved Out" all featuring the great Huw Warren on piano.
"


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 08:48 AM

Beer

You're welcome, and yes it would qualify for me.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 09:40 AM

The late 'Big'Pete Roger singing Fair Flower of Northumberland, the finest version I've ever heard.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 10:19 AM

Sailor Ron, Thank you for mentioning the late Pete Roger. 'Big' he certainly was, in stature,personality, and sense of humour. In fact those qualities were so 'Big' in him that it was easy to overlook that he was a damn fine singer. A really fine singer, who could handle a ballad as well as anybody, famous or not. A grand bloke. I still miss him.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Banjiman
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 11:36 AM

Other seemed to like this ......Annachie Gordon

I'm far too biased too comment!

Being a little younger than some of you, I'd really appreciate links to some great ballad performances from the 60s/ 70s..... if anyone has any?


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Elmore
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 11:53 AM

The Flying Cloud by Louis Killen, or, more recently, Mathy Groves by Elizabeth LaPrelle


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 01:45 PM

Anything by Jeannie Robertson (Matty Groves, Harlaw, Son David, Twa Brithers, Lord Donal/Randall) and similarly from Lizzie Higgins and Sheila Stewart.
And from Revival singers there are impressive performances from Norman Kennedy and Enoch Kent.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM

If we can gloss over June Tabor's "Border Widow's Lament" I can't find much here with which to disagree. Ewan MacColl did a fine version of "Lord Gregory" but his renditions of "James Herries" and "Child Owlett" remain the best performances of a ballad that I have heard.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 07:17 PM

"beautiful"? I am not sure... but impressive?

Davy Stewart doing "The Merchant's Son and the Beggar's Daughter" with melodeon ....amazing

Jeannie Robertson- "My Son David"

Jean Redpath singing almost anything..(she was my introduction to Scots music, and I retain a prejudice)


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 05:05 AM

Liz and I were running the Whitby Folk Week ballads session on Thursday afternoon in 2009. Our way of working includes allowing people to pick up on a 'thread' rather than waiting in a 'round robin' kind of way. Suddenly a quiet voice spoke up in a corner, 'Paul, could I jump in here?' I replied in the affirmative and Ray Fisher began to sing. The ballad was a version of 'The Cruel Sister'. Her voice was quiet but true and the room (which was full to overflowing) was silent as we listened. A truly magical performance , and the last time I heard her sing. I still feel that performance and am privileged to have been there.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: GUEST,Baz Parkes
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 05:11 AM

Mike Waterson's Tam Lin


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: GUEST,AlanG at work
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 06:08 AM

Tony Rose's Young Hunting


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: theleveller
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 08:17 AM

When I first heard Bert Jansch's Jack Orion I was spellbound - I still never tire of it, Martin Simpson's version of Bonnie Annie is pretty special, too.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Arkie
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 10:14 AM

Would certainly like to have heard Pete Roger singing "Fair Flower of Northumberland". I first heard that ballad as it was sung by Sara Grey and her version is my favorite to date though I have consciously searched for other versions.

I put together a weekly radio program of Ozark music and a track scheduled to run this week is Almeda Riddle singing "Four Marys". I do not claim it to be 'most' beautiful but it is impressive. Almeda's version of "Four Marys" is supposedly unique to a relatively small area around Pangburn, Arkansas in that Mary's baby is stillborn.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Arkie
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 10:14 AM

Would certainly like to have heard Pete Roger singing "Fair Flower of Northumberland". I first heard that ballad as it was sung by Sara Grey and her version is my favorite to date though I have consciously searched for other versions.

I put together a weekly radio program of Ozark music and a track scheduled to run this week is Almeda Riddle singing "Four Marys". I do not claim it to be 'most' beautiful but it is impressive. Almeda's version of "Four Marys" is supposedly unique to a relatively small area around Pangburn, Arkansas in that Mary's baby is stillborn.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 12:27 AM

"Birmingham Sunday" Richard & Mimi Farina

dennis


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 03:11 AM

"Fair Flower of Northumberland"."
Two excellent versions of this beautiful ballad - a very early one on an old vinyl album by The Exiles (Enoch Kent, Bobby Campbell and Gordon McCulloch) sung beautifully by Gordon.
Another totally different version, is to be found sung by Ewan MacColl on the ballad set 'Blood and Roses' - still available from Camsco.
It has one of my favourite verses of all the ballads, when the runaway's mother comforts her daughter for having been betrayed by the escaped Scotsman, saying archly:

And when she got in her mother did smile,
Oh, but your love was easy won.
Saying, "You're not the first one the Scots have beguiled,
And you're still the fair flower of Northumberland".

"Young Hunting"
One of the most exquisite performances of this is to be found on the album "Songs of the Irish Travellers" sung by elderly Traveller Martin McDonagh of Roscommon, to the background sound of his son chopping wood for the family business. It is only a part of the story, but complete in itself - 11 verses lasting six and a half minutes....bbrrrr!
All the items on the album were recorded by collector Tom Munnelly and issued on cassette in 1983, but more recently reissued by the Dublin Traveller organisation Pavee Point. It includes a few of the finest examples of Irish versions of Child ballads, including Johnny Barden (Thomas of Winesbury), False Lankum (Lamkin) and The Tri-Coloured House (The Elfin Knight).
One also to look out for is the re-issue (by the Goilin Club) of Tom Munnelly's and others' recordings of ballads from source singers from the North and South of Ireland, 'Early Ballads in Ireland (recorded between 1968-1985) (Johnny Scott, The Demon Lover, The Suffolk Miracle....). I think this has to be a double CD - a gold mine for ballad buffs.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 05:12 AM

May I draw the attention of ballad enthusiasts to another of our very popular all-day ballad forums at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club on Saturday 3rd. December with Paul & Liz Davenport, who also perform at the club in the evening?
Full details are on this thread.

Next year we have ballad forums and performances by Anne Nielson & Gordeanna McCulloch on Saturday 30th. June and Craig Morgan Robson on Sunday 16th. September.

We also have a free ballad session on Sunday 22nd. January from noon-3.00 p.m. at our headquarters in the Elephant & Castle, Lewes.

I am delighted to report that ballad singing continues to flourish in Lewes.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 08:16 AM

Baz Parkes wrote:-
"Mike Waterson's Tam Lin "


If the British folk revival has produced a better ballad performance than this, then I would like to be pointed towards it.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 09:48 AM

One of the Great Folk Moments of my life was sitting next to Moira Craig of Craig Morgan Robson on a friends patio while she sang The Great Silkie. I can't find a recording of that but here she is with a version of Tam Lin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeL4b0QTY1I


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 10:35 AM

If the British folk revival has produced a better ballad performance than this, then I would like to be pointed towards it.
Mike's 'Seven Yellow Gypsies' runs it pretty close.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Beer
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 06:38 PM

This is a great thread. I am a lot of names mentioned I am not familiar with but I sure do enjoy looking them up and hearing songs that are fabulous. Keep them coming.
Thanks Tigger
ad.
from across the Atlantic


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Greg B
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 07:08 PM

This one


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Elmore
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 08:29 AM

The False Lover Won Back by Ed Miller, Jock O' Hazeldean by Priscilla Herdman.


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Subject: RE: Most Beautiful Ballad Performance?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 09:22 AM


Bill D wrote:-
"Davy Stewart doing "The Merchant's Son and the Beggar's Daughter" with melodeon ....amazing."


How can dismiss his performance of this song as being merely "amazing". It's much, much, much better than just amazing.

I'm a bit of a fan of Davy Stewart, you know!


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