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Jesus and the Murder Ballad

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GUEST,Murder Ballad Monday 03 Mar 12 - 08:54 AM
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Subject: Jesus and the Murder Ballad
From: GUEST,Murder Ballad Monday
Date: 03 Mar 12 - 08:54 AM

On a Hill Lone and Gray - Ken explores the relationship between the Jesus story and the murder ballad. Today he looks at the Carter family's "On a Hill Lone and Gray," which narrates Jesus' execution in some detail and was likely influenced by African American Pentecostal sacred music. In addition to the Carters, Ralph Stanley and Cary Fridley perform.

They would lay Jesus Christ in his grave - Ken looks at "Jesus Christ" by Woody Guthrie and Merle Haggard, and how a range of artists use the same musical sources to convey meaning about Jesus on the one hand and, on the other, the outlaw Jesse James and the pirate Captain Kidd. Performances by Pete Seeger, Nick Cave, Johnny Cash, Blue Highway, and Great Big Sea help illuminate the connections.

Why on Earth did I ever let him go? - How do those left behind reckon with the violent loss of a loved one? Today, Ken continues his discussion of Jesus and the murder ballad with a look at Richard Shindell's brilliant "Ballad of Mary Magdalene," with additional solo performances of the song by collaborators Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky.

The quick and the dead - Ken looks at Johnny Cash's "The Man Comes Around" and other examples of Jesus figures arriving in judgment and cleaning house – with clips from Pale Rider, The Matrix, and a concluding performance by Son House.

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