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Review: 'Harris and the Mare'

GUEST,Pat Blackman 14 Apr 12 - 08:42 AM
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Subject: Review: 'Harris and the Mare'
From: GUEST,Pat Blackman
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 08:42 AM

This week at Murder Ballad Monday we take on a song that's had some traction at Mudcat before...

"Harris and the Mare" - Does what we feel about violence color the way we divine the meaning of a violent ballad? This week, Ken takes on Stan Rogers' "Harris and the Mare", raising this question among others. When it's fight or flight, do our actions have anything to do with our philosophy? What role does community play in the aftermath of violence? No reference is intended to current events here. Instead, Ken relies on Rogers' music, Robertson Davies, and even Hugh Jackman and Mike Tyson for an engaging exploration.

Blessed Be the Tie that Binds -
Stan Rogers' "Harris and the Mare" has the rare distinction of being both a folk song and a well-developed dramatic work. Ken continues his week with Rogers' song by inviting us into the radio play it inspired - an "interesting artistic meditation on conscientious objection" that raises all sorts of questions born of that place where violence, religion, and community intersect.

I've Got No More Fight in Me - Ken finishes this week with a sweeping circle away from, then back to Stan Rogers. The themes that resonate in Rogers' "Harris and the Mare" inspire Ken to explore their corollaries in ballads about war and its effects on the individual. Excellence sounds in performances from Richard Shindell, Mike Morningstar, and Bill Mallonee. Rogers' own "Barrett's Privateers" closes this great set of music.


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