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Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft

Harry Rivers 29 Mar 18 - 03:20 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Mar 18 - 04:06 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Mar 18 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,SteveT 29 Mar 18 - 04:32 AM
Susan of DT 29 Mar 18 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,henryp 29 Mar 18 - 09:56 AM
GUEST 29 Mar 18 - 10:54 AM
Georgiansilver 29 Mar 18 - 11:32 AM
Tattie Bogle 29 Mar 18 - 11:37 AM
Jeri 29 Mar 18 - 11:44 AM
Susan of DT 29 Mar 18 - 12:51 PM
Ged Fox 29 Mar 18 - 12:30 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Mar 18 - 01:30 PM
Harry Rivers 30 Mar 18 - 03:36 AM
Steve Gardham 30 Mar 18 - 01:31 PM
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Subject: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Harry Rivers
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 03:20 AM

Can anyone suggest any traditional songs about Witches or Witchcraft, please?

I've searched the DigiTrad with the keyword "witch" and that brings up about 40 examples. Not all of those are traditional (eg Donovan's Season of the Witch) and some only contain the word 'witch' as a derogatory term for a woman (eg Kafoozalum).

All suggestions gratefully received.

Many thanks
Harry


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 04:06 AM

Broomfield Hill springs to mind instantly
Maid on the Shore is a fairly obvious one
The use of witchcraft, particularly by disapproving mothers to get rid of unwanted suitors for their sons include Clyde's Water and Lord Gregory
A superb example of the use of the accusation of witchcraft to break up an unwanted liason is to be found in the beautiful 'Andrew Lammie'   
Tam Lin, of course - a woman who fights to free her lover from the otherworld
The Two Magicians
The use of witchcraft in ballads and songs is not immediately obvious
For ballad references, Lowrie C Wimberly's 'Folklore in the English and Scottish Ballads is a superb reference.
Enjoy your search Harry - it's good fun
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 04:14 AM

Try a search on the forum for 'Pendle' as well.


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 04:32 AM

I'd second the recommendation for Wimberly's book. One of my favourite songs about the use of witchcraft is Willie's Lady (Child number 6) which I've never got round to learning - but I will one day. I also remember Dave and Toni Arthur's Hearken to the Witches Rune from 1971 and, although I haven't heard it, Kate and Corwen (Ancient Music ) have a CD out with several tracks which may be relevant)


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Susan of DT
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 09:00 AM

Bonnie Lass of Anglesey
Rolling of the Stones - some versions
Allison Gross/Cross
Wife of Usher's Well
Wild Boar - some versions

witchcraft acted on a character not herself a witch
Kemp Owyne
King Henry
Marriage of Sir Gawaine

Reynardine may be a warlock


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 09:56 AM

There Was An Old Woman Tossed Up In A Blanket

There was an old woman tossed up in a basket
Seventeen times as high as the moon.
But where she was going, I could not but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.
“Old woman, old woman, old woman,” quoth I,
“Whither, oh whither, oh whither so high?”
“To sweep the cobwebs from the sky
And I'll be with you by and by.”


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 10:54 AM

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond; lots to be going on with but please keep the suggestions coming.

All the best,
Harry


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 11:32 AM

The Witch Queen of New Orleans ... Redbone.


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 11:37 AM

Not traditional, but written in the traditional idiom by Karine Polwart: "The Dreadful End of Marianna for Sorcery". On Malinky's "Last Leaves" album.


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 11:44 AM

Witches and War Whoops: Early New England Ballads


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Susan of DT
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 12:51 PM

not traditional: Susanna Martin (in DT)


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Ged Fox
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 12:30 PM

Florence and Jean - a Two Magicians variant from Occitania


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Mar 18 - 01:30 PM

Do you mean specifically witchcraft as opposed to the supernatural in general? If so that cuts the field down considerably. Casting spells and shapechanging would fit but not devils and fairies. Also there are ballads of people being accused of witchcraft in earlier centuries as already mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Harry Rivers
Date: 30 Mar 18 - 03:36 AM

At present, I'm specifically interested in witches and witchcraft rather than the more general supernatural. I'm looking for songs/ballads recounting either historic events (such as the Pendle witch trials) or fictitious examples of witches using their craft.

The parameters may change with time.

Harry


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Subject: RE: Trad Songs about Witches/Witchcraft
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Mar 18 - 01:31 PM

You might find some interesting material on some of the broadside sites

Bodleian Broadside Ballads,
National Library of Scotland
EBBA at UCSB.

Specific reference to witches is rare in oral tradition.


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