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Supernatural Ballads....??

GUEST,Mark A. 06 Oct 01 - 05:40 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 06 Oct 01 - 06:33 PM
Tinker 06 Oct 01 - 06:47 PM
Deckman 06 Oct 01 - 07:11 PM
Art Thieme 06 Oct 01 - 09:20 PM
Deckman 06 Oct 01 - 10:20 PM
raredance 07 Oct 01 - 12:06 AM
GUEST,Mark A. 07 Oct 01 - 03:39 PM
SINSULL 07 Oct 01 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,Sue Mathieu 07 Oct 01 - 05:00 PM
Art Thieme 07 Oct 01 - 05:04 PM
Art Thieme 07 Oct 01 - 05:20 PM
Metchosin 07 Oct 01 - 05:39 PM
Metchosin 07 Oct 01 - 05:52 PM
Deckman 07 Oct 01 - 06:50 PM
Phil Cooper 07 Oct 01 - 07:53 PM
Peg 07 Oct 01 - 07:54 PM
Julia 07 Oct 01 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,Judy Cook 08 Oct 01 - 06:44 PM
Chicken Charlie 08 Oct 01 - 07:09 PM
Sandy Paton 08 Oct 01 - 11:32 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 09 Oct 01 - 01:44 PM
Max Tone 09 Oct 01 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,Sue Mathieu 09 Oct 01 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,Sue Mathieu 09 Oct 01 - 06:42 PM
Jeri 09 Oct 01 - 06:56 PM
Sandy Paton 09 Oct 01 - 09:04 PM
Big Mick 09 Oct 01 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,Nova Scotia 10 Oct 01 - 12:25 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 10 Oct 01 - 12:59 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 10 Oct 01 - 03:02 PM
Oversoul 10 Oct 01 - 11:01 PM
Sandy Paton 10 Oct 01 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 11 Oct 01 - 01:13 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 11 Oct 01 - 03:28 PM
sian, west wales 12 Oct 01 - 05:13 AM
curmudgeon 12 Oct 01 - 07:58 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 12 Oct 01 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,JohnB 12 Oct 01 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Arkie 12 Oct 01 - 01:18 PM
Deckman 12 Oct 01 - 09:49 PM
IanC 14 Oct 01 - 05:22 AM
John Nolan 14 Oct 01 - 04:56 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 18 Oct 01 - 06:15 PM
Uncle_DaveO 19 Oct 01 - 10:26 AM
IanC 21 Oct 01 - 01:19 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 21 Oct 01 - 05:01 PM
jaze 21 Oct 01 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 22 Oct 01 - 04:42 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 22 Oct 01 - 06:49 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 22 Oct 01 - 12:17 PM
IanC 24 Oct 01 - 11:01 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 24 Oct 01 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Eclipse 24 Oct 01 - 05:28 PM
open mike 22 Sep 06 - 01:29 AM
Scoville 22 Sep 06 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Jim 22 Sep 06 - 10:16 AM
Charmain 22 Sep 06 - 07:24 PM
Susan of DT 22 Sep 06 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,Kent Davis 23 Sep 06 - 12:15 AM
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Subject: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Mark A.
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 05:40 PM

Hello:

I'm a big fan of traditional American music and classic performers like Dock Boggs, Bill Monroe, Roscoe Holcomb, etc. I have a question that maybe some of you folks can answer....

Are there any CD anthologies available containing specifically traditional American SUPERNATURAL ballads (i.e., songs about ghosts, hauntings, witches, talking animals, you name it.....). I'd really like to find something along the lines of the Harry Smith or Mike Seeger collections, but devoted to American supernatural ballads.

Any recommendations or advice? Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 06:33 PM

Seems to me that Artie Traum did something on that subject several years ago- either an article, or a collection of some kind. Homespun Tapes might know about this (Art's brother Happy)


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Tinker
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 06:47 PM

The closest I know is put out by Folk Legacy. Dark Ships in the Forest : Ballads of the Supernatural by John Roberts and Tony Barrand. It is self described as "English or English derived traditon" but includes American and Canadian versions of some ballads. The CD comes with an amazing 8x11 lyric and commentary book. It's not "pure American" but belongs in any Supernatural collection.IMHO

Tinker


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 07:11 PM

The most bone chilling song I know to fit this category is "The Waker In The Snow," as recorded by Rosalie Sorrells. I get goosebumps just singing it. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 09:20 PM

"The Lost Jimmy Whalen"---a ballad from the American lumber camps and known wherever timber was cut--is one of my favorites. But there aren't many CDs (any ?) with more than one or two American songs from the tradition with supernatural occurances taking place. I have always felt that this was the case because the U.S.A. was founded by puritanical folk who rarely made room for extra-natural doings.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 10:20 PM

Art ... I'd forgotten about that one ... good post. And there's always the English theme of "The Grey Cock." It actually has several varient in America. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: raredance
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 12:06 AM

Following on Art's point, many versions of British ballds collected in America have the supernatural verses stripped out.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Mark A.
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 03:39 PM

Interesting points and song recommendations...and thanks to all who responded.

You'd expect more American versions of the supernatural Child Ballads to crop up, but they seem to be either at a minimum, or perhaps altered beyond recognition.

Oh, well....It was worth a try....


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 03:40 PM

Mrs. Ravoon but not American.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Sue Mathieu
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 05:00 PM

If anyone is interested, I have the original poem from which The Haunted Hunter developed. An Billy Vanaver (sp ?) recorded it many moons ago. Its Canadian in origen by the way.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 05:04 PM

"The Lost Jimmy Whalen" could've just as easily started in Canada actually. Either way, it was probably composed by a transplanted Brit or Irishman who could, very easily use the lore of his part of the homeland and as a motif in his song.

The OTHER song about Jimmy Whalen, ususally called simply "Jimmy Whalen", was a folk ballad that recounted the death of the young man who was attempting to break a log jam at King's Chute, in Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada, about 1878. (That last info is from from Ken Goldstein.) I did record this on an old cassette called On The River back in the 80s. Sandy may still have some of those at Folk Legacy but I've been out of them for years. Cindy Mangsen and Ann Hills learned it from me and have a lovelier version than mine on one of their CDs.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 05:20 PM

Pardon me folks.

Cindy and Anne (and I, separately) recorded "The Lost Jimmy Whalen"---(not "Jimmy Whalen").

Bob Gibson did a truncated version of "The Lost J.W." on his old Riverside LP called Offbeat Folk Songs with diminished nupernatural content.

Paul Clayton recorded both of these songs on his Riverside LP called TIMBER-R-R-R-R ! Folksongs And Ballads Of The Lumberjack

But it was "The Lost Jimmy Whalen" that contains the beautiful meeting of the mourning young girl with the ghost of her dead lover for one last embrace and kiss before he diapears into the clouds.

You simply cannot beat a lyric like:

And then there arose from the depths of the river,
A vision of beauty as bright as the sun,
With robes of red crimson encircled around him
As unto this fair one to speak he begun.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Metchosin
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 05:39 PM

Thread drift: According to Edith Fowke "Jim Whalen" was based on an actual event. Whalen's real name was James Phalen and "he was killed in 1878 on the Mississippi River of Eastern Ontario, a tributary of the Ottawa. The tragedy occurred when two rafts of logs coming out of Cross Lake collided in the swift waters of King's Chute, forming a dangerous jam. As the raftsmen worked to untangle it, Phalen slipped off a shifting log snd the current pulled him under. It was an hour before his companions were able to get his body out of the raging river.

Also according to Fowke's notes, "Professor Rickaby quotes a letter from Christopher Forbes of Perth, Ontario, who says that the Phalen family still live in that district, and the name is pronounced "Whalen" locally."


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Metchosin
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 05:52 PM

oops! sorry, some simultaneous posting going on on my part Art.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 06:50 PM

To: Guest "SUE" ... You bet I'm interested! I've enjoyed and been curious of this songs origans for years. Could you please take the trouble to post everything you know about it, or perhaps e-mail off line? Thanks a bunch CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 07:53 PM

I always thought some of the verses of Lost Jimmy Whelan were very similar to a ballad I heard on a Tony Rose album (Poor Fellows) called "The Yarmouth Tragedy." Night visiting ghosts, ending in suicide. Anybody else thing that they're related?


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Peg
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 07:54 PM

I But a Little Girl

by Bob Franke; about the Salem witch trials

Raven in the Storm, by Joh Gorka and Geoff Bartley


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Julia
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 08:56 PM

I believe there is an American version of the "Wife of Ushers Well" (Dead children return as ghosts) "Once I had a sweetheart" has the dead lover appear in a dream as does "Lowlands"


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Judy Cook
Date: 08 Oct 01 - 06:44 PM

The Lady Gay is a US version of the Wife of Ushers'Well. And then there's "The Ghostly Crew" that's common in Newfoundland.

--Judy Cook


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 08 Oct 01 - 07:09 PM

"Unfortunate Miss Bailey" deals with a ghost. (Kingston Trio recorded it, inter alia.) "Silkie" deals with a changeling. That's a 'Childe,' I think. Also "Kegan" (sp?) another long thing about a mariner who marries a woman who can be a seal. That one's very sad; he freezes at sea & she swims out and joins him.

CC


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 08 Oct 01 - 11:32 PM

"Peter Kagan and the Wind" isn't a traditional cante fable; Gordon Bok wrote it and recorded it for Folk-Legacy. "Mrs. Ravoon" isn't a traditional folk song either, but it is fun. Harry Tuft recorded it for Folk-Legacy and his recording is now available as a CD.

There are two versions of "Lost Jimmy Whalen" on Folk-Legacy (as well as the one Art recorded on his cassette, mentioned above. Joan Sprung sings a very nice version on the Folk-Legacy "sampler" titled The Continuing Tradition, Vol. I (C-75). The other is a sung by Mrs. Marie Hare, a superb traditional singer from New Brunswick, Canada, whom I recorded back in 1962. Her very complete version is included on my CD compilation of various field recordings made over the years and titled Ballads and Songs of Tradition (CD-125).

There's a version of "The Grey Cock" titled "Pretty Crowing Chicken" sung by Hattie Presnell of Beech Mountain, NC, on the first volume of my two-volume collection of field recordings from that area of Northwestern North Carolina: (The Traditional Music of Beech Mountain, NC, Vol. I. Mrs. Presnell's version retains the element of the supernatural quite clearly, I think.

On the other hand, the supernatural element in "Young Hunting" has been lost from the version sung by Frank Proffitt on Folk-Legacy's CD-1, but it's still a wonderfully complete text, also recorded in Northwestern North Carolina. You're welcome to check these out on Folk-Legacy's web site: www.folklegacy.com.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 09 Oct 01 - 01:44 PM

OK Sandy- I was hesitant to promote my recordings, but as you've set the precendent with Folk Legacy.......and anyway, it IS just supplying requested information, isn't it? Most of the Ritchie Family ballads are available on the Folkways set, Child Ballads in America, Vol. 1 & Vol 2 Those which might be considered, "supernatural," are The Unquiet Grave, The Wife of Usher's Well, and The Cherry Tree Carol, all Vol. 2 (Also has Little Devils, if you'd count that as supernatural!). Vol. 1 has The House Carpenter (Daemon Lover), and Fair Annie of the Lochroyan.

Sandy, does Young Hunting have supernatural content? We have it as Lovin Henry, and it's just about a murder- Oh yes, the little bird talking? I haven't recorded that, but it's in the recent reissue of the book, Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians, UK Press. The other one that has a little talking bird is also on the Folkways set; it's False Sir John (Lady Isabel and the Elfknight?)Vol.1. Jean P.S. And OUR website is www.jeanritchie.com!


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Max Tone
Date: 09 Oct 01 - 06:21 PM

Great thread -- that can run all year, not just Halloween. I've been hunting for one particular song; if any of you got any ideas on "Green" Lady Jean Drummond of Newton Castle, Blairgowrie, my thread (and some better versions of the story) is to be found Here, my HTML permitting. Whilst searching for it, I also came across a cracking supernatural story that happened on the same Perthshire estate about 1730. Try Dog o' Mause. Several stories on the page........enjoy.
The Mause area produces mysteries still....less than 40 years ago, the laird of Craighall's wife was found at the bottom of the gorge that separates it from the Mauses..........

Rob


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Subject: Re: Walker of the Snow
From: GUEST,Sue Mathieu
Date: 09 Oct 01 - 06:31 PM

I will be glad to provide the original poem and a brief bio on the author of Haunted Hunter or THE WALKER OF THE SNOW. Interested parties should email me at:balladsinginsue@ufie.org Please note, I practise Safe Netx" with AGV antivirus software and will not reply to infected mail. All my mail is scanned before it is sent.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Sue Mathieu
Date: 09 Oct 01 - 06:42 PM

I remember hearing supernatural shapechanger songs as a young child in French from my great aunt and in Swiss German from a cousin to my grandfather. Mr Fox seems to get around quite a bit. No I can't sing any, never learned to speak either French or low German. Anyone else remember any non-English supernatural ballads ? The English do NOT have a corner on all the good songs !


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Oct 01 - 06:56 PM

WENDIGO

Here's THE WALKER OF THE SNOW. This is on a thread of Halloween songs - there might be some other good 'uns.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 09 Oct 01 - 09:04 PM

Right you are, Jean! I had neglected "Unquiet Grave," one of my favorites. I recorded the version that Helen Hartness Flanders collected from Lily Delorme in the Adirondacks on the album Caroline and I made donkey's years ago, (Folk-Legacy EGO-30), now only available as a custom cassette. Folks might want to check out "Rolling of the Stones" on our CD compilation of Bok, Muir & Trickett songs: The First Fifteen Years, Vol.II. It's also sung by Joe Hickerson (from whom they learned it) on Drive Dull Care Away, Vol.1, which is available as a cassette. The Vermont version of "Reynardine" (Ranardine) that most of us learned from Margaret MacArthur is led by Joe Hickerson on the Folk-Legacy "sampler" titled The Continuing Tradition, mentioned in my previous post. I suppose the trip to hell and back by "The Farmer's Curst Wife" would qualify that as a supernatural reference (as Jean suggests in her note). There are several versions on Folk-Legacy: Lawrence Older sings an Adirondack version called "Randy Riley (C-15)," Hobart Smith sings a Virginia version on his C-17 cassette (soon to be on CD), Lena Armstrong sings a North Carolina version on The Traditional Music of Beech Mountain. Jean's sister, Edna, recorded a Ritchie Family version of the "Cherry Tree Carol" titled "As Joseph Was a-Walking" on her Folk-Legacy album, now available as a cassette (C-3).

Jeez! I'm amazed at how many of them there are. I have probably overlooked a number of 'em, too. Maybe I ought to assemble a bunch of them onto a single CD and satisfy the question asked at the beginning of this thread! I don't know of another CD of supernatural material devoted exclusively to American versions. John and Tony's Dark Ships in the Forest includes British versions, along with a few American, so their CD is but a partial answer to the initial request.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Oct 01 - 09:46 PM

Sandy and Jean, please don't stop. And, Jean, of course you should "hawk" your stuff here. This is a place where we all come for exactly the reason of finding things.

Mudcatters, where else you going to get to "listen in" on a conversation like this, eh?

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Nova Scotia
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 12:25 PM

Aside from the songs previously mentioned such as Lost Jimmy Whelan and the Ghostly Sailors, both of which may be found in the Helen Creighton Collection, as well others, (she collected over 15,000 songs with 6,000 different titles), and others you might check out including a cd by Brian Peters of England called, "Sharper Than the Thorn" with such wonderful supernatural songs as; "Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom" and "Kemp Owyn" and songs by Archie Fisher, "The Witch of the Westmoreland" and he also has written the sequal to that song and asked the Waybacks from San Francisco if they would like to record it. Another song by Dan McKinnon on his last cd "Queen Upon the Water", as well as Lennie Gallant with "Tales of a Phantom Ship". The list seems virtually endless.

Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 12:59 PM

"Maybe I ought to assemble a bunch of them onto a single CD and satisfy the question asked at the beginning of this thread! "
Sandy!!! Do it!!! Please?


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 03:02 PM

Guest-Nova Scotia's reference to, "Sharper than the thorn," reminded me of yet another of our family ones; we call it "The Devil's Nine Questions." And then there's also, "Still He Stood," the children's version of, "The False Knight on the Road."

There were games we played, too, tag games which had a beginning chant (no tune):

Chick-tumma-chick-tumma craney-crow,
Went to the well to wash her toe
When she got back, her blackeyed chicken was gone!
WHAT TIME IS IT, OLD WITCH?

Old Witch (tagger): SEVEN O'CLOCK!

This chanting by the group and answering by the witch keeps on until she yells, TWELVE O'CLOCK! when she chases and catches as many as she can, and takes them to her Den (circle on the ground)...last to be caught becomes Witch for the next round.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Oversoul
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 11:01 PM

Robbie Basho's album "Song Of The Stallion" (c. 1972) is something supernatural, to say the least. This guy was so far "out there" it isn't funny.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 11:57 PM

Since the initial question was concerned with supernatural ballads in the American tradition, I didn't mention Archie Fisher's original ballad (on his Folk-Legacy CD-61) "Witch of the West-mer-lands," since it's neither traditional nor American. Good though, as Utah Phillips would say.

Jean reminds me of the supernatural element in "The False Knight on the Road" (the boy in contending with the Devil). There are three American versions on Folk-Legacy: Joe Hickerson sings "The Devil and the Schoolchild" on C-39 (soon to be re-issued as CD-39 -- I'm working on the notes right now), and Tony and Irene Saletan sing a lovely version on the sampler "The Continuing Tradition, Vol.I" (C-75). Betty Smith sings another fine one on her "Songs and Ballads Traditionally Sung in North Carolina" (C-53). Hedy West sings a wonderful "Wife of Usher's Well" on her "Old Times and Hard Times" (C-32).

I can't tell you how indebted I am to Karen K for the "Complete index of artists, songs, ballad, and tunes on Folk-Legacy" that she compiled into a database for me. What an incredible task! With my memory being what it is, especially when Caroline's asleep and I can't just holler down the stairs: "Hey, Caroline! What record is such-and-such on?", I find I use the index every day. These posts have relied upon it, believe me. Thank you, Karen!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 01:13 AM

Stan James of Seattle sang some great ones...the Blacksmith, and the Dutch ghost ship..Vandebeken? mg


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 03:28 PM

Getting over to England, there's, "Tam Pierce, Tam Pierce, lend me thy grey mare..." wherein the last verse is sung very softly as the old mare has become a ghost, with Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Guerney, Peter Davie, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hall, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all! And it all happened at Widdecombe Fair.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: sian, west wales
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 05:13 AM

Jean and Sandy, you've reminded me of a song which is on an old 3 or 4 disc set of Canadian songs of which someone sent me tapes (so I have no cover note to quote). There's a song, Ou Vas Tu Mon P'tit Garcon, which is a French version of The False Knight on the Road. What I remember as odd is that I think it was credited to PEI - which I never thought of as being rich collecting grounds for French-language material. Later I read more about it in a book by Marius Barbeau (which I have at home somewhere) which says that it is, indeed, an oddity. I'll try to remember to find it and get you more info when I get home.

sian


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: curmudgeon
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 07:58 AM

Somewhere, i have an old Riverside LP, "Ghost Ballads" by Dean Gitter. I have never heard of him before or since I got the record.

I do recall some of the songs, Lost Jimmy Whelan, Finnegan's Wake, The Reaper's Ghost, Skin and Bones.

If there's any interest, I'll try to dig it out and post the complete lst of songs.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 09:59 AM

Jean! Thanks for suggesting Widdecome Fair! I teach elementary music and I've been wracking my brain and scouring this thread trying to come up with songs that have no:
murder
lovey-dovey stuff
blood
anything my school deems inappropriate for the children.

This song, sung the way you suggest, will do just fine. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 12:22 PM

Theresa Doyle, who is from PEI or Nova Scotia or somewhere out there has a CD with several ghostly/haunting type songs on it. From memory one has a nautical flavour about a wife seeing her husband who is a (deceaesed)sea captain. One really good one about a Lady in a blue dress, this guy picks her up in his buggy and she dissapears on him. Totally unrelated it has a really kick ass version of Deo Gracias Anglia on it. JohnB


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 01:18 PM

The Wind and the Rain or the Two Sisters as it is usually called has a supernatural element in that the fiddle constructed of bones for pegs and hair for strings of a murdered girl will play only the name of the murderer. Also Tam Lane though British in setting has been sung in America and tells the story of a 'charmed' elf and his seduction of a 'normal' lady. A great Halloween song with all sorts of goblins and such.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 09:49 PM


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Subject: Lyr Add: STOW FAIR (sung by Bob Arnold)
From: IanC
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 05:22 AM

Here's one for you, Jean. Not so ghostly, but it's got an Uncle Tom Goblin

    STOW FAIR
    (from the singing of Bob Arnold)

    Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your old mare,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your old mare,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your old mare ...

    With:
    Bill Brewer, Jack Stewart, Terry Hopkins, Mick Joseph, Harry Hillop,
      Tom Bowling, Dick Chapman, Len Paxwain
    And your Uncle Tom Goblin and all
    With your Uncle Tom Goblin and all

    Tom Pearce's old mare has gone to Stow Fair,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare has gone to Stow Fair,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare she ha' gone to Stow Fair ...

    Tom Pearce's old mare her be tumble-down dead,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare her be tumble-down dead,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare her be tumble-down dead ...

    Tom Pearce's old mare, her'll have to be buried,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare, her'll have to be buried,
    Hoo - Ho - Ho - Hi - Ho!
    Tom Pearce's old mare, her'll have to be buried ...

Bob learned this Cotswolds variant of "Widdecombe Fair" from his friend Harry Albino, also a well-known

Oxfordshire folk singer. It is recorded on "Mornin' All", Bob Arnold, ARGO ZFB83 (Decca Record

Corporation, 1972). Bob was better known, before his death, for playing the gamekeeper Tom

Forrest in the radio programme "The Archers". The tune is somewhat different from the Widdecombe fair

tune, though there is something in common. Stow Fair was originally a hiring fair and still survives as a horse fair. Widdecombe Fair was revived in the 1970s by (among others) Bob Cann.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: John Nolan
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 04:56 PM

Many years ago, accompanied by a Mr. Barry Finn, I attended a musical function at Tufts University, and was moved to sing a supernatural American ballad. It was not well received and I still bear the mental scars. See www.stephaniepiro.com/fc042.htm.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 18 Oct 01 - 06:15 PM

Thanks, Ian- I'm just back from Savannah, Georgia (a Festival) where there are lots of ghosts and ghoullies, it seems. We went sight-seeing after the program, and they kept showing us haunted houses... At any rate, just found your song. Was it based on, "Widdecombe Fair," or was it vice versa? And then there's Frank Mcpeake's, "Monochan Fair," which has a similar song-form, but no plot, nor mare, and is nota'tall ghostly. Best, Jean


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 19 Oct 01 - 10:26 AM

I would consider "Fine Flow'rs in the Valley" a supernatural song. A girl has an out-of-wedlock baby, kills and buries it. On the way home she sees a baby, and wishes it were hers. The baby says, "Oh cruel mother, when I was thine, you did not treat me then so fine." Clearly a ghost, or perhaps possession.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: IanC
Date: 21 Oct 01 - 01:19 PM

Jean

The Widdecombe Fair one's better known and probably more complete, but ... which came first?? ... chicken & egg job.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 21 Oct 01 - 05:01 PM

"There Was an old Woman All Skin and Bones," (collected from the family and now included in almost every school music book in this country and many others) is my very favorite Halowe'en song. On EKL2, and a 1980 JR Concert(cassette only). Annimaterra- no sex, blood or lovey-dovey stuff- and kids ADORE this song! Jean


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: jaze
Date: 21 Oct 01 - 06:18 PM

Long black Veil has supernatural overtones. Only song I can think of that's sung by a ghost.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 04:42 AM

Some lyrics given above for Stow Fair / Widdecombe Fair. The line that refers to Uncle Tom Goblin, shouldn't that be Uncle Tom Cobbley. Few more suggestions for supernatural ballads are; "Witch of the Westmoreland", "Staunton Drew" and "Joseph Baker"


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 06:49 AM

Yes, Jean- my schoolkids of all ages love it the Old Woman. I'll try to get a midi of it onto the Kids page- but how to replicate the BOO!! at the end???


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 12:17 PM

Annimaterra, You might include a () after the printed, BOO! (Yell as loudly as you can), or, (Your best scream). When I first recorded it, in Ed Canby's Greenwich Villge flat, he wouldn't let me scream because he was afraid it would injure his microphone, so, that wiggly funny noise is Ed himself, and it came out something like a horse's whinny, "Nyyyyyyyynynyny!" I've always regretted that I let him do that. I think that by the time of the JR Concert tape recording, microphones were hardier and I did a good hefty yell. Jean


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: IanC
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 11:01 AM

Bill

It's "Goblin" in quite a few of the trad versions. Stow Fair is one.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 05:17 PM

Well, I'd like to hear John Nolan's story of his downfall at Tufts. Why such a sad experience, John?


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Eclipse
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 05:28 PM

A Sort of Supernatral themed song Suzanna Martin (About the Salem witch trials) I don't think it's a traditional song, but don't know much about it (other then having heard it) -Eclipse


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: open mike
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 01:29 AM

refreshing this for halloween....


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Scoville
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 09:46 AM

The bluegrass song "Bringing Mary Home" is a vanishing hitchhiker tale.

I've got a Bob Beers record somewhere that has "the Black-Haired Lass" on it, but I think that's probably an English song.

I once wrote one based on the old story "Cold as Clay" but, unfortunately, it was crap. Oh, well.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 10:16 AM

Anybody mention "Farmer's Curst Wife?" I think that qualifies.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Charmain
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 07:24 PM

Don't think they're American but they could be Americanised if needed

Lowlands
Unquiet Grave
The Bay of Biscay

Also - Tam Lin - you might find it hard to do much to that one though - resolutely Anglo-Celtic I reckon!


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: Susan of DT
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 07:44 PM

I use the keyword myth in the digital tradition for anything from devils to unicorns, ghosts, silkies, etc.


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Subject: RE: Supernatural Ballads....??
From: GUEST,Kent Davis
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 12:15 AM

"Dream of the Miner's Child" involves a premonition of disaster.


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