Category Archives: ballads

Finding Sheet Music During the Regency Era

Although quite expensive, sheet music was readily available during the Regency era. Many a person subscribed to services offered by music publishers, among the Schirmer, the most well known of the time. Sheet music was produced for subscribers in bound … Continue reading

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New Year’s Eve Tradition of “Auld Lang Syne”~ From Where Does It Come?

Tomorrow night, many of you will break out into the strands of “Auld Lang Syne.” The song evokes nostalgia and a sense of belonging. But what do you know of the song’s origin? Of its lyrics?  According to “The History … Continue reading

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The Origins of the “Irish” Ballad, “Danny Boy”

Okay, I admit it. “Danny Boy” is one of my favorite songs, but it is not because I am Irish (which I am, for I have strong Irish roots in my ancestral tree). I simply think that the melody of … Continue reading

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George Thomson, Savior of British Traditional Music

“The Maid of Llanwellyn” is a Welsh song of love in which the girl admits she has no care for whether her lover is rich or not. From Contemplator [You may listen to the music on this site.] we learn, “This … Continue reading

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Hanging a Monkey as a French Spy During the Napoleonic Wars

What do you know of the Hartlepool Monkey and the “Monkey Hangers”? I certainly knew nothing of the tale until I stumbled across it. Legend says that a shipwrecked monkey was hanged as a French spy during the Napoleonic Wars … Continue reading

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“Whiskey in the Jar,” a Traditional Irish Ballad

A traditional Irish song, “Whiskey in the Jar,” is about a Rapparee or Highwayman, whose wife/lover betrayed him. It is a widely popular tune that had know a number of professional recordings including: Séamus Ennis, Burl Ives, The Highwaymen, the … Continue reading

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A Gest of Robyn Hode, a Robin Hood Folk Ballad

In 1560, William Copeland printed the fragments of the various Robin Hood folk dramas. The “plays” were likely performed by mummers and strolling players for a century or more before Copeland printed them. A Gest of Robyn Hode A Gest … Continue reading

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18th Century Folk Tune: “English Country Garden”

English Country Garden is well known in the United Kingdom, English Country Gardens was originally a Morris tune (that is a tune usually played on the accordion or violin to accompany traditional English Morris dancing).  The tune was collected by … Continue reading

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17th Century Ballad, ‘The Oak and the Ash’ or ‘The North Country Maid’

 This familiar song can be found in a black-letter copy also in the Roxburgh Collection. Isla Cameron and Louis Killen sang The Oak and the Ash in 1961 on their Prestige album The Waters of Tyne. It has a familiar … Continue reading

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On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at, Yorkshire Unofficial Anthem

The traditional English folk song, ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at,’comes from the County of Yorkshire, and it is written in Yorkshire dialect. In The Yorkshire Dictionary (Arnold Kellett, 2002) says the dialect used in the song is representative of the area … Continue reading

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