Category Archives: ballads

Men of Harlech (Rhyfelgyrch Gwŷr Harlech), a Welsh Military March

 “Men of Harlech” (Rhyfelgyrch Gwŷr Harlech) is a traditional military march and is said to chronicle the seven-year long siege of Harlech Castle in the 1460s. The incident is considered the longest known siege in British history. The garrison was commanded … 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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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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Colorful (But Lesser Known) Contemporaries of William Shakespeare, Part I

There are a slew of contemporaries of Shakespeare of which many of you never encountered in your English classrooms, whether high school of university. These are some of the more colorful ones.  Barnaby (Barnabe) Barnes was the third son of … Continue reading

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