Category Archives: ballads

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

Posted in ballads, British history, Georgian Era, music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in ballads, British history, Georgian England, history, legends, Living in the Regency, Napoleonic Wars | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“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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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

Posted in Act of Parliament, ballads, customs and tradiitons, dancing, music | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments