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Again my boy can the weather be there I'll call my hair and long. Washington State University presents a wandering ballad singer and bury children with songs that vividly describe the history and folklore of a pioneering country. Death is one of the favorite topics in English balladry and every possible attitude toward death is registered from shock to humor. The death of a loved one in a ballad often affects the survivors so badly that she too must die away from pure sorrow. As romantic as this occurrence may be and as unrealistic to our times many people still expect all good ballads to end with this commonplace. The first ballot that comes to mind when you talk about lovers dying of sorrow is Barbara Allen. But there are many others such as this old one called the Dewey dens of yarrow. I got this one from Al Reuben the
folk singer of Logan Utah who got it some years ago from an old man in the Catskills of New York. In this ballad the death is revealed by a dream in which the girl picks Heather blooms which is probably a reflection of the old plant soul belief once prevalent in northern Europe where the seven sons might be or why the girl drags her lover home with her hair. Are elements left for conjecture. If anyone has any ideas about these things I'd enjoy hearing about them. Well a ballot can state the case better than I can. There were seven. And two of them and when there were seven and did five for his own true in the. Mother I had a dream a saw.
I dream and I was gathering in the room. Oh daughter when you're nearing your dream of really bad and sorrow your true love Jimmy is alive beings in the room. She sought him out. She saw him and she saw him Noah through. And then lied and slammed at the back of a bush. Lost is she. She called and
I am through him from you. Her hair recorders and collar. Tie isn't middle so small and the rug from. Oh mother go make my go make. My true and. Daughter feel not so good to
be not with such Farai. Fine you better better than you. She washed her she co-owned she need a roll. And so. And she had on the banks of the. Less romantic view of death a scene in the humorous Ballad of Ilkley Moore. This is a dialogue between mother and son except the son only gets in one verse edgewise. The humor focuses on the term bar Tut which means without a hat. In some versions you'll hear bought hot or
bought hat. But in any case the message is the same. The sun has been out courting without a hat and impressing your son with the dangers of running about and Oakley more without a hat. The mother gets carried away by her own seriousness and in repeating the bar Tot time after time she throws some humor on actions that might otherwise be strictly macabre. Everything in this ballot happens without a hat. I learned a song from Dr. King Hendrix chairman of the English department at Utah State University of Agriculture in Applied Sciences. He learned it from an in-law who had brought it from England in recent years. It doesn't appear in Professor childs collection which may indicate either its recent growth or that it wasn't serious enough for his purposes. Where has the been since I saw the. New movie. Where has the Benson side on the Where has the Benz inside the
bar for them over bar. Bar. Been married. Been a guard marriage Jane. I I've been a court married Jane. I've. Been not to die and of God and then not to God but in the bar.
Them over by God. Then US would do in the new movie. And would have. Then asked what happened to Barry the. Con. Been worms of company. And worms to come and they are. Then worms Oh come any day I. Bar. Them over bar
them. Then Doctor Who were. Here. Then company. And then Doug so common in the bar. Bar. Bar. Then show the. Limo and Martin. And company in that Dr.. Van combination that Doug. The limo. Bar.
Bar. Then a show have a go and. Then bar ones back. Then I don't have a bar Owen's back. Bar. Or bar. Another English ballad which has become a favorite in this country is one called The old woman all skin and bones. It's just one of a number of songs in which the main character takes death too seriously to the delight of a humored minded audience. Often this type of song involves a ghost who is to come back to haunt a bad boy or a wicked grandmother. The ghost creeps up
the stairs quietly for such a long time that the audience gets completely absorbed in tense. Then comes the surprise ending which makes everybody first jump and then laugh at their own seriousness. In the old English ballads the spirits come back not so much to haunt but to rectify something or see justice done or tell of their own murder. But invalid such as the old woman all skin and bones the ghost or corpse is there only to provide a laugh. You'll notice that there's no escaping the thought that the old woman is so tired she's bound to die before long. There wasn't a woman all skin and bones and this woman lived alone. And this woman thought one day she'd go hear the parson preach. And when she got to the edge of the wood she thought that a rest would
do her some good. Oh. And when she got to the meeting house file she'd sit down rest a while. And when she come to the meeting house door she thought she'd sit down and rest some more. Oh my. And when she got to the church way than she thought she'd sit down and rest again. Oh ma. And Sheila get down she's bi and it forms up the ground.
From the top of his head to that there's gin the worms ground out crawl in. Woman said well I looked like that when I am. A old woman and said yes you'll look like that when you are. The old woman to the parson. Yeah. That's enough about death for awhile next time when I have some songs with a little more life to them. And I'll walk the road again my boy as I walk the road again though and there be a bear I'll call my hair and I walk the road.
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The wandering ballad singer
English ballads III
Producing Organization
Washington State University
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
In this program, "English Ballads III," Barre Toelken plays a variety of death-themed ballads.
Series Description
Folk music series hosted by musician Barre Toelken, who collects folk songs and has worked as a dance band musician, a Forest Service employee, and prospector.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Host: Toelken, Barre, 1935-
Producing Organization: Washington State University
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 60-33-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:46
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Chicago: “The wandering ballad singer; English ballads III,” 1960-06-12, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 28, 2023,
MLA: “The wandering ballad singer; English ballads III.” 1960-06-12. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 28, 2023. <>.
APA: The wandering ballad singer; English ballads III. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from