Folk Plus - January 22, 2000

Ballads and Story songs

Today on Folk Plus is a sort of "Selected Shorts" to music. Today is stories in song. Our first story ballad comes from Mary McCaslin and Jim Ringer about a gambler who ups the stakes and plays for a man's daughter, and we find out she is not against the potential results.

1.   Ballad Of Weaverville- (Ringer/McCaslin) Mary McCaslin
      Prairie in the Sky - Philo 1011
     "I'll tell you `bout a gambler folks, Jim Weaver was his name"

This story is about best friends who end up together in war, until one decides that he can't fight.

2.   Ballad of Joseph Schultz - Dave Crossland
      Here's to the Ride - Purple Beech Music
      29 Borton Ave Akron, Ohio, 44302
      "I was following orders Joe, you should have done the same"

This tune depicts the highwayman, robber who falls for the woman he intended to rob.

3.   On the Road to Fairfax County - (Massengill) The Roches
      Keep on Doing - Warner Bros 23725-1
      "Once I loved an outlaw"

Not all story songs are so sad..

4.   The Night Pat Murphy Died - Finest Kind
      Lost in a Song -  Fallen Angel Music
      "That's how they show their respect for Paddy Murphy"

5.   Witch of the Westmorland - (Fisher) Stan Rogers
      Between the Lines - Live  Fogerty's Cove Music
      "There's none can harm the knight whose's lain with the Witch of Westmorland"

The story of an old forgotten soldier no longer with a family

6.   Home from the Forest - Gordon Lightfoot
       First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Pickwick Records of Canada
      "Oh the neon lights were flashing and the icy wind did blow"

A dirt farmer fights to keep his daddy's land

7.  Kansas Legend  (D. MCCrimmon) - Robin and Linda Williams
     Robin and Linda Williams - ASI Records 711 W Broadway Minneapolis Minn 55411
     Billy was a lad of 10 when the horse thieves drove his daddy out

The diggers fight to till the unused soil in Ireland

8. World Turned Upside Down - (The Diggers Song ) Karn Casey
    Songlines  - Shanachie
    "In 1649 Saint George's Hill, a ragged people came to show the people's will"

Francis Child,(1825-1896) was a Harvard Graduate in 1846.  He undertook the large task of gathering manuscripts for ballads in English, Scottish and related languages. Between 1882 - 98 was published the 305 ballads in English and Scottish Popular Ballads, lovingly referred to now as the Child Ballads. Few significant additions have been made so this remains as the authoritative collection.

9.  Annachie Gordon - (Child Ballad 239) Cindy Mangsen
     Long Time Traveling - Hog Eye Records
     "Won't you lead me to the chamber where my love lies in"

10. Ar Eirinn i neosfarinn ce hi - (trad) Dervish
      Live in Palma - Kells Music,
     A gaelic speaker called: "griondar ma chri eist le sin" It makes my heart lift to hear this.

11.  Two Sisters (Child ballad variation) - Clannad
       Dulaman - Shanachie
      "There were two sisters side by side, the youngest for young Johnny cried"

A man misleads a lady.

12.  Nancy Reynard (Frank Christian) New England Express
       The Coop Fast Folk March '83
       "John was a sailor for the coast guard"

And again.

13.  Fair Flower of Northumberland - Eileen McGann
       Turn it Around - Dragonwing Music
       Disk in US by Canadian River Music Amarillo TX 806 372 4203
      "I cannot go back to my own country"

And one who dies refusing a man

14. Sir Hubert Vayne (Johnson) - Artisan
       Rocking at the End of Time - Festival Records, London
       "Pursued by Sir Hubert's soldiers."
       (Appearing in Liberty at Warehouse III on Feb 14th)

Stories not unlike Elian Gonzalez' relations experienced

15. Sierra Blanca Massacre - David Massengill
      Twilight the Taj Majal  - Plump Records -
      "Eighteen died in a railroad car...they were all Mexicano"

A few stories of couples:

16.  Doris and Edwin: The Movie - Chrisitne Lavin
       Live at the Cactus Cafe - Philo Records -
       A movie in the form of a song

17.  Gladys and Harley - Carla Sciaky
       Awakening - Green Linnet Records
       "Gladys and Harley were married at twenty, it was the Depression..."

18.  Stuart and Lillian - Tamarack
       Fields of Rock and Snow - Folk Era
       "When Stuart and Lillian won fourteen million,
         they thought the money would not change their life"

A very old story!

19.  Calypso - Suzanne Vega
       Solitude Standing - A&M Records
       "My name is Calypso and I have lived alone"

Based on Norman MacLean's book Young Men and Fire about the Mann Gulch fire.

20.  Cold Missouri Waters - James Keelaghan
       Recent Future - Green Linett
       "August `49, north Montana, hottest day on record"

The story of aging love

21.  The Dutchman (M. Smith) - Steve Goodman
       Someone Else's Troubles - Buddah records
      "Winters rolls the windmills round"

The story of a whole town's acceptance of a growing child with special needs.

22.  Radio - Chuck Brodsky
       Radio - Red House
       A story of how "love and attention gave voice to a mute"

The story of an Atlantic Ocean crossing

23.  The Ballad of Harbo and Samuelsen - (J.Bryant) Rick Lee
       There's Talk about a Fence - Waterbug
       100 years ago 2 men cross the Atlantic in an 18 foot open boat
        "In Brooklyn NY at the turn of the century lived two Norwegians"
       "We'll see you in France or we'll see you in Heaven"

The story of how kindness is never forgotten

24. Sister Helen's List - David Roth
      Irreconcilable Similarities - Wind River Records
      "Take out two sheets of paper and list all their names...
      write down at least one thing they could, that they liked about each in the room"