This week I'm focused on Child Ballads: on old, old songs performed in new ways, along with a couple of other good pieces rooted in traditional folkways.
Above: "The Fair Flower of Northumberland" (Child Ballad #9) performed by Scottish musician Alasdair Roberts, with Amble Skuse and David McGuinness. The song appears on their strange and remarkable new album, What News. The video, filmed at the University of Glasgow, features performance artist Sgàire Wood.
Above: "Abbots Bromley Horn Dance" performed by Stick in the Wheel, from East London. The video, containing archival footage from Abbots Bromley, was directed by Ian Carter, with animation by Teresa Elizabeth Lobos. To learn more about the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance go here. To read about deer in folk ritual and myth, go here and here.
Below: "Over Again" performed by Stick in the Wheel.
Both songs are from their terrific new album, Follow Them True.
Above: "Willie's Lady" (Child Ballad #6) performed by folk legend Martin Carty. This live version comes from the album The Folk Vault: Martin Carthy, Live in Whitby 1984, released in 2013.
Below: "The Elfin Knight" (Child Ballad #2) performed by another folk legend, Norma Waterson, with Norma & Martin's daughter, Eliza Carthy, and the Gift Band. It's from their new album, Anchor, which I highly recommend.
Oh heck, here's one more:
"Matty Groves" (Child Ballad 81) performed by the French/American band Moriarty. The song travelled to the New World with early Anglo/Scots settlers, becoming part of the North American traditional songbook too.
The art today is by Daniel Egnéus.