Every Folk Song








July 2019
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7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
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Roud 13 is called "The Dowie Dens of Yarrow." It's as much about a small area of Scotland and it's history as it is about a man betrayed and the woman who mourns him.


Direct download: 13_-_The_Dowie_Dens_of_Yarrow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:39pm EDT

Roud 12 is called "The Elfin Knight." You would definitely know it better as "Scarborough Fair." Its about a magical man and his would-be young bride. And it's about an old merchant's fair in North Yorkshire. And it's about 4 herbs, which you know very well. 

There's a lot of modern history with this song, so as such, there's a LOT of information. 



Direct download: Roud_12_-_The_Elfin_Knight.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:39pm EDT

This episode focuses on Roud 11, "The Baffled Knight." It's a moral swamp and I have a few breakdowns about it. The oldest published version was in 1609 and that's almost as long as it's been since I last released an episode.



Direct download: 11_-_Baffled_Knight.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38am EDT

Roud 10, "Lord Randall" is the last song about murder for a little while, I think. Evolved from an old Italian song first printed in the 1600's, this English song has been incredibly popular. And it's one of Matt's favorite songs we've covered so far.


Direct download: Roud_10_-_Lord_Randall.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39pm EDT

 Roud 9, "The Cruel Mother"A product of the society and moral/political climate it formed in, this 400ish-year-old song weaves a haunting and disturbing tale. While possibly borne of politics long past, this song still has a deep impact when viewed against the social problems of the day. Another song about murder...



Direct download: Roud_9_-_The_Cruel_Mother.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18am EDT

Roud 8, the Twa Sisters. Or the Two Sisters. Or 30 different other titles. This ballad, first published in 1656, has it's roots in European culture as far back to the 9th Century and spreads out like a great tree from there, with different leaves on each branch but the same trunk underneath. If you like the way I murdered that metaphor, you'll love this tale of murder and jealousy and dismemberment and fiddle-making.



Direct download: Roud_8_-_The_Twa_Sisters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18pm EDT

Roud 7, "The Female Highwayman" or "Sovay." This somewhat ridiculous ballad comes from the English countryside somewhere between the 16th and 18th centuries, and crops up in the countrysides of all English-speaking nations where highway robbery was a significant problem. It's a love song! About threatening to murder someone.


Direct download: Roud_7_-_The_Female_Highwayman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Roud 6, "Long Lankin." This horrifying and dark folk song comes from the Northern UK, dating back to at least the 15th century. It's not an easy one to digest and it's origins are as clouded in darkness and mystery as the story it tells. WARNING: This episode is pretty creepy and probably not suited for anyone very young or with a very young-like proclivity to fear.


Citations and other content at:


Direct download: Roud_6_-_Long_Lankin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:25am EDT

Roud 5, "The Three Ravens." An old English ballad thought to date back to the 13th century, this bleak, BLEAK song was first printed in 1611. Find out just how bleak it is and just how much bleaker it could get when it finds its way to Scotland. This is really a dark twilight of the soul kind of podcast episode.


Direct download: Roud_5_-_The_Three_Ravens.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This episode focuses on Roud 4, "Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor." (alt. Ellenor, Elendor, Ellinor, Elinor) The lyrics to this song have remained relatively unchanged since it was printed on a Broadside in 1677. Sit tight as Matt does his own re-telling, followed by a brief history, and then digs into the meanings and context of this insane story.



Direct download: Roud_4_-_Lord_Thomas_and_Fair_Eleanor_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:20pm EDT

This episode focuses on Roud 3, "The Sprig of Thyme." Originally collected by Cecil Sharpe as "Seeds of Love" in 1903. Matt dissects the often-questionable poetry of the song, discusses the attitudes on gender and sexuality that the song expresses, and touches on an English New Wave band from the early 80's.

CONTENT WARNING: Sex is referred to quite a bit in both mature and immature fashions. Matt says "bone down on" at least once. Sorry.



Direct download: Roud_3_-_The_Sprig_of_Thyme2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This episode focuses on Roud 2, "The Unfortunate Rake" and it's journey across Europe, through the Crimean War, and over the Atlantic, where it settled in the American West and New Orleans. Made popular as "The Streets of Laredo" and "St. James Infirmary" by artists like Johnny Cash and Louis Armstrong.



Direct download: Roud_2_-_The_Unfortunate_Rake.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

In this inaugural episode, we start off with Roud 1, The Raggle Taggle Gypsy, a Scottish ballad originating from the 17th century. And a brief explanation of this podcast and this "Roud Folk Music Index" everyone (matt) has been talking about.



Direct download: Roud_1_-_The_Raggle_Taggle_Gypsy2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT