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Archive for the ‘Folk Music’ Category

Please check out my free, online album on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/evankerry/sets/play-that-railroad-bill-song

 

It’s heavy on Banjo with a few Guitar tracks thrown in.

 

Enjoy,

 

Evan Kerry

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A tidy slim book designed to eek the adventure out of you.

Rambles Round Donegal, Patrick Campbell
The Mercier Press, Dublin and Cork
1981, Paperback

I picked up this book at a small bookstore in Dublin and I’m very wise to do so. After visiting my grandmother’s home in the Croaghs I want to learn all I can about Co. Donegal. The fiddling, folklore and fishing would be my main interests so far, well aside from the beautiful scenery. The book gives a tour of the county and brief interludes of tales of its’ people make it an excellent addition to the literature of the county.

Glen of Glenties

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Donegal Fiddle Playing

http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2011/12/donegal-fiddle-players.html

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There is an interesting article over at NYTimes.com about the legacy of the Grateful Dead and their different eras and periods.  Specifically the underground fandom of amateur tape archivists is discussed at length. One can tell the reporter is a Head which makes the article that much more enjoyable.

Here is the link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/arts/music/12ratl.html?ref=arts

There is also a fine fan photo tribute site that is being added to daily: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/04/10/arts/20090410-grateful-dead-user-photos.html#/0

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This little known title is available on Gutenberg.org and it is wonderful:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14232/14232-8.txt

A Celtic Psaltery is filled with Irish, Scots and Welsh Poetry translated by Mr. Graves himself.

Please Enjoy,

Michael Evan Kerry McCullough

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Please check the link to the Child Ballads Index online:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/

Here you will find all of the songs from the original edition with some of the variants missing, though.

If you are unfamiliar with who Francis James Child was then please brush up on his life and work here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_James_Child

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This is a new favorite of mine, while I prefer the Hobart Smith version the Mac Wiseman edition is tres sweet.

 

Here are the lyrics:

Come all kind people, my story to hear,
What happen’d to me in June of last year.
It’s of poor Ellen Smith and how she was found,
A ball in her heart, lyin’ cold on the ground.

It’s true I’m in jail, a prisoner now,
But God is here with me and hears every vow.
Before Him I promise the truth to relate
And tell all I know of poor Ellen’s sad fate.

The world of my story’s no longer a part,
But knows I was Ellen’s own lovin’ sweetheart.
They knew my intention to make her my wife,
I loved her too dearly to take her sweet life.

I saw her on Monday, before that sad day
They found her poor body and took her away;
That she had been killed never entered my mind
Till a ball through her heart they happened to find.

Oh who was so cruel, so heartless, so base
As to murder poor Ellen in such a lonesome place?
I saw her that morning so still and so cold
And heerd the wild stories the witnesses told.

I choked back my tears, for the people all said
That Peter Degraph had shot Ellen Smith dead!
My love is in her grave with her hand on her breast
The bloodhound and sheriff won’t give me no rest.

They got their Winchesters and hunted me down,
But I was away in ole Mount Airy town.
I stayed off a year and I prayed all the time
That the man might be found whut committed the crime.

So I could come back in my character safe (and my character
save?)
Ere the flowers had faded on poor Ellen’s grave.
So I come back to Winston my trial to stand
To live or to die as the law might command.

Ellen sleeps calm in the lonely church yard
While I look trough the bars — God knows it is hard!
I know they will hang me — at least, if they can,
But I know I will die as an innocent man.

My soul will be free when I stand at the bar
Where God tries his cross, then, there, like a star,
That shines in the night, will an innocent shine
Oh, I do appeal to the Justice of Time!

If this version doesn’t seem right to you remember there are always variants of songs.

This excerpt comes from Ethel Park Richardson’s book American Mountain Songs:  “Peter Degraph really did shoot and kill Ellen Smith
(according to the verdict) near Mt. Airy, NC. He was executed for
the crime, and while he waited for them to take him to the chair
he called for a guitar, and this song was composed and sung by
him. So great was the feeling, for and against Degraph, that it
had to be declared a misdemeanour for the song to be sung in a
gathering of any size for the reason that it always fomented a
riot.”

Here is the search at Youtube for Poor Ellen Smith:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=poor+ellen+smith

 

Hope you enjoy

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