USA, 2013, English folk / Scottish folk

Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson HamerChild Ballads: I’ve heard many folk artists cover Child ballads. Folk’s my thing, both avant and traditional. It depends on my mood. This album is full of traditional English folk songs. The thing is, they’re Child ballads, which means they’re some of the 305 old folk songs “from England and Scotland, and their American variants, anthologized by Francis James Child during the second half of the 19th century” (wikipedia). There are lyrics but no music, so each folk artist who comes to these ballads has to interpret them in his/her own way, and of all the Child ballads I’ve heard, Anaïs Mitchell’s interpretations are superlative.

One thought on “

  1. This album is a perfect example of the enduring power of folk, playing songs centuries old (as they were “old, traditional ballads” before Child anthologized them) and making them feel fresh and real and powerful and simply, deeply human.

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