The Suffolk Miracle
New 6-song EP available here:
Francis James Child was an American scholar who, in the late 1800s, collected and catalogued the texts of 305 traditional songs, publishing them in five volumes of “English and Scottish Popular Ballads”. Songs found in this collection are now referred to as the Child Ballads.
Most of these songs date back to the 1600s (although Unquiet Grave may go back as far as 1400). As they have passed through time and spread out across borders, they have weathered the slow evolutionary forces of the folk tradition and are further altered here by my own renditions.
Henry Martyn (Child #167)
A young man turns ruthless pirate to support himself and his brothers, evading all attempts to apprehend him.
The Suffolk Miracle (Child #272)
A woman is visited by her long lost lover, discovering later that it was only his ghost.
Pretty Colleen (Child #4)
A swindling murderer convinces a young woman to steal from her parents and run away with him. When he reveals his true intentions, she quickly turns the tables. (Omitted from this version is an epilogue in which she returns home before dawn and must bribe the family’s chatty parrot to keep him from revealing her misdeeds)
Dreadful Wind and Rain (Child #10)
A girl drowns her sister out of jealousy. The body is discovered by a musician who crafts a fiddle from her remains.
The Unquiet Grave (Child #78)
A man mourns long at the grave of his dead lover until her ghost appears and implores him to move on.
The Mermaid (Child #289)
When a captain’s mermaid sighting is taken as a harbinger of doom, the crew members have their last words before the ship goes down.