N.B. This song has strong themes & may disturb. The clue is in the title. You may want to read the blog before listening.
Working with traditional folk music is a journey into cultural history, it’s an interaction with the past & how we relate to it.
I don’t claim to have any mission with my work with traditional music. I just like it.
If I’m being honest I sometimes perform traditional folk song to evoke some Arcadia, a merrie utopia, a curated memory of a rural life that never was & sometimes I perform it to try to uncover truths about life in the past.
This song is not a merrie one. It is one which is very difficult to place in a set, because of the subject matter. I have thought a lot about why I recorded it & I don’t know.
Maybe it’s unconscious patriarchy. I hope not.
Perhaps some part of me responds to the reductive morality within the song. I hope not.
It haunts me.
It is a beautiful ugly desperate song. It was sung widely across Scotland & England in the 19th century
Traditional folk songs are typically authorless. I wonder how this came about.
This recording is from my current album which you can hear if you follow this link.