This blog documents my mission to learn more about the 305 traditional English and Scottish ballads collected by Francis James Child in the mid 1800s.  The plan is that I will write my personal thoughts on the ballad, my thoughts on Child’s notes, and attempt to sing one version.

Note: Many of the Child ballads are not suitable for children.

I occasionally blog about a few other topics at Insert Original Blog Name Here.


Biographical Sketch

Child 1: Riddles Wisely Expounded

Child 2: The Elfin Knight

Child 3: The False Knight Upon the Road

Child 4: Lady Isobel and the Elf Knight Part 1

Child 4: Lady Isobel and the Elf Knight Part 2

Child 5: Gil Brenton

Child 6: Willie’s Lady

Child 7: Earl Brand

Child 8: Erlinton

Child 9: The Fair Flower of Northumberland

Child 10: Twa Sisters

Child 11: The Cruel Brother

Child 12: Lord Randal

Child 13: Edward

Child 14: Babylon; or The Bonnie Banks O Fordie

Child 15: Leesome Brand

Child 16: Sheath and Knife


4 Responses to About

  1. julyandavis says:

    Splendid blog. Thank you!

  2. Fiona says:

    I love ballads, and I’m so excited to read all your blog entries as soon as I have time.

    For starters, I’m intrigued by the artwork related to Child ballads you have at the top of the page. My mother is a traditional ballad singer and has released two CD’s of Child ballads. For her webpage, which has the liner notes and lyrics for the ballads she sings on the 2 CDs, I attempted to find a suitable illustration for each. You can see my efforts at http://www.rosaleengregory.ca/rosaleens-child-ballad-cds.html (click on the song names for links). I was limited to images in the public domain and in Weebly (the website software)’s library, so I mostly used generic images.

    From left to right, I see you have found a picture for a) The Outlandish Knight, b) The Twa Corbies, and d) The Devil’s Nine Questions, not sure about c) (?). Who are the artists? I looked for artwork related to the Outlandish Knight…I like what I ended up using but it wasn’t specific to the ballad.

    FYI Wikipedia has a nice public domain illustration for Tamlin!

    • djiril says:

      Well, the first three pictures up there are by Arthur Rackham whose works entered the public domain in 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Rackham
      I hope you enjoy my blog. I shall have to check out you mother’s recordings since I am always looking for recordings of the ballads sung in the traditional manner. (Though I will admit to a weakness for folk-rock versions as well.)

      • Fiona says:

        Ah now I’ve found out the third image is the heroine from Young Beichan conferring with the Billy Blind (house elf). I’m relieved it’s not the Elf Knight as he’s not at all attractive!

        Folk-rock renditions can sometimes really capture the spirit of a ballad. I love Nick Cage and PJ Harvey’s rendition of Henry Lee (Young Hunting).

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