Emily Portman – “Two Sisters”.

Today I have a folk song for you, a beautiful English ballad. Well, this performance is English, but the song is actually known in many European countries, like a lot of folk ballads. I’ve heard different versions, both in terms of plot, melody and language. From English, to Scots, to Hungarian… But I think I am right to assume that it originated in the British Isles. Sometimes it’s known as “Cruel Sister”, but Emily Portman’s version is called “Two Sisters”. It’s a murder ballad – somehow I’ve posted a lot of those, well, I guess they must be really good. –

So, as I said, Emily Portman is English, and the song comes from her album titled “Glamoury”, which was made in cooperation with a harpist Rachel Newton (I haven’t heard her own music but from this album I think she must be a great harpist and I really like her harp play) and another singer – Lucy Farrell – I like that, since it’s said in the song that after the younger sister’s death, a harp was made of her breast bone by a minstrel, this song, in Emily’s version, actually contains harp. A lot of harp. The whole album contains quite a lot of harp, though I can be never satiated. Here goes, I hope you like it.

Martin Simpson – “The Cruel Brother”.

Hi people! 🙂

Today I decided to share another very interesting Child ballad with you. I know many versions and interpretations of it but for some reason I like Martin Simpson’s the most. Somehow it always makes me imagine what’s happening in it very vividly, unlike other versions of it. I hope you will find it very evocative as well. 🙂

Fairport Convention – “Tam Lin”.

Hi. 🙂

Today I have another Fairport Convention’s song, and it is also a traditional ballad. I just love it in their version. It is a Scottish ballad and I’ve been familiar with it for quite a while. When I was younger and at home, Mum often used to read fairytales for me, which resulted in my love for them and for all kinds of myths, legends and folklore stuff. And she had one book with Scottish fairytales which I particularly enjoyed, and there was a fairytale about Tam Lin, one of my favourites i that volume. So I was very happy to see years later that one of my favourite female singers – Sandy Denny – made it with her band.

Bella Hardy – Cruel Mother.

Oh, how I love English folk ballads! I could listen to them… don’t know for how long, there are still other brilliant kinds of music, but anyway I just love them. I like folk ballads in general, but British have something special to them. I could actually even put them among one of my smaller interests, I had the stage in my life, when I was reading Child and Roud ballads all the time and comparing different contemporary version of them. Because of both these collections – Child’s and Roud’s – British ballads are very popular among folk artists, even not British, and they can be truly inspiring, beautiful, weird, magical, and so on.

This one is very interesting and amazing and picturesque. It is a murder ballad. About a mother killing her children, so the topic may seem a little bit scary. But the song is wonderful, and I chose my favourite version, sang by English artist, Bella Hardy.