The liner notes commented:. Rod Stradling noted in the album's booklet:. John Howson noted:. This is a truncated version of a very widespread ballad. When Emma was young she hated her mother singing it because she felt it was so depressing. This recording was included in on the Musical Tradition anthology of songs from the Smith family, Band of Gold. I don't know where the tune materialised from so I think I must have made it up. I know I sang it as a child, though whether it's from school or the family I don't know.
The song is extremely old and was said to be the favourite of Charles the Second's mistress, Nell Gwynn. Edgar Waters commented in the liner notes:. Barbara Allen is 84 in Professor Francis J. Whether it is Scottish or English in origin is anybody's guess.
There are many, many English and Scottish versions. It was known in English-speaking parts of Ireland by the eighteenth century, where Oliver Goldsmith heard it sung by the family dairymaid, and it remains widely sung there, and in North America. Martin Carthy learnt Barbara Allen - Ruth Welcome - Sounds Of The Time - Cafe Continental (Vinyl version from the singing of an English worker, Jim Wilson, recorded in a Sussex country pub in The location varies from version to version but Reading is also given in the fine version collected by Ewan MacColl from the Dorset gypsy singer, Queen Caroline Hughes in He noted:.
I think that I've known Barbary Ellen all my life. The song I learned was very short and gave you nothing of her anger at being treated with such disdain and how that translates to the contempt with which she treats his rather late declarations of lurve… The tune is from the Shropshire gypsy, Samson Price.
Nic Jones sang Barbara Ellen on his CD anthology Unearthedwhich is a collection of concert, club and studio performances recorded prior to Maud Karpeles, Anahata, through his cello accompaniment tells the story too, in his own way.
Mary Humphreys noted:. You won't have heard this version, it comes from Cottenham. Her father Arthur was very much into Braille, developing it because he had another two daughters who were blind or partially sighted. He got to know LP) Merrick who was part of the folk song society people, who came up to Cottenham at some point and obviously enthused Ella Bull to write down all the folk songs she knew because she'd heard the family servants singing them.
This is around One of the family servants, Charlotte Dann, nee Few, carried on living in Cottenham just a few doors down the street. Ella Bull visited her, saying can I have some more of your songs please?
It was Malcolm Douglas who was so generous with his knowledge, who told me, I'll tell you where to look for it, go and find it. He set me off on my little trail. I can't thank him enough. I thought, that's a good version, why don't I sing that? Cottenham was five miles away from where we lived and we used to run a tunes session there—it was so good to actually play tunes in the place where a lot of the stuff came from.
I got to know some of Charlotte Dane's relatives through my research, and I met her great grandson, who gave me a family book written by Charlotte's daughter Annie, with all sorts of things in there, LP), recipes, but also folk song lyrics, and photo of her, fabulous. I love the song, we sing it quite a bit. This video shows them at Sheffield Folk Festival in The Devil's Interval sang Barbara Allen in ca. He claims to have learned it from a collection of South Carolina folksongs.
This track was also included in on his anthology A Beginner's Guide. When I was about 8 years old, Miss Cook, the music teacher at Brumby Junior School taught my class a version of Barbara Allen and I still remember vividly how much I was moved by the song. I even asked if I could take home my copy of the lyrics on purple ink roneoed paper, which I can still smell. Peter Shepheard noted:.
Learnt by Tom from a recording made by Peter Hall in the early s of John Stewart, a settled traveller in Aberdeen. I loved the tune and the feeling he put into it. Barbara Allen is one of the most popular traditional ballads both in print and collected from the living tradition.
Bronson published tunes and texts for the ballad, but I think he missed this one. Brian Peters and Jeff Davis sang Barbara Allen on their album Sharp's Appalachian Harvesta selection of traditional songs and music from the collection made by Cecil Sharp LP) the Appalachian Mountains between and They recorded the ballad with Emily Portman singing lead in for their second album, Wild Hog. Our version of Barbara Allenthat most popular English language ballad of them all, comes from Elizabeth Cronin, who was recorded in County Cork in the early s.
The first reference to the song was made by Samuel Pepys in a diary entry and it has since been widely collected throughout Britain and America. Also known as Barbara Allenthis is one of, if not the, most commonly collected of British Folk ballads with apparently hundreds of versions found in America.
With such high drama, dark emotion, stark sorrow and ending in the death of both protagonists this song has long been a perennial favourite amongst singers and I guess is also why it has prevailed so profusely.
Bob Askew noted:. This ballad has been the most popular folk song from the 17 th century up to today. Barbara Allen refuses the advances of a lover, who then dies. She, then repenting, dies soon after for love. After reading the text of this ballad, I assumed the song would be a minor key and therefore read the sheet music wrong and thus came into creation this rather spooky melody.
She also sang it unaccompanied in on her download album Ballads Vol. He sent his man down through the town, To the place where she was dwelling. She on her death bed as she lay, Begged to be buried by him, And so repented of that day, That she did e'er deny him. Hence forth take warning by the Barbara Allen - Ruth Welcome - Sounds Of The Time - Cafe Continental (Vinyl, Of cruel Barbara Allen.
He fell sick, and very, very bad, And more inclined to a-dying, He wrote a letter to the old house at home To the place where she was dwelling, etc. You drank a health to the ladies there But you slighted Barbary Allen. And Death is printed on his face And all his heart is stealing. It was all in the month of May, When the green leaves they were a-springing, A young man on his sick bed lay, For the love of Barbara Allen.
And she upon her death bed lay, Bed to be buried by him. And she's repented of the day That e'er she did deny him. All in the third part of the year When green leaves they were falling, Young Johnny Rose, all down from the war, Fell in love with Barbary Ellen. I fell in love with a dark eyed girl And her name was Barbary Ellen. So slowly, slowly she rose up, So slowly she put on her, So slowly come to his bedside And so slowly LP) looked upon him.
No the better for me you never shall be Though your heart's blood were spilling. You made the health of all round the place But never for your love Ellen. She walked over yon garden field, She heard the dead bell knelling. She lifted the lid from off the corpse, She bursted out with laughing.
For William died of love today And I shall die of sorrow. For William died for me today And I shall die tomorrow. They buried her all in the churchyard, They buried him in the choir. And out of him there grew a red rose And out of her a briar. RIFF-it good. Listen while you read! Add Comment. Always Drive A Cadillac 4. Amanda Ruth 5. Arms Of Mary 6. Asleep 7. Barbara Allen 8. Blueberry Hill 9. Bowling Green Breakdown Brother Jukebox Burma Shave Can't Get Over It Carol Jane Cathy's Clown - The Everly Brothers Christmas Eve Can Kill You Claudette Cuckoo Bird Danger Danger Deep Water Deliver Me Devoted to You Do You Don't Forget To Cry Don't Worry Baby Donna, Donna Cheeeek that out dude.
Lead RIFFs:. Bad selection. Save Cancel. Really delete this comment? Yes No. Always Drive A Cadillac. Amanda Ruth.
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