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The English and Scottish popular ballads by…

The English and Scottish popular ballads (edition 1965)

by Francis James Child

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1182153,175 (4.29)2
Title:The English and Scottish popular ballads
Authors:Francis James Child
Info:New York, Dover Publications [1965]
Collections:Your library, Pinnacle

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The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, Volumes 1 through 5 by Francis James Child



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A fantastic piece of scholarship, although it did take a bit of effort to understand how to "read" the various types of entries--but well worth it. Reading new ballads gets better and better, and when I am in the the mood to relax and be delighted, these are the books I pick up.

In the 19th century, Child collected every ballad (it appears) known in Scotland and England and compared the different versions that had been remembered or published, with astute and fascinating analysis of how they changed or were "combined" in people's memories. He also comments on the more than 30 languages in which he found some of them.

One of my favorite finds was the verse used by Simon and Garfunkel for their recording of "Canticle/Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.". By listening to their recording, and following the information Child provides, you can hear the canticle sung "against" the main ballad, and can more clearly distinguish the lyrics of the third melody that S&G added, an anti-gun protest. Anachronistic, since guns were in the future, but then there IS artistic license.

I also love reading the Early Modern English or the Scots lyrics--glossary provided, although using a website for Scots is more easily accessible and more comprehensive.

One commentator states that these ballads are the most true-to-life descriptions available of what life really was like in earlier centuries. ( )
  Diane-bpcb | Jul 12, 2015 |
A classic collection which I have yet to read all the way through...
  Georges_T._Dodds | Mar 29, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486431509, Paperback)

Published between 1882 and 1898, the original ten-part study became the definitive collection of popular English and Scottish ballads. Francis James Child superceded previous and unreliable ballad editions by compiling all the extant ballads with all known variants, making them available for the first time. Features his invaluable commentary for each work.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:13 -0400)

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