Mudcat Café message #3991911 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166098   Message #3991911
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
12-May-19 - 06:51 AM
Thread Name: If you don't like ballads......
Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
I like the versions of Gallows Pole by Led Zep and Robert Plant.

Leadbelly did a version called 'Mama Did You Bring me any silver'.

But I think, and I am happy to be corrected, that an earlier version than either of Leadbelly's was recorded. Leadbelly's second version is lovely.

I don't think Child liked any of the English versions of the song, but again, I would be happy to be corrected.

But it does have the 4 stress, 3 stress, 4 stress 3 stress of 'classic' ballad metre. It also has the repetition of particular phrases that is typical of some ballads, and which tends to undermine a view that ballads are just pared down narratives: for me they have what I'll call for the sake of argument 'poetic' features as well as narrative and music.

There is of course a lot of discussion of this song on mudcat.

For me the story of this song illustrates a good point about ballads; they can be interpreted by musicians and performed in a range of musical genres effectively.