BARBARA ALLEN

Latest update on 11/12/2013

Artist: Clara Butt
Author: traditional
Label: His Master's Voice
Year: 1910

The Vera Lynn of World War One.

Covers:

1927:

Vernon Dalhart

1928:

Bradley Kincaid

1933:

John Jacob Niles [as The Ballad Of Barberry Allen]

1933:

Moses Platt [Lomax recording]

1936:

Rebecca Tarwater [Charles Seeger recording]

1940:

Rebecca King Jones [Anne & Frank Warner recording]

1941:

Maxine Sullivan

1946:

Doris Day

1947:

Merle Travis

1949:

Phil Tanner

1951:

Josh White

1951:

Jessie Murray

1952:

Fred Jordan

1952:

Charlie Wills

1953:

Sarah Makem [Tommy Makem's mother]

1954:

Thomas Moran

1954:

May Bennell

1958:

Everly Brothers

1959:

Hawkshaw Hawkins

1959:

Shirley Collins

1961:

Joan Baez

1961:

Jean Ritchie [a cappella]

1962:

Bob Dylan [8 minute version on Live At The Gaslight; "Without Barbara Allen there'd be no Girl From The North Country"]

1963:

Hylo Brown

1966:

Peter & Gordon

1967:

Hedy West

1973:

Pete Seeger

1988:

De Danann

1994:

Dolly Parton

2000:

Judy Collins

2000:

Norma Waterson

2001:

Emmylou Harris [idem]

2001:

Andreas Scholl

2001:

Emmy Rossum [in film Songcatcher]

2004:

John Travolta [in film A Love Song For Bobby Long]

2005:

Cassie Franklin, Emily Creel & Dennis George [American version on cd Song Links 2]

2005:

Mary Humphreys & Anahata [as Barbrie Ellen; lyrics copied from a 1923 version by William Pittawen from Oxfordshire, collected by Cecil Sharp; on cd Song Links 2]

2008:

Mary McPartland

2011:

Martin Simpson

2013:

Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones

Song collecting pioneer Samuel Pepys mentioned this murder ballad in his diary in 1666. It was also the favorite melody of Nell Gwynn, king Charles II's favorite. Abraham Lincoln sang it as a child. Song #84 in the Child collection. Model for the ballad form in secondary schools in England and the US. "Hard-hearted Barbara Allen" is buried right next of her "sweet William". A rose and a briar grow out of each of their bosoms and what seemed impossible during both of their lifetimes is accomplished post mortem: they get entwined in a true love's knot. But what this song really advocates is "thou shalt not have pleasure", the dominant Protestant puritan ethic of pious pioneer women punishing their men in the only way they knew how: by refusing sex at the moment of climax.

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

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