Traditional Ballads: a Song Swap
Sadie Damascus
Saturday, June 9, 2012, 4:00pm
Music 4 - Room #219

The traditional English and Scottish ballads are very old, and no longer very widely sung. They are of unknown origin, but resemble stories told or sung all over the world. The jealous sister, the poisoned lover, the battling brothers, royalty in disguise, magical transformations, and love and trickery are familiar themes, as well as hunting and ghosts and doomed romance, kings and queens, sailors and shepherds. Ballads are simple story songs, usually sung by one person. There are hundreds of ballads and many versions of most, some no longer heard in Britain but kept alive in the rich musical heritage of Appalachia. Come and share a ballad you particularly like. Singers of the Scots ballads are encouraged to tell the story before singing, so the songs can be better understood by all.

Sadie Damascus grew up learning ballads from records, mainly, in rural Vermont. She collects different versions of the ballads, and never tires of sharing them. She now lives on the Russian River, where she writes, copy-edits, grows herbs, draws, and sings. As The Laughing Lady, she reads humor and comic stories Sunday nights from ten to midnight on Radio KGGV (streaming at and Wednesdays from five pm to six on Radio KOWS (streaming at