/ Spooky folk

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nw - on 03 Dec 2012
Can anyone recommend some dark/spooky folk tracks for a project? Ghosts, murders, witches, strange happenings on the moors etc...
I'm sure I've heard this kind of thing in the past but being unfamiliar with the genre I'm having trouble turning anything up.
Cheers
Ramblin dave - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:
There's loads. A couple that spring to mind would be The Bows of London (a sibling murder and a haunted violin, there's a good Martin Carthy version) or Lucy Wan (incest, murder and suicide - Martin Carthy again or Spiers and Boden). I'll try to dig out a few more when I get home, although I'm looking forward to other people's suggestions, cos it's all good fun.

The first album by Tunng is worth looking at as well - a sort of slightly modernised take on the style with a few electonic bleeps and clicks mixed with the spindly guitars and murder-ballad vocals...
nw - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
Excellent, that sounds like just the kind of thing. I'll get listening!
Mike Peacock on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: Folk music is chock-full of murder. A few that spring to mind: The Bramble Briar - Martin Simpson, Edward - James Yorkston, Cold Blows the Wind and Spectre Review - Bellowhead, Sweet William - Tunng, Widdecombe Fair - Show of Hands, Child Owlet - Steel Eye Span.

Innocent's Song by Show of Hands isn't about murder as such (it's about Herrod) but is nonetheless very creepy. There must also be loads of Current 93 stuff that fits the bill, but nothing springs straight to mind.
toad - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: jim moray sussex miracle is very atmospheric, and JM's got a few other "nightvisiting" songs as well
Turdus torquatus on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:

"Henry Lee" by Nick Cave and PJ Harvey is about a murder and is apparently based on an old folk song.
Blue Straggler - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:

A good murder song is The Kindness of Strangers by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (from the Murder Ballads album which is obviously full of, er, murder ballads...but that song is probably the best for what you want to do, even though I don't know what your project is).

Might not be "folk" enough for you though.

I imagine that Tarnation and The Walkabouts and Willard Grant Conspiracy might have some nice stuff - I'll dig some out later, good excuse for a listen :-)
Ramblin dave - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:
Actually, come to think of it, Songs by Spiers and Boden is full of this sort of stuff. There's the aforementioned Lucy Wan plus Cruel Knife (random girlfriend murder), On Christmas Day (farmers cast down to hell for working on christmas day), Bill Brown (poacher seeks murderous revenge on gamekeeper) and Doleful Dance of Death (guess what this one's about). There's also Childe Morris (random murder, with crossdressing and lesbian overtones) and Bold Sir Rylas (ritual pig murder with supernatural bits), but if anything those two might be a bit too upbeat and bouncy for you...

It's a good album, too.
Tom Last - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:

Reynardine - Fairport Convention

Loads of others by them and Steeleye Span no doubt.
nw - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler: Yes I managed to stumble across the Nick Cave album. Great responses so far, thanks everyone. I had a hunch there would be loads of this kind of thing but it is sometimes hard to know where to start when when you are a total newb. UKC to the rescue :-) Also interested in supernatural themes.
Mike Peacock on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: Also (and stretching the boundaries of folk but never mind) there must be plenty of good Dylan choices. Man in the Long Black Coat is suitably eerie.
Ramblin dave - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Southern Man:
> (In reply to nw)
>
> Reynardine - Fairport Convention

Come to that, the same album's got Tam Lin and Crazy Man Michael which would also seem relevant.
toad - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: Moullettes have some very macabre stuff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmJkEJw4jEU
Tom Last - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
> [...]
>
> Come to that, the same album's got Tam Lin and Crazy Man Michael which would also seem relevant.

Good call.

For the OP, the album's Liege and Lief.
OMR - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: Instrumental music, but spooky as hell - The Third Ear Band. I've heard Alchemy and a compilation, but they also did a soundtrack to MacBeth which, presumably, had its darker moments. Track them down to the late '60s or early '70s.
Mark Collins - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: Actress Maxine Peake and her band Eccentronic Research Council, take their inspiration from the Pendle Witch Trials.
Deri Jones - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: Have a listen to some of Emily Barker's stuff - they did the theme's for Wallander and the Shadow line murder mysteries on the BBC.
http://www.emily-barker.com/p/music.html
toad - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Deri Jones: Saw her a few times this last year - she did a lot of festival sets. Well worth a listen
goosebump - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to toad:

This really isnt folk, but I have a fingathing album called "And the Big Red Nebula Band", bought on a whim, which is spooky electronica (has odd space inspired back story). You can listen to snippets on amazon - I find it really unsettling. Same with the bit is the FSOL Lifeforms album where theres a voice that says "I think Im a bit afraid" "theyre drowning me"(or similar).
nw - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to goosebump: Lifeforms was a fantastic album. I might have to dig that out - thanks for reminding me it exists. What I am after for this though I suppose is stories and imagery. The suggestive power of some of these ballads is really cool. I guess a lot of them are tapping into pretty primal stuff.
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Ramblin dave - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: Out of interest, what's the project?
nw - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Mike Peacock:
> (In reply to nw) Man in the Long Black Coat is suitably eerie.
It is - I like the cinematic feel of it too. Can totally picture this as movie.

Mike Peacock on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: Yes, I know what you mean. A lot of that album has a real dark, swampy feel to it. One of Dylan's best I think.
nw - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
I'm trying to learn to write fiction. I have had ago at writing a couple of 'chillers' recently (short stories) and enjoyed them. I caught a bit of folk on the radio the other day and it occurred to me what a great source of inspiration it might be.
Mike Peacock on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: Just remembered another Tunng one - Tale from Black. It's about a novelist who kills people and writes using their blood.
Duncan Bourne - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:
Walker of the Snow by Davey Spillaine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ka5x60vOwE
Tom Last - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:

Just remembered this.

The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSxrH8yYI_E
Tom Last - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:

And this 'Twa Corbies'.

I couldn't find the Steeleye Span version, but this one with just Maddie Prior and some gothic accompaniment is pretty dramatic!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5Ik8OrT2AU
toad - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Southern Man: Steelye Span?

The wife of Ushers Well (Bellowhead have recently done a version of this)

Long Lankin (Again, a recent version by Jim Moray) - or the perils of stranger danger
Mr Powly - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:

This is a good one, done by lots of people, this one of the first that popped up on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4UEY8XE8KI
drmarten on 03 Dec 2012
I recommend this CD, a couple of hours of real fun. Some of the tracks are very good.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Die-Death-Discs-1914-1960/dp/B004JOBTIK/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8...
toad - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: I know he doesn't regard it as folk, but surely you need this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkRiKeg7TPg
Blue Straggler - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to drmarten:

Ooh that does look fun. I like those themed old compilations, I bought this last year (unrelated to OP) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Like-Atom-Bomb-Apocalyptic-Songs/dp/B00019FWF8/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF...
drmarten on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
I looked that up and was also quite taken with the others in the series listed below in the "Customers who bought this also bought" section. 'Kicking Hitlers Butt - Vintage Anti-Fascist Songs' has the wonderfully titled 'Praise the Lord And Pass The Ammunition'.

For the OP I think Johnny Cash's 'Long Black Veil' may fit your requirements.
I like climbing - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to OMR:
> (In reply to nw) Instrumental music, but spooky as hell - The Third Ear Band. I've heard Alchemy and a compilation, but they also did a soundtrack to MacBeth which, presumably, had its darker moments. Track them down to the late '60s or early '70s.

Good call !
I like climbing - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:
> Can anyone recommend some dark/spooky folk tracks for a project? Ghosts, murders, witches, strange happenings on the moors etc...
> I'm sure I've heard this kind of thing in the past but being unfamiliar with the genre I'm having trouble turning anything up.
> Cheers

Try the Hangman and the Papist by The Strawbs
stroppygob - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to nw: Trees - The Garden of Jane Delawney

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF2GHHCLFTM
Tom V - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:
"The Mistletoe Bough" by Yorkshire waller and singer Will Noble. Bellowhead did it on telly a couple of Christmases ago.
Duncan Bourne - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:
You could always go french
Here are a few by Malacorne
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR1rAWWH9OY la Luneux
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5-_BISbaRc L'ecolier assassin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLgSt1EVx2I la Nuit des Sorcieres
Dauphin - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to nw:

The Magnetic North have it in spades - Betty Corrigall. Shudder.

D
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