1. noun: a seller of ballads, esp on broadsheets.
2. Noun: a writer of mediocre poetry.
One of the earliest traditional folk songs I learned was "Shady Grove," a fairly innocuous and vague enough love song. Over the years I realized that it was an adaptation and condensing of the much longer ballad "Matty Groves" made well-known by the singing and playing of Doc Watson. A bit more digging reveals the older cousin to be this fine ballad "Little Musgrave." None of the songs is better than the other, but I certainly love this recording by Planxty that captures the story and delivers it in a musically enchanting and rich way.
History & Synopsis
For a wonderfully written and scholarly history of this song, go to Murder Ballad Monday and learn everything there is to know about this ballad!