A Horse Named Bill
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Audio CD, June 13, 2014
Wild Bill Jones (3:27)
Whiskey in the Jar (2:56)
One Morning in May (4:52)
Buffalo Skinners (3:16)
Santa Fe Trail (4:27)
Blackberry Blossom (2:34)
False Hearted Lover (4:03)
A Horse Named Bill (3:44)
So Lonesome I Could Cry (2:20)
Total running time, 31:39
“A Horse Named Bill” is a collection of my favorite ballads, performed over light percussion, bass, piano, guitar, banjo, and mandolin.
Most of these songs are traditional American folksongs, though “One Morning in May” is obviously English in origin. “Santa Fe Trail” was published in 1911 by Comet Publishing Co. of Denver. The words were by James Grafton Rogers, and the melody by John H. Grower.
“Wild Bill Jones,” about the jealous murder of a young man by his older rival, is sometimes referred to as an “anti-hero” blues ballad. “Whiskey in the Jar” is an Irish ballad about a highwayman betrayed by his “darling sporting Jenny.” Hold onto your hats. This one is brisk.
“Buffalo Skinners” tells of a crew of men hired in 1873 in Jacksboro, Texas to go buffalo hunting north of the Pease River. Another variant of this song is called “Boggus Creek.”
“False Hearted Lover” is an old country blues song which may have originated with Dock Boggs.
The title track appears in Carl Sandburg’s “American Songbag,” a collection of American folk songs published in 1927.
“One Morning in May” has been traced to the 17th century, and is also known as “The Nightingale” and “The Grenadier and the Lady.”
“Blackberry Blossom” is a traditional American fiddle tune, performed here on mandolin and banjo, with lyrics.
“So Lonesome I Could Cry” is a country standard written by Hank Williams.
Dean Rathje: vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, bass.
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