‘Barbara Allen’: Broadside Ballad, Theatre Song, Traditional Song by Vic Gammon
‘Barbara Allan’ is a hugely successful popular song which was collected many times in the folk tradition. The first mention can be found in Pepys’ Diary in the 1660s, being sung by an actress. Broadside ballads copies of the song can be traced dating from a decade or so later. In this presentation Vic Gammon will explore the song’s history and resilience from the 17th century through broadsides, the stage, collections of traditional songs, literature and graphic art.
Vic Gammon was Senior Lecturer in Folk and Traditional Music at the International Centre for Music Studies at the University of Newcastle between 2004 and 2010.
Note: Earlier in the day Chetham’s Library will be running a free event featuring music and print inspired by the library’s broadside collections as part of their ongoing project, The Ballad of Chetham’s Library. More details to follow.