This is a series of posts about the #TradSongTues project, run by various people at the University of Sheffield. Every week I've been recording a song for the theme, sharing it and talking about it. Come and play on Twitter!
December is a busy time for me, with various gigs for the things I'm involved in so I didn't get the chance to do a proper recording. Instead, I sang this to my phone while I walked to the shops, so sorry for the cars you hear in the background. This is one I wrote called The Boys Who Played At Slaughter.
I heard this story a long time ago, at the now defunct Ballad Sessions. It's a Grimm fairy tale1, with various different versions, but I've based it on the one I heard which was the funniest2. I also really like it because it's a great example of how the fairy tales that we know and love have been slightly...doctored for younger ears. I think that's a crying shame. Children love blood guts and gore, as long as it's happening to the right people. It's the parents who are a bit less inclined to talk about them.
The Brother's Grimm are, for all intents and purposes, the fairy tale equivalent of Francis Child as far as I'm concerned. They were German academics who went through the various towns and collected the various tales that were being told. ↩︎
The other versions are a bit creepier, where it's not as clear whether the eldest actually meant to kill his brother. ↩︎