Ballad Family Values (2021 program)

Sadie Damascus
Music 3
Singing / 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Real-time event on festival day with pre-registration required. You can find the registration link near the top of the program page when the link is ready.

A singing circle to share ballads (old, authorless, passed-down-by-word-of-mouth, traditional narrative songs) featuring the terrible or strange behaviors of family members in these songs from the past. Murder, revenge, absolute parental authority, secret courtings and plottings, forced marriages, sibling rivalry, infanticide, tribe loyalty, and getting one’s just desserts.

Sadie comes from a musical family in Vermont, and she has sung all her life. She likes the old songs, and ballads (mostly those collected by Professor Child), and she collects and studies the origins and meanings of traditional songs and folklore. For several years, Sadie broadcast a weekly streaming radio show, on which she discussed and shared her research on all of the ballads in Child, playing several different versions of most of them. She speaks only English and plays only drums, kazoo, and washboard, but she loves to talk about the ballads and learn new versions from the many singers who frequent singing zooms and wouldn’t miss the Free Folk Festival.