Murder Ballads: Why I Did What I Did

Murder ballads lurk on the dark side of folklore. From The Twa Sisters, an old Northumbrian song, to The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, written and sung by Bob Dylan, murder ballads narrate what happens when selfishness, jealousy, abuse, and revenge come into play.  Paul Slade describes murder ballads as “tabloid newspapers set to music,”Continue reading “Murder Ballads: Why I Did What I Did”

Bananas, Lawyers, and Brad

Bananas A nerdy paper I much enjoyed writing had a catchy title, something like “A Discourse Analysis of the Narrative Joke”.  It featured my father-in-law, Brad, the best joke teller I have ever known personally. He told me several jokes which I recorded and then analyzed. Not many people tell long jokes.  I would loveContinue reading “Bananas, Lawyers, and Brad”

The Devil Take Tom Walker

To escape his bargain with the devil, Tom “prayed loudly and strenuously, as if heaven were to be taken by force of lungs.” Do Tom’s prayers save him?