Peter, Paul and Mary – Hangman

This is a 1965 performance of the traditional song ‘Hangman’ by Peter, Paul and Mary. This song has many variants in the folk tradition, including ‘The Prickly Bush’ or ‘The Prickle-Eye Bush’. ‘The Maid Freed from the Gallows’, and ‘The Gallows Pole’ or (in Leadbelly’s version) ‘The Gallis Pole’.


Peter, Paul, and Mary

Wikipedia article on this song

Mainly Norfolk’ article on this song.

Paul Simon – Hearts and Bones

The album ‘Hearts and Bones’ was released in 1983, after Simon and Garfunkel’s concert in Central Park. It was originally intended to be a Simon and Garfunkel album, but Art Garfunkel backed out, so Paul Simon finished it as a solo project. It was one of his least commercially successful albums, but I have always loved it and think it one of his best ever pieces of work. This is the title track. There are a few miscellaneous fragments added to the end, including a bit of Elvis Presley’s ‘Mystery Train’!


More about the album here. Paul Simon’s website is here.

My CD, ‘Folk Songs and Renovations’.

a0519677708_2There have been a lot of new folks following my blog over the past couple of months, so I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to the fact that I have a CD available for sale. It was recorded in Edmonton in March and April this year, and it is called ‘Folk Songs And Renovations’. It includes six original songs and five traditional songs arranged by me. I sing and play guitar and cittern, and Alex Boudreau sings and plays guitar and mandolin on three of the tracks.

If you’d like to purchase a digital copy of the CD you have several options, including iTunes, CD Baby, and Band Camp; in all three cases the cost is $9.99 for the whole CD. At the CD Baby site you also have the option to order a real physical copy of the CD for $20.00. If you want to listen to all of the tracks in their entirety before purchasing, the Band Camp site will allow to do that.

Finally a few thank you messages:

The CD was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Stew Kirkwood at Sound Extractor Studios in Edmonton.

Design is by me, layout and graphic realization by Carrie DaCD Back panely, and cover photos by Thomas Brauer, Brian Zahorodniuk, and me.

Many thanks to Alex Boudreau, Stew Kirkwood, Carrie Day and Rob Heath for expertise, help, encouragement and friendship. Many thanks to my musical heroes, Nic Jones, Kate Rusby and Martin Carthy; they have passed on and reinterpreted the rich heritage of traditional folk music for a new generation, and their renovations have inspired a good many of my own! Thanks also to the wonderful community of musicians in Edmonton, especially the good friends who gather every month at Rob’s place to help each other write better songs. Finally, many thanks to my family, without whom none of this would ever have happened.

Roger Olson on how to renew ‘mainline’ churches

This quote comes from the end of a piece on Roger’s blog called ‘Is There Vitality inRoger Olson Mainline Religion?’

So what are my prescriptions for revitalizing old-line Protestantism? First, I suggest they rediscover generous orthodoxy (a good phrase coined, so far as I know, by Hans Frei) and enforce it within their denominations. Most of them have confessional statements that have been largely ignored or allowed to be used so flexibly that they are virtually meaningless. That’s because they contain doctrines that modern Christians cannot stomach (e.g., the double decree). I suggest separating those out and affirming (with teeth) basic, historic, broadly orthodox Christian doctrines such as the deity of Christ, his resurrection, the Trinity and salvation by grace alone through faith. The flip side of this is expelling leaders who join Buddhist sects (etc.).

Second, I suggest they rediscover and encourage living Christian spiritual experiences—conversion-regeneration by means of personal repentance and personal faith in Jesus Christ, sanctification through discipleship including infillings of the Holy Spirit, devotional life using Scripture and classical devotional literature.

Third, I suggest they discover blended worship with lively singing, worship teams and bands, and decrease their commitments to high liturgical worship as their sole style of worship.

Fourth, I suggest they rediscover the supernatural—belief in and experience of God actually answering prayers in ways beyond natural explanation—and encourage people to share their stories of that without embarrassment.

Read the rest here.