Scarlet Town

February 18, 2010 3:14 PM

A synth version of The Ballad of Barbara Allen, with beats and some sampling work.

I hope this entry is acceptable for the current Music Challenge. I've been a big fan of Barbara Allen for years and thought it would be fun to work it into my current electronic music experiments.

The origins of the ballad are English, but otherwise lost in history. There are many versions of the lyrics, of which the Wikipedia entry for the song summarizes quite well:

"Most versions of "Barbara Allen" can be summarised thus: a young man is dying of unrequited love for Barbara Allen; she is called to his deathbed but all she can say is, 'Young man, I think you're dying.' When he dies, she is stricken with grief and dies soon after. Often, a briar grows from her grave and a rose from his, until they grow together."

The song was revived in the American folk scene, from which I drew the initial sample in this track.

The synth version of the tune is my own, which I filtered through a number of instruments.

In order to get some vocals into the track, I made some wav files using eSpeak, then ran them through Audacity to change the pitch of the voice as needed. The results were mixed, but I thought I would include them anyway.

I couldn't resist using another Coronet film...this time it's Understand Your Emotions. I played around with the idea of trying to replicate the important themes of the ballad...there's lots of talk of love and laughing (Barbara Allen famously laughs at the protagonist's death before she repents), so, well...see what you think.

Thanks for listening!

posted by hiteleven (1 comment total)

Man, that was some weird fun!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:28 PM on January 13, 2016

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