Songs have told stories since there have been songs, epic stories (the Child Ballads), celebrations of legendary characters like John Henry, and news stories (the English "Broadside" ballads, gallows confessionals and true stories of real events, like "Tom Dooley," "Stagolee" and various natural-disaster songs). Sometimes they were humorous songs or work-group pastimes. The tradition has continued and we continue to hear it in more recent songs by Tom T. Hall, Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan. Chico Schwall's American roots explores the narrative ballad throughout this long and fascinating history.
| ||The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll|
(1963) Bob Dylan (w/m)
| ||Tom Dooley|
(1868) Thomas C. Land (w) traditional U. S. (m)
(1965) Roger Watson (w/m)