Hello, and welcome to the March 2021 Folklore & Fiction dispatch. In this edition, I'll be exploring ATU 365 "The Dead Bridegroom Carries off His Bride." I'll also be providing an exercise designed to help you adapt the tale type's plots and motif for your own creative purposes. This month's example comes from the Child Ballad collection, and I should probably tell you now that any time I can include a Child Ballad in this series, I will do it with the feral joy of a little girl. What's more, because I love these ballads and because including another person's performance in a podcast can be a copyright headache, I'll be singing them for you myself.
So let's get started with Child Ballad #272, "The Suffolk Miracle." Note that the version I'll be singing and providing below is not the 28-verse ballad as collected by Francis James Child but a variant recorded by Norma Waterson called "The Holland Handkerchief."1 However, for the scholars among you, here's a link to the text of the collected ballad in The English and Scottish Popular Ballads: Volume V.2