Friday, January 22, 2010

Ballad Spotting: Twa Sisters

"The Mournful Lady of Binnorie: Based on a Scottish Ballad" by Bobbie Pell, a spirited (if you pardon the pun) retelling of "Twa Sisters" can be found in The August House Book of Scary Stories: Spooky Tales for Telling Out Loud, edited by Liz Parkhurst. August House, 2009, 27-33.

The story notes incorporate the ballad background and suggest that "you may wish to sing the protions that have remained in verse. Remember that a capella singing (without instrumental accompaniment) is also the traditional delivery style." (32) The sources Pell provides for her story include the Child Ballad, the adaptation by Lorenna McKennitt ("The Bonny Swans") and Joseph Jacobs prose version, "Binnorie."

More information on the many reworkings of this ballad can be found in my Stories From Songs.

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