anonymous asked:

please. tell us more about your 'folk bangers' playlist. that sounds relevant to all of my interests. (folks and banging)

if you want a playlist for banging folks this probably isn’t the one for you, but if you want to Go Off, Historically then WHAT’S UP 


I think all of you will be aware that Terry liked, not only our music, but folk music and folk lore in general.  It informed much of his work, and he had that sort of retentive memory that writers often have.  my father was a writer, and much the same.  Everything is grist to their mill.

I would notice when reading Terry’s books, little references to songs we have sung.  he would set them in a humorous context, startling and unexpected.  Just a line that makes you realise that he has taken notice.  That he is interested in pretty much everything.

Another aspect of Terry is that he was a bullshit-free zone.  You made frivolous or inane comments at your peril.  He WOULD call you on it.  He did not suffer fools, so it was best to stay focused and not make polite, meaningless chit-chat that revealed your ignorance.  Having said that, he was also very kind and approachable.  His hat was a signature that marked him out and made him recognisable.  And people would come and talk to him about his books, ask for an autograph and, in my experience, he was unfailingly kind and courteous.  Even when waiting for a train in Paddington station late in the evening, when he must have been tired.  We’d had a long day, appearing on Later with Jools Holland, where, again, he talked to many people.  It must have been exhausting, being so attentive to Life.

And even though his faculties were failing, he was still generous and available to people interested in his work.  I think he tried to live the philosophy of the Good Witches, which is one of my favourite aspects of his books.  With humour, kindness and a weird sort of practicality.
—  Maddy Prior (singer/songwriter for Steeleye Span), “The Terry Pratchett Diary”
Menacing Christmas Songs

Friend @theflyingromana​ recently requested “menacing Christmas songs.” Since that is one of my favorite adjectives, here are mine.

We start with Jingle Bells by the Crash Test Dummies, which is Jingle Bells, but sung in a terrifying key by, apparently, a tribe of festive orcs, occasionally accenting their chant with a funeral bell. Incredibly menacing. Not Christian.

There  may still be some people on the planet who haven’t heard the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Carol of the Bells, and today is their lucky day. I saw this performed live when I was a young person and there were pyrotechnics and I wandered around for days afterward like a bird that had flown into a window. Quite menacing. Not explicitly Christian.

There’s something about choral music in Latin that sounds particularly portentous and foreboding. Here, have Gaudete by the Choir of Clare College Cambridge:  Tense, like in a video game or fantasy movie, when something dreadful is about to jump out at you and go “blargh.” Technically Christian, but Latin doesn’t count.

Wintersmith album by Steeleye Span, a collaboration with Terry Pratchett. I don’t like any of these songs nearly as much as you’d think as I would, but: definitely menacing, definitely wintery, kind of folk-metal sound, some people might like it. The Dark Morris is fairly menacing.  Not Christian, Discworld-inspired.

The Canadian Christian hymn Jesous Ahathonhia is not menacing as in the sense of “spooky,” but it has a wild and slightly eerie quality, when covered by the Sultans of String and Crystal Shawanda. Tense. Extremely Christian. Related to that, the key and beat used in The Huron Carol (’Twas in the Moon of Wintertime) could be perceived as “menacing” if you’re used to European-influenced compositions. Here’s a Heather Dale cover: and one by the Prairie Rose Rangers: Again, tense and serious. Extremely Christian.

Coventry Carol is, again, more eerie and spooky than explicitly threatening. Christian lore includes a passage called the “Massacre of the Innocents,” in which King Herod orders the mass execution of male toddlers and babies, in an attempt to ensure that Baby Jesus is killed. The Coventry Carol takes the form of a lament sung by the parents as they say goodbye to their doomed children, so uhhhh that’s a bit dark! Here’s a nice arrangement: Eerie. Highly Christian.

Diese kalte Nacht by Faun is not about Christmas, but it’s in my winter playlist so there you go: Before you ask, it’s NOT menacing because it’s in German, it’s menacing because of the FUCKING pipes. Not Christian.

A lot of people find Walking in the Air to be sentimental. I find it creepy. Throw it in there just in case you do too: Not Christian.

Dickens’ Dublin by Loreena McKennitt may mostly be menacing because you know that a dark fate is probably surrounding the child-narrator: The child narrates a Christian story while Loreena sings a lament for its … possible… death?

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a nice menacing tune by Heather Dale: Heather positions Gawain as a pagan being tested by his deities, and the Green Knight as the Green Man. And yes, it’s Christmassy but not Christian! A good note to end on.

Hopefully you, too, now feel like a bird that flew into a window.


steeleye span – lovely on the water


Gaudete, gaudete!
Christus est natus
Ex Maria virgine,

Rejoice, rejoice!
Christ has born
(Out) Of the Virgin Mary –

Amen & Amen!


Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett from Steeleye Span

Oh my heart…

The Blacksmith
Steeleye Span
The Blacksmith


A blacksmith courted me
Nine months and better
He fairly won my heart
Wrote me a letter.
With his hammer in his hand
He looked so clever
And if I was with my love
I would live forever.

But where is my love gone
With his cheeks like roses
And his good black Billycock on
Decked around with primroses.
I fear the shining sun
May burn and scorch his beauty
And if I was with my love
I would do my duty.

Strange news is come to town
Strange news is carried
Strange news flies up and down
That my love is married.
I wish them both much joy
Though they can’t hear me
And may God reward him well
For the slighting of me.

Don’t you remember when
You lay beside me
And you said you’d marry me
And not deny me.
If I said I’d marry you
It was only for to try you
So bring your witness love
And I’ll not deny you.

No, witness have I none
Save God Almighty
And may he reward you well
For the slighting of me.
Her lips grew pale and wan
It made a poor heart tremble
To think she loved a one
And he proved deceitful.

A blacksmith courted me
Nine months and better
He fairly won my heart
Wrote me a letter.
With his hammer in his hand
He looked so clever
And if I was with my love I would live forever.