Background to some of the songs on the Folk Tales playlist, if you’ve listened to it and are curious. These are just the ones where I know there’s some factual element in them.
I figured there must be a true story behind Westfall, although I didn’t read it as glorifying violence. There is and it isn’t. The song’s lyrics don’t describe the story which prompted it. You can read about the original crime and why they wrote Westfall here. Not surprisingly, the real crime’s pretty gruesome.
Frank AB is about a landslide over a mining village. Oh, if you wonder what the hell’s going on at the end of this track, keep pushing the volume up until you can hear the answer.
Miner’s Song is so absolutely lovely I have to admit I’m in bits every time I hear it. The roots of the song lie in her own family’s mining history.
Simone Felice said that Dawn Brady’s Son is a true story when I saw him live last year. It’s about a friend he grew up with in the Catskills whose dad committed suicide and whose mum turned to prostitution “to keep the kerosene on”.
Despite the warm mellow feel, Wheat Kings is a true story of a Canadian wrongful conviction. You can read about it here.
Cooperstown mentions baseball player Ty Cobb. There’s a nice story on his induction to the Hall of Fame (incidentally, they did a great song about Mike Tyson called Cuss’ Catskill Gym too but it wouldn’t fit the playlist musically at all)