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Joe Penland: Lord Randall

285 Joe Penland.jpg
Joe Penland

Joe Penland was born and raised in the Appalachian hills of Madison County, North Carolina. From his birth, he has listened to and learned the stories and “love songs” these travelers brought with them across the ocean, then southwest to the narrow coves and high meadows that many consider the richest repository of Great Britain's folk songs in the world. He inherited the instruments of his grandfather who died long before his birth and was taught to play by his aunts. He learned the “love songs” from them and the great singers of Sodom Laurel. These singers include Lee, Berzilla, Doug and Cas Wallin and Berzilla’s sister and brother Dellie Norton and Lloyd Chandler. He has been sharing stories and singing ballads for over fifty years.

Lord Randall is a haunting ballad that tells of a conversation between mother and son. Randall has been poisoned by his lover, his mother helps him dictate his last will and testament, “Mother make my bed soon, for I am sick-hearted and I want to lie down.”
In the last verse, Lord Randall tells that it is his lover who has done him in.

Aired 8/28