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Disaster songs

Monday, July 07, 2008

The disasters of the past were not subjects of tabloids or TV shows, but songs. We talk to the producer of a box set on tunes about murders, fires and floods to find out why disaster songs were once so popular. And music writer Greil Marcus explains how they made their way into Bob Dylan’s music.

Comments [5]

Helene Papageorge from Queens

I don't understand why they didn't use Dylan's,
"The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll","The Ballad of Hollis Brown", or "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" any of those ballads clearly exemplify the quasi-modernizatin of the genre. As for the ballad, "Only a Pawn in Their Game" where Dylan situates his ballad at the height of one of the most bloodiest and darkest moments in the Civil Rights Movement with the assassination and funeral of Medgar Evers, which by the way, bookends the ballad. The acknowledement was not so much about Medgar Evers than about human racist stupidity.

Jul. 08 2008 12:03 AM
Burns from Scotland

Ludicrous stuff..the 1925 song being compared with The Times they are a Changing? ense at all.
The Carolina Buddys song about the horrific slaughter,sang at the Funeral,someone missed out the national Schizophrenia that thrives out there in Americas South,and maybe someone would have thought about Woodys Deportees.
Shocking.but interesting programme.

Jul. 07 2008 04:48 PM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

You're not going to hear ballads such as these because the corporate media would not feel it would add anything to their bottom line; the music they allow is for escapist purposes not revelatory. Rap probably has served the need that ballads used to serve more than other genres for the past few decades or so but that caters to a limited audience. The above poster is correct; Young's "Ohio" was the last of its kind in being a true popular ballad and that came out during the heyday of progressive radio almost forty years ago.

Jul. 07 2008 02:43 PM
Jennifer H from Brooklyn


Jul. 07 2008 02:37 PM
Chelsea from NYC

Would you consider Neil Young's "Ohio" a disaster song?

Jul. 07 2008 02:35 PM

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