"PRETTY SARO" on WMBR's Subject to Change Program
Sunday, January 26, 2020
12:00pm - 2:00pm
Like most vintage folk songs, "Pretty Saro"'s history is marked by multiple spellings ("Saro" or "Pretty Sarah," for instance) and uncertain origins (English and/or Celtic). It's a ballad about a trope as old as time: Love Stinks. The narrator is a poor, landless nomad pining after a lass who herself is desperate for the economic and physical security a freeholder (or landowner) allegedly could provide. The song experienced a revival during the early 20th Century in the Carolinas and has become a staple ever since. UK folklorist and icon Shirley Collins recorded at least three versions in different configurations. We'll hear versions of this mournful tune by Sam Amidon, Shirley Collins, Kacy & Clayon and on and on.
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