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Border Ballad?

Updated: Jul 22, 2019

We wrote while, and after, listening to this atmospheric track, ‘Kershope’, from Richard Skelton’s new album Border Ballads - which may challenge preconceptions of what a Border Ballad is!

Bleak castle atop a churning hill.

The stones are clipped and cracked

the straw almost dust with age.

From an alcove comes discord

from another the whispers of old voices.

Coldness throbs,

no fire lit.

Ashes are ancient

shuttered tight.

Whispers of old voices

cracked and scraping stone

tiny charges fend off a drone

their alcove dimly lit

their eyes glazed by time.

Rich fabric thread-bare

high-back rotting chairs.

The music never stops.

Provides no punctuation

but blends and bends

over ancient ash and dusty stone.


Underwater submarine .. .

war going on . . .

In danger of destruction . .

The presence of death . . .

movement very slow . . .

shadows looming large . . .

at the end of the tunnel . . .



Writing Prompt

Listen to the Sound Cloud link above, and write your own response to ‘Kershope’.

How can you put your own contemporary spin on traditional forms like ballads or songs?

Write about a place that is significant to you, or that you find especially atomospheric. Imagine the sound track that could accompany it.

Choose a piece of music and attempt to write the atmosphere it evokes, or the story it suggests.

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