Friday, February 18, 2011

Ballad of Harry Orchard

Here is a version of the Ballad (or The Song) of Harry Orchard that you may have heard elsewhere. This link was provided by Idaho historical roots music affectionado Gary Eller.

Ballad of Harry Orchard

We see a nice web page with the audio file of the song, a few familiar photographs and some brief information. Included is a somewhat tainted view (as is mine) quoting Emma Langdon. Emma is a very interesting historical figure in her own right but certainly subject to the same misinformation that was (is) common to all sides in the battle between miners and mine owners and labor versus capital. Looking at the news and politics of today, it sometimes seems we haven't progressed very far at all in 100+ years.

In regards to Harry Orchard, the statement "he was later eligible for parole, but refused to leave the prison" is pure fiction. Yes, there were efforts to parole Harry but they were not successful and hence he never had the option to leave the prison. Harry was in the Idaho Pen until he died because he had to be.

Although I try, and sometimes fail, to be as factual as possible, the point here is to explore the great historical music that was born out of the important events and struggles of the 19th and 20th centuries. No matter what your point of view, we all need to listen to the music.

Related Blog links

The Song of Harry Orchard

We Sing of Idaho

Other links

Pacific Northwest Folklore Society

The Cripple Creek Strike by Emma Langdon

The Long Memory by Rosalie Sorrels and Utah Phillips

The Long Memory (webpage dedicated to Utah Phillip)

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