A Thesis On The Ballad

A THESIS ON THE BALLAD was released on October 29, 2015 and is now available for purchase in digital and physical formats.

Limited 12″ 180g Vinyl (FRR001LP)

Pressed on 180g vinyl. Includes a booklet of the ‘A Thesis on the Ballad’ poems by Kelvin Corcoran, illustrated and designed by Anna Fewster.

Available for purchase from our Bandcamp page.

Limited Edition CD (FRR001CD)

A limited edition CD run containing artwork by Anna Fewster.

Available for purchase from our Bandcamp page.

Digital Download

The album is available for release across many platforms including BandcampiTunesAmazonMP3 and CDBaby.

You can also stream the release in full on our Bandcamp page and via Deezer or Spotify.


Jack Hues – vocals, Sam Bailey – piano, Liran Donin – double bass, Rutledge Turnlund – bass, Angelo Misterioso – drums

Sam had a dream in which Kelvin Corcoran was reading his poetry in a church. At intervals he would stop and a musician would step forward and play a song. Sam wanted this dream to become real and to that end organised a gig in Canterbury where it would happen. Kelvin sent me a book of poetry which sat on my piano for a few weeks. I tried a number of different pieces but nothing seemed to insist on being written. Then one Saturday afternoon the book opened at a set of poems called “A Thesis on The Ballad”. Within 2 hours I had written all 6 songs! Some required elaborating but at least 4 were complete in that burst of creativity. The gig took place as Sam imagined with Kelvin reading and song contributions from Liam Magill and Jack Hues.

———————- LYRICS ———————-

Barbara Allen

 Are you singing from that other place unbearable
though you would not have the girl look
away in Scarlet Town with her killer beauty.

From that room when I was young I
saw the light lie low under a sky of blue hills
after the houses where I walked but was blind.

I think this sing may be locked in the brain
even at death, it sounds out as cells close
— Oh Barbara Allen what have
you done to me


An Expanse of Water

The water is wide I canʼt get over
 possessed at every stroke the great
 aching distance between us across which
I would row, swim or ski.

If the waves break in common measure
fish in the sea, you know how
I feel when she walked to the water lay
 down and spoke her underwater words to me.


The Truth

“The Seven Sisters was a true song.
It happened back yonder in Mutton Hollow.
I was there myself. Somebody got killed over the girl.
I was there soon after it happened.”



 Edward and Lord Randall want nothing
 from you your part is to fall into the
ditch of absent motive evil and
misery exist: you cannot rhyme them out.

Edward and Lord Randall want nothing from
you the greenwood mulch is stuffed rich
with corpses my love lies unalone
beneath the sweet birdy trees.

Edward and Lord Randall and the Demon
lover run in the blood at the singing edge of the world
and you will never win those shining hills again.


Class War and Sex War

 We shall all be made to pay one day lying
on a snowy bed of silk to fiddle music in
the wood unceasing.

 Red and grinning Little Musgrave returns arm
in arm with Lamkin, a blood red night away
 boys away to Ireland and the Hebrides.

 To the roots of narrative in rock, ice and fire
before the saga of riches crashed
where the mind might lodge at zero.

 Out of a shining sea of its own telling
we shall all be made to pay one day hear the dog
bark and the footfall at the door.


And So

 If anyone should ask you
do you know who wrote this song?
It was I and I sing it all day long.

It came from the dark dark earth
and all those lives of beasts and men
go doubling in the wood at night.

 Those figures still unstill
ford the black river rolling
and the vocal bird calls – here here here.


  • Performances
    coming soon.

  • Performances
    coming soon.