New book tells the story of Baldock through ballads

Baldock Ballads book and CD launch

Baldock Ballads book and CD launch - Credit: Brian Burke

So how do you get 20-plus creditable songs from a sleepy little North Herts town which many would think didn’t possess even one horse?!

Well Brian Burke didn’t think so either when he penned his first Baldock ballad – In Praise of Baldock – at the end of 2014 to perform at Baldock’s first fireside festival.

This was a tongue in cheek history of the town and its events over two millennia and how it really punches above its weight, but he soon found this gem of a place had a wealth of stories which could be turned into ballads - the sheets of which would have adorned the markets and fairs of a previous age.

The whole point of a ballad as opposed to a song is that it tells a complete story and this has been attempted in all the ballads he has written about the town....some 28 in all.

Now the first 14 of these have been turned into a book and CD which will be launched at the next Baldock folk club event at The Orange Tree on Wednesday, November 17 at 7pm.

The first book deals with locations and events in a mixture of serious and comic material while the next will deal with leading Baldock characters and recent events .

Brian said: "Great thanks are due to Chris Davis for her superb illustrations that really bring these ballads to life, all the musicians who helped perform them live at the Folk Club and Town Hall, and my wonderful wife, Claire, for her typing and editing."

Any rude words will be removed to make the ballads suitable for all ages.

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Brian added: "The number of ballads approaches 30 - but no reason why that number should not increase in the next few years. Anyone who has any ideas for more will be gratefully received."

The launch at the Orange Tree will feature a selection of the ballads and admission is free.

If you wish to attend please phone John at The Orange Tree on 01462 892341 as there is limited capacity due to COVID-19.

The book and CD are on sale for £10 with a special offer of three for £25 on the night (cash or cheque only please).

The excess profits will go to the Garden House Hospice and it is hoped they will be for sale in the Hospice Shop and other outlets in Baldock in the weeks leading up to Christmas .

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