Before horror films or even scary novels existed to frighten us and warn us not to wander alone into the dark woods, folk songs were being sung that did the same thing. Such songs were sung to children as a way to warn them of dangerous people and to illustrate for them what happens to people who do bad things. These songs express the deep fascination we have with the dark and ugly side of humanity. In songs known as “Murder Ballads”, things like infanticide, incest, and hanging are often the subjects. I’ve included two such songs below. The first is called, “Weile, Weile (The River Saile).” It’s performed by Jesse Ferguson, a Canadian folk singer and You Tuber from whom I’ve learned dozens of songs from Newfoundland, Ireland, and Scotland. The second song is called “The Well Below The Valley” and I find it hauntingly beautiful and really fucked up at the same time. Listen carefully to the lyrics so you get the whole picture of what the song’s about.