What's New in the Ballad Index

Version 6.2

Released beginning September 30, 2021

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

None

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 121.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 6.2:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 6.2:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 436 (349 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 15387 different songs (129 more than in the last edition, which had 15258), under 27679 titles. At least 665 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 6.2.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1097 songs.

There are 734 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 319 with at least 1000 words of notes; 42 with at least 5000 words of notes.

726 songs have enough data in the notes to call for a bibliography of at least three items.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan (169 references)
2. The Golden Vanity (132 references)
3. The Gypsy Laddie (128 references)
4. Lord Thomas and Fair Annet (112 references)
5. Young Beichan (110 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 105 references; it's #8. Next below it are John Henry [Laws I1] and Pretty Fair Maid (The Maiden in the Garden; The Broken Token) [Laws N42], with 88 references; they're co-#15.)

7326 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference (or, in a few cases, none).

12278 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 3109 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

14604 songs have at least one book reference
3705 songs have at least one recording reference
1440 songs have at least one reference to a broadside in a major collection (Bodleian, etc.)
181 songs have at least one manuscript reference

6710 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
4020 songs have been found in Britain
2056 have been found in Canada
1726 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
419 have been found in Australia
350 have been found somewhere in the West Indies
263 have been found in New Zealand

Version 6.1

Released beginning May 12, 2021

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

None

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 119.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 6.1:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 6.1:

The following Journal was indexed in its entirety:

Various authors (Arthur Palmer Hudson, editor 1954-1964), North Carolina Folklore (later North Carolina Folklore Journal)

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 429 (346 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 15258 different songs (116 more than in the last edition), under 27447 titles. At least 666 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 6.1.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1085 songs.

There are 709 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 301 with at least 1000 words of notes; 39 with at least 5000 words of notes.

690 songs have enough data in the notes to call for a bibliography of at least three items.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan (166 references)
2. The Golden Vanity (131 references)
3. The Gypsy Laddie (128 references)
4T. Young Beichan (110 references)
4T. Lord Thomas and Fair Annet (110 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 104 references; it's co-#8. Next below it are John Henry [Laws I1] and Pretty Fair Maid (The Maiden in the Garden; The Broken Token) [Laws N42], with 88 references; they're co-#15.)

7263 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference (or, in a few cases, none).

12222 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 3036 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

14474 songs have at least one book reference
3697 songs have at least one recording reference
1426 songs have at least one reference to a broadside in a major collection (Bodleian, etc.)

6674 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
4020 songs have been found in Britain
2056 have been found in Canada
1726 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
419 have been found in Australia
350 have been found somewhere in the West Indies
263 have been found in New Zealand

Version 6.0

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition

Released beginning February 20, 2021

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

The Ballad Index Software has a new feature in the song list: It gives you a visual indicator of how long the Notes are. If the text of the Notes button is in plain text, the notes are short (less than 250 words). If the Notes text is in bold, then the notes are more than 250 words. If Notes is both bold and in blue, then the notes are at least 1000 words.

With this release, all books cited in the references (except Child, Laws, Greig/Duncan, Peacock, and Randolph) have the sort of expanded short names described in the What's New for Version 5.3.

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 119.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 6.0:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 6.0:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 423 (343 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 15142 different songs (84 more than in the last edition), under 27181 titles. At least 735 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 6.0 (not counting changes to the book names).

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1085 songs.

There are 694 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 295 with at least 1000 words of notes; 37 with at least 5000 words of notes.

684 songs have enough data in the notes to call for a bibliography of at least three items.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan (165 references)
2. The Golden Vanity (128 references)
3. The Gypsy Laddie (127 references)
4. Young Beichan (110 references)
5. Lord Thomas and Fair Annet (109 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 103 references; it's co-#8. Next below it is Pretty Fair Maid (The Maiden in the Garden; The Broken Token) [Laws N42], with 88 references; it's #15.)

7225 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference (or, in a few cases, none).

12138 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 3004 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

14353 songs have at least one book reference
3697 songs have at least one recording reference
1417 songs have at least one reference to a broadside in a major collection (Bodleian, etc.)
174 songs have at least one manuscript reference

6618 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
4021 songs have been found in Britain
2057 have been found in Canada
1721 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
419 have been found in Australia
348 have been found somewhere in the West Indies
263 have been found in New Zealand

Version 5.3

Released beginning December 1, 2020.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

The single largest change is the incorporation of Manuscript citations (shown under the References). This allows you to find citations of items that are not in printed media. We have also started indexing songsters. Manuscripts have been included in the Bibliography.

In conjunction with the Manuscripts mechanism, we have added a new "MiddleEnglish" keyword to facilitate locating items not in Modern English. (We have followed the convention that the Middle English period runs until 1500, although items found in Richard Hill's manuscript have been granted honorary MiddleEnglish status because the language he grew up with was, by this definition, Middle English.)

We're starting to try to rationalize the names of the books in the Index, and to make them easier to understand at a glance. For example, Francis Abernethy's Singin' Texas, formerly indexed as "Abernethy," is now "Abernethy-SingingTexas." This will be an ongoing project.

The Ballad Index software has new Find features, and you can now do pop-up views of entries in the Roud Indices. Recordings and Manuscripts have been included in the Bibliography.

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 118.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 5.3:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 5.3:

The following web site is also cited, generally in parallel with Brown and Robbins:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 411 (335 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 15058 different songs (166 more than in the last edition), under 26575 titles. At least 837 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 5.3.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1092 songs.

There are 674 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 278 with at least 1000 words of notes; 34 with at least 5000 words of notes.

667 songs have enough data in the notes to call for a bibliography of at least three items.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan (161 references)
2T. The Golden Vanity (127 references)
2T. The Gypsy Laddie (127 references)
4. Young Beichan (108 references)
5. Lord Thomas and Fair Annet (107 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 102 references; it's co-#8. Next below it is Pretty Fair Maid (The Maiden in the Garden; The Broken Token) [Laws N42], with 87 references; it's #15.)

7188 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference (or, in a few cases, none).

12088 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 2970 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

14268 songs have at least one book reference
3696 songs have at least one recording reference
1407 songs have at least one reference to a broadside in a major collection (Bodleian, etc.)
174 songs have at least one manuscript reference

6570 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
4019 songs have been found in Britain
2058 have been found in Canada
1722 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
419 have been found in Australia
348 have been found somewhere in the West Indies
263 have been found in New Zealand

Version 5.2

Released beginning July 27, 2020.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There have been some minor changes to the Ballad Index software. The song list display now shows how many records have been found, and the Find by Field form now has a button showing the form of the data in the "Found In" field.

We now have -- with thanks to the Traditional Song Forum -- a series of YouTube videos explaining the Ballad Index. The first of these is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rotpS3b6uc&list=PLEFtLCJWnIFZ_zZpwdbhK9iaajC42sDoY, or search YouTube for the Traditional Song Forum or the Traditional Ballad Index.

The search page now has a DuckDuckGo search form as well as a Google search form. Our experience is that the Google form is better at finding good matches, but you can use whichever meets your needs.

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 118.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 5.2:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 5.2:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 402 (333 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 14892 different songs (164 more than in the last edition), under 26449 titles. At least 906 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 5.1.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1079 songs.

There are 640 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 263 with at least 1000 words of notes; 34 with at least 5000 words of notes.

641 songs have enough data in the notes to call for a bibliography of at least three items.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan (157 references)
2. The Golden Vanity (125 references)
3. The Gypsy Laddie (124 references)
4. Young Beichan (108 references)
5. The Daemon Lover/The House Carpenter (105 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 101 references; it's co-#8.)

(Interestingly, I added only one reference to the top five ballads in this release. We're getting into more obscure material....)

7116 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference (or, in a few cases, none).

11978 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 2914 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

14109 songs have at least one book reference
3678 songs have at least one recording reference
1400 songs have at least one reference to a broadside in a major collection (Bodleian, etc.)

6547 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
3987 songs have been found in Britain
2057 have been found in Canada
1722 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
419 have been found in Australia
348 have been found somewhere in the West Indies
263 have been found in New Zealand

Version 5.1

Released beginning April 2, 2020.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

The Ballad Index is now being compiled with a newer version of FileMaker Pro, so the Mac edition of the software requires Mac OS X 10.12 or higher. If you need a version for an older Mac OS, talk to us and we'll see what we can do. This is not an issue if you use the text or html editions.

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 117.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 5.1:

No books were partially indexed in version 5.1.

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 395 (327 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 14728 different songs (211 more than in the last edition), under 26176 titles. At least 1010 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 5.1.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1076 songs.

There are 605 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 247 with at least 1000 words of notes; 32 with at least 5000 words of notes.

593 songs have enough data in the notes to call for a bibliography of at least three items.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan (156 references)
2. The Golden Vanity (125 references)
3. The Gypsy Laddie (124 references)
4. Young Beichan (108 references)
5. The Daemon Lover/The House Carpenter (105 references)

(There is an ongoing struggle between The House Carpenter, Lady Isabel, and Lord Thomas and Fair Annet for that #5 spot. Two editions ago, The House Carpenter was on top. In the last release, Lady Isabel made it to #5. Now The House Carpenter is on top again.)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 100 references; it's #9.)

7038 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference (or, in a few cases, none).

11850 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 2878 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

13985 songs have at least one book reference
3614 songs have at least one recording reference
1386 songs have at least one reference to a broadside in a major collection (Bodleian, etc.)

6475 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
3985 songs have been found in Britain
2054 have been found in Canada
1721 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
417 have been found in Australia
344 have been found somewhere in the West Indies
263 have been found in New Zealand

Version 5.0

Released beginning December 3, 2019.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

With Version 5.0, the Ballad Index is now released in unicode, so that we can include such things as accented French and German letters, text in languages such as Greek, and super- and subscripts. The conversion is not yet complete -- not with two decades of records to update! -- but most of the more significant records have been improved.

To ensure that people can read the files, we are now releasing a separate ASCII version of the index, but for those who can handle unicode, use of the unicode version is recommended.

The Ballad Index software has also been updated in several regards:

In addition, this version has added many hundred additional Roud references, particularly broadside references.

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 116.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 5.0:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 5.0:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 385 (318 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 14516 different songs (209 more than in the last edition), under 25782 titles. At least 1895 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 5.0.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1075 songs.

There are 578 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 238 with at least 1000 words of notes; 29 with at least 5000 words of notes.

562 songs have enough data in the notes to call for a bibliography of at least three items.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan (153 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie (122 references)
3. The Golden Vanity (121 references)
4. Young Beichan (106 references)
5. Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight (104 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 100 references; it's co-#8/#9)

6903 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

11661 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 2855 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

13815 songs have at least one book reference
3560 songs have at least one recording reference
1386 songs have at least one reference to a broadside in a major collection (Bodleian, etc.)

6378 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
3881 songs have been found in Britain
2037 have been found in Canada
1721 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
417 have been found in Australia
344 have been found somewhere in the West Indies
263 have been found in New Zealand

Version 4.5

Released beginning April 5, 2019.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

The Index now datestamps entries as they are updated. If users have any reason to think this would be useful to them, let us know and we can make the information available.

Probably more important for casual users is the fact that the online search widget is finally working again.

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 114A.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 4.5:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 4.5:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 364 (305 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 14307 different songs (251 more than in the last edition), under 25313 titles. At least 884 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 4.5.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1067 songs.

There are 553 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 221 with at least 1000 words of notes; 27 with at least 5000 words of notes.

529 songs have enough data in the notes to call for a bibliography of at least three items.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan (150 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie (120 references)
3. The Golden Vanity (118 references)
4. Young Beichan (104 references)
5. The Demon Lover/House Carpenter (102 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 99 references; it's co-#8/#9)

6811 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

11481 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 2826 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

13620 songs have at least one book reference
3535 songs have at least one recording reference
1380 songs have at least one reference to a broadside in a major collection (Bodleian, etc.)

6308 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
3848 songs have been found somewhere in Britain
1930 have been found in Canada
1719 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
417 have been found in Australia
341 have been found somewhere in the West Indies
263 have been found in New Zealand

The above is more a measure of the collections indexed than anything else, but it gives you an idea of how many songs a country can kick up.

Version 4.4

Released beginning October 30, 2018.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

In the runtime Ballad Index application, this release adds the ability to search for the most recent version in which entries were updated.

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 113.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 4.4:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 4.4:

There are a lot of recordings as well. We've now finished the entire MUNFLA/Leach archive (more than 450 songs!).

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 352 (294 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 14056 different songs (343 more than in the last edition), under 24870 titles. At least 1040 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 4.4.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1063 songs.

There are 544 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 217 with at least 1000 words of notes; 27 with at least 5000 words of notes.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan (148 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie (120 references)
3. The Golden Vanity (116 references)
4T. Young Beichan (101 references)
4T. The Demon Lover/House Carpenter (101 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 96 references.)

6642 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

11276 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 2780 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

6217 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
3791 songs have been found somewhere in Britain
1903 have been found in Canada
1719 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
379 have been found in Australia
263 have been found in New Zealand (this is by far the largest increase; this category has increased by more than 300%. This is mostly because of Sutton-Smith)

The above is more a measure of the collections indexed than anything else, but it gives you an idea of how many songs a country can kick up.

Version 4.3

Released beginning May 7, 2018.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

This version of the Ballad Index now gives you a word count for the NOTES (if there are any. This is algorithmic rather than an actual count (that is, it divides the total number of characters by six to get the word count).

Because Apple has announced the elimination of 32-bit support in future versions of OS X, this edition of the Index has converted to a 64-bit runtime for OS X. This means we have had to drop support for OS X 10.6.8; from now on, it's OS X 10.10 and up.

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 111.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 4.3:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 4.3:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 347 (290 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 13713 different songs (411 more than in the last edition), under 24266 titles. At least 1371 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 4.3.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1060 songs.

There are 521 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 211 with at least 1000 words of notes; 27 with at least 5000 words of notes.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan (148 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie (119 references)
3. The Golden Vanity (115 references)
4T. Young Beichan (101 references)
4T. The Demon Lover/House Carpenter (101 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 96 references.)

6408 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

10985 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 2728 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

6193 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
3746 songs have been found somewhere in Britain
1814 have been found in Canada
1708 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
379 have been found in Australia
60 have been found in New Zealand

The above is more a measure of the collections indexed than anything else, but it gives you an idea of how many songs a country can kick up.

Version 4.2

Released beginning August 24, 2017.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

This edition of the Ballad Index Software incorporates a field to record the number of pages in books that are indexed. But only a few dozen books have been checked so far; the data is lacking for most books.

Contrary to our expectations, we were still able to compile this version to run on Mac OS X 10.6.8. But we still expect this to be the last such version. Of course, we've been saying that for quite a while....

The Roud Index

This edition coordinates with Roud Index release 110.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 4.2:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 4.2:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 331 (279 of them indexed in their entirety), with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 13302 different songs (499 more than in the last edition), under 23,631 titles. At least 1842 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 4.2.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1060 songs.

There are 479 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 202 with at least 1000 words of notes; 24 with at least 5000 words of notes.

Fun statistics:

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan [Child 84] (145 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie [Child 200] (119 references)
3. The Golden Vanity [Child 286] (114 references)
4. Young Beichan [Child 53] (100 references)
5T. The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter) [Child 243] (99 references)
5T. Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight [Child 4] (99 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 94 references.)

6168 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

10734 songs are listed as having unknown authors, meaning that 2568 songs have an author listed (not always with certainty).

6302 songs have been found somewhere in the United States
3725 songs have been found somewhere in Britain
1784 have been found in Canada
1707 have been found in Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
371 have been found in Australia

The above is more a measure of the collections indexed than anything else, but it gives you an idea of how many songs a country can kick up.

Version 4.1

Released beginning November 25, 2016.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There have been no major changes to the Ballad Index format, although we've made a few changes for efficiency.

Contrary to our expectations, we were still able to compile this version to run on Mac OS X 10.6.8. But we still expect this to be the last such version.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 4.1:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 4.1:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 313, with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 12,803 different songs, under 22,471 titles. At least 1328 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 4.1.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1060 songs.

There are 464 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 179 with at least 1000 words of notes; 23 with at least 5000 words of notes.

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan [Child 84] (139 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie [Child 200] (116 references)
3. The Golden Vanity [Child 286] (110 references)
4. The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter) [Child 243] (96 references)
5T. Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight [Child 4] (95 references)
5T. Young Beichan [Child 53] (95 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 89 references.)

5872 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

Version 4.0

Released beginning June 10, 2016.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There have been no major changes to the Ballad Index format, although we've made a few changes for efficiency.

Contrary to our expectations, we were still able to compile this version to run on Mac OS X 10.6.8. But this will surely be the last such version.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 4.0:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 4.0:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 305, with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 12,593 different songs, under 22,037 titles. At least 1122 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 4.0.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1060 songs.

There are 446 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 175 with at least 1000 words of notes; 21 with at least 5000 words of notes.

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan [Child 84] (136 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie [Child 200] (113 references)
3. The Golden Vanity [Child 286] (107 references)
4. The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter) [Child 243] (96 references)
5T. Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight [Child 4] (93 references)
5T. Young Beichan [Child 53] (93 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 86 references.)

5855 songs -- somewhat less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

Version 3.8

Released beginning December 22, 2015.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

This release includes a major upgrade to the iPhone version of the Index, allowing full integration with Steve Roud's Broadside Index, even on an iPhone (although a larger screen still works better than a small).

Because of upgrades Apple has made to FileMaker Pro, this will probably be the last version for which the Macintosh runtime version will run on OS X 10.6.8.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 3.8:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 3.8:

This brings the total number of books indexed fully or partially to 290, with hundreds more cited in ADDITIONAL entries or the SAME TUNE field.

We now have 12245 different songs, under 21429 titles. At least 610 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 3.8.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1060 songs.

There are 435 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 169 with at least 1000 words of notes; 19 with at least 5000 words of notes.

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan [Child 84] (131 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie [Child 200] (109 references)
3. The Golden Vanity [Child 286] (105 references)
4. The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter) [Child 243] (94 references)
5T. Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight [Child 4] (90 references)
5T. Young Beichan [Child 53] (90 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 86 references.)

5642 songs -- just less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

Version 3.7

Released beginning August 20, 2015.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There have been no changes to the Ballad Index format.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 3.7:

The following books were partially indexed in Version 3.7:

We now have 12157 different songs, under 21192 titles. At least 706 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 3.7.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1059 songs.

There are 433 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 167 with at least 1000 words of notes; 19 with at least 5000 words of notes.

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan [Child 84] (128 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie [Child 200] (108 references)
3. The Golden Vanity [Child 286] (103 references)
4. The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter) [Child 243] (91 references)
5T. Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight [Child 4] (89 references)
5T. Young Beichan [Child 53] (89 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 84 references.)

5589 songs -- just less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

Version 3.6

Released beginning March 20, 2015.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There have been no changes to the Ballad Index format.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 3.6:

No books were partially indexed in this release.

We now have 11927 different songs, under 20831 titles. At least 345 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 3.6.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1059 songs.

There are 410 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 173 with at least 1000 words of notes; 19 with at least 5000 words of notes.

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan [Child 84] (127 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie [Child 200] (107 references)
3. The Golden Vanity [Child 286] (102 references)
4. The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter) [Child 243] (90 references)
5. Young Beichan [Child 53] (88 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 83 references.)

5450 songs -- just less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

Version 3.5

Released beginning January 20, 2015.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There have been no changes to the Ballad Index format. We have made some code changes which will probably reduce the number of entry errors slightly. We have added substantially to the number of SAME TUNE references.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 3.5:

In addition, these books were partially indexed:

We now have 11876 different songs, under 20755 titles. At least 911 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 3.5.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1056 songs.

There are 409 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 173 with at least 1000 words of notes; 19 with at least 5000 words of notes.

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan [Child 84] (127 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie [Child 200] (107 references)
3. The Golden Vanity [Child 286] (102 references)
4. The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter) [Child 243] (90 references)
5. Young Beichan [Child 53] (88 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 83 references.)

5448 songs -- just less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

Version 3.4

Released beginning July 25, 2014.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

We have revised the software to include Steve Roud's Broadside Index. This does not affect the online index; it's just the downloaded software.

Materials Added in this Edition

No new books were added in this edition.

Version 3.3

Released beginning June 5, 2014.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There have been no changes to the Ballad Index format. We have made some code changes which will probably reduce the number of entry errors slightly.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 3.3:

In addition, these books were partially indexed:

We now have 11828 different songs, under 20477 titles. At least 666 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 3.3.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1041 songs.

There are 409 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 171 with at least 1000 words of notes; 19 with at least 5000 words of notes.

The five most popular songs:
1. Bonny Barbara Allan [Child 84] (124 references)
2. The Gypsy Laddie [Child 200] (104 references)
3. The Golden Vanity [Child 286] (100 references)
4. Young Beichan [Child 53] (88 references)
5. The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter) [Child 243] (87 references)

(The most popular non-Child Ballad? Frog Went A-Courting, with 80 references.)

An even 5500 songs -- just less than half the song in the database -- have only one reference.

Version 3.2

Released beginning January 2, 2014.

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

A new Bibliography file has been added to the Ballad Index software. And we now make a PDF version of the Index available.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were fully indexed in Version 3.2:

In addition, these books were partially indexed:

We now have 11651 different songs, under 20060 titles. At least 1369 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 3.2.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1038 songs.

There are 389 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 152 with at least 1000 words of notes; 19 with at least 5000 words of notes.

Version 3.1

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There are no changes to the format.

Materials Added in this Edition

Only one book was fully indexed in Version 3.1:

However, we included ADDITIONAL entries from many more books.

We now have 11247 different songs, under 19266 titles. At least 343 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 3.1.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1027 songs.

There are 384 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 166 with at least 1000 words of notes; 18 with at least 5000 words of notes.

Version 3.0

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

The major change is the release of new Ballad Index software for Windows 7.0 and higher, Macintosh OS X 10.6.8 and higher, and iPad running FileMaker Go. See the software page for download and installation instructions.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 3.0:

We now have 11194 different songs, under 19110 titles. At least 526 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 3.0.

The Supplemental Tradition now contains full or partial texts for 1021 songs.

There are 384 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 166 with at least 1000 words of notes; 18 with at least 5000 words of notes.

Version 2.8

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There are no changes to the basic format, but we have added a new Table of Contents to make it easier to find songs by title. Also, in the HTML version of the index, the Roud numbers are now live links -- that is, if you click on the Roud number, it will give you a list of those items in the Roud index.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 2.8:

We now have 11112 different songs, under 18887 titles. At least 444 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 2.8.

There are 381 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 164 with at least 1000 words of notes; 18 with at least 5000 words of notes.

Version 2.7

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There are no changes to the format. We are thinking about ways to improve the searching function.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 2.7:

(Some of the above are short enough that they are simply cited in ADDITIONAL entries rather than having full treatment: these are marked *)

We now have 11003 different songs, under 18652 titles. There are over 39,000 references (excluding Roud references), pointing to something like 30,000 texts, and more than 7900 recording references. Because of duplicates, we cannot give an exact broadside count -- but the number of citations exceeds 3200.

At least 1066 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 2.7.

There are 378 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 161 with at least 1000 words of notes; 18 with at least 5000 words of notes.

I count 218 books fully or partly indexed, with many more cited in ADDITIONAL entries. At least 883 sources are cited in the NOTES.

Version 2.6

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

We have (not entirely voluntarily) adopted a new search engine format. Other than that, we have not made any substantial changes to the format.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 2.6:

We now have 10731 different songs, under 18211 titles. There are over 38,000 references (excluding Roud references), pointing to something like 30,000 texts, and more than 7800 recording references. Because of duplicates, we cannot give an exact broadside count -- but the number of citations exceeds 3200.

At least 2306 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 2.6.

The NOTES now include almost 1,400,000 words. There are 358 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 151 with at least 1000 words of notes; 15 with at least 5000 words of notes.

I count 215 books fully or partly indexed, with many more cited in ADDITIONAL entries. At least 827 sources are cited in the NOTES.

Version 2.5

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

In an effort to make it easier to read and understand the NOTES to songs, we have implemented a new BIBLIOGRAPHY field and format. About 300 songs now have bibliographic data.

We have also implemented a style for multi-part entries, so that extremely long entries will not choke search software.

Finally, we have implemented use of TinyURLs to avoid problems with excessively long URLs.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 2.5:

We now have 10201 different songs, under 16666 titles. There are over 34,000 references (excluding Roud references), pointing to something like 30,000 texts, and more than 7500 recording references. Because of duplicates, we cannot give an exact broadside count -- but the number of citations exceeds 3000.

At least 2077 songs were added or had their entries updated in version 2.5.

The NOTES now include in excess of 1,200,000 words. There are 306 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 110 with at least 1000 words of notes; 15 with at least 5000 words of notes.

Admittedly some of that is an effect of me being extraordinarily wordy....

Version 2.4

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There have been no major changes to the Ballad Index format itself.

One reminder: The Ballad Index welcomes contributions to the NOTES on a song. Material which meets our criteria for scholarship will be included even if the the contributor has not otherwise supplied material for the index, and even if the editor disagrees with the conclusions.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 2.4:

In addition we have indexed about thirty years of Sing Out! magazine, incorporating songs which are transcribed from properly traditional sources and apparently not included in other publications.

We now have 9365 different songs, under 15580 titles. There are over 32,000 references (excluding Roud references), pointing to something like 28,000 texts, and 7573 recording references. Because of duplicates, we cannot give an exact broadside count -- but the number of citations exceeds 2600.

I find that we now have at least some authorship information on 1864 songs. Whatever that tells you.

The NOTES now include in excess of 950,000 words. There are 217 songs for which the NOTES exceed 500 words; 75 with at least 1000 words of notes; 13 with at least 5000 words of notes.

Version 2.3

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There have been no major changes to the Ballad Index format itself.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 2.3:

In addition, Paul Stamler contributed much additional information about 78 recordings.

We now have 8752 different songs, under 14692 titles. There are over 30,000 references (excluding Roud references), pointing to over 25,500 texts, and 7551 recording references. Because of duplicates, we cannot give an exact broadside count -- but the number of citations exceeds 2400.

Version 2.2

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There have been no major changes to the Ballad Index format itself. We have, however, made a substantial effort to make key information more accessible. We have now compiled a list of the songs where the Notes or Historical References contain substantial material not found in the more common ballad references. The list of songs with such notes are summed up in the page on Ballad Index Articles.

Note: Everyone, even those who have not contributed to the Index, are invited to contribute articles.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 2.2:

We now have 8274 different songs, under 13885 titles. There are 28637 bibliographic references (excluding Roud references) and 7262 recording references. Because of duplicates, we cannot give an exact broadside count -- but the number of citations exceeds 2200.

131 songs have notes exceeding 500 words (3000 characters); most of these are included in the Ballad Index Articles. 38 songs have notes exceeding 1000 words; 18 have notes exceeding 2000 words. Six have notes exceeding 5000 words (though that's arguably just the result of editor Robert Waltz talking too much).

Version 2.1

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

The field names have been slightly changed to facilitate database use. These also made possible significant improvements to the downloadable Ballad Index software. The software has been updated to run on Mac OS X 10.3 or higher.

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 2.1:

Version 2.0

Changes to the Ballad Index Format

There are two major additions in Version 2.0:

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 2.0:

We now have 6787 different songs, under 11667 titles. There are 19373 bibliographic references (excluding Roud references) and 5449 recording references. Because of duplicates, we cannot give an exact broadside count -- but the number of citations exceeds 1200.

Version 1.8

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 1.8:

We now have 5990 different songs, under 10437 titles. There are 17377 bibliographic references and 5028 recording references.

Version 1.7

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 1.7:

In addition, the Index now includes over 4000 references to Steven Roud's Folk Song Index.

Over 1000 78 recordings were added or their entries updated.

We now have 5691 different songs, under 9808 titles. There are 16198 bibliographic references (excluding the Roud references) and 4427 recording references.

Version 1.6

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 1.6:

In addition, the quality of references for several books indexed early on (Randolph, Eddy, Sandburg, etc.) has been upgraded.

Cross-references to Bronson have been introduced for all Child ballads.

We have added in excess of 1000 78 recordings.

These volumes pushed us to the 100 book mark. The Index now has 5516 songs, under 9452 titles; there are 15,258 bibliographic references and 3109 recording references.

Version 1.5

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 1.5:

In addition, dozens of recordings have been indexed, and there are the usual corrections and additions

Version 1.3

Materials Added in this Edition

The following books were added to the Index in version 1.3:

In addition, several more recordings have been indexed, and there are the usual corrections and additions

What's New in Ballad Index Software