Shirley Collins – “Barbara Allen”

At the end of the week, folk hero Shirley Collins is releasing a new album called Heart’s Ease, the follow-up to 2016’s Lodestar, which was her first album in 38 years. We’ve heard a couple tracks from it already, “Wondrous Love” and “Sweet Greens And Blues,” and today we’re getting one last one before the whole thing is out in full. “Barbara Allen” is Collins’ rendition of the traditional Scottish ballad, which has a long history.

Collins explains that she was inspired by its use in the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol. “[I] found myself in tears at the scene towards the end of the film where a changed and contrite Scrooge visits his nephew Fred on Boxing Day to beg forgiveness for his past behavior,” she says. “Fred welcomes him in, and as Scrooge enters the room, Fred’s wife is sitting at the keyboard singing ‘Barbara Allen’ to the tune I learned at school…. It was utterly simple, utterly lovely. I knew if I ever recorded the song again, I would use that one.”

Listen to Collins version and check out the scene she’s talking about below.

Heart’s Ease is out 7/24 via Domino. Pre-order it here.