Heer Halewijn ballad dates back to the thirteenth century but elements of the story are much older (around seventh century).
It is also the subject of Elizabeth Coldwell’s story in the Who Thrilled Cock Robin anthology.
She is a full time writer and prolific short story writer, her words have appeared in many printed anthology collections. I first met her in the early 1990s, we were both interested in erotica and related issues back then, and she was the editor for Forum. Do you remember that?
I asked her a few questions:
What was the last folk festival you went to?
I’m not a great festival attendee, but I was on the Isle of Man 13 or 14 years ago and our visit
coincided with their annual Yn Chruinnaght Celtic folk festival. It features music from Scotland,
Ireland, Cornwall, Wales, Brittany and the Isle of Man and is a great way of bringing unfamiliar
music to a new audience. You’d randomly walk into a pub and someone would be playing a pipe and
fiddle, which was a bit odd. But we did enjoy the performance of a Breton band called Kroazhent,
who were entertaining everyone in the Ramsey shopping centre with their lively dance tunes.
Do you dance?
I move my feet in time to music – I don’t know whether you’d class it as dancing.
If you could be an instrument what would it be and why?
A violin – you’d need a lot of practice to master me.
Have you ever been to Broadstairs?
Never. The only place I’ve visited on the Kent coast is Whitstable, which I’d recommend if you like
your oysters and other seafood.
Do you have any other books/ stories about folk songs/ folk music – if so what is it and where can
we buy it?
My story in Who Thrilled Cock Robin?, Halewijn’s Song, is my first foray into the world of folk
music. Any other stories I’ve written about music have involved classical, rock and most recently
opera (Maestro, available from Totally Bound at https://www.totallybound.com/book/maestro), but I
wouldn’t rule out using folk tunes as inspiration in future. That’s the beauty of music – there are
so many different types for people to enjoy.
Where else would you find fiction by Elizabeth Coldwell?
- Her blog.
- One of her publishers.
- Or amazon and other book sellers.
- And more about the writer herself on Cara Sutra’s webite.
Indeed there are and so many different ways of interpreting songs for a story. More about the very diverse range of stories in Who Thrilled Cock Robin later this week on my blog.