Tag Archives: The Decemberists

The Cold Winds of Folk

Now to some winter inspired folk rock music, first Jethro Tull, with their wonderful blend of folk and rock. On “Minstrel in the Gallery” (1975) Anderson (frontman and songwriter) is recreating the Norse and Anglo-Saxon poetry traditions, in this wonderful piece about the myth of Valhalla, of course with a hint, that today “Valkyrie maidens ride empty-handed” due to a lack of sword fighting Heroes. Its not actualy a song about winter, but it is filled with hints to cold, Frost and Ice. Reflecting the perception of the Myth of the Norse, as a cold ice world.

Jethro Tull was and is the one band, defining folk rock as a part of the progressive rock scene. The band, have had a huge following and a loyal fan base, ever since the early 70’s. Jethro Tull have sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.

More direct and grounded, was The Decemberists (2011) “January Hymn”, from “The King Is Dead”, a simple yet very beautiful song, set in cold winter scenery. The Decemberists are an indie, folk rock band from Oregon, known to use the accordion, Hammond organ, upright bass, cello, bouzouki and other instruments not common in rock. The band just like Jethro Tull lyrically favors a storytelling approach, often with historical perspective or inspiration. Even though in this case it seems we got a song about lost love, or at least lost connections.