The Two Sisters

The story of the two sisters described in this murder ballad is a strange one. There are many different versions in which they come from various places (Edinburgh, County Clare, or Kentucky, for instance) and meet a variety of people (a miller, a fisherman, etc.). However, there are a few details that are almost always the same.

It’s traditionally about a jealous sister murdering her sibling in order to gain the favor of a man.  The corpse is later fished out of the river by someone who then fashions a musical instrument of some sort out of her various body parts.  This instrument then goes on to torment the murderous sister in her guilt by only playing one tune (represented by the refrain over and over).

The nice thing about this peculiar story is that the tune is gorgeous and strangely peaceful.  I chose to use a lot of text-painting in the piano part to keep the various refrains from sounding too repetitive and, hopefully, there is plenty to listen for.

Beth Beauchamp

Having worked as a professional musician, a music-educator, and the Executive Director of a number of non-profit arts organizations, Beth has over 10 years of experience in catering to the unique needs of artists. Beth believes that the talent, education, and skill-sets of her clients have inherent worth. As a passionate artist advocate, she aims to help her artists improve the quality of their own lives by encouraging them to honor the value of their own work, and by creating materials which allow them to champion their art with confidence. Equally interested in building community, Beth aims to create a roster of artists who are excited to support and collaborate together.