Author Archives: RBW

About RBW

Robert B. Waltz works is the editor of The Traditional Ballad Index, The Minnesota Heritage Songbook, the Gest of Robyn Hode, and the author of Romancing the Ballad: How Orpheus the Minstrel became Sir Orfeo and Of Myth and Magic: Harry Potter's Folklore World.

Heritage Songs at Landmark Center

Fans of the Minnesota Heritage Songbook: I’ll be playing at the Irish Music and Dance Association festival at Landmark Center on March 15 at 12:00 noon, and several Heritage Songbook items will be on the program. Unfortunately, I am recovering from influenza and have no idea whether I’ll have a voice, so I forgive you in advance if you can’t come. :-) But if you want to see the program, or if you’re at the IMDA Festival and want to stop in, you can see the list of songs and texts here.

Those wanting to know more about the Festival itself can visit

Rickaby Re-Release

Careful readers of this site will know that Franz Rickaby’s Ballads and Songs of the Shanty Boy was one of the most significat sources for the Heritage Songbook. This important book is now back in print in an expanded edition with a better layout, a few new songs, and an introduction about Franz Rickaby. It is now available as Franz Rickaby with Gretchen Dykstra and James P. Leary, Pinery Boys, University of Wisconsin Press, 2017, ISBN 978-0-299-31264-0. 356 pages.

Very Minor Update to Finish 2015

Yes, folks, this blog is very quiet. No one is collecting any new folk songs in Minnesota! But, just in time for the New Year 2016, we have a very minor update to the song “Polly Put the Kettle On,” regarding J. R. R. Tolkien’s use of this tune.

OK, One More New Book

Portrait of Chaucer from a manuscript by Thoma...

Portrait of Chaucer from a manuscript by Thomas Hoccleve, who may have met Chaucer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another new book now available under “Other Books by Robert B. Waltz” on the “More” menu. This will probably be the last for a while. The new free download, Trouthe Is the Highest Thing, examines the virtue of trouthe as revealed in the works of Geoffrey Chaucer — and argued that it was a real emotion, experienced by people Chaucer knew (perhaps autistics), or even by Chaucer himself. It also argues for its revival. Note: Revised Version released as of January 27, 2014.

Another Irrelevant New Book

English: Alice Liddel and ferns: this was publ...

Alice Liddell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another new book now available under “Other Books by Robert B. Waltz” on the “More” menu. The new free download, Alice’s Evidence, replaces the earlier Looking Autism in the Face. The new book is a more orderly examination of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and his friendship with Alice Liddell, as well as the autism of J. R. R. Tolkien, Stephen Foster, Isaac Newton, James A. Garfield, and Marie Curie. It is intended as a discussion of the curious phenomenon of autistic friendships. Nothing to do with music, but a lot to do with me….