Barbara Allen

Composer: Traditional

Grateful Dead

No Grateful Dead recordings.


This list is not intended to be comprehensive.

no info Vernon Dalhart, 192?
no info Decca Presents An Album Of American Folk Songs, Frank Luther, Zora Layman and Leonard Stokes, 1938?
info Early American Folk Songs, Bob Atcher, 1949
no info American Folk Songs, Jo Stafford, 1950
no info The Lady Gay, Andrew Rowan Summers, 1954
info Women: Folk Songs About the Fair Sex, Burl Ives, 1954
no info Anglo American Ballads, Rebecca Tarwater, 1956
no info Spoken Literature of Early English Ballads - Read by Kathleen Danson Read, Kathleen Danson Read, 1956
info American Ballads, Pete Seeger, 1957
no info Richard Dyer-Bennet, Vol. 5, Richard Dyer-Bennet, 1958
info Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, Everly Brothers, 1958
no info Single, Cecil Surratt and Smitty Smith, 1959
info Old Timey Songs for Children, New Lost City Ramblers, 1959
no info Field Trip-England, Various Artists (Mr Rew), 1959
no info Blood On The Saddle, Tex Ritter, 1959
no info Hawkshaw Hawkins, Hawkshaw Hawkins, 1959
no info Sweet England, Shirley Collins, 1959
info Gather 'Round, Tennessee Ernie Ford, 1959
no info Old Style Texas and Oklahoma Fiddling, Tony Thomas, 195?
no info Lark in the Morning. Songs and Dances from the Irish Countryside, Thomas Baynes, 195?
info British Traditional Ballads in the Southern Mountains, Volume 1, Jean Ritchie, 1960
no info Blood on the Saddle, Tex Ritter, 1960
no info Mountain Music of Kentucky, J. B. Cornett, 1960
no info British Traditional Ballads in the Southern Mountains, Volume 1, Jean Ritchie, 1960
no info American Folk Song Festival - Jean Thomas, The Traipsin' Woman, Jean Thomas, 1960
no info As I Roved Out, Field Trip-Ireland), Various Artists (Sarah Makem), 1960
info Ballads from Her Appalachian Family Tradition, Jean Ritchie, 1961
no info Traditional Singer from Aberdeen. Vol. 1 - Child Ballads, Lucy Stewart, 1961
info Joan Baez, Vol. 2, Joan Baez, 1961
no info English and Scottish Popular Ballads, The: Vol. 1 - Child Ballads, Various Artists (Ewan McColl), 1961
no info Traditional Singer from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Vol. 1: Child Ballads, Various Artists (Lucy Stewart), 1961
no info The Folk Songs of Britain, Vol 4. The Child Ballads, Various Artists (Jessie Stewart), 1961
no info The Eyes of Love, Osborne Smith, 1961
info Lilly Brothers and Don Stover, Lilly Brothers and Don Stover, 1962
info Bluegrass Goes to College, Hylo Brown, 1962
info Folk Songs of the Everly Brothers, Everly Brothers, 1962
no info Jupiter Book of Ballads, The: Spoken and Sung by Isla Cameron, Jill Balcon, Pauline Letts, John Laurie, etc., Various Artitst, 1962
no info Jim and Art Sing and Play a Folk Song, Jim Helms and Art Podell, 1962
info Way Out West With, Alex Campbell, 1963
no info Folksongs of Saskatchewan, Various Artists (Molly Galbraith), 1963
no info Folk Songs of the Alleghenies, Various Artists (Patrick Gainer), 1963
no info The World of Pete Seeger, Pete Seeger, 1963
no info 28th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention. Galax, Virginia 1963, Various Artists (Thurman Pugh) , 1963
info In Touch With..., Peter & Gordon, 1964
no info Single, Albert Parsley and Landon Messer, 1964
info American Folk Singers And Balladeers, Various Artists (Joan Baez), 1964
info High Lonesome Sound, Roscoe Holcomb, 1965
info Just Plain Folk, Various Artists (Pete Seeger), 1965
no info The Manchester Angel, Ewan MacColl, 1966
no info God Bless The Grass, Pete Seeger, 1966
no info Old Times and Hard Times, Hedy West, 1967
no info Long Harvest. Traditional Ballads, English, Scots and Irish), Ewan McColl, 1967
no info Sara Makem, Ulster Ballad Singer, Sara Makem, 1968
no info Ballads and Songs of the Blue Ridge Mountains: Persistence and Change, Various Artists , Granny Porter and Wade Ward), 1968
no info Eighty English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, Bin Henson, 1968
no info Old Traditions, Bill and Jean Davis, 196?
no info Folk Songs of Britain, Vol 4. The Child Ballads, Various Artists (Thomas Moran, Phil Tanner, Fred Jordan, Mary Bennwell), 196?
no info Scottish Ballad Book, Jean Redpath, 196?
no info The Crew Cuts Sing Folk, The Crew Cuts, 196?
info Sounds of the Smokies, Bill Davis and his Singing Dulcimer, 1971
no info The Hillmen, Chris Hillman, 1971
no info End of an Era, Everly Brothers, 1971
info The Joan Baez Ballad Book, Joan Baez, 1972
no info Tom Rush, Tom Rush, 1972
no info Single, Charlie Moore and his Dixie Partners, 1972
no info World Of Pete Seeger, 1973
info Angel Clare, Art Garfunkel, 1973
info Country Bluegrass from Southwest Virginia, Glen Neaves and the Virginia Mountain Boys, 1974
no info Adirondack Woods Singer, Ted Ashlaw, 1976
no info George Tucker, George Tucker, 1976
no info Red Wing, I. D. Stamper, 1977
info The Songbook, Joan Baez, 1977
no info The Everly Brothers' Greatest Hits, Volume 3, Everly Brothers, 1977
info Golden Hour Presents, Volume 2, Joan Baez, 1977
no info Granny Riddle's Songs and Ballads, Almeda Riddle, 1977
no info Old Time Banjo in America, Buell Kazee, 1978
no info Cold Snap, Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, 1978
info 20th Anniversary Concert, The New Lost City Ramblers, 1978
no info Satisfied Mind, Joan Baez, 1979
no info Songs of the Smokey Mountains, Bill Owens and the Kinfolk.(197?
no info Smokey Mountain Ballads, Harry and JeanieWest, 197?
no info Mountain Ballads and Old Time Songs, Bradley Kincaid, 197?
no info Hand-Me-Down Music: Old Songs, Old Friends - Vol. 2, Traditional Music of Union County, North Carolina, Various Artists (Seena Helms), 1980
no info God Bless the Grass, Pete Seeger, 1982
no info Make the Wildwoods Ring, MacArthur Family , 1982
no info Will Ye Go to Flanders? - Folksongs of the British Isles, James Griffet, 1982
no info Sailing into Walpole's Marsh, Sean Corcoran, 1983
no info Bradley Kincaid, Volume 1, Bradley Kincaid, 1984
info O Love Is Teasin' (Anglo-American Mountain Balladry), Various Artists (Susan Reed), 1985
no info Mountain Songs, Robert Beaser w/ Enrique Granados, 1986
no info 24 Greatest Hits, Mac Wiseman, 1987
no info Watching the White Wheat, The King's Singers, 1987
no info Selected Jigs Reels and Songs, De Danann, 1988
info Blues, Songs and Ballads, Tom Rush, 1990
no info Stories from Mountains, Swamps and Honky-Tonks, Brownie Ford, 1990
no info Signs and Wonders, Ginny Hawker and Kay Justice, 1990
no info Classic Country Music, Vol. 1, Various Artists (Bradley Kincaid), 1990
no info Diamonds - Best of the Vanguard Years, Joan Baez, 1991
no info 200 Years Of American Heritage In Song, Various Artists (Tommy Faile?), 1991
info Classic Everly Brothers, Everly Brothers, 1992
info Common Chord, David Grisman / Daniel Kobialka, 1993
no info Celtic Spirit, Anderson and Meis, 1994
no info Heartsongs - Live from Home, Dolly Parton, 1994
no info Both Sides/Then and Now, Betty Smith, 1994
no info 36 All-Time Favorites, Everly Brothers, 1994
no info Chords and Thyme - English Folk Songs, Edward Flower, 1994
info All Kinds of Folks: Prestige/Folklore Years, Vol. 1, Various Artists (Tom Rush), 1994
no info Folk Images, Paul Lansky, 1995
no info Folk Songs Of The Hills, Expanded Version), Merle Travis, 1996
no info Ancient Celtic Roots, Various Artists (Sara Makem), 1996
no info Six Days On the Road, Dave Dudley, 1996
no info Travel the Lake District, Bill Garden, 1996
info Mountain Music of Kentucky (CD), Various Artists (J.D. Cornett), 1996
no info Guitar Christmas, William Holly, 1996
no info Three Ravens, Alfred Deller, 1996
no info The Lark in the Morning, Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem, Family and Friends, 1996
no info Mountain Music of Kentucky, Various Artists (J.D. Cornett), 1996), Expanded version of 1960 LP
info The Rose Grew Round the Briar, Vol. 1: Early American Rural Love Songs, Various Artists (Bradley Kincaid), 1997
no info Straight Outta Boone Country, Various Artists (The Handsome Family), 1997
no info Brothers in Rhythm, Everly brothers, 1998
info Oh, The Wind and Rain, Jody Stecher, 1999
no info Best Of The Big Bands, Doris Day, 19??
no info Granny Riddle's Songs and Ballads, Almeda Riddle, 19??
no info Love Is Teasing: Scottish and English Early Ballads, Shanna Beth McGee, 19??
no info Café Continental, Welcome and Marta, 19??
no info In Touch With.., Peter and Gordon, 19??
no info Single, Bluegrass Gentlemen, 19??
info Prairie Bluegrass, Bray Brothers & Red Cravens, 2000
info The Complete Cadence Recordings: 1957-1960, The Everly Brothers, 2001
info Ballad Legacy: The Alan Lomax Portait Series, Texas Gladden, 2001
no info Autoharp Concerto, David Johnson/Marsha Jones, 2001
info Songcatcher, Various Artists (2 versions), 2001
info Classic Mountain Songs, Various Artists (Jean Ritchie), 2002
info Beginner's Guide to Folk Music, Various Artists (Shirley Collins), 2003
info Buried Land: A Collection of Folk Song and Poetry, Jim Clark, 2003
info The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in American Ballads, Various Artists (Jean Richie), 2004
info Live at the Gaslight 1962, Bob Dylan, 2005
info Stories, Misty River, 2007
Greatest Hitsinfo Dear Companion, Meg Baird, 2007
info Classic Bluegrass Collection, Vols. 1-4, Various Artists (Moore and Napier), 2007
info Songs from the Invisible Republic, Various Artists (Josh White), 2008
info My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean: British Songs in the USA, Various Artists (2 versions), 2015
info The Book Of The Dawg: Dawg Roots, David Grisman, 2021


Performed only twice by the Dead, on both occasions, 12th and 30th Dec 1981, with Joan Baez.

First recorded mention of this traditional song is in Pepys Diary. On 2nd January 1666 he records hearing an actress singing the song.

Collected in Herd's Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs and Heroic Ballads of 1776 as Bonny Barbara Allan. Also mentioned in Ramsey's Tea Table Miscellany. It was collected by Francis Child as is recorded as Child's Ballad number 84.

Barbara Allen is usually the most commonly occurring song in ballad collections. For example, The Traditional Tunes Of The Child Ballads, Vol II by B. H. Bronson lists 198 variations of the song, collected in England, Scotland and many areas of the US.

Title variations include Barbara Ellen, Barbara Allyn, Bonny Barbara Allen, Barbarous Ellen and Sweet William.