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Singing Bones

Updated about 14 hours ago

Arts
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Singing Bones is a podcast that looks at the origin of fairy tales, the bare bones of stories. Follow the your favourite tales from their beginnings, discover new tales you've never heard, and re-discover stories you thought you knew.

Read more

Singing Bones is a podcast that looks at the origin of fairy tales, the bare bones of stories. Follow the your favourite tales from their beginnings, discover new tales you've never heard, and re-discover stories you thought you knew.

iTunes Ratings

237 Ratings
Average Ratings
219
10
4
2
2

More, please!

By racheljessie - Jul 12 2019
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I have listened to every episode, and I love every one. It’s a shame there aren’t more

Hello?

By Rnho - Jun 16 2019
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Please come back!!! We miss you!!!

iTunes Ratings

237 Ratings
Average Ratings
219
10
4
2
2

More, please!

By racheljessie - Jul 12 2019
Read more
I have listened to every episode, and I love every one. It’s a shame there aren’t more

Hello?

By Rnho - Jun 16 2019
Read more
Please come back!!! We miss you!!!

Listen to:

Cover image of Singing Bones

Singing Bones

Updated about 14 hours ago

Read more

Singing Bones is a podcast that looks at the origin of fairy tales, the bare bones of stories. Follow the your favourite tales from their beginnings, discover new tales you've never heard, and re-discover stories you thought you knew.

Rank #1: Snow White

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Illustration by Jennie Harbour for My Book of Favourite Fairy Tales, 1921

Snow White is one of the best known tales, how and why did it become so? In Episode three we look at poisoned Baronesses, Persephone and Hades, pantomime, and early cinema. Looking at the dark story of jealousy and blossoming beauty. 

Music for this episode by the wonderful Musk Ox

Read Snow White and Similar tales Snow White Gallery

Snow White silent film (1916)

Feb 11 2016

22mins

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Rank #2: The Sleeping Beauty

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Illustration by Jennie Harbour

Sleeping Beauty is one of the darkest and most erotically charged tales and this weeks episode is not suitable for those that simply want to hear the picture book story. From origins in Icelandic and French folklore through to the forgotten second act of Perrault and Basile's versions of Sleeping Beauty you have to be brave to court the princess asleep in the woods. It's a dark and thorny path. 

Read The talesSleeping Beauty Gallery

Mar 10 2016

26mins

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Rank #3: The Little Mermaid Part 1

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Illustration by Jennie Harbour

Part one of two traces the history of The Little Mermaid, from Ancient Goddesses of love and fertility to folk stories of love and marriage, slavery and gender politics. 

This episode focuses on selkies, finfolk, and Sea Kings, with an interview with Finn O'Branagáin, talking about the power of these stories. Next week we look at sirens, rusalka, and talk to some real live mermaids.

To read more about Finn O'Branagáin's play click HERE

Music by Kai EngelMoody Alien ,and Antonin Dvorak

Mermaid Illustrations Mermaid stories

Jul 21 2016

22mins

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Rank #4: Little Red Riding Hood

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Illustration by Divica Landrova

Cover of "Lil' Red Ridin' Hood" by The Brooke

To read more about werewolves look here and here.

To read Jack Zipes find his book here

Read The tale Little Red Gallery

May 25 2016

22mins

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Rank #5: The Singing Bone

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Paper cut illustration by Clare Testoni

The Singing Bone is one of the oldest folk tales and is often considered a bridging point between folk tales and ghost stories. With origins going back 2200 years to China and Africa it continues to live in folk and country songs. Telling the sad tale of brothers and sisters killing each other, and only the dead siblings enchanted bones telling the truth of their fate.

Read and listen to the tales hereSinging Bones Gallery

Mar 23 2016

14mins

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Rank #6: The Brothers Grimm and Sisters Wild

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The statue of the brothers in Kassel

The Brother's Grimm are synonyms with fairy tales. Yet most people do not know how they collected their tales, or more importantly who they collected them from. 

Born in a time of war and shifting borders and fearing a loss of national identity the brothers sought to record all fairy tales in German. Their sources were mostly young women, sisters who shared the Grimm's passion for folktales and yet they were not credited as the brothers were, Matt Damon did not play them in a movie. 

This week we are looking at the lives of The Brothers Grimm and the women who they collected their stories from. For in order to understand the history of fairy tales, we must understand the tale tellers.

Grimm brothers reading list

Apr 22 2016

36mins

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Rank #7: Bluebeard

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Illustration by Winslow Hollow

"Be bold, be bold, but not too bold."

Bluebeard is one of the most gruesome and dark stories of the fairy tale cannon. Before true crime or horror stories people told the story of the serial killer with the un-naturally blue beard, and the many wives he murdered.

Before we had the term serial killer we called repeat killers Bluebeards', and the real men from history who inspired the tale are considered some of the most vicious in history. In this episode we look at Bluebeard and it's cousin stories of Mr. Fox, and The Devil Who Married Three sisters, and examine the histories of the three men thought to have inspired the story. One a king of France, another a King of England, and Barron who was a companion to Joan of Arc.

Harp music by OMNIA

Other music from the Opera "Bluebeard's Castle" by Béla Bartók

Read Bluebeard and similar tales Bluebeard Gallery

May 12 2016

22mins

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Rank #8: Jack and The Beanstalk

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Giants are our fears and foes made large, Jack and The Beanstalk comes from a history of the small against the strong. It is what remains of a lost tradition of boys own adventure tales. In this episode we follow our fears from Goliath, to Norwegian independence, through to British colonialism and freudian psychoanalysis. 

Read more about Jeffrey Jay Fowler and his upcoming work.

Music by Dave Depper and Will Bangs

Read the stories Gallery of Giants

Feb 24 2016

22mins

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Rank #9: Twelve Dancing Princesses

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Illustration by Sheilah Beckett 

The Twelve Dancing Princesses or The Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces, are stories of fairy kidnapping and possession. In this episode we look at the stories of the fey, the she, elves, devils, peri, and all sorts of wicked spirits that wisk young maidens and lads away to their magic kingdoms where they do nothing but dance. From Iceland to India the stories of fairy kidnappings and those that rescue them talk to us about sin, sleep, and dance. 

Music by Christy-Lynn

and Ed Harris

Read The Dancing Princess Stories Dancing Princess Gallery

Jun 12 2016

23mins

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Rank #10: Ali Baba and 1001 Nights

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Illustration by Walter Crane

To tell the history of Alibaba is to tell the story of the "Arabian Nights" stories. From a 14th Century Syrian text called 1001 Nights the European world fell in love with Middle Eastern wonder stories.

AliBaba has long captured imaginations worldwide, with its themes of family, goodness and treasure. But where did it arrive from? Is it Arabic, Greek, or possibly completely composed by a European in love with the city of Baghdad.

Music by ¡para!helion

To read a translation of 1001 Night from the original Arabic I recommend this version by Hussain Haddawy

Read The Tales Image Gallery

Jul 07 2016

21mins

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