The Unquiet Grave
"The Unquiet Grave" is an English folk song in which a young man mourns his dead love too hard and prevents her from obtaining peace. It is thought to date from 1400 and was collected in 1868 by Francis James Child, as Child Ballad number 78.
There are many different versions of this ballad.
A man mourns his true love for "a twelve month and a day". At the end of that time, the dead woman complains that his weeping is keeping her from peaceful rest. He begs a kiss. She tells him it would kill him. When he persists, wanting to join her in death, she explains that once they were both dead their hearts would simply decay, and that he should enjoy life while he has it.
Variants and images of old broadsides can be found at Joe Offer's copy of the folkinfo archive.
The song is played to different melodies, one of which is that used by Dives and Lazarus.
The motif that excessive grief can disturb the dead is found also in German and Scandinavian ballads, as well as Greek and Roman traditions.
Ween play a version featuring a woman weeping for a dead man, on their 1997 album The Mollusk entitled "Cold Blows the Wind".
- The Romantic composer Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote several arrangements for "How Cold the Wind doth Blow (or The Unquiet Grave)". The best known, from 1912, is for piano, violin and voice. It was recorded in 1976 by Sir Philip Ledger, Hugh Bean and Robert Tear.  It also appears on the 1989 recording Songs of Britten and Vaughan Williams by Canadian baritone Kevin McMillan. 
- Kate Rusby, Carol Noonan, Joan Baez, The Dubliners, Solas, Barbara Dickson, Shirley Collins, Circulus, David Pajo, Fire + Ice and Sarah Calderwood have recorded versions of this song.
- A single-movement viola concerto by Australian composer Andrew Ford used the melody of the ballad as its foundation. Written in 1997, the concerto is pieced together from melodic fragments of the ballad and it is only in the final few minutes that the full theme emerges.
- The Pennsylvania-based alternative rock band, Ween, recorded a version of the song (retitled "Cold Blows the Wind") on their 1997 album, The Mollusk.
- The gothic/darkwave band Faith and the Muse recorded a version on their debut Elyria in 1994.
- The folk-rock group Steeleye Span recorded a version on their 2009 album Cogs, Wheels and Lovers.
- Electro noir artist Alien Skin, formerly with Real Life (of '80s "Send Me An Angel" fame), recorded his version on the 2010 album The Unquiet Grave.
- Orcadian singer Kris Drever recorded a version of this song to music of his own on Lau's album Lightweights and Gentlemen in 2009.
- The eleven-piece folk band Bellowhead recorded a cover of Ween's version ("Cold Blows the Wind") for their album, Hedonism in 2010.
- Electronic arrangement by Vladislav Korolev, sung by Lori Joachim Fredrics and premiered on April 13, 2013
- The German electronica/darkwave band Helium Vola included a rendition on their 2013 album, Wohin?.
- British folk singer/songwriter Elliott Morris included an arrangement of "Unquiet Grave" on his 2013 EP, Shadows and Whispers.
- British medieval folk-rock band Gryphon recorded their interpretation of the ballad using the Dives and Lazarus melody on their 1973 debut album Gryphon
- English progressive rock musician Steven Wilson recorded an arrangement of the song. It was the B-Side to "Cover version IV", one of a series of six singles, each consisting of a cover of a song written by another artist as the A-side, with the B-sides consisting of original songs (with the exception of "The Unquiet Grave"). The six cover versions and corresponding B-sides were released together on a compilation album, Cover Version, in 2014.
- Part of the song was performed by Helen McCrory in the Penny Dreadful episode "Fresh Hell", and again by Sarah Greene in "And They Were Enemies".
- The Ghosts Of Johnson City recorded a version of the song for their 2015 album Am I Born To Die?
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Francis James Child, Scottish and English Popular Ballads, "The Unquiet Grave"
- Cecil J. Sharp (Ed) (1975) One Hundred English Folksongs (For Medium Voice), Dover, ISBN 0-486-23192-5
- Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, v 2, p 234, Dover Publications, New York 1965
- Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, v 2, p 234-6, Dover Publications, New York 1965