In America this song is known as a cowboy (country) song. Almost every “singing cowboy” who ever made it big recorded his version of “Streets of Laredo” (originally called ‘Cowboy’s Lament’) In Britain it is known as a folk song titled ‘The Unfortunate Lad’. No matter how it is presented, it is a classic ballad that tells a woeful story. Interesting side note, one of the first “singing cowboys” was from my home, Indiana. The picture below was taken of Ken Maynard circa 1920′s
Story is one of the key components of Karaoke ESL. Deep learning and particularly right-brain engagement with learning almost demands story. This allows so many faculties of your being to engage and really “own” the phrases and vocabulary of any English narrative.
While this song is not musically impressive. It uses a chanting like device in it’s telling. Chants were an extremely early form of mnemonic or memory tool. Song has long been used for helping to learn and remember information. Karaoke ESL is but one technique that continues this wise tradition.
Note, that there are many versions of this song. We have chosen the Johnny Cash version. While most remain very similar, it is suggested that you acquire his version to minimize confusion when using your worksheet.