Tag Archives: folk music

Vera Jayne and Norma Jean

Thanks for sharing this post!

Jayne Mansfield and I share a name, and it’s because of my dad, Paul Mansfield. Vera Jayne Palmer and Paul James Mansfield were married in 1950 at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Not too long after that, my half-sister Jayne Marie was born. Then, a few years later, the couple moved to Hollywood and Jayne started her acting career. She became a big star, a bombshell. It all really exploded in 1957. Dad never felt comfortable with that lifestyle and they divorced – he found my mom, Sue, back in Dallas about a year later. Jayne had only ten more years before her fatal car crash on the road to New Orleans one dark night in 1967.

In this song, I sing of both Jayne and her contemporary bombshell and Hollywood rival, Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean) by trying to get at what it possibly could have been like to be an international sex symbol during those heady years. “Oh, for a Man,” heard as a refrain throughout the song, refers to one of Jayne’s more obscure movies and describes the panting nymphomania of the sex goddess archetype.

The Hippie of White Rock Lake Live at Poor David’s Pub

Thanks for sharing this post!
The Hippie of White Rock Lake Live at Poor David’s Pub (c) Jennifer M Peal

On October 30, 2021, I got to do the Halloween show at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas, TX. That’s where The Hippie got her debut, right there in her own home town.

Poor David’s is a legendary Americana and eclectic music venue in its fourth decade. Thank you so much to David Card for the concert and to Carlos Sanchez for recording it and making me sound so good onstage. And thank you so much to my audience who came out to the show, so many of them dear friends.

The lesson of this song is it takes one to know one. In Dallas.

New Album: Receiver

Thanks for sharing this post!

Its taken a few years, but here we go. My favorite new songs plus a couple of older ones that had not been recorded.

Receiver showcases nine songs. The Snow On The Pine, The Godless Rambler, Make Me a Pallet On Your Floor, and Keep Tamales In Christmas were recorded at Parrot Tracks Studio with George Coyne just south of Austin. George also did the mixing and mastering for the whole album. Make Me A Pallet… is an update of a traditional blues song, co-written with Ruben Dominguez of Southern Colorado.

My Father’s Cigarette In the Dark is the oldest song on the album, written long before my dad passed away. Receiver is also an older one, dating back to the period when Tom and I were searching the American West for our home. I’m not sure exactly when I completed Evalina. It took me about fifteen years to write. The topic is very close to my heart. Angry Sister is a ”me too” song, completed in 2018. Each of these four songs was recorded at Dallas Sound Lab with Paul Osborne, and they all feature Linda Relph of DFW on fiddle.

The Hippie Of White Rock Lake was recorded at a very fun Halloween JMP concert, 2021, at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas. Carlos Sanchez was the sound engineer. Thanks to everyone who came out to that show and to David Card for his faith in me.

I hope you enjoy listening to every song as much as I enjoyed recording them.


You can hear the entire album on Hear Now at the link above. For a few weeks I am making all of the songs available, full length, for free.

Thanks for listening! I would love some feedback, so plase leave a comment below.

The Snow On the Pine

Thanks for sharing this post!

The Snow On the Pine, (c) Jennifer M. Peal

I’ll be releasing my new album, Receiver, this spring. This track is a stark folk ballad. The Snow on the Pine is a story told in intimacy after a few glasses of wine. Maybe she will come to regret her loose tongue …

I came to Chama with the snow on the pine
Along with my husband who worked in a mine
He told my parents when he asked for me
That a man could make fortunes in the silver country

My mother said,daughter, watch out what you do
You can’t trust a husband who’s younger than you
But we mde plans for leaving, my cattle I sold
And we headed for Chama up the high mountain road

Good-bye, Tucumcari, my dear family
I’m ready to marry, I’m past thirty-three
But love’s a rare treasure and love makes you blind
When it’s fresh and unspoiled, like the snow on the pine

He wasn’t a miner, there wasn’t a claim
He made all his living by the luck of the game
The surname he gave me wasn’t event his own
And he played with my money until it was gone

My new baby son asleep in his bed
My husband burst in with a gun to his head
Both men demanded I settle a debt
But the one with the gun said he’d have me instead

Marry an old man, your love he will crave
Marry a young man, he’ll make you his slave
Marry a gambler and one day you will find
Their heart hgas turned cold like the snow on the pine

I hid all I earned from the work that I found
washing the clothes of the miners in town
Winters are lasting but summers are brief
as the life of a gambler in the silver country

I paid off his liquor, I paid off his debt
I paid off his killer without a regret
Alone with my conscience, but I have been told
That Chama has widows like Denver has gold

And now my dear sisters I’m not what I was
You know me before I gambled on love
Men speak of treasure to be found in a mine
while love melts away with the snow on the pine

Pegasus Project: Fair Maid

Thanks for sharing this post!

Here is a song that I started singing as a Renaissance Faire performer, 1982-1985, accompanied by mountain dulcimer. Nobody said a word about my off-period Ozark Mountain Dulcimer at Scarborough Faire; my songs, I tried to keep reasonably in period, in spirit, style and topic if not age. Fair Maid is a ballad from a very old family of trans-man, or anyway crossdressing, sailor and soldier folk ballads.

When Pegasus Project formed in 1991, I switched to guitar for the change from grove to stage. Everybody in the Band is in on this and I love that it ends with some jolly horn pipes on Linda’s fiddle.

Fair Maid, performed by Pegasus Project: Jenni Mansfield (Peal), Linda Relph, Rupert Crabb. (p) Scatterbranch Music Publishing 1992
when I was a fair maid … more like thirty …

Pegasus Project: Rock-a-bye Baby

Thanks for sharing this post!

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day Week, a time of the year when Pegasus Project was very busy in the years 1991-1993. Here’s a song I always enjoyed singing. Rupert Crabb plays accordion and Bodhran in this track. Linda Relph accompanies on fiddle and back-up vocals, then springs into a lively fiddle tune at the end.

Jenni Mansfield, Linda Relph, Rupert Crabb: Pegasus Project, a Celtic Band based in DFW

Pegasus Project: Greenland Whale Fisheries

Thanks for sharing this post!
Pegasus Project, my 1990’s Celtic band comprised of Rupert Crabb, Linda Relph and myself, really drew on Rupert’s love for sea shanties and whaling songs. As a folk-song lover from my early childhood, his repertoire was a joy to work with, as was he. We had a standing gig at the old Tipperary Inn on Lower Greenville in Dallas, and for awhile after it moved down on Skillman. We also enjoyed playing the North Texas Irish Festival and other events in our region.