Saturday, January 23, 2010

Legends of Sleepy Hollow.

... or Legend of Sleepy Hollows.

Sleepies Hollow?

Moving on.

We were watching a special about the American Revolutionary War on some big cable channel that always plays stuff about 'history' (the name of the channel escapes me). We fell to talking about other nations and peoples that were involved in the War for Independence, and she brought up Hessians... and it got me thinking about conscripted soldiers, Redcoats, brown coats and no coats in the snow, muskets, horses, and horsemen.

Headless horsemen.

I've mentioned Washington Irving's best known spectre before, with an old LP download here, and a fine poem from a friend here. This last inspired me to put Bing's classic cut of the Headless Horseman song on the ol' S&P jukebox for a time.

But other than my friend's poetry, all of those previous references were strictly in the Disney vein. I thought a quick look at other treasures based on the tale would be great discussion for this li'l ol' pub...

Don't mistake me. I love the 1949 Disney version with a passion, and I submit most of us under the age of 55 or so would have not been exposed to this classic story as early as we were, but for The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad.

If anyone has this sheet music, please just give it to me. Please.

I have a Legend of Sleepy Hollow shelf in my room, and there are a few Disney version goodies residing there... this very cool and pretty pin set, along with two sweet little Headless & Ichabod plushies from the Disney Store years ago (you'll see them at the far right end of the shelf a few pics down).

But the other well known version is represented bigly (I know it's not a word) in figures and model kits, etc...

There are those cute plush figures on the far right.

What's that you say? The other soft, stuffed animal looking figure with the tree? That is an Annalee Doll produced in very limited quantities some 20 years ago. It is a fine Hallowe'en gift from my aunt Kathy!

A little detail, a classic Annalee hand painted design.

I love best, though, the many artistic interpretations of Irving's tale. Since its first publication in The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent (1820), the idea of the ghostly pursuit has captured the imaginations of artists the world over... each, for all their similarities, so different.

Ichabod Pursued By The Horseman F.O.C. Darley, 1849

The Headless Horseman
John Quidor, 1858 (just a year before Irving's death)

Nearly a century later in 1949, Mary Blair was designing the look of Disney's retelling of the tale.

The next two are both from the legendary Frank Frazetta:

... and this rather Frazetta-like concept belongs to Charles Keegan:

Trevor Watts etched this beauty of a logo a few years back.

This beautifully sketched Headless Horseman Revisited is from Walter Pax.

Lovely images, all. There are so many to see, and it seems any search engine, library or gallery can find you hundreds of unique artistic renditions of the 190-year-old ghost story.

One of these nights, we'll entertain with various audio renditions of the tale.

Until then, I must admit... I keep finding myself drawn to THIS:





  1. This is one of my favorites also. I really like your collection of Headless Horseman stuff, especially the Disney stuff. I never seen those before and they are awesome!

  2. This is one of my favorites also. I really like your collecton, especially the Disney stuff. I never seen those before. The paintings are awesome too!

  3. Nice collection! The Disney version of the story is still my favourite :)

  4. I have adored this story and all its many film adaptations since childhood! We go to Sleepy Hollow every October and it is amazing!