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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Roberto Why Did Barbara Allen Refuse? (113* d) RE: Why Did Barbara Allen Refuse? 02 Feb 00

"Barbara Allen" is more deep than it seems. The most interesting comment I've read was by Robert Graves, who thought she was a witch. That could explain Barbara Allen's laughter when she sees his corpse. In some versions, she cries, but in others, she wildly laughs. See, for instance, Martin Carthy's version, in his last CD, "Sign of Life", or Jean Redpath's, in "First Flight". When she comes to his death-bed, he shows her things that seem to be tokens ("a basin full of my heart's tears"; a golden watch etc), maybe to soothe her and make her stop the withcraft, that is making him die. It is Barbara Allen, it seems, the cause of Sweet William's misterious illness, but there is something more than just a romantic yearning. She takes her revenge (maybe because she was rejected or neglected, being of low social degree or something), although she knows that the same witchcraft may kill her too...I'LL TRY TO FIND THE COMPLETE ROBERT GRAVES' COMMENT, AND I'LL WRITE IT DOWN FOR YOU. Roberto

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