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GUEST,Paul Slade Musicians Wanted: The Gallows Ballads Project (127* d) RE: Musicians Wanted: The Gallows Ballads Project 13 Mar 12

No more new audio to report just yet, I'm afraid – although I have received a work-in-progress demo of The Unnatural Murder which John and Margaret Foxen are hoping to finish ready for posting soon.

What I do have is an intriguing bit of trivia. Cassandra Clare is the author of the best-selling teen fiction series The Mortal Instrumemts and its prequel trilogy The Infernal Devices. The books follow the reliable Twilight formula of mixing supernatural creatures with hormone-soaked teen romance, and are shifting by the truckload as a result.

Book two of The Infernal Devices is 2011's The Clockwork Prince, and it's set in Victorian London. On page 191, we find this paragraph: "The carriage came to a stop at an unprepossessing corner. Across the street, the lights of an open public house spilled out onto the street, along with a steady stream of drunkards, some with women leaning on their arms, the women's brightly colored dresses stained and dirty and their cheeks highly rouged. Somewhere someone was singing 'Cruel Lizzie Vickers'."

Now, Cruel Lizzie Vickers is a title I bestowed on that particular song, the original sheet being simply headed "Horrid Murder". I posted my page about it in October 2010, by which time Clare must have been well on her way to completing The Clockwork Prince's manuscript, but it seems safe to assume from the title she's used that she found the song on PlanetSlade. I'm impressed she went the extra mile to find a real Victorian song for her characters to overhear at this point, and chuffed to see it score a passing mention in such a popular book.

The Jetsonics have already offered to do a modern cover version of Cruel Lizzie Vickers, and I'm going to drop them a line with news of the Clockwork Prince connection in a moment. All we need now is a time machine written into the plot, and one of Clare's future volumes could reveal it was them singing it outside her Victorian pub all along.

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