The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81791   Message #1501130
Posted By: Abby Sale
06-Jun-05 - 09:51 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Ballad of Tim Evans (Ewan MacColl)
Subject: RE: Origins: ballad of timothy evans
I've long been confused about the timing on this. Evans was hanged in 1950. MacColl wrote the song in 1957. As I get it, the death penalty has been abolished and unabolished several times in the UK. While the song is generally given credit for an assist, my notes have Feb 16, 1956 as abolition - one year before the song.

On the other hand, if the Ballad was effective here, that is a very important item. It would be one of the very rare cases in history in which a song had a direct effect. Most "protest" songs are merely preaching to the choir and may much encourage the faithful but have little or no effect outside that group, already committed to the cause.

I base this opinion largely on the comments of Irwin Silber who did have opportunity to consider these things.