The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #141909   Message #3268512
Posted By: GUEST,SteveG
04-Dec-11 - 06:23 PM
Thread Name: Icelandic 'Cruel Mother' story
Subject: RE: Icelandic 'Cruel Mother' story
Whilst it is highly unlikely that there is any derivative connection between the Icelandic song and the English broadside, IMO their raison d'etre is almost the same. The English broadside is a warning to well-heeled young ladies not to go astray with male servants. The consequences described are horrific enough, and as the writer says on the website, the Icelandic song serves as a warning to young girls in a similar fashion and is just as horrific. It is perhaps debatable which is the more damnable, leaving the babies out in the cold to starve to death or dispatching them with a knife. A close similarity is the babies returning to haunt the mothers in both songs, but in times when the vast majority of the population believed implicitly in the supernatural, haunting by the victims is a logical conclusion.

In previous post read 'penance' for 'pennance'. I'll write it out correctly 20X.