The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #111920 Message #3383609
Posted By: GUEST,Grishka
30-Jul-12 - 09:00 AM
Thread Name: Reworking of a folk song?
Subject: RE: Reworking of a folk song?
Interesting. I just spent 15 minutes searching the web, and did not find anything yet that convinced me. The general idea seems to be that the song refers to an existing story, from literature, film, or (less likely) folklore.
On the other hand, if it were true that "So many other people try to tell the tale", and this is just "another side to the story", one should be able to find it in one minute on the net. So the "original story" may be imaginary.
The only puzzling part is the last six lines. The gin suggests that Billy (probably identical with the milkman, who had left it with his hat in his milkman's truck) was drunk, so that none of his various accounts of the story is reliable. Second degree murder, Your Honor.
When I have more time, I'll continue the search, unless someone beats me to it.