The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #101028   Message #3908811
Posted By: Vic Smith
01-Mar-18 - 12:06 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Sheep Crook and Black Dog (Ewan MacColl)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sheep Crook and Black Dog (Ewan MacColl)
Brian Peters wrote ( in 2012!!! - six years to make a response)

Meanwhile, is the shepherd boy ready to top himself by the end, or is he just planning to move to another area, to leave behind some bitter memories?Meanwhile, is the shepherd boy ready to top himself by the end, or is he just planning to move to another area, to leave behind some bitter memories?

I sing a version that is cobbled together from three versions all recorded from Caroline Hughes (by Kennedy, MacColl and Peter Shepheard)- all different - and I can't remember which version I get the first line from but it is similar to the one that Norma Waterson (quoted above) sings except for the first line which goes:-

I'll be spread under the green branches although I am young.....

I take this to mean that the shepherd boy is going to commit suicide. People who had killed themselves were denied buried in consecrated Church graveyards and their families would often opt for cremation and then surreptitiously spread the ashes in the churchyard.