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Lyr Add: The Folkestone Murders

Dead Horse 12 Jan 09 - 01:26 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Jan 09 - 06:30 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 12 Jan 09 - 12:26 PM
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From: Dead Horse
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:26 AM


Kind friends, come pay attention and listen to my song.
It is about a murder; it won't detain you long'
'Twas near the town of Folkestone this shocking deed was done.
Maria and sweet Caroline were murdered by Switzerland John.

He came unto their parents' house at nine o'clock one night,
But little did poor Caroline think he owed her any spite.
"Will you walk with me, dear Caroline?" the murderer did say,
And she agreed to accompany him to Shorncliffe Camp next day.

Said the mother to the daughter: "You'd better stay at home.
It is not fit for you to go with that young man alone.
You'd better take your sister to go along with you.
Then I have no objection, dear daughter; you may go."

Early next morning before the break of day,
Maria and sweet Caroline from Dover town did stray;
But before they reached to Folkestone, the villain drew a knife.
Maria and sweet Caroline, he took away their lives.

Down on the ground those sisters fell, all in their blooming years;
For mercy cried: "We're innocent." Their eyes were filled with tears.
He plunged the knife into their breasts, those lovely breasts so deep.
He robbed them of their own sweet lives and left them there to sleep.

Early next morning their bodies they were found
At a lonely spot called Steady Hole a-bleeding on the ground;
And if you go unto that spot, these letters you will find
Cut deeply in the grass so green: "Maria and Caroline".

When the news it reached their parents' ears they cried: "What shall we do?
Maria has been murdered and lovely Caroline too."
They pulled and tore their old grey hair in sorrow and surprise,
And tears they rolled in torrents from their poor aged eyes.

This murderer has been taken; his companions do him deny,
And he is sent to Maidstone and is condemned to die.
He said farewell to all his friends: "In this world I am alone,
And have to die for murder far from my native home.

"The dismal bell is tolling; for the scaffold I must prepare.
I trust in Heaven my soul shall rest and meet dear Caroline there.
Now all young men take warning by this sad fate of mine,
To the memory of Maria Beck and lovely Caroline.

Notes from Folksongs of Britain and Ireland. Oak Publications. 1984 ISBN 0.7119.0283.6
Tedea (or Dedea) Redanies was a British soldier, born in Belgrade, who murdered Caroline and Maria Beck (19 & 16 yr olds) on 3rd August 1856. He was hanged at Maidstone on New Year's Day the following year. Motive was thought to be jealousy. The ballad has long been popular in Kent & East Sussex and with gypsies in the area. First collected by Gilchrist 1917 (JFSS)

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Folkestone Murders
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 06:30 AM

I seem to remember that there was an article about this song and the events surrounding it in Englesh Dance and Song some years ago (by Mike Yates (?) who recorded it from George Spicer)
Jim Carroll

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Folkestone Murders
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 12:26 PM

The version above is George Spicer's version, recorded by Kennedy.

My copy of Roud has 11 entries for the song, 6 of them for George Spicer, most are from England, but there was also versions printed in Greenleaf & Mansfield: Ballads & Sea Songs of Newfoundland, 1928 and Leach: Folk Ballads & Songs of the Lower Labrador Coast, 1960.

Titles are The Folkestone Murder, Maria and Sweet Caroling, Mary and Sweet Caroline and Sweet Caroline.


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