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Folklore: Crossroads

LadyJean 14 Oct 10 - 07:46 PM
Phil Cooper 14 Oct 10 - 09:12 PM
Crowhugger 14 Oct 10 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,mg 14 Oct 10 - 09:50 PM
ChanteyLass 14 Oct 10 - 09:58 PM
Rob Naylor 15 Oct 10 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Oct 10 - 05:17 AM
Johnny J 15 Oct 10 - 06:14 AM
Johnny J 15 Oct 10 - 06:16 AM
GUEST, Sminky 15 Oct 10 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Neil D 15 Oct 10 - 11:07 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Crossroads
From: LadyJean
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:46 PM

I live at the top of a T shaped intersection. Yesterday, when I was cutting the crabgrass in my back yard, I found a cloven hoofprint, which I hope to gracious came from a deer.

But it lead me to thinking about the folklore of crossroads. I checked past threads, and there is one about Robert Johnson, of course, and some comments about making a deal with the devil, but no crossroads folklore thread. So, I'm starting one.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crossroads
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 09:12 PM

Bob Pegg's song, Fiddler's Cross, mentions crossroads: "Dim down the lights/watch his finger ends burn/ they say that he went to the crossroads to learn/they say that the old lad had taught him his tunes/by the light of a dozen full moons." Later on: "Nest day at the crossroads his fiddle was found/splinters and wires on the grey mossy ground." There's probably a lot more references.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crossroads
From: Crowhugger
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 09:41 PM

I recall 2 types of crossroads in songs, fables etc. One is the kind that has 2 very different outcomes depending which road is taken, a good to right, evil to the left kind of thing. The other, perhaps more fatalistically, has the same results because the road only diverges for a while, then converges again. Of course off the top of my head I can't think exactly which songs have these, it's the patterns that have stayed with me.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crossroads
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 09:50 PM

all sorts of Irish stuff about dancing int he crossroads, and the priest breaking it up etc. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crossroads
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 09:58 PM

According to folklore, sometimes couples who were restricted from "legal" weddings "jumped the broom" at crossroads and considered themselves married. If you google "jumping the broom crossroads" you'll find more information about this.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crossroads
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 04:51 AM

Wasn't it the norm in the UK until the late 1800s to bury suicides at crossroads, with a stake through their hearts?

Or is that another urban myth?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crossroads
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 05:17 AM

The Lancastrian witch Meg Shelton was to have been buried at a crossroads until the intervention of the local priest who had her buried in the graveyard. Seems Meg wasn't happy with this and on several occasions clawed her way out, which is why on the final attempt they buried her head downwards under the huge boulder which remains to mark her resting place to this day at Woodplumpton, near Preston.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crossroads
From: Johnny J
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:14 AM

"The Lancastrian witch Meg Shelton"


When I first saw this thread, I thought it may all have been about "the Midlands with Meg Richardson"

:-))


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crossroads
From: Johnny J
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:16 AM

Oops, I meant to say

"the Midlands *witch* Meg Richardson"


My name's not Benny, honest!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crossroads
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:31 AM

Archaeologists have comfirmed the existence of crossroads burials going back to Anglo-Saxon times. In later times criminals were traditionally buried there (Tyburn is built on a Roman crossroads).

Suicides were not a special group - they were guilty of what was then a criminal offence and treated as such.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crossroads
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 11:07 AM

It was actually Delta bluesman Tommy Johnson who first claimed the crossroad/devil story. To enhance his fame, Johnson cultivated a sinister persona. According to his brother LeDell, he claimed to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his mastery of the guitar. This story was later also associated with Robert Johnson, to whom he was unrelated.


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