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Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female

GUEST,George Frampton 05 Oct 12 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,999 05 Oct 12 - 10:34 AM
Owen Woodson 05 Oct 12 - 11:53 AM
Owen Woodson 05 Oct 12 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,George Frampton 05 Oct 12 - 12:03 PM
Rain Dog 05 Oct 12 - 12:16 PM
WindhoverWeaver 05 Oct 12 - 12:18 PM
fretless 05 Oct 12 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,George Frampton 05 Oct 12 - 01:23 PM
Rain Dog 05 Oct 12 - 02:14 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Oct 12 - 04:09 PM
Susan of DT 05 Oct 12 - 04:10 PM
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Subject: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: GUEST,George Frampton
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 10:27 AM

I am trying to identify the name of a 'Northumbrain ballad' once sung by a Dover-based publican in the 1930's from the following clues: ' ... believed to be a Northumbrian song about a butcher who, on his way to market, heard a woman's cried. After a search, he found the woman, naked, bent over to tend her, whereupon she produced a knife and killed him."

I take the the 'Northumbrian' reference with a pinch of proverbial salt, but it might help identification. Does any 'catter recognise this plot line and can help me?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 10:34 AM

Perhaps this at Contemplator?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 11:53 AM

That's the one, although I've never heard of it having any specific conections with Northumbria. It is in fact an extremely common song, although I can't think of too many references off the top of my head. However, Bob Scarce sings it on one of the Caedmon/Topic Folksongs of Britain LPs. Fair Game and Foul, I think. Also there's a version in Sam Henry in which the robbers have their cave in "the Wicklow Mountains High. Anyway, it's No 17 in Steve Roud'sFolksong Index, where there are currecntly 132 references. It's also Laws L4.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 11:54 AM

Sorry. That 132 should have been 217.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: GUEST,George Frampton
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 12:03 PM

Yes, the plot is similar in essence, so many thanks for this. I especially like the Borders (Roxburgh) connection.

Any other offers?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: Rain Dog
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 12:16 PM

Cannot help on the song but I am interested in where you got the info about the "Dover based publican" in the 30s from.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: WindhoverWeaver
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 12:18 PM

Gryphon did a version called "Three Jolly Butchers" on their self-titled 1973 album. In their version one of the butchers stops, rescues the lady who then calls for her fellow bandits. The butcher kills them but is then killed by the woman. She is then arrested.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: fretless
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 12:44 PM

Here are some notes on the Appalachian version of the same ballad.

Thread drift: this has been recorded separately by Pete and Peggy Seeger, and also by the New Lost City Ramblers (presumably, although I haven't bothered to check that recording, Mike). So how many other ballads have been recorded by all of those family members?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: GUEST,George Frampton
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 01:23 PM

The Dover-based landlord was Ike Harvey who ran The Rose Inn, West Langdon up until he retired in 1929. This is part of ongoing research into the life and songs of George Spicer which will be published in Musical Traditions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: Rain Dog
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 02:14 PM

Thanks George. I did look at this site

Pubs of Dover

after I saw your first post. The only mention of ballad on that site appears to be to The Folkestone Murder or Switzerland John.

The site does have an entry on The Rose Inn and it seems that Ike Harvey's grandson contacted the site in April 2011.

Good luck with your research


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 04:09 PM

In the earliest printed copy, by Brooksby of London c1672-9 the 'Three Worthy Butchers' are indeed said to be 'of the North' but the ballad has been constantly in print since then on street literature. I'm sure there must be earlier threads on 'The Three Butchers' which give chapter and verse.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Murder of a butcher by a naked female
From: Susan of DT
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 04:10 PM

Several in the DT
butcher1
butcher 2
butcher3


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