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Maria Marten/Red Barn Murder

GUEST 02 Mar 13 - 08:34 AM
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Subject: MBMonday: Maria Marten/Red Barn Murder
Date: 02 Mar 13 - 08:34 AM

This week at Murder Ballad Monday, we give a listen to the songs emerging from the Red Barn Murder. From 1827 Suffolk, England to the imaginative landscape of Tom Waits in three easy posts.

Murder of Maria Marten/The Red Barn Murder : Ken begins his exploration of a ballad well-known to our English-speaking kin across the Atlantic, but notably missing in the American tradition. Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band provide today's featured version of "Murder of Maria Marten", a ballad based on the true and terrible story of the 'Red Barn Murder' of 1827. The details are both engaging and disturbing, and as usual the line between truth and fiction is blurry though the music is sharp!

A Warning Take by Me : Ken goes digging in the Red Barn and finds a mystery, the remains of a folk song. But is it? By piecing together the clues, he finds that what looks to us like an authentic song of the folk is perhaps better described as a compelling story with a hint of the supernatural, popularized in song first among an urban working class in England by the early 19th century equivalent of Tin-Pan Alley. Child dismissed it in part for these reasons - but should we?

Murder in the Red Barn : "Someone's crying in the woods, someone's burying all his clothes..." There was a murder in the red barn. Ken ends the week at a distance from England and Maria Marten's bones, and closer to understanding it all than any sensationalist British broadside printer could have hoped. Do you want to hear the truth? Then listen to Tom Waits lie. There was a murder in the red barn.

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