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Origins:Charlie Lawson ballad / The Lawson Murder

DigiTrad:
THE LAWSON MURDER


Related threads:
The Ballads of Charlie Lawson... (10)
BS: Documentary DVD...Christmas Family Tragedy (18)


GUEST 21 Jan 00 - 08:08 AM
Midchuck 21 Jan 00 - 08:56 AM
Stewie 21 Jan 00 - 06:23 PM
GUEST 20 Mar 02 - 12:39 PM
MMario 20 Mar 02 - 12:44 PM
Francy 20 Mar 02 - 12:59 PM
tar_heel 20 Mar 02 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,GENE 20 Mar 02 - 04:03 PM
GUEST 20 Mar 02 - 04:04 PM
MMario 20 Mar 02 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Gene 20 Mar 02 - 05:57 PM
masato sakurai 20 Mar 02 - 06:39 PM
Coyote Breath 20 Mar 02 - 11:54 PM
Rolfyboy6 21 Mar 02 - 12:18 AM
GUEST,Gene 21 Mar 02 - 10:05 AM
GUEST 17 Feb 05 - 02:01 PM
Joe Offer 17 Feb 05 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Misfitdoll67@triad.rr.com 13 Mar 05 - 02:15 PM
GUEST 26 Sep 06 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,GUEST 1 09 Oct 10 - 08:55 PM
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Subject: charlie lawson ballad
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 08:08 AM

do you know where i can find the words and music to the CHARLIE LAWSON BALLAD?

THANKS bmoose@concordnc.com


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: Midchuck
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 08:56 AM

I have, among my ancient vinyl, Folkways #FA 2409, Country Songs, Old and New, sung and played by Charley Waller, John Duffey, and the Country Gentlemen, issued in 1960. Duffey looking like a prep school kid is an odd sight. It has The Story of Charlie Lawson. It's attributed to the Morris Bros. and the Carolina Buddies.

The liner notes have a quote from the NY Times from Dec. 26/27, 1929, about the killing.

The lyrics are in the liner notes, but I ain't about to type them out. Can mail you a photocopy if you give me a snailmail address. petecady@sover.net if you don't want to publish it on the web.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 06:23 PM

The Carolina Buddies' March 1930 recording of 'The Murder of the Lawson Family' has been reissued on CD: Various Artists 'Cotton Mills and Fiddles' Flying Cloud FC-014. It has Walter 'Kid' Smith lead vocal and Buster Carter, tenor vocal.

Stewie.


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Subject: DTAdd Version: Story of Charlie Lawson
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 12:39 PM

THE STORY OF CHARLIE LAWSON
Traditional

It was on last Christmas evening
The snow was on the ground
At his home in North Carolina
The miner he was found

His name was Charlie Lawson
He had a loving wife
But they never knew what caused
To take his family's life

They say he killed his wife at first
While the little ones did cry
"Please papa won' you spare our lives
For it's so hard to die"

But the raging man could not be stopped
He would not heed their call
He kept on firing fatal shots
Until he'd killed them all

They did not carry him to jail
No lawyer would he pay
They'll have his trial in another land
On the final judgment day

They all were buried in a crowded grave
While the angels watched all above
Come home, come home my little ones
To the land of peace and love

And now farewell kind friends and home
I'll see you here no more
But when we meet in another land
Our troubles will be o'er


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: MMario
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 12:44 PM

Thank you!


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: Francy
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 12:59 PM

There's a recent recording of it by Dave Alvin on his Hightone CD "Public Dommain"////HCD8122.....Worth a listen. Its nicely done.......Frank of Toledo


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: tar_heel
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 03:15 PM

there is a book called,WHITE CHRISTMAS...BLOODY CHRISTMAS,written by m.bruce jones and trudy j.smith...it tells the true story of the lawson family murders of christmas day,1929...contact,upwords publications p.o.box 390 trinity,north carolina...there is more to to this story than the song tells and i live just a stones throw from the original homestead of charlie lawson(now gone and replaced by a modern home,but the barn is still there).also the cemetary and grave is located in a wooded area by the roadside....and,like the song says,"they were all buried in a crowded grave"and all names are on the grave markers...it gives you chills just to stand there and look at it...as a former television news photographer,i produced a feature story on this tragedy with an interview of an uncle who discovered the bloody murder while hunting on that faithful christmas day...in the tv feature i use his interview and portions of the original song to help tell the story...i can make anyone a copy of this video if interested,but a fee will have to be paid...


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: GUEST,GENE
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 04:03 PM

Joe or somebody might want to check this out!

Thru some QUIRK in the MUDCAT search engine...???
a search for [lawson] or [charlie lawson]
does not bring up the listing-not for me-anyway

continuing further and CLICKING on the SUPER SEARCH
does bring up MUDCAT DATABASE entries
and the MUDCAT FORUM entries
relating to [THE LAWSON MURDER]

[THE LAWSON MURDER]
and this one

[THE LAWSON MURDER]


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 04:04 PM

Gene,

Both your links come back to this thread?!?


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: MMario
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 04:26 PM

I just checked - and a slight variation on the lyric here are in the DT. But Gene is right, they don't appear to come up if you search the online DT through the lyric search - they due come up throught the supersearch.


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 05:57 PM

Hi Guest...

I never claimed to know what I was doing!!!

Just stated what I had done-----


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 06:39 PM

We can hear The Carolina Buddies' "The Murder Of The Lawson Family" HERE (Old Time Music from 78s).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 11:54 PM

I've performed the song for many, many, years. I must have forgotten that first verse because I never sang it but seeing it, I remembered it! Odd what age can do to one's memory. When the Angela Yates story broke, I sat down on the couch and sang the song again, I'd forgotten that I had. Over the years I have had, sadly, more than one occasion to be reminded of that song. I can't say that I LIKE it but it IS compelling.

CB


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 12:18 AM

The Stanley Brothers did a great rendition of this ballad on one their old records (can't bring the title to mind), and Doc and Merle Watson do it on "Ballads from Deep Gap".


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 10:05 AM

Stanley Brothers - The Story Of The Lawson Family


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Subject: RE: charlie lawson ballad
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 02:01 PM

Hi Tar Heel, I am interested in getting a copy of that video. Could you tell me how?

Thanks,
MorningZombie


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Subject: RE: req/add: charlie lawson ballad
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 03:20 PM

There is a Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Lawson Murder, The (Charlie Lawson) [Laws F35]

DESCRIPTION: Charlie Lawson goes mad on a Christmas evening and shoots first his wife and then, despite their pleas, his six children. He prepares them for burial, bids goodbye, and kills himself also. The family is buried in a common grave
AUTHOR: Wiley Morris?
EARLIEST DATE: 1937 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: murder family burial suicide madness children
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Dec 25, 1898 - 43-year-old Charles D. Lawson shoots his family and himself
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Laws F35, "The Lawson Murder (Charlie Lawson)"
Warner 114, "The Lawson Family Murder" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 298, "The Lawson Murder" (1 text plus mention of 2 more)
Darling-NAS, pp. 206-207, "The Lawson Murder" (1 text)
DT 729, LAWSNMRD

Roud #697
RECORDINGS:
Spencer Moore with Everett Blevins, "The Lawson Murder" (on LomaxCD1705)
The Morris Brothers, "The Story of Charlie Lawson" (Bluebird B-7903, c. 1938)
E. R. Nance Singers, "The Lawson Murder" (Brunswick 542, c. 1930)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Dark Knight" (plot)
cf. "William Beadle" (plot)
Notes: The Carolina Buddies recorded a song called "Murder of the Lawson Family" (Columbia 15537-D, 1930), but I have no way of learning if that is the same song. - RBW
File: LF35

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Charlie Lawson ballad / The Lawson Murder
From: GUEST,Misfitdoll67@triad.rr.com
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 02:15 PM

This is to Tar_Heel: I'd really like a copy of that television interview you did with the uncle re: the Charlie Lawson family slayings!! please get in touch.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Charlie Lawson ballad / The Lawson Mur
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 12:04 PM

To Tarheel. I just emailed you and forgot to tell you that I know that the old house is torn down and a new one there. Do you think the new owners mind if people look at the site, or do they want to be left alone? my email is clerk@newbern-nc.org


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Subject: RE: Origins:Charlie Lawson ballad / The Lawson Murder
From: GUEST,GUEST 1
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 08:55 PM

This is not the original . This one follows more closely to the tune written by Carter and Ralph Stanley, performed live in 1956 and originally released in March 2004. You can see the original lyrics at www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=6582


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