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DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses

DigiTrad:
DOWN IN A WILLOW GARDEN
HANGED I SHALL BE
OXFORD CITY
THE KNOXVILLE GIRL


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Rose Connally / Rose Connelly (13)
Lyr Add: Hanged I Shall Be (34)
(origins) Lyr Req: Knoxville Girl (53)
Lyr Req: The Wexford Girl (7)
Penguin: Oxford City (4)
(origins) Origin: Oxford Girl (Oysterband) (7)
Info: knoxville girl (4) (closed)
Lyr Req: appalachian murder ballads (34)
Info Request: Down in the Willow Garden (10)


Chris Amos 07 Jun 02 - 01:26 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jun 02 - 02:05 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 02 - 02:40 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 02 - 03:01 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 02 - 03:06 PM
GUEST 07 Jun 02 - 03:08 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 02 - 03:15 PM
Mrrzy 07 Jun 02 - 03:20 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 02 - 03:29 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 07 Jun 02 - 03:39 PM
Mrrzy 07 Jun 02 - 04:20 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 02 - 04:45 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 02 - 05:00 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 07 Jun 02 - 08:57 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jun 02 - 09:20 PM
GUEST 07 Jun 02 - 10:10 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jun 02 - 10:52 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 12 Jun 02 - 01:35 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jun 02 - 01:39 PM
Mrrzy 15 Jun 02 - 10:43 AM
Mrrzy 17 Jun 02 - 10:42 AM
masato sakurai 29 Aug 02 - 01:42 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Aug 02 - 12:24 AM
GUEST 30 Aug 02 - 12:57 AM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 02 - 07:51 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 02 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Arbuthnot 02 Nov 05 - 10:13 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Nov 05 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,Slag 06 May 09 - 08:06 PM
Deckman 06 May 09 - 10:31 PM
Jayto 06 May 09 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,Slag 06 May 09 - 11:15 PM
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Subject: DTStudy: Oxford Tragedy
From: Chris Amos
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 01:26 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


I set about research with a singer's eye rather than scholars, looking for songs to sing. I am not so interested in finding the earliest version of a particular song, often they are a disappointment if you do, most song seem to be improved by being subjected to the folk process.

There is a group of songs, collected from all over the English-speaking world, which I imagine must have come from a single source.

Story always goes like this; boy meets girl, boy and girl go for a walk, boy murders girl with a fence post/stick/piece of hedge, boy throws girl's body in river/pond, boy returns home at midnight and is let in by mother/father/master/miller who has a light, boy is questioned as to where all the blood has come from and in most instances I have come across always answers with the exact phrase "Bleeding at my Nose".

It's strange, I can remember the first time I heard this song, on a Peter Bellamy solo album and it was that line about bleeding at my nose that remained in my memory. I have come across versions from all parts of the UK and the Appellation all containing the same line. I have included one example from the DT, any ideas?


OXFORD TRAGEDY

Once there was a little tailor boy
About sixteen years of age;
My father hired me to a miller
That I might learn the trade.

I fell in love with a Knoxville girl,
Her name was Flora Dean.
Her rosy cheeks, her curly hair,
I really did admire.

Her father he persuaded me
To take Flora for a wife;
The devil he persuaded me
To take Flora's life.

Up stepped her mother so bold and gay,
So boldly she did stand;
Johnny dear, go marry her
And take her off my hands.

I went unto her father's house
About nine o'clock at night,
A-asking her to take a walk
To do some prively talk.

We had not got so very far
Till looking around and around,
He stooping down picked up a stick
And knocks little Flora down.

She fell upon her bended knees,
For mercy she did cry:
O Johnny dear, don't murder me,
For I'm not fit to die.

I took her by her lily-white hands
A-slung her around and around ;
I drug her off to the river-side,
And plunged her in to drown.

I returned back to my miller's house
About nine o'clock at night,
But little did my miller know
What I had been about.

The miller turned around and about,
Said:" Johnny, what blooded your clothes?"
Me being so apt to take a hint:
By bleeding at the nose.

About nine or ten days after that,
Little Flora she was found
A-floating down by her father's house
Who lived in Knoxville town.

From English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, Sharp
Collected from Mary Wilson and Mrs. Townley, Kentucky, 1917
DT #311
Laws P35
@murder
filename[ OXFRDTRG
Tune file : OXFRDTRG

CLICK TO PLAY
RG




PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 02:05 PM

If you look around in the Forum you'll find a lot of related material; I'm pretty sure I've provided an extensive list of links to everything here, and a good bit elsewhere. The original has been pointed to a number of times, notably by Bruce Olson, and the place and date of the original crime specified (more details at his website). Time for you to do a little research!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE KNOXVILLE GIRL
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 02:40 PM

Well, Chris, I was going to suggest that this shouldn't be a DTStudy because the Study threads are based on a review of one song at a time. You might have something, however, so let's let this one go as a thread studying all the bloody nose songs. If it doesn't work, we'll just reclassify it.
-Joe Offer-

THE KNOXVILLE GIRL

I met a little girl in Knoxville
A town we all know well
And every Sunday evening
Out in her home I'd dwell
We went to take an evening walk
About a mile from town
I picked a stick up off the ground
And knocked that fair girl down;

She fell down on her bended knees
For mercy she did cry
Oh, Willie dear, don't kill me here
I'm unprepared to die
She never spoke another word
I only beat her more
Until the ground around me
Within her blood did flow.

I took her by her golden curls
And I drug her 'round and 'round
Throwing her into the river
That flows through Knoxville town
Go down, go down, you Knoxville girl
With the dark and roving eyes
Go down, go down, you Knoxville girl
You can never be my bride.

I started back to Knoxville
Got there about midnight
My mother she was worried
And woke up in a fright
Saying, ""Dear son, what have you done
To bloody your clothes so?""
I told my anxious mother
I was bleeding at my nose.

I called for me a candle
To light myself to bed
I called for me a handkerchief
To bind my aching head
Rolled and tumbled the whole night through
As troubles was for me
Like flames of hell around my bed
And in my eyes could see.

They carried me down to Knoxville
And put me in a cell
My friends all tried to get me out
But none could go my bail
I'm here to waste my life away
Down in this dirty old jail
Because I murdered that Knoxville girl
The girl I loved so well.

Note. Based on the old English Ballad of the Wexford Girl
Recorded by The Louvin Brothers - Traditional
@murder @outlaw
filename[ KNOXGIRL
GG
OCT98




PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.


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Subject: DTStudy: Wexford Girl
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 03:01 PM

THE WEXFORD GIRL

It was in the town of Waterford
Where I was bred and born
It was in the city of Baltimore
That I owned a flowered farm
I courted many a Wexford girl
With dark and roving eyes

I asked her for to marry me
And yes, was her reply;
I went up to here father's house
About 8 o'clock one night
I asked her for to take a walk
Our wedding day to appoint

We walked along quite easily
Til I came to a level ground
I broke a stake out of the fence
And beat this fair maid down;
Down on her bended knees she fell
And, "mercy she did cry"

Oh, Willie dear, don't murder me here
I'm not prepared to die
He heeded not the words she said
But he beat her all the more
Til all the ground for yards around
Was in a bloody gore.

I went up to my mother's house
About 12 o'clock that night
My mother, she'd been sittin' up a-waitin'
She took an awful fright
Oh son, dear son, what have you done
What bled your hands and clothes
The answer that I made to my mother
"I was bleeding at the nose;"

I asked her for a candle
To light my way to bed
Likewise, for a handkerchief, to wrap
Around my aching head
I tied it and I twisted it
But no comfort could I find
The flames of hell shown around me
My true love not far behind;

It was in about three weeks before
This fair maid was found
Floatin' down the river
That leads to Wexford town
And all that saw her said
She was fair, a handsome bride
That she was fit for any king
Or any Squire's bride;

I was taken on suspicion
And locked in the Wexford jail
For there was none to pity me
Or none to go my bail
Come ye, all you loyal true lovers
A warning take by me
And never treat your own true love
To any cruelty;

For if you do, you'll rue like me
Until the day you die
You'll hang like me, a murderer
All on the gallows high.

Recorded by Benny Barnes
DT #628
Laws F5
filename[ WXFRDGRL
GG
oct97




PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.

Wexford Girl, The (The Oxford, Lexington, or Knoxville Girl; The Cruel Miller; etc.) [Laws P35]

DESCRIPTION: The singer invites the girl for a walk. They discuss their wedding. Then he takes up a club and attacks her. She begs him to spare her life. He beats her to death and throws her in the river. He is taken and hanged
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1889
KEYWORDS: wedding river murder trial execution
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,SE,So) Canada(Mar) Britain(Scotland,England)
REFERENCES (16 citations):
Laws P35, "The Wexford Girl (The Oxford, Lexington, or Knoxville Girl; The Cruel Miller; etc.)" (Laws gives three broadside texts on pp. 104-112 of ABFBB)
Randolph 150, "The Noel Girl" (12 texts, 5 tunes)
Eddy 104, "The Murdered Girl" (8 texts, 2 tunes, but Laws assigns the B text to "The Banks of the Ohio" and omits the others. It would appear that Laws' A and C texts belong here)
Doerflinger, pp. 288-290, "The Wexford Girl" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Leach, pp. 785-787, "The Lexington Murder" (2 texts)
Friedman, p. 225, "The Wexford Girl" (1 text+5 fragments of another text)
Warner 7, "The Waxford Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 150-151, "Knoxville Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 737, "The Knoxville Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 327, "The Oxford Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams/Foss, pp. 115-116, "Knoxville Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 90, "The Wesford Girl" (2 texts)
MacSeegTrav 75, "The Wexford Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 224, "Knoxville Girl" (1 text)
BBI, ZN1624, "Let all pretending Lovers"; ZN3196, "Young men and maidens all, give ear unto what I relate"
DT 353, CRUELMIL* OXFRDTRG* PRETPOL2; (628), WXFRDGRL

RECORDINGS:
Mildred Tuttle, "Expert Town (The Oxford Girl)" (AFS; on LC12)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Banks of the Ohio" [Laws F5] (plot)
cf. "Camden Town" (plot)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Oxford Tragedy
The Expert Girl
Johnny McDowell
The Prentice Boy
Never Let the Devil Get the Upper Hand of You (Carter Family version)
Notes: Ozark folklore links this to the murder of one Lula Noel, whose body was discovered by the Cowskin River in Missouri in 1892. The song, however, is obviously older. Doerflinger traces it to a broadside about a murder committed at Reading, England in 1774. - RBW
Botkin, following Cox (who follows Belden), traces it to a British broadside, "Berkshire Tragedy" or "The Wittam Miller", circa 1700. - NR
Laws also lists this broadside in his catalog (it is, in fact, one of the texts he prints), but adopts his title based on common traditional usage.
Laws, in fact, draws a stemma, starting from the "Berkshire Tragedy," and listing a total of seven "recensions" (p. 119), though he considers the broadside to be merely of eighteenth century date. I have a problem with the whole reconstruction, though: It's too literary. Even if one assumes the original ballad was a broadside (and I think Laws assumes this more often than is justified), it does not follow that its entire history is found in the broadsides. The song is so common that one must suspect the larger share of the broadsides to be derived from tradition, rather than being the source of tradition. - RBW
File: LP35

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Wexford Girl Thread


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Subject: Lyr Add: EKEFIELD TOWN
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 03:06 PM

Here's an extraordinary contribution from Malcolm.
-Joe Offer-
Thread #31012   Message #401579
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
19-Feb-01 - 01:49 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Hanged I shall be
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hanged I shall be

Having looked again at "Shepherd" Taylor's 1921 version referred to above, I think after all that it is the one used by the Albion Country Band; the tune is identical and the text not greatly different.  Harry Cox's set of the song is similar textually, but sung to a quite different melody.  Well, why not quote it all, then:


EKEFIELD TOWN

(Version from Harry Cox of Catfield in Norfolk; recorded by Mervyn Plunkett in 1960).

As I was fast bound 'prentice boy, I was bound unto a mill,
And I served my master truly for seven years and more,
Till I took up a-courting with the girl with the rolling eye,
And I promised that girl I'd marry her if she would be my bride.

So I went up to her parents' house about the hour of eight,
But little did her parents think that it should be her fate.
I asked her if she'd take a walk through the fields and meadows gay,
And there we told the tales of love and fixed the wedding day.

As we were walking and talking of the different things around,
I drew a large stick from the hedge and knocked that fair maid down.
Down on her bending knees she fell and so loud for mercy cried,
"Oh, come spare the life of a innocent girl, for I am not fit to die."

Then I took her by the curly locks and I dragged her on the ground
Until I came to the riverside that flowed through Ekefield town.
It ran both long and narrow; it ran both deep and wide,
And there I plunged this pretty fair maid that should have been my bride.

So when I went home to my parents' house about ten o'clock that night.
My mother she jumped out of bed all for to light the light.
She asked me and she questioned me, "Oh. what stains your hands and clothes?"
And the answer I gave back to her, "I've been bleeding at the nose."

So no rest, no rest, all that long night; no rest, no rest, could I find.
The fire and the brimstone around my head did shine,
And it was about two days after this fair young maid was found,
A-floating by the riverside that flowed through Ekefield town.

Now the judges and the jurymen on me they did agree,
For murdering of this pretty fair maid so hanged I shall be.
Oh hanged, oh hanged, oh hanged I shall be,
For murdering of this pretty fair maid, so hanged I shall be.


Harry Cox was a regular at singing sessions at the Windmill Inn and the Catherine Wheel at Sutton in Norfolk up until 1970; he died in 1971.  My parents took the village shop at Sutton in 1974, by which time both pubs had been closed and converted to private dwellings.


This is a song that certainly caught the popular imagination in England and, later, America; it has also been found in Scotland and Ireland.  Often called The Oxford Girl, this mutated into Wexford, Waxweed and all manner of odd things.  Laws assigned it his number P35, and it is no. 263 in Steve Roud's Folksong index.  I started making a list of useful references on the net, and...

In the DT:

THE KNOXVILLE GIRL  American version as recorded by the Louvain Brothers: no tune.
OXFORD TRAGEDY  Collected by Cecil Sharp from Mary Wilson and Mrs. Townley, Kentucky, 1917; with tune.
THE CRUEL MILLER  A collation of several broadside texts and an Irish variant of the tune from the Petrie collection. ( The Seeds of Love, ed. Stephen Sedley, 1967).

In the Forum:

THE WEXFORD GIRL  American version as recorded by Benny Barnes: no tune.
Knoxville Girl  as recorded by the Louvain Brothers; with guitar chords.  No tune.
Knoxville Girl  American version from Vance Randolphs' collection of Ozark folksongs.  No tune.

There is an entry at  The Traditional Ballad Index:

The Wexford Girl  (The Oxford, Lexington, or Knoxville Girl; The Cruel Miller; etc.)

Versions at  The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection  (most of these have audio files and staff notation):

My Tender Parents Brought Me Up  As sung by Mr. T. R. Hammond in Osceola, Missouri on September 17, 1958.
The Waxweed Girl  As sung by Mr. David Pricket in Clifty, Arkansas on January 19, 1958.
Waxwell Girl  As sung by Mrs. Roxie Phillips in Berryville, Arkansas on November 4, 1958.
The Knoxville Girl  As sung by Mrs. George Ripley in Milford, Missouri on November 21, 1959.
Waxferd Girl  As sung by Reba Dearmore, Mountain Home, Arkansas on January 7, 1969.
Knoxville Girl  As sung by Paralee Weddington, Busch, Arkansas on March 7, 1968.

Bruce Olson has the text of the earliest known (broadside) version at his website  Roots of Folk:

The bloody Miller

There are plenty of broadside versions at  The Bodleian Library Broadside Collection:

The Wittham-miller, ... or The Berkshire tragedy  Printed between 1812 and 1830 by D. Wrighton, 86 Snow Hill, Birmingham.
The Berkshire tragedy, or, The Wittam miller  Printed between 1797 and 1846 by J. Turner of Coventry.
The Berkshire tragedy, or, The Wittam miller  Printer and date unknown.
The Berkshire tragedy, or, the Wittam miller  Printed between 1802 and 1819 by J. Pitts, 14 Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials, London. Two copies; there are also a further 5 (later?) copies from Pitts.
The Berkshire trgedy [sic], or, The Wittam miller  Printed c. 1700?
The Berkshire trgedy [sic], or, The Wittam miller  Printed 1780?
The Berkshire tragedy, or, The Wittam miller  Printed 1796: the most easily legible of 6 copies.
The Berkshire tragedy; or The Wittam miller  Printed between 1800 and 1811 by Howard and Evans, 42, Long Lane, London.

Bloody miller  Printed between 1789 and 1820 by G. Thompson, no. 156, Dale-street, Liverpool.
Bloody miller  Printed between 1820 and 1824 for W. Armstrong, Banastre-street, Liverpool.

Cruel miller or Love and murder!  Printed between 1842 and 1855 by W. Jackson and Son, (late Russell,) 62, Digbeth, from 21, Moor street, Birmingham.
Cruel miller or, Love and murder!  Printed c.1850 W. Pratt, Printer, 82, Digbeth, Birmingham. Faded towards the end.

Cruel miller  Printed between 1860 and 1883 by H. Disley, 57, High-street, St. Giles, London.
Cruel miller  Printed between 1863 and 1885 H.P. Such, 177, Union Street, Boro'., London.
The cruel miller  Printed between 1858 and 1885 by W.S. Fortey, Printer & Publisher, 2 & 3 Monmouth Ct., London.


Malcolm


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 03:08 PM

About 200 traditional versions are listed in Steve Roud's folksong index (and lots of broadside versions, too).


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Subject: Lyr Add: HANGÈD I SHALL BE (from R. Palmer)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 03:15 PM

Here's a contribution from Wolfgang.
-Joer Offer-
Thread #4273   Message #23051
Posted By: Wolfgang Hell
05-Mar-98 - 07:47 AM
Thread Name: ADD: Hanged I shall be
Subject: Lyr Add: Hangèd I Shall Be^^

The Albion band (with Martin Carthy) sings this. The version including notes I post here comes from R. Palmer, Everyman's Book of English Country songs.

HANGÈD I SHALL BE

1. As I was bound apprentice, I was bound unto a mill.
I served my master truly for seven years or more.

2 Until I took up courting with a girl with a rolling eye,
I told that girl I'd marry her, if she would be my bride.

3 I asked her if she'd take a walk through the fields and meadows gay,
And there we told the tales of love and fixed the wedding day.

4 As we were a-walking, and talking of things that grew around,
I took a stick all out of the hedge and knocked that pretty maid down.

5 Down on her bended knees she fell and loud for mercy cried:
'O, come spare the life of an innocent girl, for I am not fit to die.'

6 Then I took her by her curly locks and dragged her on the ground
Until I came to the river-side that flowed to Ekefield town.

7 That ran so long in distance, that ran so deep and wide,
And there I plunged that pretty fair maid that should have been my bride.

8 When I went home to my parents' house, about ten o'clock that night,
My mother she jumped out of bed, all for to light the light.

9 She asked me and she questioned me, 'What stains your hands and clothes?'
And the answer I gave back to her, 'I been bleeding at the nose.'

10. No rest, no rest, all that long night, no rest could I find,
For the sparks of fire and brimstone all round my head did shine.

11. And it was about two days after, this fair young maid was found
A-floating by the river-side that flows to Ekefield town.

12 The judges and the jurymen, on me they did agree,
For murdering of this pretty fair maid; so hangèd I shall be.

Ekefield town: does not exist; but this could be a garbled version of Hocstow, the original location.

Samuel Pepys, well known for his love of music and singing, assembled a large collection of street ballads, which includes 'The bloody Miller Being a true and just Account of one Francis Cooper of Hocstow near Shrewsbury, who was a Millers Servant, and kept company with one Anne Nicols for the space of two years, who then proved to be with Child by him, and being urged by her Father to marry her he most wickedly and barbarously murdered her, as you shall hear by the sequel.' This was the ancestor of a great family of songs on the same theme, widely known in Britain and America until recently, under such titles as '7he Cruel Miller' ,'The 'Prentice Boy', 'The Wexford Murder', 'The Berkshire Tragedy' and 'The Wittam Miller'. One motif which invariable appears is that of the guilty bloodstains, explained as a 'bleeding at the nose'. H. E. Rollins, the American ballad scholar, found a reference in a contemporary diary which authenticates and dates the original murder: 'I heard of a murther near Salop on Sabb. day y/e [an e printed above an y] 10. instant, a woman fathering a conception on a Milner was Kild by him in a feild, her Body lay there many dayes by reason of y/e Coroner's absence' The composer, E. J. Moeran, took down this version from a Norfolk man in I92I

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 03:20 PM

And here is another one, I have this on a murder ballads old LP, I think by Dean Gitter. I'm going to be acting this out with a friend at the faculty talent show this year - on the back of the record cover there is some info about the song, and they say that although there are a zillion boy-meets-girl boy-kills-girl ballads, this is unique because of the bleeding at the nose bit. I think the balladeer was under the impression that this might actually have been a true story at some point. Also, it has the prettiest melody contrasted with the most terrible lyrics, I really love it. As with all good murder ballads, it ends with a pun.

My tender parents brought me here, providing for me well
And in the city of Lexington they placed me in a mill
Along there came a wanton lass and she had a wanton eye
I promised her I'd marry her and with her I did lie.

Twas only a few weeks afterwards this lass to me did cry
I pray you John, come marry me, you've gotten me with child.
Perplexed was I on every side, no comfort could I find
But to take my darling's life my wicked heart inclined.

I went to my love's sister's house at 9 o'clock at night
Little did the poor creature think at her I had a spite.
Come take a walk with me, my love, a little ways away
And we will have a little talk about our wedding day.

We walked along the lonely road will we reached a lonely place
I drew a stake from out of the fence and hit her in the face.
She fell down on her bending knee, for mercy she did cry
O Johnny please don't murder me, I'm unprepared to die.

I listened not to her pleading, I struck her o'er and o'er
Until the ground around her was in a bloody gore.
I kept on hitting more and more, she did resign her breath
Now, wasn't I a crazy soul to put my love to death?

I took her by the hair of the head to cover up my sin
I drug her to the river's edge, and there I plunged her in.
Then straight back to the mill I ran, the miller was amazed
He saw the blood all over me and steadily he gazed.

What means this blood upon your hands, likewise upon your clothes?
I answered him immediately, from bleeding at the nose.
I lay there trembling all that night, I could not take my rest
I could but feel the pains of hell a-burning in my breast.

The morning dawned, the sheriff came and took me to the jail
And bound me down for 6 long months and then in death to wail.
Her sister swore my life away, I'm hellbound without doubt
She swore I was the very man who took her sister out.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 03:29 PM

Mrr - what's the title of the one you posted?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 03:39 PM

I was going to suggest that this thread needed a "better" title, such as "'The Cruel Miller' and allies," but, after starting to write this, I realized that it is the claim of a "bloody nose" that puts these murder ballads together.

There are many versions yet to be posted. It will be wonderful to have the best ones, and clear links to others, all in one thread. The summary by Malcolm Douglas is really good.
I don't agree that the later versions are necessarily the best or most useful; the evolution of the song is nice to see and the latest often have copyright restrictions that should be noted.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 04:20 PM

Joe, I was afraid you'd ask that. It's not The Suffolk Miracle which is my favorite ghost ballad... I'll have to go back to the vinyl, which my Mom has, to answer that. I don't think it's The Miller or anything like that.

Incidentally, the cruelest miller I know of song is the one who "up with her fingers and off with her rings, then he threw her back in the brook again" in one version of the song where one sister kills the other. In this song under study, the miller isn't who is cruel, unless you count the apprenti miller's boy as the miller.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 04:45 PM

Mrr, I broke your lyrics into stanzas and changed the fourth line of the first stanza. You had:
I promised her I'd marry here and with here I did lie.

Hope I did it right. Now, if we can come up with a title and a source?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: BERKSHIRE TRAGEDY, OR THE WITTAM MILLER
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 05:00 PM

I found these lyrics at this site (click) [J. Pitts, Collection of ballads, songsheets]
-Joe Offer-


THE BERKSHIRE TRAGEDY, OR THE WITTAM MILLER.
Being the Account of his Murdering his Sweetheart.

YOUNG men and maidens give ear
   Unto what I shall now relate,
O mark you well and you shall hear,
   Of my unhappy fate.
Near famous Oxford town,
   I first did draw my breath
O that I had been cast away,
   In an untimely birth,

My tender parents brought me up,
   Provided for me well,
And in the town of Wittam then
   They placed me in a mill.
By chance upon an Oxford lass,
   I cast a wanton eye,
And promised I would marry her,
   If she with me would lie,

But to the world I do declare,
   With sorrow, grief and woe,
This folly brought us in a snare
   And wrought our overthrow,
For the damsel came to me and said,
   By you I am with child,
I hope dear John you'll marry me
   For you have me defil'd.

Soon after that her mother came,
   As you shall understand,
And oftentimes did me persuade,
   To wed her out of hand,
And thus perplex'd on every side
   I could no comfort find,
So to make away with this creature,
   A thought came in my mind.

About a month since Christmas last,
   Oh cursed be the day,
The devil then did me persuade,
   To take her life away.
I called her from her sister's door,
   At eight o`clock at night,
Poor creature she did little dream,
   I owed her any spight.

I told her if she'd walk with me,
   Aside a little way
We both together would agree,
   About our wedding day,
Thus I deluded her again,
   Into a private place.
Then took a stick out of the hedge
   And struck her in the face.

But she fell on bended knee,
   And did for mercy cry,
For heaven's sake don't murder me;
   I am not fit to die.
But I on her no pity took,
   But wounded her full sore,
Until her life away I took,
   Which I can ne'er restore.

With many grievous shrieks & cries
   She did resign her breath.
And in an inhuman barbarous sort,
   I put my love to death.
And then I took her by the hair
   To cover the foul sin,
And dragged her to the river side,
   Then threw her body in.

Thus in the blood of innocence,
   My hands were deeply dy'd,
And shined in the purple gore,
   That should have been my bride.
Then home unto my mill I ran,
   But sorely was amazed,
My man he thought I had mischief done
   And strangely on me gaz'd.

Oh, what's the matter then said he,
   You look as pale as death,
What makes you shake and tremble so
   As though you had lost your breath?
How came you by that blood upon
   Your trembling hands and clothes?
I presently to him reply'd
   By bleeding at the nose.

I wishfully upon him look'd,
   But little to him said,
I snatch'd the candle from his hand,
   And went unto my bed.
There I lay trembling all the night
   For I could take no rest,
And perfect flames of hell did flash,
   Like lightning in my face.

Next day the damsel being miss'd
   And no where to be found,
Then I was apprehended soon,
   And to the assizes bound,
Her sister did against me swear
   She reason had no doubt,
That I had made away with her,
   Because I called her out.

But Satan did me still persuade,
   I stiffly did deny,
Quoth he there no witness can,
   Against thee testify.
Now when her mother did her cry
   I scoffingly did say,
On purpose then to frighten me,
   She sent her child away.

I publish'd in the post boy then,
   My wickedness to blind
Five guineas any one should have,
   That could her body find.
But heaven had a watchful eye,
   Had brought it so about,
That tho' I stiffly did deny,
   This murder would come out.

The very day before the assize,
   Her body it was found,
Floating before her father's door,
   At Hindsey Ferry Town,
So I the second time was siezed,
   To Oxford brought with speed
And here examined again,
   About the bloody deed.

Now the Coroner and jury both,
   Together did agree,
That this damsel was made away,
   And murdered by me.
The justice too perceived the guilt,
   Nor either would take bail
But the next morning I was sent,
   Away to Reading gaol.

When I was brought before the judge
   My man did testify,
That blood upon my hand & clothes
   That night he did espy,
The judge he told the jury then,
   The circumstance was plain,
Look on the prisoner at the bar,
   He has this creature slain.

About the murder at the first
   The jury did divide,
But when they brought their verdict in
   All of them guilty cry'd,
The jailor took & bound me straight
   As soon as I was cast,
And then within the prison strong,
   He there did lay me fast.

With fetters strong then I was bound
   And shin bolted was I,
Yet I the murder would not own,
   But did it still deny,
My father did on me prevail,
   My kindred all likewise
To own the murder which I did,
   To them with watery eyes,

My father then he did me
   Saying, my son, oh, why,
Have you brought yourself to shame
   And all your family,
Father I own the crime I did,
   I guilty am indeed
Which cruel fact I must confess
   Doth make my heart to bleed.

The worst of death I do deserve,
   My crime is so base,
For I no mercy shewed to her.
   Most wretched is my case.
Lord grant me grace while I do pray
   That I may now repent,
Before I from this wicked world
   Most shamefully am sent.

Young men take warning by me
   All filthy lusts defy,
By giving way to wickedness,
   Alas! this day I die
Lord wash my hateful sins away
   Which have been manifold,
Have mercy on me Lord I pray
   And Christ receive my soul.

Pitts Printer, Wholesale Toy and Marble Warehouse, 5, Great St. Andrew Street, 7 Dials


Transcription and glossary by Kirsten Culler.

assizes: a court sitting at intervals in each county of England and Wales to administer criminal and civil law
post boy: a boy or man who rides post; a letter carrier
gaol: jail
man manservant or valet; a usually male worker or employee
cast record: register, or give (a vote).
fetters: a shackle for holding a prisoner by the ankleany shackle or bond


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE NOEL GIRL (from Vance Randolph)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 08:57 PM

THE NOEL GIRL.

The song is said to refer to the murder of Lula Noel, whose body was found in the Cowskin River near Lanagan, MO, Dec. 10, 1892. William Simmons, Joplin, MO, was convicted of the murder and sentenced to the penitentiary. See Sturgis, "History of McDonald County, Missouri," 1897, pp. 106-111.

Here is a case of a local murder that mimicked the one in "The Wexford Girl" and the "Cruel Miller," a song cluster already known in the area. This coincidence led to the song becoming widely known. Randolph has 12 versions in part or in all in his "Ozark Folksongs."

Here are two versions; I believe that (2) is the best; in that one, the miller IS the guilty party.

Lyr. Add: THE NOEL GIRL (1)

My father bound me a printer's boy
'Bout eighteen years of age,
He bound me to a miller
That I might learn some trade.

And there I fell in love with an orphan girl
With dark and spearkling eyes,
I thought that I would marry her
If she did not deny.

I went into this lady's house
About eight o'clock at night,
But little did the lady know
I owed her in despite.

I asked her to take a walk with me
To some far distant place,
Where we might have some private talk
And name the wedding date.

She agreed to take a walk with me
To some far distant place,
Where we might have some private talk
And name the wedding date.

I took her by the lily-white hand
And led her to the place,
And from the fence I drew a stake
And smoothed her down the face.

She fell upon her bended knees,
Oh Lord, have mercy on me, she cried,
Oh John, my dear, don't murder me here
For I'm not prepared to die.

The second time I drew my stake
Just as I did before,
And out of her nose and eyes and mouth
The gushing blood did flow.

I took her by the lily-white hand
And swung her round and round,
And drug her down to the river's side
And plunged her in to drown.

I went into the miller's house
About twelve o'clock at night,
But little did the miller know
As he gazed upon my sight.

Oh Johnny dear, how came that blood
Upon your hands, likewise your clothes?
The only reply I gave the miller
Was bleeding at the nose.

I snatched the candle out of his hand
And to my bed I ran,
And there I lie a-trembling
For the murder I had done.

And there I lie a-trembling,
Nopeace, no comfort, no rest,
I felt the guilty pains of hell
A-rushing through my breast.

They took me up to *Washington,
And there my life to try,
And by my own confession
I was condemmed to die.

*Washington, MO. Mr. J. Will Short, Galena, MO, 1941- learned from his mother about 1890. Vance Randolph, one of 12 versions, vol. 2, pp. 98-99, with music, Ozark Folksongs.

Lyr. Add: THE NOEL GIRL (2)

'Twas in the city of Pineville,
I owned a floury mill,
'Twas in the city of Pineville,
I used to live an' dwell

One day I saw a pretty fair maid,
On her I cast an eye,
I told her I would marry her
An' she believed a lie.

I went unto her sister's house
At eight o'clock at night,
I ask her if she'd walk with me
A little ways away.

So arm in arm we walked along
Till we come to a lonely place,
Then I took a rail from off the fence
An' struck her in the face.

She fell down on her bended knees,
An' loud for mercy cried,
For heaven's sake don't murder me
For I'm not prepared to die.

I paid no attention to what she said,
But kept on strikin' her more,
Until I saw the innocent looks
That I never could restore.

I run my fingers through her coal black hair,
To cover upp my sin,
I drug her to the river side
And there I plunged her in.

When I returned unto my mill
I met my servant John,
He asked me why I looked so pale
An' yet so very warm.

An' what occasion so much blood
Upon my hands and clothes?
The sad an' only answer was
A bleedin' from the nose.

I lit my candle and went to bed
Expectin' to get some rest,
But it seemed to me the fires of hell
Was a-burnin' in my breast.

Come all young men an' warnin' take,
That to your lovers prove true,
An' never let the devil get
The upper hand of you.

Mrs Lee Stephens, White Rock, MO, 1927. From Vance Randolph, "Ozark Folksongs," vol. 2, pp. 92-94, with music.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 09:20 PM

Can we have tunes for these? I can get to the Randolph books when I have time, but it really ought to be the person who posts the texts who provides the rest.

Joe: I gave tunes for a couple of examples quoted here; could you grab them for the Midi Pages and add links?

This is a song-family that turns up very often. Although variants are interesting and important, there are in this case a great many of them; at this stage we probably need a copy of the earliest known text (see Bruce's site).


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 10:10 PM

G. Malcolm Laws, Jr, in American Balladry from British Broadsides, 1957, devotes pp. 102-122 to discussion of versions, and reprints several broadside texts, and outlines the course of the reworkings (7 major variants). However, he didn't know about the original 17th century, "The Bloody Miller"


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 10:52 AM

As usual, I can sing it but I can't write the tune down. Meanwhile, Mom can't find the record, but I'm going up there this weekend and hope to find it myself. I'll post the title and the notes from the album cover. Anybody wants the tune, my email is up under whatever we call our member info pages, and we can set up a time to call so I can sing it...


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:35 PM

Like Mrrzy, I can email the music, but I can't write it. Just write me on the personal pages.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:39 PM

I can't email it either, but with my email, you can set up some phone time like I did with NightWing, and I can sing it over the phone.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 10:43 AM

OK - I'm at Mom's. It's on the Paul Clayton "bloody ballads" record, not the Dean Gitter "ghost ballads" album. I always get those 2 confused. Here is what I have:

Riverside Records RLP 12-615: Bloody Ballads - Classic British and American Murder Ballads sung by Paul Clayton

The Miller's Boy

The back of the record states: "This is an American version of the British broadside ballad known best as The Wexford Girl. Although very similar to other murder ballads deriving from British sources, this particular ballad strain is best identified by the lines in which the villain explains the blood on his clothes by saying he was 'bleeding at the nose.'"

Not that they say ballad STRAIN, not individual ballad, which I think is interesting.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 10:42 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: masato sakurai
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 01:42 PM

"Mountain Girl" by Hill Brothers [Realaudio] (Savoy 3016 - side A; recording and release dates unknown), from Honkingduck, is "Knoxville Girl." This record is not included in the list of "Knoxville Girl" in Meade, Spottswood & Meade, eds., Country Music Sources: A Biblio-Discography of Commercially Recorded Traditional Music (Southern Folklife Collection, University of North Carolina, 2002, p. 13).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 12:24 AM

I notice that the text Joe quoted earlier from an old post of Wolfgang's is not fully credited. Hangèd I shall be was noted (as stated) by E.J. Moeran, from "Shepherd" Taylor of Hickling in Norfolk, 1921. It originally appeared in The Journal of the Folk Song Society, vol.VII issue 26, 1922 (p.23). That additional information was given in the thread from which my later post Ekefield Town (etc.) copied above, was extracted; in order to make better sense, it should follow Wolfgang's rather than precede it.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 12:57 AM

It was Francis Cooper who got that bloody nose after killing Anne Nicols on Feb. 10, 1684. See notes at "The Bloody Miller" in Scarce Songs 2 at www.erols.com/olsonw


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MOTHER'S MALISON (CLYDE'S WATER)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 07:51 PM

I came across another bloody nose ballad in the Digital Tradition today. the note at the end is particularly interesting.
-Joe Offer-
THE MOTHER'S MALISON (CLYDE'S WATER)

Young Willie stands in his stable
And combing down his steed
And looking through his white fingers
His nose began to bleed.
(repeat last two lines of every verse)

Bring corn, corn to my horse
And meat unto my men
For I'm awa to Maggie's bowers
I'll win or she lie doon.

O Stay, O stay this ae nicht, Willie
O stay and dinna gang
For there is a noise in Clyde Waters
Wid fear a thousand men.

It's I've a steed in my stable
Cost me twice twenty pounds
And I'll put trust in his fore legs
Tae carry me safe along.

As I rode o'er yon high high hill
And down yon dreary glen
It's o spare me spare me Clyde waters
O spare me as I gang
Make me the wreck as I come back
But spare me as I gang.

As I rode o'er yon high high hill
And down yon dreary glen
It's I hae reached at Maggie's window
Rise up and lat me in
For my boots are full of Clyde waters
And I'm frozen tae the chin.

It's up arose her mother dear
A' for tae speak tae him
It's my stable's full of horse she says
My barn's full of hay.
And my bowers are full of gentlemen
So ye can't get in till day.

He turned his horse right round about
Wi' the saut tear in his e'e
I never thought tae come here this nicht
And be denied by thee.

As he rode o'er yon high hill
And down yon dreary glen
The rush that ran in Clyde waters
Took Willie's cane frae him.

As Willie he sat saddle o'er
To catch his cane again
The rush that ran in Clyde waters
Took Willie's hat frae him.

His brother being on the other side
Cries Willie will ye droon-
Oh had ye tae yer high horse heid
He'll learn ye how to swim.

[O why could I turn ae my high horse heid
An learn how to swim?
It's the deepest pot in a the Clyde
And here that I maun droon.]

It's up she rose her Maggie dear
All in a frightful dream
For she dreamt that Willie was here last nicht
And she widna lat him in.

Go to yer bed my daughter dear
Lie doon and tak yer rest
For it's nae the space of half an hour
Since Willie left yer gate.

[It's Maggie rose, put on her clothes
An to the Clyde went she;
The first step noo that she took in
It took her tae the knee.]

[The next step that she took in
It took her tae the chin,
In the deepest pot in a the Clyde
She found her Willie in.]

[So you have got a cruel mother
And I have got another,
But here we lie in Clyde water
Like sister and like brother.]

Child #216
From Bronson; collected from Miss N. Watson, Whitehall 1905
Bracketed verses added from version collected from Willie
Edward, Banffshire, for completeness. Nosebleeds in
English/Scottish folklore presaged tragedy. RG
@death @river @family @courting
filename[ CLYDWATR
Tune file : CLYDWATR

CLICK TO PLAY
RG



PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OXFORD GIRL
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 09:55 PM

Here is a version from Lamar County, Texas.

THE OXFORD GIRL

'Twas in the town of Oxford
That I did live and dwell;
'Twas in the town of Oxford
I owned a flour mill.

I fell in love with an Oxford girl
With dark and rolling eyes;
I asked her if she'd marry me;
She said she'd never deny.

I told her that we'd take a walk
Out in the meadows gay;
I told her that we'd take a talk
And name the wedding day.

We walked along and we talked along
Till we came to level ground;
I up with a hand and stick
And fairly knocked her down.

She fell upon her bended knees,
Crying, "Willie, please spare my life;
Oh, Willie, my dear, don't murder me,
For I'm not prepared to die."

I did not listen to her cry
But beat her more and more;
I beat her until her body lay
A-bleeding in the gore.

I picked her up by the long yellow hair
And slung her round and round;
I took her to the Oxford stream
And plunged her in to drown.

"Lie there, lie there, you Oxford girl,
You never will be my bride;
Lie there, lie there, you Oxford girl,
You never will be my bride."

When I got home at twelve that night
My mother woke in fright;
"Oh, Willie, my son, what have you done
To bloody your hands tonight?"

I asked her for a candle
To light my way to bed;
I asked her for a handkerchief
To bind my aching head.

'Twas in the town of Oxford
That Oxford girl was found.
A-floating down the Oxford stream
That flows through Oxford town.

"Oh, mother, they're going to hang me
Between the earth and sky;
Oh, mother, they're going to hang me,
And I'm not prepared to die."

Collected by the author about 1910, when he learned it from playmates. William A. Owens, 1950, Texas Folk Songs, pp. 81-83, with music. "It was published in America in the nineteenth century as a penny song sheet with the title "The Lexington Miller."


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: GUEST,Arbuthnot
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 10:13 PM

I was looking for something else and came across this thread. No-one has pointed out that Harry Cox learned most of his repertoire from a family collection of broadsheets - he had the words but no tunes. His tune is entirely different because he composed it himself, as he did with a lot of the songs he sung. Now you know, Malcolm!


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 11:50 PM

You might find Chris Heppa's paper 'Harry Cox and his Friends: Song Transmission in an East Norfolk Singing Community' in Folk Music Journal vol 8, no 5, 2005, interesting, if you haven't already seen it. Harry's broadside collection has been commented on elsewhere, of course, but no firm conclusions seem to have been reached as to how far he relied upon it. Do you perhaps know something that other folk don't?

I don't recall anyone suggesting that Harry composed many of his tunes himself, but my memory may easily be at fault. Perhaps you could help by specifying which tunes you think he made up, and which songs he got from print? Inside information of that sort (if that's what it is) might be very helpful to quite a lot of people.

I only know a couple of people who knew Harry, and they knew him through working with him rather than through having sung with him, so that doesn't help.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: GUEST,Slag
Date: 06 May 09 - 08:06 PM

I found this among my late father's papers. I'm sure he wrote it from memory in his early 80's. This song appears to have had a profound effect on its listeners as so many variations are in existence. As recalled by Bob Carter:

Twas in the town of Expert
In the merry month of May
There I met a lovely young maid
And we planned our wedding day.

I asked her to take a walk with me
Along a narrow way
To have a lovely chatter
And while the hours away.

We walked and talked along the way
Til we came to level ground
It was there I picked up an expert stick
And knocked the fair maid down.

She fell upon her bended knees,
Saying "Lord, have mercy on me
Oh Willie dear, don't murder me here,
For I'm not prepared to die."

I never said a word to her
But beat her o're and o're
Till the ground all around
Was all in a bloody gore.

Then I picked her up by her long yellow hair
And swung her round and round
Then I dragged her down to a little stream
That flowed through Expert Town.

It must have been three weeks or more
Until her body was found
It was found a floating in that little stream
That flowed through Expert Town

They took me on suspicion
And threw me in the county Jail
No one to go my bondage
No one to go my bail.

Her brother swore my life away
Without a tear or doubt.
He swore that I was the very young lad
Who had taken his sister out.

The Judge he found me guilty
Twas murder in the first degree
And now they're a taking my life away
At this penitentiary.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Deckman
Date: 06 May 09 - 10:31 PM

WOW!


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: Jayto
Date: 06 May 09 - 10:44 PM

I love murder ballads. Violent songs in general lol hey why lie.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses
From: GUEST,Slag
Date: 06 May 09 - 11:15 PM

I have reflected on this for a little while. Two things hit me. One, that my very kind and loving father knew and REMEMBERED this song and Two; after checking it out here at the 'cat and having learned of its history and staying power, I had to ask why?

I believe the answer is that the horrible crime is without any discernible motive and the message to the listener is that no one is exempt from crazy sudden urges that may sweep them up into some inexplicable and criminal act. A cautionary tale of the first water!


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