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Origin: Oxford Girl (Oysterband)

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) Origins: Knoxville Girl (61)
(DTStudy) DTStudy Murder Ballads with bloody noses (30)
Lyr Req: The Wexford Girl (7)
Penguin: Oxford City (4)
Lyr Req: appalachian murder ballads (34)
Info Request: Down in the Willow Garden (10)


GUEST,Fan 21 May 03 - 04:39 AM
Giac 21 May 03 - 05:19 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 21 May 03 - 05:40 AM
greg stephens 21 May 03 - 05:54 AM
GUEST 21 May 03 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,anais 21 May 03 - 07:41 AM
Giac 21 May 03 - 10:02 AM
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Subject: Is there a story Oxford Girl (Oysterband
From: GUEST,Fan
Date: 21 May 03 - 04:39 AM

I love Oxford Girl; it seems that it ought to be based on some sort of scandal. Anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Is there a story Oxford Girl (Oysterband
From: Giac
Date: 21 May 03 - 05:19 AM

If the song to which you refer is part of the "bloody nose" group, check out this thread. It gives you a lot of links to various versions, including one thought to be among the oldest.

Info and Links for Oxford, Wexford, Knoxville girls and Bloody Millers

Have fun!

Mary


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Subject: RE: Is there a story Oxford Girl (Oysterband
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 21 May 03 - 05:40 AM

I seem to remember hearing John Jones saying, when introducing this song on radio, that he'd made the whole thing up. However, the story does have some remarkable resemblances to a real-life murder case in Oxford in the late 1960s. As far as I can remember it went like this:

A young married woman disappeared. Shortly afterwards her husband also disappeared. The police had some evidence that led them to believe he had killed her and then run. They arrested his father, and his younger brother, and held them in custody on suspicion of being accessories to murder(though I think the charge was later reduced to withholding evidence).

There was a quite a stir about this in the local press at the time. The father spoke very little English (the family were Asian immigrants)and for some time was unable to understand clearly what was happening to him, and what his rights were. The younger brother was 19, and a student at Oxford College of Further Education. I taught him there for a year, and remember him as a quiet, polite industrious young man who seemed most unlikely to have been involved in any criminal act. But I suppose he might have felt that loyalty required him not to tell all he knew (or suspected)about a crime possibly committed by his brother.

Eventually the father and son were released, and the charges against them dropped. The younger brother completed his course successfully, and (if I remember rightly) became president of the college's student union the following year. As far as I can recall, neither the missing man, nor the body of the missing woman were ever found.

Rumour had it that this was an 'honour killing' - Arranged marriage - unhappy wife - husband suspected she has a secret lover ... etc etc... the usual story. But I think that nothing was ever proved. (Of course, they didn't have Inspector Morse at Oxford CID in those days.)

Is it possible that John Jones had some fragments of this real-life story lurking at the back of his mind when he wrote "Oxford Girl"? Stranger things have occurred in the history of song-writing.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Is there a story Oxford Girl (Oysterband
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 May 03 - 05:54 AM

Can someone supply some lyrics? There seems to be some confusion between the old song Oxford Girl (man whacking girl friend with big stick in various musical locations) and a new song by the Oyster Band. Or are the Oyster Band singing the old song? Perhaps somebody could do a clicke to the Oyster version?


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Subject: Lyr Add: OXFORD GIRL (Oysterband)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 03 - 07:35 AM

OXFORD GIRL

I met a man whose brother said he knew a man who knew the Oxford girl ....
Is it true what you hear, did he do it out of fear?
Was the day drawing near when a child would start to show?
Was it rage or shame or damage to his name?
Was it something worse, does anybody know?
Did she pay a price for making them look twice?
Like a glimpse of paradise across a dull and bitter land?
Did she pass them by, did she dare to meet their eye?
Did she scorn them all and did they understand?
A grief to her father          -did she really leave him?
a lover to her brother          -yes we all believe him
temptation to her betters       -no better than she should be
unfaithful to her lover         -he always new she would be
She says:       I never had a chance to prove them wrong
                My time was short, the story long
                No I never had a chance to prove them wrong
                It's always them that write the song
Did he go to ground, was the suitcase ever found?
Did the police come swarming round on a trail already cold?
Did he lead them a dance, did he run away to France?
Or did he shop himself before the day was old?
O she was bound to loose if she set her face to choose
They never could excuse her for stirring up their fears
She was much to young, the earth has stopped her tongue
You can hear the voices calling down the years
She says:       I never had a chance to prove them wrong
                My time was short, the story long
                No I never had a chance to prove them wrong
                It's always them that write the song
I met a man whose brother said he new a man who knew the Oxford girl ....


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Subject: RE: Is there a story Oxford Girl (Oysterband
From: GUEST,anais
Date: 21 May 03 - 07:41 AM

i always thought the "oxford girl" was sort of a composite of many ballad females, dealing simultaneously with incest and murder and family shame, and the fellow was sort of a composite "willie" character. the song always haunted me, reminding me of how many ballads, particularly murder ballads, would be right at home in the tabloids.


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Subject: RE: Is there a story Oxford Girl (Oysterband
From: Giac
Date: 21 May 03 - 10:02 AM

I DO like these lyrics, GUEST.

While apparently not a member of the song family I was thinking of, it's a good 'un. Thanks.

What about the tune?

Mary


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