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Songs about Incest

Related thread:
Incest ballads (37)


GUEST,smithp@bu.edu 20 Nov 03 - 11:21 PM
Bill D 20 Nov 03 - 11:47 PM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 03 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,Sieffe 21 Nov 03 - 12:06 AM
Mudlark 21 Nov 03 - 12:43 AM
PapaWhiskey 21 Nov 03 - 12:51 AM
Margret RoadKnight 21 Nov 03 - 01:06 AM
GUEST,smithp 21 Nov 03 - 01:22 AM
Dave Bryant 21 Nov 03 - 05:08 AM
Susan of DT 21 Nov 03 - 05:21 AM
greg stephens 21 Nov 03 - 05:51 AM
MartinRyan 21 Nov 03 - 05:55 AM
MartinRyan 21 Nov 03 - 06:24 AM
MartinRyan 21 Nov 03 - 06:25 AM
JedMarum 21 Nov 03 - 08:07 AM
wysiwyg 21 Nov 03 - 08:21 AM
JedMarum 21 Nov 03 - 08:23 AM
Beer 21 Nov 03 - 08:23 AM
JedMarum 21 Nov 03 - 08:30 AM
ddw 21 Nov 03 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,ClaireBear 21 Nov 03 - 05:41 PM
Uncle_DaveO 21 Nov 03 - 09:16 PM
YorkshireYankee 21 Nov 03 - 10:24 PM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Nov 03 - 12:08 AM
GUEST,Diva 22 Nov 03 - 06:58 AM
Snuffy 22 Nov 03 - 07:55 AM
jaze 22 Nov 03 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,smithp 25 Nov 03 - 09:41 AM
Dave Sutherland 25 Nov 03 - 12:01 PM
Dave Hanson 26 Nov 03 - 04:40 AM
swampy-the-spark 26 Nov 03 - 05:29 PM
PoppaGator 26 Nov 03 - 05:37 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 26 Nov 03 - 06:16 PM
fogie 27 Nov 03 - 05:07 AM
ced2 27 Nov 03 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,Pavane 28 Nov 03 - 05:10 AM
John P 28 Nov 03 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Cheizi 24 Jul 06 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 24 Jul 06 - 02:05 PM
sapper82 24 Jul 06 - 03:35 PM
Slag 24 Jul 06 - 04:24 PM
Leadfingers 24 Jul 06 - 04:43 PM
JohnInKansas 24 Jul 06 - 04:43 PM
Georgiansilver 24 Jul 06 - 06:48 PM
Folkiedave 24 Jul 06 - 07:30 PM
Cool Beans 25 Jul 06 - 01:44 PM
Naemanson 25 Jul 06 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,Sieffe 05 Jan 09 - 01:48 PM
Acorn4 05 Jan 09 - 02:01 PM
Tootler 05 Jan 09 - 04:31 PM
oldhippie 05 Jan 09 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,~Steamin' Willie Harddonn 06 Jan 09 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,Joelle 22 Jun 09 - 12:18 PM
Diva 22 Jun 09 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Dario Western 19 Jun 10 - 07:38 PM
Herga Kitty 20 Jun 10 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,Hilary 03 Nov 10 - 04:43 PM
Bill D 03 Nov 10 - 05:43 PM
MGM·Lion 03 Nov 10 - 06:00 PM
Bill D 03 Nov 10 - 06:35 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Nov 10 - 07:52 PM
Young Buchan 03 Nov 10 - 08:11 PM
Bill D 03 Nov 10 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,susanc 03 Nov 10 - 08:32 PM
MGM·Lion 04 Nov 10 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,baz parkes 04 Nov 10 - 10:44 AM
MGM·Lion 04 Nov 10 - 11:38 AM
Bill D 04 Nov 10 - 01:07 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 13 - 09:23 AM
Richard from Liverpool 13 Apr 13 - 11:11 AM
GUEST 13 Apr 13 - 11:44 AM
Susan of DT 13 Apr 13 - 12:12 PM
Gutcher 14 Apr 13 - 05:48 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Apr 13 - 08:32 PM
ollaimh 16 Apr 13 - 09:46 PM
Joe Offer 17 Apr 13 - 04:18 AM
Gutcher 17 Apr 13 - 07:35 AM
Tootler 17 Apr 13 - 07:48 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Apr 13 - 08:16 AM
Gutcher 17 Apr 13 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,jonesnudger 17 Apr 13 - 10:48 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Apr 13 - 11:00 AM
GUEST 17 Apr 13 - 06:51 PM
Gutcher 18 Apr 13 - 07:08 AM
Cool Beans 18 Apr 13 - 10:23 AM
Susan of DT 18 Apr 13 - 01:40 PM
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Subject: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,smithp@bu.edu
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 11:21 PM

I'm looking for songs that deal with the taboo of incestual relations. I have managed to find a few like "Sheath and Knife", "Brown Robyn's Confession", and "The Orphans Wedding"--most of them are from Child. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Any songs or song versions distincly from the States? Any songs relating to familial relations of an incestual sort that are not explicitly treated as taboo? Thanks for any help.

Per


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 11:47 PM

Lucy/Lizzie Wan


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 11:48 PM

Hi - the DT Keywords search in our dropdown QuickLinks menu will take you to the nine we have listed in the "incest" category in the Digital Tradition, but I'm sure we have more. Here's the list:

Also make a search for incest at the Traditional Ballad Index. You'll come up with this list:

  1. Stella Kenney [Laws F37]
    http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/LF37.html
  2. Sheath and Knife [Child 16]
    http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/C016.html
  3. My Husband's a Mason
    http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/EM055.html
  4. Maria Bewell
    http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/E120.html
  5. Lizie Wan [Child 51]
    http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/C051.html
  6. King's Dochter Lady Jean, The [Child 52]
    http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/C052.html
  7. Brown Robyn's Confession [Child 57]
    http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/C057.html
  8. Bonnie Hind, The [Child 50]
    http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/C050.html
  9. Babylon, or, The Bonnie Banks o Fordie [Child 14]
    http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/C014.html
I think we have at least one version of all these songs.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,Sieffe
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 12:06 AM

The song sung by Hedy West in America (and by my self in New Zealand!)called "Fair Rosamund" is an incestual reference, albeit unwanted by Rosamund . . . .she curses her brother Clifford for it . . she was a concubine of King Henry the ? . . . .never did find out which bastard king of England that was . . . .


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Mudlark
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 12:43 AM

All songs so far are traditional...is that the only kind you are looking for? Contemporary singer-songwriters have dealt with this subject also, i.e. Suzanne Vega's Bad Wisdom.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: PapaWhiskey
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 12:51 AM

Buffy Sainte Marie did a song named "The Incest Song" back in the sixties which springs to mind.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 01:06 AM

Contemporary American -
Peter Alsop's "Look At T e Ceiling" from his "Uniforms" album


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,smithp
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 01:22 AM

I'm only looking for "traditional" songs in the sense that they would come from the folk tradition ... at least to some extent. but they don't have to be traditional ballads, or to be referenced in some index like Child's or Laws'. However, songs written within the last 30 years by commercial artists who are performing (and copywriting) those songs are not exactly what I am looking for (if that answers anything).   Thanks for all the help so far and I'm looking forward to hearing from more of you!

Per


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 05:08 AM

That's a pity - I was going to suggest Tom Lehrer's "Oedipus Rex".


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Susan of DT
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 05:21 AM

You already have the traditional ones in Child. Sieffe - that is Henry II with Fair Rosamund Clifford and her brother did not necessarily sleep with her - just brag about how beautiful she was in the king's hearing.

What about newer funny ones like "I'm my own Grandpa" and "Shame and Scandal" and its relatives?


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 05:51 AM

"A boy's best friend is his mother"


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 05:55 AM

What was the modern one about a separated pair of war orphans who end up marrying - and then get a visit from the Man from the Ministry? The tune is running around in my head - but no words, despite it being a powerful song.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 06:24 AM

The Stranger Who told me my name?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 06:25 AM

Got it! Its "The Orphan's Wedding" and its in the DT.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: JedMarum
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 08:07 AM

Brian McNeill produced a wonderful collection of songs in a 2 CDs set called simply, SCOTS WOMEN. On it there is a stunning song called Dear RoseyAnne which details an incestuous relationship.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 08:21 AM

So, what do you need these for? Maybe that would help us think about song suggestions more accurately.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: JedMarum
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 08:23 AM

sorry, the song is called, "Fair Rosie Ann." You can read more about the album here. I have to say it is a moving and beautiful song. It haunted me for days the first time I heard it.

The album is also truly remarkable. If I only had one album to take with me to a deserted isle, this would be it.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Beer
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 08:23 AM

Iris DeMent has a great song titled " Letter to Mom" not really incest, but close.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: JedMarum
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 08:30 AM

a bit more digging and I see that "Fair Rosie Ann" is a version of "KINGS DAUGHTER LADY JEAN" or "KING'S DAUGHTER JANE" listed above. The lyrics are very similar to those used on the SCOTS WOMEN cd.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: ddw
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 05:38 PM

The country father-daughter duo of Royce and Jeannie Kendall used to sing a song called "Heaven's Just A Sin Away" which always made me wonder.....

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 05:41 PM

Me too! That song made my skin crawl.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 09:16 PM

Child #11, I believe it is, The Cruel Brother, has a variant I've heard, which may be described as follows:

The story line, grossly compressed, is that a suitor is told by his wished-for bride to ask this and that and the other relative for permission to marry her, "and do not forget my brother John".

Wouldn't you know, he asks everybody but Bubba John.

They are married, and are mounting horses to leave when her brother John, under pretense of giving her a last hug or kiss, stabs her.

She asks to be taken (or goes by herself?) to a hilltop. The traditional questions are asked about, "What will you leave to....", and she says to give her mother "the dress that I die in". and also
to "Tell her to wash it in yonder stream. My heart's blood flows in every seam." (POWERFUL!)

To brother John she leaves something like the hangman's rope.

"What will you leave to your brother's wife? My curse and grief for all her life."

I get the overtone from this ballad that her brother has been her lover, that it's about incest in the background. He didn't stab her just because somebody didn't do the courteous thing and ask him.


Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 10:24 PM

And there's "The Dowie Dens of Yarrow" in the DT (0.7742) -- very similar plot to "Cruel Brother", but possibly too subtle for what you want -- as the incest (again) has to be deduced.

Cheers,

YY


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 12:08 AM

There is no demonstrable incest motif in Yarrow, though some people seem to have misunderstood the ambiguous wording of one version in particular (I forget which, but it's been discussed here, speculation and all, in the past) and read into it a meaning which really is not there. I doubt very much if there is any incestuous sub-text in The Cruel Brother, either; but that won't stop people imagining one, and of course I can't prove that there isn't, though there is no evidence that I'm aware of to suggest that there is.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,Diva
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 06:58 AM

Acoording to Atkinson's "Traditional English Ballad" the incest motif runs through Twa Brithers and Son David.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 07:55 AM

For there is no trust in man
Not my own own brother
So girls, if you would love
Love one each other


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: jaze
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 10:13 AM

Cherokee Louise by Joni Mitchell


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,smithp
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 09:41 AM

I just wanted to thank everyone who responded to my inquiry about songs with an incestual motif. You have all been very helpful. Thank you greatly.

Per Smith


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 12:01 PM

There is the chilling Scots ballad "Childe Owlett" where the nephew of Lord Erskine is propositioned by Lady Erskine. He spurns her advances and suffers dire consequences. Not quite incest but almost.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 04:40 AM

incest, a game for all the family


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: swampy-the-spark
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 05:29 PM

call it incest but I WAN'T MY MUMMY !!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 05:37 PM

Q: Why did the hillbilly refuse to marry a virgin?

A: "If she ain't good enough for her kinfolk, she ain't good enough for me!"


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 06:16 PM

"Sail Away, Ladies" is sometimes sung with a verse:

I chew my 'backer and I spit my juice
Sail away, ladies, sail away
I love my own daughter but it ain't no use
Sail away, ladies, sail away....

(The verse is not in the DT version)

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: fogie
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 05:07 AM

I've got a feeling about the poems of A.E. Housemans A Shropshire lad that some are concealing a darker level. Take Farewell to barn and stack and tree, Farewell to Severn shore, It has a line "By now the blood is dried, and Maurice mongst the hay lies still and my knife is in his side" this Cruel brother type poem has an eerie afterfeel. Check it out.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: ced2
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 11:28 AM

Local archives in Norfolk may be worth a search!


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,Pavane
Date: 28 Nov 03 - 05:10 AM

I understand that Two Brothers/Edward is thought to be about it but not explicitly

("All about a little holly bush that might have made a tree" in at least one version)


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY BE FAIR
From: John P
Date: 28 Nov 03 - 08:06 AM

Here's a humorous song about the incest taboo. I don't know who wrote it or where it's from.
JP

Johnny Be Fair

Oh Johnny be fair
and Johnny be fine
he wants me for to wed.
And I would marry Johnny
but my father up and said.
"I'm sad to tell you daughter
what your mother never knew.
That Johnny to is a son of mine
and so he's kin to you."

Oh Billy be fair
and Billy be fine. . .

Oh Jimmy be fair
and Jimmy be fine. . .

Well you never seen
a girl so sad and sorry as I was.
The boys in town are all my kin and
my father is the cause.
If life should thus continue
I shall die a single miss
so I go to my mother
and complain to her of this.

Oh daughter didn't I
teach you to forgive and to forget.
Your father might have
sowed his oats but
still you needn't fret.
Your father may be
father to all the boys
in town but still....
He's not the one who sired you
so marry who you will.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,Cheizi
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 01:54 PM

"Lament of a Pretty Baby" by Cursive


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 02:05 PM

If you're looking beyond English, there's the story of Kullervo in the "Kalevala".

Or the story of Siegfried and Sieglinde in Wagner's Ring cycle - are there any traditional songs incorporating that myth?


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: sapper82
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 03:35 PM

Buggery is boring,
Necrophillia is dead boring,
But Incest is only relatively boring.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 04:24 PM

"I'm My Own Grandpa"!

Also I seem to remember an old C&W song called "The Eddypuss Wreck" but I may be wrong on that and it's not really in the Folk tradition anyway.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 04:43 PM

Sapper - Is Bestiality boring your best friend ??


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 04:43 PM

As the original requestor who wanted only traditional songs has apparently been satisfied, it might be a good thing to add some of the more recent ones for others who might stumble onto the thread.

A start would be to note that "Johnny Be Fair" posted by John P at 28 Nov 03 - 08:06 AM is exactly the "plot" of "Elma Turl" popularly performed by Mike Cross. I'd rather suspected an "older origin" but must have missed this thread when it was fresh. Another old thread recently brought back up gave a writer - not Mike - but I've lost it.

Another Mike Cross song, I think called just "Bill," (perhaps Bill's Funeral?) has a verse describing how Bill "burned his brothers business, and ran off with his wife," but I'm not sure ... ... do in-laws qualify as incest(?).

John


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 06:48 PM

There's a game that you can play,
At any time of day.
The best game there has ever been,
In every blooming way.
Play it in the morning,
After dinner, after tea.
Incest, a game by Waddingtons,
For all the family.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 07:30 PM

Best kept in the family - the best families that lay together stay together.

In a the town where Kate Rusby comes from, when the families meet before the wedding the male parents ask the female parents if the father has slept with the daughter (then, brothers, male cousins etc.) if they answer "no" then the wedding is called off on the grounds that if she is not good enough for their own family then she is not good enough for strangers!


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Cool Beans
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 01:44 PM

"The Boll Weevil"
"The Ants Go Marching"
"Never Swat a Fly"
Oh, INCEST. Never mind.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Naemanson
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 04:24 PM

Incest is best, for the kin you love to touch.

A parody of an old soap commercial.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,Sieffe
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 01:48 PM

Quite right Susan . .I missed that point in my rush to supply a song! hahahaha!


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Acorn4
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 02:01 PM

There are a duo called the Cleverly Brothers who turn up and play along the seafront at Sidmouth every year. they come from Radstock and treat the subject of inbreeding in a very humorous(if not PC)way -can't find any weblinks to them unfortunately.


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 04:31 PM

See the thread on The Well Below the Valley


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: oldhippie
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 05:48 PM

I think the song is titled "Bottomless Well" by Shel Silverstein; Bobby Bare recorded it on his "Lullabys, Legends & Lies" LP and it contained the line "She said she was his wife and daughter, Lord Lord".


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,~Steamin' Willie Harddonn
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 06:50 AM

Any song written in and about love in Norfolk...


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,Joelle
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 12:18 PM

The Cruel Brother (child #11) is not about incest. But it makes sense that we would come to that conclusion today because the moral code of asking each member of the family for permission to marry has died away. So we search for some other reason her brother would have killed her. See "traditional tunes of the child ballads" by Bronson,

"I grant little credence to Barry's notion (BFSSNE, VII 1934 p. 8) of a veiled incest-motive behind the murder, not so much because of the repugnance of the idea as because the 'folk' would have felt little need to veil it, if that had been the point, and formerly would have found the motive sufficient without it" -(V. 1, p. 185)


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: Diva
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:36 PM

I sing a version of Sheath and Knife (Child 16)that I learned from Cy laurie

There was a sister and a brither
The sun gaes tae under the wid
Wha maist entirely loo'd each ither
God gif we had never been sib

etc

Joe Rae of Beith, a very fine source singer, also has a version The Broom Blooms Bonny and I think I might have heard him sing The Bonny Hind


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Subject: RE: Songs about INCEST.
From: GUEST,Dario Western
Date: 19 Jun 10 - 07:38 PM

The best known one is "Janie's Got A Gun" by Aerosmith. It went to No.1 in Australia in 1990.

The other one I know is "Fa La Fa Lee" by Sparks.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 06:17 PM

Going back to Martin Ryan's post of 21 November 2003, it's The Orphans' Wedding by Andy M Stewart, and in the DT....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 04:43 PM

Technically, "I'm my own Grandpa" is not really incestuous because he's only his step grandfather. Anyway, there's one in Folk Songs of North America that's almost incest. The brother only asks his sisters to marry him, but they refuse, although they don't know he's their brother. It's called "Three Young Ladies," and from the maritimes. I think it might be a variant of one of Child's ballads, but I can't remember which one.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 05:43 PM

Yep... Child #11.. "The Cruel Brother"


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 06:00 PM

No-one seems to have mentioned the powerful Irish song sung by Packie Byrne, "The Rich Man's Daughter": she lies sick and sends a servant urgently, not, she stresses, for her parents, but for her brother. When he comes, she tells him she is with child by him. He, apparently sympathetically, offers his protection, & they ride away to the wood, where he stabs her to death & buries her where she will never be found ~~

So the rich man's daughter, she died that day,
And her baby died within her;
And the rich man's son still walks his way,
A vile and dreadful sinner.

As I say, a powerful and beautiful song.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 06:35 PM

Hmmm...I've never heard that one, Michael..I'll look for it.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 07:52 PM

I want a girl
Just like the girl
That married dear old dad.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Young Buchan
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 08:11 PM

Lady Isabel has the accusation (denied) of incest:
'... You are your father's whore, Isabel;
It may be easy seen...'

Babylon has no fewer than three attempted incestuous rapes, all of them unwitting; two of them instead result in mere satricide.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 08:25 PM

'Babylon' = "The Cruel Brother"

Very few oral versions call it Babylon..


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: GUEST,susanc
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 08:32 PM

I was going to mention "Yarrow" but you'all got there before me. I know it's not overt but my rule of thumb is that whenever a bunch of brothers get together and kill their sister's true love, especially is there is a brother John, then there's incest, extreme jealousy or both involved.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 10:09 AM

No, Bill: Babylon does not = 'The Cruel Brother', Child #11, but is 'Babylon, or The Banks Of Fordie', Child #14.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: GUEST,baz parkes
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 10:44 AM

Bill D...as well as Packie's version, you might look out Peta Webb's. All the more spine tingling when sung by a woman...

I think it's on a recording she made with Pete Cooper.

Baz


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 11:38 AM

Point of interest, BTW, re Child 14, Babylon or The Banks Of Fordie: Child in his headnotes gives a synopsis of a Swedish version, which those with long cinematic memories will recognise as the source for Ingmar Bergman's fine film, The Virgin Spring [1960].

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 01:07 PM

**blushing and heading down to bury my nose in Child to remind myself of the differences between #11 & #14**

I was 'hearing' "Bonnie Banks of Fordie" as a poem from my 8th grade book in my head, combining it with an images of "Three Young Ladies", and leaping & bounding to conclusions.

Ah, well...perhaps the stories had common roots back there somewhere....and perhaps I need to pay more attention, perhaps...maybe...mayhap....possibly.....


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 09:23 AM

A note to what Jack Campin said about Kullervo, Sigmund and Siglinde. I'm doing retellings of both these stories- the Völsunga Saga (which contains Sigmund and Signy's incest with each other, and Signy convincing her brother to kill their first two sons due to the fact that she thinks they're cowards) is the major one. Grishka also gave me advice about retelling shorter folktales first, so I picked Kullervo's story as the short one. Both these stories are my favourites, due to their connection to Tolkien and because they're great stories. Kullervo's story, in particular, has the feel of irreversible tragedy.

Here's what I found on the Kullervo runes from pages 145-148 of Domenico Comparetti's book, The Traditional Poetry of The Finns, which was published in 1898 and is available online on the Archive website.

The earliest Finnish/Karelian songs about Kullervo say nothing about any incest and don't give his name, but only call him Kalevanpoika, son of Kaleva, Kalehva, or Kalervo, who's born after a feud between his father's and uncle's clans. He's blessed/cursed with incredible strength, and tears his swaddling clothes and breaks his cradle when he's three days old. As a child he's sold as a slave to a blacksmith whose cruel, malicious wife gives him scraps to eat while her family and other servants eat good food. She bakes him some bread for lunch while he's herding cows, a task he's given after he ruins every other task he's assigned due to his superhuman strength. He breaks his father's old knife on the stone his mistress baked inside the loaf, and takes his revenge, casting a spell to turn her cows into bears when she comes out to milk them, when they maul her to death. He then runs away, finds his uncle Untamo's clan and kills all of them. There's also two other runes which got combined with that one, which are about a man leaving for war who asks his family if they will cry if he is killed in action, and one where a man is leaving, usually for war, and hears of the deaths of his entire family but is only moved at the death of one (usually his wife). Comparetti calls these poems the Son of Kaleva's Revenge, the Setting Out for the War, and the Death Tidings.


The episode of the young man who commits incest with his sister while on a tax-collecting trip comes from another ballad, "Sisaren turmelus" or "Deflowering of The Sister," where the hero is mostly named Tuiretuinen, Turikkainen or or Tore or Turo. In that ballad, originally the hero doesn't commit suicide, instead repenting by making a sacrifice. But in some parts of 19th-century Karelia, in the Archangel area,there were variants of the song which called the hero Kullervo and usually had the unknown sister get pulled out of a group of girls at a festival. The name "Kullervo" linked the Deflowering Of The Sister with Kaleva's Son's Revenge and the Setting Out For The War, as well as the Death Tidings. Lönnrot used a combination of these runes found in the Archangel area as a basis for Runos 31-36 in the Kalevala.

Traditional Poetry of The Finns by Domenico Comparetti.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 11:11 AM

Definitely traditional, sung by fans of Ipswich F.C. against their East Anglian rivals (tune: the Addams family):

Your sister is your mother
Your uncle is your brother
They're all shagging eachother
The Norwich family...


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 11:44 AM

The Maid and the Palmer ?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Susan of DT
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 12:12 PM

Guest: Child #21 - Maid and the Palmer or Well Below the Valley or Jesus Met the Woman at the Well
Child #21
Here is another, but it does not mention the incest
another


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Gutcher
Date: 14 Apr 13 - 05:48 AM

In Sheath and Knife we know that the phrase "They daurna gwang doon tae the broom ony mare" is an 18th.C euphemism for hoochmagandy. As a reader of obscure publications I recently came across another euphemism for incestious relations between fathers and daughters. Relating to the time when farmers used oxen to pull their plows, this claimed that an old farmer was "plowing with his own heifers"and I am sure that this allusion, from the obscurity of the work in which it appears, has escaped the notice of those with an academic interest in the subject.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 08:32 PM

Also, a story about incest; Tolkien's Turin Turambar unknowingly sleeps with his sister, Nienor, who has amnesia as the result of a dragon's curse.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: ollaimh
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 09:46 PM

did anyone mention the well below the valley o.

I have long liked the music but the lyrics make my skin crawl.

I worry about that one. does one sing Andrew lammie? or bonnie sizie clelland? great songs but they are honour killings. so I don't sing incest songs.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE INCEST SONG (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 04:18 AM

Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Incest Song" has elements of other ballads, most notably "Sheath & Knife" (Child 16) and "Lizzie Wan (Child 51). Here's my transcription of what I hear on Spotify.

THE INCEST SONG
(Buffy Sainte-Marie)

Word is up to the king's dear daughter
And word is spreading all over the land
That's she's been betrayed by her own dear brother
That he has chosen another fair hand

Many a man had the song of her beauty
And many a grand deed for her had been done
But within her sights she carried the child
Of her father's youngest, fairest son

Tell to me no lies
Tell to me no stories
But saddle my good horse and I'll go and see my own true love
If your words be true ones, then that will mean the end of me

Brother oh brother what lies be these ones
They say your love to another I lose
There's a child within me of thy very own lineage
And I know it's I that thou wouldst choose

And have you yet told your father or mother
All that thou hast told here to me
And he's taken off his good braided sword
That's a-hangin' down beside his knee

No I've not told no one but you my dear one
For it's a secret between us two
And I would come home and quit all my roaming
And spend my days only waiting on you

Too late too late for change my sister
My father has chosen another fair bride
And he stabbed her easy and lovingly lay her
Down in her grave by the green wood side

And when he's come home to his own wedding feasting
And his father asks why he's weeping all so
He says such a bride as I've seen on this morning
Never another man shall know


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_IHdCI3uuU


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Gutcher
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 07:35 AM

My long held theory as to why girls did not recognise their brothers before being seduced by them as in the "Bonny Hind" etc. relates to the fact that in Scotland up to at least the 17th.C. the eldest sons of some of the clan chiefs were fostered out at an early age, some of them not returning to their own clan until called back to take over as chief on the death of their father.
One such case in the mid 16th. C. was a Maclean from the Western Isles who was packed of as a babe in arms to his mothers people in North East Scotland who ever after on his return as chief of the clan was known in gaelic as the stranger.
Any comments? A previous airing of this theory did not even provoke a whisper from what is surely a large number of learned experts on ballad lore who read these forums.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 07:48 AM


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 08:16 AM

Old Liverpool joke (needs a Scouse accent to be fully appreciated)
If a feller goes to bed with his aunt (pr. ant in Scouse) can he be accused of committing insect?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Gutcher
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 08:39 AM

Very good Tootler
You have won the coconut.
In this case we will withhold the prize as you appear to be in no need of a second one.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: GUEST,jonesnudger
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 10:48 AM

Then there was the bloke that didn't know the difference between incest and arson. He set fire to his sister.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 11:00 AM

Bit of drift ~~ a memory from earlyish childhood ~ about 8 or 9, set off by Jim above. I found a copy of Freud's Totem & Taboo that my parents had been reading lying about, and read the name of the first chapter as The Savage's Horror Of Insects. I read completely thru that chapter, but came away absolutely mystified as to what it was about insects that the man was saying the savage found so horrible.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 06:51 PM

I like the explanation of why they did not recognize each other in Child #52, King's Daughter Lady Jean:

"The very first time I came from sea
Jane you were unborn
And I wish my gallant ship had sunk
And I'd been left forlorn
And I'd been left forlorn"

"The very next time I came from sea
You were on your nurse's knee
And the very next time I came from sea
You were in this wood with me
You were in this wood with me"


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Gutcher
Date: 18 Apr 13 - 07:08 AM

The discrepancy in age in the ballad quoted by Guest may not have been as much as one would have imagined when one considers that boys as young as ten were packed of to sea and that girls as young as twelve were considered to be of marriagable age. Indeed a Duchess of Northumberland, in her own right, was wedded and bedded at the age of twelve by a fortune hunter aged 53 in the late 18th.C.,it being noted that this was no runaway marriage.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Cool Beans
Date: 18 Apr 13 - 10:23 AM

There was a pop song from the 50s or 60s called "Son, Don't Go Near the Indians," about incest narrowly avoided.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Incest
From: Susan of DT
Date: 18 Apr 13 - 01:40 PM

Sorry, that Guest was me, yesterday. I did not notice that I had lost my cookie.


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