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Lyr Req: Little Mary Phagan/Phagen/Fagan/Fagen...

DigiTrad:
MARIAN PARKER 1
MARY FAGAN


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Little Marian Parker (10)
Lyr Req: Little Mary Fagan (4)
Lyr Req: Little Grave in Georgia (6)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Mary Fagan (from the Max Hunter Folk Song Collection; as sung by Mrs. Iva Haslett in West Plains, Missouri on July 31, 1958.)


Les Blank blank@wt.net 21 Feb 97 - 10:20 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Feb 97 - 06:25 PM
Les Blank 22 Feb 97 - 09:48 PM
dick greenhaus 23 Feb 97 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Pat Swink 07 Sep 03 - 05:05 PM
Gene 07 Sep 03 - 05:37 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Sep 03 - 06:02 PM
InOBU 07 Sep 03 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Lighter 09 Sep 03 - 04:07 PM
GUEST 31 Aug 04 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Chanteyranger 31 Aug 04 - 08:51 PM
GUEST 23 Apr 05 - 10:06 PM
Brían 23 Apr 05 - 11:18 PM
karen k 24 Apr 05 - 10:50 AM
Nigel Parsons 24 Apr 05 - 12:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Apr 05 - 03:42 PM
Abby Sale 25 Apr 05 - 07:55 AM
Abby Sale 25 Apr 05 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Mc Coy 19 Jan 08 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,john 28 Feb 08 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,up until 10 years ago, the house still stood 22 Aug 08 - 07:47 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Aug 08 - 10:04 AM
Lighter 24 Aug 08 - 02:32 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Aug 08 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Connie 07 Oct 09 - 03:00 AM
GUEST,connie 07 Oct 09 - 03:18 AM
GUEST 02 Nov 09 - 02:52 PM
GUEST 11 Sep 10 - 04:17 PM
LadyJean 11 Sep 10 - 10:44 PM
GUEST 04 Sep 18 - 08:44 AM
GUEST 04 Sep 18 - 08:47 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Sep 18 - 02:19 PM
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Subject: Lyrics for Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: Les Blank blank@wt.net
Date: 21 Feb 97 - 10:20 PM

I have searched in vain for the lyrics to "The Ballad of Mary Phagen (sp??)". My mother used to sing it to me many decades ago. It told the story of a young girl who worked in a pencil (?) factory and who was brutally murdered when she went to pick up her salary. Several years ago, I think I saw the end of a made for TV movie starring Jack Lemmon, which may well have been based on what my Mom told me really happened in one of the southern states in the 20's ?? Can someone help ?? I have searched DT using all the keywords I can think of. Thanks in advance. Les Blank


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Subject: Lyr Add: MARY FAGAN
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Feb 97 - 06:25 PM

MARY FAGAN

Little Mary Fagen,
She went to town one day:
She went to the pencil factory
To get her weekly pay.

She left her home at eleven;
She kissed her mother goodbye;
Not once did the poor girl think
She was going off to die.

Leo Frank met her
With a brutish heart and grin;
He says to little Mary:
"You'll never see home again."

Down on her knees fell
To Leo Frank and pled.
He picked a stick from the trash pile
And beat her o'er the head.

The tears rolled dean her cheek,
The blood rolled down her back,
For she remembered telling her mother
What time she would be back;.

Nemphon was the watchman;
He went to wind his key;
Away down in the basement
Was nothing he could see.

They phoned for the officers;
Their names I do not know;
They came to the pencil factory,
Says to Nemphon, "You must go."

They took him to the jail house;
They bound him in his cell;
The poor old innocent negro
Had nothing he could tell.

Mother sits a-weeping;
She weeps and mourns all day
And hopes to meet her darling
In a better land some day.

Come, all ye good people,
Wherever you may be,
Suppose that "little Mary"
Belonged to you or me.

I have an idea in my mind
When Frankie comes to die
And stands examination
------------------------------------
In the courthouse in the sky,

He'll be so astonished
To what the angels say
And how he killed little Mary
Upon that holiday.

Judge Roan passed a sentence;
He passes it very well;
The Christian doers of heaven
Sent Leo Frank to hell.

DT #774
Laws F20
@murder
From Henry,
filename[ MARYFAG
SF
apr97


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Subject: RE: Lyrics for Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: Les Blank
Date: 22 Feb 97 - 09:48 PM

Dick: Thanks for the rapid reply. I was still not able to bring up what you did, no matter what keywords I used. I suspect that the little tag "apr97" had something to do with my failure. I am still a novice, but DT is one of the best things I've encountered, Mark Moss or no Mark Moss. Keep it up so. And thanks again !! Les Blank blank@wt.net


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Subject: RE: Lyrics for Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Feb 97 - 10:54 PM

You didn't do anything wrong. Mary Phagan is one of the songs that will be added to the DT in April. And thanx for the kind words.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics for Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: GUEST,Pat Swink
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 05:05 PM

What do you do to hear the recording of Ms. Haslett?


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Subject: RE: Lyrics for Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: Gene
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 05:37 PM

I have a recording by Vernon Dalhart...

PM or Email CN8GV9@AOL.COM for Audio File


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Subject: RE: Lyrics for Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 06:02 PM

In order to hear the recording of Iva Haslett (as opposed to the midi file of the tune that can be heard via the link given above), simply go to the website of the  Max Hunter Folk Song Collection.

This link is to the main page, from which you can easily find the file you want. Although a direct link could be given, you'd risk missing a lot of other very interesting things.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics for Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: InOBU
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 06:03 PM

A remarkable event in the history of US antisemitism. The Mary Fagan case is the only time I can recall when an innocent White man in the south was lynched on the evidence of a guilty Black man. Very sad and interesting story. Leo Frank was lynched after it became likly that he would be aquitted on appeal eventualy. \Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyrics for Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 04:07 PM

In 1982, a former employee of Frank's revealed - on his deathbed, of course - that he had seen Jim Conley carrying the body off all alone, thus tending to exonerate Frank. When the boy asked his parents what to do, these solid citizens told him not to keep quiet. So he never testified.

One of Jack Lemmon's final roles was in a TV movie about the trial, a pretty good one too.

I believe the facts of the case make the song unsingable.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics for Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 05:41 PM

I recently saw the movie The Murder of Mary Fagan. It bothered me so very much that they wouldn't let Mr. Frank be found innocent merely because he was a jew. It's so sad. Differences are all around us. It's sad that people are so stuck in their own mindset.
We should all agree to disagree on whatever it may be (religion, etc.) We don't have to all be the same.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics for Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 08:51 PM

After Jim Conley died, the witness Guest Lighter mentioned revealed that Conley told him if he ever told the truth, he would kill him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Apr 05 - 10:06 PM

Hello
   I just found this discussion about Mary Fagan. I sure as sorry it's been such a long time ago your discussion took place that you will most likely never read my comments. My mother was a very few yrs. younger than Mary Fagan and Mary was a little sweet on my Uncle Leslie so she was paying time and attention to my Mom. On the day Mary went to catch the trolly to go to the pencil factory she had stopped to talk briefly to my Mom in the front yard of here home. From there she went to the factory and what happened took place. When Leo Frank was hung the crownd took him to hang on a tree under which Mary had played as a child. When I was about 18 (1958) app. a company bought that land where the tree was located, I think my Dad said it was the Coca Cola Company to make a new bottling plant. When the tree was taken down my Dad got a piece of the old wood and make a plaque of it. Mostley I have care for the plaque because my Dad made it and did the writeing on it. I still have the plaque hanging in my home in Sevierville, Tn. I remember many stories my Mom told of Mary and what took place with her mother in the years after the murder. All of this has no great importance, just that what I read here made me do some thingking. Bob Cantrell usatbp@bellsouth.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: Brían
Date: 23 Apr 05 - 11:18 PM

Thank you Bob, for helping make Mary and Leo real to us.

Brían


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: karen k
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 10:50 AM

I have always believed that the correct spelling was Phagan. Do you know otherwise Bob? Anything more you could tell us would be most gratefully received. I have long been interested in the story, even before the movie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 12:00 PM

Was it her brother who was the philaderer?

Hello Patsy Fagan

CHEERS

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 03:42 PM

Newspaper accounts of the time all spelled the name Phagan, which is correct.
The name is usually spelt Fagan in North America, so that quickly became the spelling used in later song and story.
See "The Traditional Ballads Index" for versions and spellings as well as the threads, and the several articles in google ("Mary Phagan").


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: Abby Sale
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 07:55 AM

See, if you will, the "happy?" for today


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: Abby Sale
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:00 AM

Sorry, please see "happy? - April 26" - tomorrow, of course.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen or Fagen or Fagin ??
From: GUEST,Mc Coy
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 02:35 PM

The so called christian people in those days would lynch a Jew or a Negro at a blink of an eye, just give them any kind of excuse and the deed was done in the name of religion,they were as stupid then as they are today.


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Subject: RE: Movie: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: GUEST,john
Date: 28 Feb 08 - 06:56 AM

i still have memories of that mvie but l will like to watch it again can any one help me out?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: GUEST,up until 10 years ago, the house still stood
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 07:47 PM

up until 10 years ago, the house still stood on the corner of powder springs rd and polk street in marietta ga. there is a cemetery nearby with a monument to her holding her two children. odnt know it this interests anybody, but i thought i'd share any way.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 10:04 AM

The Online 78 rpm Discographical Project lists the following recordings:
    Fiddlin' John Carson, GRAVE OF LITTLE MARY PHAGAN, Okeh 45028, 12/?/25.

    Rosa Lee Carson, LITTLE MARY PHAGAN, Okeh 40446, 06/??/25.

    Al Craver, LITTLE MARY PHAGAN, Columbia 15031D, 5/27/25.

    Charlie Oaks, LITTLE MARY PHAGAN, Vocalion 15099B, 8/?/25.

    Charlie Oaks, LITTLE MARY PHAGAN, Vocalion 5069, 8/?/25.

    Vernon Dalhart, LITTLE MARY PHAGAN, Cameo 811, 10/??/25.

    Vernon Dalhart, LITTLE MARY PHAGAN, Romeo 332, 10/??/25.

    Tobe Little (V. Dalhart), LITTLE MARY PHAGAN, Okeh 40568, 02/??/26.
Note that the record companies always got the spelling right. I searched for, but didn't find, any recordings with the spelling Phagen, Phagin, Fagan, Fagen, or Fagin.

There is a scratchy recording of LITTLE MARY PHAGAN on the Fiddlin' John Carson collection "Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1925-1926)," Document CD 8016, 1998. It is a female voice that I can't identify. Would it be Rosa Lee Carson? I listened to a sound sample, and it is hard to transcribe, but the lyrics seem different from any version that has been posted at Mudcat:
    ...He smiled and said, "Little Mary, now you'll go home no more."
    He sneaks along behind her ...
    He laughed and said, "Little Mary, you met your fatal day."
    She set upon her knees, to Leo Frank she pled.
    Because she was virt'ous, he hit her 'cross the head....
The same CD also contains THE GRAVE OF LITTLE MARY PHAGAN. This is in a male voice, so I assume it is Fiddlin' John Carson himself:
    ... my window little gray beeyard*, while little birds sings in the trees.
    Little Mary was just fourteen, she's purty as a queen.
    Her hair was dark and curly, the sweetest child ever was seen....
*I can't figure what to make of this word. If it's "bird," I can't explain why he pronounces it two different ways in the same line. I can't imagine why he would sing about a "beard" in this song. I can't tell for sure whether it's a two-syllable word, or one syllable stretched out over two notes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 02:32 PM

Jim, how 'bout "little graveyard where little birds sing in the trees"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 11:36 PM

Lighter: You're right: It's "little graveyard"--and "yard" is sung as two notes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: GUEST,Connie
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 03:00 AM

Marietta, Georgia were Mary is buried is also where the young beauty contestant killed in Denver is buried. Both she and Mary were found in basements.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: GUEST,connie
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 03:18 AM

Also, Leo Frank was the Jewish man killed. One town north of Marietta at Kennesaw State University there is a Anne Frank Memorial Exhibit. Anne Frank hid in an Attic and was found alive, the other two were found in basements, not alive.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:52 PM

I think what is amazing is that my mother (born in 1920), who lived in Pittsburgh, PA her whole life, also sang the song to me when I was little (I was born in 1940)! So this Mountain song was known at least in PA. The song seem so Appalachian/Southern to me, yet obviously transcended regional borders.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 04:17 PM

I have an protrait of little mary fegan that has been an airloom for many many years I know the picture is at lease 30 to 35 years if not older I can remember when I was a child my mother would say that is the little girl that got killed at the pencil factory and I am now 50. I am not sure exactly how old it is.But she is beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: LadyJean
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 10:44 PM

There was an excellent documentary on PBS about the incident last year. I reccomend it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 08:44 AM

The lyrics as I've transcribed them are:

Leo Frank met her
With the brutely heart we know
He smiled and said, "Little Mary
now you'll go home no more"
He sneak'd along behind her
Till she reach'd the metal room
He laughed and said, "Little Mary
you met your fatal doom."

She fell upon her knees
To Leo Frank she pled
Because she was virt'ous
He hit her 'cross the head
The tears roll'd down her rosy cheeks
The blood flow'ded down her back
She remember'd tellin' her mother
What time she would be back

He kill'd little Mary Phagan
Was on one holiday
Then call'd for old Jim Conley
To take her body away
He took her to the basement
Bound hand & feet
Down in the basement
Little Mary lay'd asleep

Newt Lee was the watchman
When he went to wind the key
Down in the basement
Little Mary he could see
He call'd for the officers
Their names I do not know
They came to the pencil fact'ry
Sayin', "Newt Lee you must go"

They took him to the jailhouse
Lock'd him in a cell
The pore ol' innocent nigga
Knew nothing for to tell
I have a notion in my head
When Frank come to die
He took his damination
In the courthouse in the sky

Th'stonish'd ask'd the question
The angels they did say,
"Why'd he kill little Mary
On one holiday"
Come all of you good people
Wherever you may be
Supposing little Mary
Belong'd to you or me

Her mother sits a-weeping
She weeps and mourns all day
She prays to meet her baby
In a better world someday
Judge Roan pass'd the sentence
You bet he's pass'd it well
Solic'tor Hugh M. Dorsey
Sent Leo frank to


The last line is left off unfinish'd, but I think you'll get the idea of what the last word would be if Ms. Carson didn't self-censor.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary Phagen/Fagen/Fagin/Phagan/Fagan
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 08:47 AM

There are several inaccurate transcriptions around, such as the one put up by Mr. Greenhaus and the one @ https://genius.com/Rosa-lee-carson-little-mary-phagan-lyrics


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE MARY PHAGAN (Carson & Carson)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 02:19 PM

Lyrics copied from American Folk Songs: A Regional Encyclopedia edited by Norman Cohen (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008), page 314 (with the spelling tweaked a bit by me):


LITTLE MARY PHAGAN
Words and music by [Fiddlin’] John Carson and Rosalee Carson, ©1925.*
As recorded by Rosa Lee Carson,** June, 1925.

Little Mary Phagan she went to town one day.
She went to the pencil fact’ry to get her little pay.

She left her home at ‘leven when she kissed her mother goodbye.
Not one time did the poor child think she was going there to die.

Leo Frank met her with a brutely heart we know.
He smiled and said: “Little Mary, now you go home no more.”

He sneaked along behind her till she reached the metal room.
He laughed and said: “Little Mary, you met your fatal doom.”

She fell upon her knees; to Leo Frank she pled.
Because she was virt’ous, he hit her ‘cross the head.

The tears rolled down her rosy cheeks; the blood flowded down her back.
She remembered telling her mother what time she would be back.

He killed little Mary Phagan—‘twas on one holiday—
Then called for old Jim Conley to take her body away.

He took her to the basement, bound hand and feet.
Down in the basement, little Mary lay asleep.

Newt Lee was the watchman; when he went to wind the key,
Down in the basement little Mary he could see.

He called for the off’cers; their names I do not know.
They came to the pencil fact’ry saying: “Newt Lee, you must go.”

They took him to the jailhouse, locked him in a cell.
This poor old innocent nigger knew nothing for to tell.

I have a notion in my head when Frank comes to die,
He took examination in the courthouse in the sky.

Astonished at the questions, the angels they did say
Why he killed little Mary upon one holiday.

Come, all of you good people, wherever you may be.
Supposing little Mary belonged to you or me.

Her mother sets a-weeping; she weeps and mourns all day.
She prays to meet her baby in a better world someday.

Judge Roan passed the sentence; you bet he passed it well.
Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey sent Leo Frank to ----.


* from Catalog of Copyright Entries, (Washington: Library of Congress, Jan.-June, 1952), “Renewals,” page 141.

** spelling from record label. Rosa Lee or Rosalee was Fiddlin’ John’s daughter, and also recorded under the name Moonshine Kate.


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