Monday, February 28, 2011

Murder-Song Monday: Down in the Willow Garden

I suppose if you put all these murder songs back to back, well you could form a sad commentary on the human condition. That, after all, is the point of folk music. To tell a human story, serving as a familiar reminder or lesson to the community. In this song the remorseful fellow has poisoned, stabbed, and drowned his girl friend all in the same verse! Did these songs persist in so many versions from generation to generation as a warning to young women to be careful of who they went walking with? Anyway, Kirsten Hersh does an appropriately haunting version, but since embedding has been disabled on that one, I'll have to offer up Bailey Cooke as an alternative. I like her banjo-playing and tempo here. And the sound of the peepers in the background is kind of cool too.

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