Mudcat Café message #2411569 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113441   Message #2411569
Posted By: GUEST
12-Aug-08 - 11:47 AM
Thread Name: What murder ballad is the saddest? [songs]
Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
Cruel Mother / Down by the Greenwood Side.
Single woman falls pregnant and has a baby (we know not how, save that "she leaned her back against the thorn"). She then kills the child - surely the most desperate of measures - before meeting the ghost of the child and, in many versions, being condemned to the fires of eternal torment.
There are those who believe the title "Cruel Mother" unacceptable. Could this be the story of a young woman in fear and despair?