Mudcat Café message #2413196 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113441   Message #2413196
Posted By: Jayto
14-Aug-08 - 01:12 AM
Thread Name: What murder ballad is the saddest? [songs]
Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
Sorry if I misinterpreted your meaning. I thought you were saying you didn't believe me. This is the first time I have been on any kind of thread before. Well I had a few on the Chet Atkins chetboard thing so I apologize for being well....:) I have been told stories by alot of older people about the sin eaters. After a person died they would place small cakes (I always envisioned cup cakes or something like it),Cookies and other things like bread on the body of the deceased. A person normally of high ranking in the church would enter the house (where the body traditionally spent it's last night before burial) and would say a prayer and the eat the cakes,cookies,or whatever off of the clothing of the deceased. This was to symbolize the destruction of the sins before entering heaven. The person that was sitting with the dead would then enter the room and spend the night with the deceased. The sin eater would not be able to get the person into heaven by eating the sin cakes it was just part of a ritualistic prayer. I don't recall anyone saying that a sin would be forgiven because of the sin eater's action or saying someone would not get to heaven because a sin eater didn't eat thier sins. It was part of an archaic ritual that is (as far as I know) not performed anymore. There are all kind of debates about religious practices around here. Snake handlers are one that everyone seems to know about. It says in the Bible if you are one with God you can drink poison and it will not harm you and handle venomous serpents and they will not hurt you (paraphrased of course). So they drink stricnine ( man I am not sure how you spell that) and handle Rattlesnakes and Copperheads. You have Pentecostal and Holliness chuches that believe in speaking in tongues. Jesus sent his disciples into foriegn lands and gave them the gift of toungues to communicate. Well they believe that "tongues" is the language of God you recieve it when you are "filled with the holy ghost" or "slain in the spirit". I helped a few times with a program called "The Mountain Mission." We gathered clothes and sent up to Eastern Kentucky for the poor. We had all used clothing returned to us because they were used. I was confused as to why I knew they needed them. We were told that (the area they were sent I don't want to step on anybody's toes here) the people did not want them. They thought that the people that wore the clothes were sinners and the sins and demons would be attached to the clothing. From then on we could only accept new clothing. There are some odd practices in appalchia. Part of what makes the folk music so pure is the same thing that puzzles us about the people. In parts they are unchanged and uninfluenced by external factors.