Mudcat Café message #2413310 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113441   Message #2413310
Posted By: Jim Carroll
14-Aug-08 - 05:57 AM
Thread Name: What murder ballad is the saddest? [songs]
Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
I was a little surprised to see The Cruel mother described as "probably written by a broadside hack". We have no idea who wrote 'The Cruel Mother'; we do know it is very old and popular enough to have survived, both among adults and children, right up to the present day.
The broadside trade was very much a two-way street, its participants taking as much (if not more) from the tradition as they gave to it.
The reference to the lady being pregnant by 'her father's clerk' probably refers to a household cleric, which would add to her problems I should have thought.
Jim Carroll